Babies have an urge to suck. They prefer their mom’s breast, but if that’s not available, a pacifier for newborn does the job as well. But what makes the ideal pacifier? What pacifier to use for a newborn? Should it be round or flattened and is silicone better than latex? Our pacifier guide provides you with answers to these questions and those that might come after as well. Babies have an innate sucking reflex. They suck their thumb even in the womb. Immediately after birth, they seek their mother’s breast and begin to drink milk. No wonder they want it, because for them, always sucking not only fills the stomach but also makes them happy. When sucking, hormones that calm and stimulate the intestines are released.
When to use a pacifier for newborns? Pediatricians and midwives recommend not using a pacifier in the very first weeks after birth. For good reasons, because there are a few conditions that must be met. First of all, breastfeeding must be working well. As long as the baby is not yet drinking naturally from the breast, they should not be given anything else to suck on. Here’s also some tips on breastfeeding that will ease you and your baby. Additionally, some “pacifier babies” end up getting too weak to drink from the breast if they have previously used the pacifier for a very long time. It also helps the mother if she does not give her child a pacifier at first: She gets a feel for whether her child is really hungry or just wants to be comforted faster. But when the baby is around a month old, there is nothing to be said against the use of pacifier for newborn. After all, it not only comforts the baby, but also relieves the parents.
Dentists and orthodontists are less enthusiastic about pacifiers than parents and babies. They warn of malocclusions of the milk teeth and even delayed speech development if children cannot let go of the pacifier for years. Then the cautious questions arise: “How to choose pacifier for newborn?” “What pacifier is best for newborn?” Above all, it is important to pay attention to the pacifier’s teat. It should be suitable for the jaw.
According to many specialists, dentists and orthodontists, the ideal teat exerts little pressure on the jaw, and leaves enough room for the tongue and does not interfere with the child’s swallowing. In the search for the best pacifier for breastfeeding newborn, the researchers discovered that the thick end of the pacifier should be curved upwards, while the underside should be as flat as possible. Researchers also have discovered that this shape corresponds exactly to that of the nipple during breastfeeding. The nipple does not remain round while the baby is drinking: When the baby sucks, the higher half of the nipple curves upward, whereas the inferior half is pushed flat by the tongue.
What pacifier to use for a newborn? Because hardly any material is as elastic as the nipple, good pacifiers for newborn are pre-shaped. Pacifier manufacturers mainly offer two different variants of what we would call a recommended pacifier for newborn:
- The asymmetrical shape with a bulge at the top and a bottom surface that is slightly curved inward. It’s an orthodontic pacifier for newborn and it is favored by many dentists.
- The symmetrical shape with a slight curvature in both directions. When the baby sucks, the lower part of the teat pulls inward. In most of these models, the plate (located at the front of the mouth) is also symmetrical. The benefits of pacifier for newborn this one offers: there is no top or bottom; the child cannot put the pacifier in their mouth upside down.
The pacifier shaft, i.e. the section between the plate and the thickened teat end, should be as flat as possible so that your child does not get an overbite, where the upper teeth are far in front of the lower teeth. So-called cherry pacifiers for newborn with a balloon-like teat section and a relatively thick shaft are not recommended.
If you need a pacifier or a teat for a bottle, you have a choice to make between latex or silicone. How to use pacifier for newborn and which material is the best? Most of the orthodontists recommend silicone ones rather than latex, because latex can trigger allergies:
- Latex as a natural substance; feels pleasantly soft. But because it is made of natural rubber milk, it contains fats and therefore becomes unsightly more quickly. Depending on use, it’s recommended to replace latex pacifiers every four to six weeks. Keep in mind that some babies are also allergic to the proteins (egg whites) contained in latex.
- Silicone keeps its shape well, but is easier to bite through. Therefore, as soon as the first teeth appear, check the teat more often and throw it away if the material is damaged. New recommendations are silicone teats whose ends are slightly roughened and feel like latex.
- There is another natural alternative – the thumb or sometimes the whole hand. Some parents swear by thumb sucking; the finger is always available, costs nothing, and can’t be spit out in a big way. However, the natural soother also has some cons. Modern pacifiers in particular are much more jaw-friendly than the finger. Weaning from thumb sucking is also much more difficult. After all, the finger is always just an arm’s length away.
Our tip: If the pacifier for newborn only falls to the floor briefly or is only slightly soiled, rinsing it under hot water is sufficient. If it is very dirty, it should also be boiled or sterilized in a special pacifier steamer. By the way, the same applies before the first use. Parents should also replace their children’s pacifiers every four to six weeks or sooner if there are any cracks or rough spots. Then the replacement should be sterilized in the same way.
When we look at the pacifier for newborn pros and cons; we may say that pacifiers are not suitable as permanent sedatives. One reason for that is if the child already has teeth, the milk teeth can be pushed forward by constant sucking. The more intensively the pacifier is used, the more often the teeth become crooked, which can even affect the future permanent teeth. But don’t worry: Using a pacifier for newborn to sleep is perfectly fine for occasional soothing or as a nap aid. However, there will always be phases with an increased need for a pacifier – for example, during illness or a growth phase. Nevertheless, even for these phases, the pacifier must simply be the second choice. Physical closeness and cuddling with the parents usually works much better and is also easier on the teeth. Another advantage is that the less often your child needs a pacifier in everyday life, the easier it will be to wean later.
The faithful companion can use some warm words. Because now it has to cope without its previous owner. There are proven ideas on how to encourage your child to stop with their pacifier use. Even if you have a good idea yourself to make it easier to say goodbye to the pacifier – please check this out also!The little ones usually call them by nicknames. They love it because it comforts and calms, because it helps when they are bored, in the dark, hungry and other misfortunes. The grown-ups usually call it a pacifier; or more correctly, a soother. In the beginning, they also like it because it comforts the little ones, a bit more because it also brings peace to the grown-ups. However, after the child is one or two years old, the grown-ups don’t like the little pacifier anymore. The dentist says it causes crooked teeth, the child sometimes has a lisp while talking, or the dermatologist says that the pacifier is to blame for the pimples around the mouth. And it is clear for the grown-ups that the pacifier has to go! And as quickly as possible! But for the little ones, this is not that acceptable. That’s why the grown-ups need persuasion and also imagination. We have asked around, how the separation of child and pacifier succeeds best.For many children, the intensive pacifier phase ends around the eighth month of life, because the need to suck decreases and chewing becomes the new interest. But for some other children, the end of the first year of life is also a good time to suck less. But don’t worry, until the age of three parents can still give their child the teat now and then to put them to sleep or as an occasional comforter. For a better sleep comfort you can also try a sleep buddy toy, that also works! Only after that should they be weaned for good. But if the pacifier fairy were to come and take the pacifier to its home, or if the birds were to like it and borrow it for a while, it is also acceptable. That’s all on what pacifier to use for a newborn.