- Nothing soothes a fussy baby quite like a pacifier, and some can even soothe a baby’s teething stages.
- We’ve tested dozens of pacifiers to find the best ones you can buy for every scenario, price, and age range.
- The MAM Perfect Pacifier is our top pick because it’s an inexpensive and cute soother that won’t disrupt tooth alignment.
A pacifier will get you out of a lot of jams as a parent, especially when the breast or the bottle is not on the menu. As the mother of a former pacifier-obsessed baby, I know my way around the market.
There are a host of positive findings of pacifier use, including their strong analgesic effects and correlation with a lower instance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). There are also many types of pacifiers available, so you can choose the right size and shape for each stage of infant growth, greatly lessening any cause for orthodontic concerns.
Since there are so many kinds of pacifiers available now, choosing the right one for each stage and circumstance of babyhood can be confusing, but we did the research, consulted the trusted sources, and tested over a dozen kinds on my daughter.
Here are the best pacifiers of 2021
- Best pacifier overall: MAM Perfect Pacifier
- Best pacifier for newborns: Mary Meyer WubbaNub Pacifier
- Best pacifier for toddlers: Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Pacifier
- Best pacifier for teething babies: RaZbaby RaZ-Berry Silicone Teether
- Best pacifier for late-night criers: MAM Glow-in-the-Dark Pacifier
The MAM Perfect Pacifier helps to reduce the risk of tooth misalignment with its soothing shape designed from extra thin BPA/BPS-free silicone.
Pros: Orthodontist-recommended design, 60% smaller nipple size than the average, BPA/BPS-free silicone nipple, helps to prevent tooth misalignment with a symmetrical shape, air holes in shield allow baby’s skin to breathe, self-sterilizing case,
Cons: The airflow design may leave a mark on extra chubby cheeks
The MAM Perfect Pacifier comes in different sizes for babies: ages 0 to 6 months, 6 months and up, and 16-months plus. From the moment my daughter was 3 months old to the day she put her pacifier down for good, MAM pacifiers were her favorite.
I bought pacifiers in bulk as their small size were easily misplaced at home, daycare, or on the go., After trying well over a dozen brands throughout my daughter’s infancy and early toddlerhood, we returned to MAM.
The round, soft shape and subtly bumpy silicone texture closely mimics a breast and felt most familiar to my daughter. The texture also helped keep the point from falling out of her mouth while she wasn’t actively sucking. The pacifiers come inside a self-sterilizing storage case, too. My daughter used the MAM “original” pacifier. Recently, the company has come out with a brand-new “perfect” pacifier made from the same ultra-soft patented silicone (BPA- and BPS-free), which is now even thinner and softer. Though the new design’s air holes may leave a mark on chubbier cheeks, the breathable, realistically-detailed design is well apt for effective use.
The pacifier is also thinner and softer than regular silicone pacifiers meaning it stays comfortably nestled in your baby’s mouth without causing extra pressure. I picked one up to check out the new design for this article and will definitely be keeping it on hand for my next baby.
The best pacifier for newborns
The Mary Meyer WubbaNub Pacifier is a two-in-one lifesaver: practical with its hospital-recommended design and playful with an affixed weighted plush animal, which keeps it from falling out.
Pros: Hospital-recommended design, added plush toy that prevents it from falling out, BPA- and PVC-free
Cons: Hard to disinfect, but machine washable
The Mary Meyer WubbaNub Pacifier pacifier is actually a two-for-one product. The inventor, momtrepreneur Carla Schneider, started with the hospital-recommended all-star newborn pacifier, the Philips Avent Soothie for newborns, and connected it with a wide variety of small bean-filled and adorable plush animals designed to rest on baby’s chest and keep the pacifier from falling out when babies fuss.
The struggle keeping a pacifier in my daughter’s mouth was real. Before my husband and I found the Wubbanub, we took turns popping the pacifier back in our sometimes-colicky tiny daughter’s mouth all night long. The Wubbanub isn’t a perfect solution for falling pacifiers, but the BPA- and PVC-free product is much better than the unweighted alternatives when you’re a desperate, sleep-deprived parent of a newborn.
One of the only drawbacks many parents discover is that the combination of a fabric plush with a silicone pacifier tip is rather hard to disinfect. Like WubbaNub recommends, I occasionally threw the whole thing in the washing machine and held just the silicone tip in boiling water as needed.
The best pacifier for toddlers
The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Pacifier has an orthodontic design that’s safe for toddlers who don’t want to give up their soother.
Pros: BPA-free symmetrical silicone shape
Cons: The design sometimes allows water to get trapped inside, may not stay put for babies younger than toddler age
The Tommee Tippee brand is a well-known maker of baby bottles that are built to resemble a breast, and their pacifiers follow the same design.
Instead of the round bulbous tip on the end like many pacifiers have, the Tommee Tippee “closer to nature” design is relatively larger at the tip, yet is symmetrical and narrows into the base This means that the shape and feel of the silicone are more like a real nipple. It won’t stay put in the baby’s mouth as well as brands that have a bulbous tip, but by the time your little one is a toddler, they can handle that part all on their own.
The best pacifier for teethers
The RaZbaby RaZ-Berry Silicone Teether is a hands-free, dual pacifier and a teething toy, thanks to its great texture.
Pros: Hands-free, safe design for sucking or teething, texture stimulates active sucking to help relieve teething pain
Cons: None to speak of
The RaZbaby RaZ-Berry Silicone Teether has a nipple shape similar to that of your average pacifier, but with a nubbier, bumpier texture that feels like a large silicone raspberry. Teething infants love the varied texture, which also stimulates their gums and helps them massage the areas where their teeth are beginning to poke through. None of the other options I tried, like the Molar Muncher Hands-Free Teether, were hands-free or interesting enough texturally to encourage active sucking to ease her teething woes.
Naturally, the design of the Razbaby really shines. Because the shape and sucking function are very similar to a normal pacifier, my daughter could keep this in her mouth on her own and had plenty of opportunities to stimulate and soothe her gums. You can also stick it in the freezer for some cooling action on inflamed spots.
The double-duty capacity is great if you’re frequently on the go with the kids in tow, or if your child goes to daycare. Instead of packing or attaching both a pacifier and a teething toy to your teething baby’s shirt, you can make it all day with just one soothing object.
The best pacifier for late-night criers
The MAM Glow-in-the-Dark Night Orthodontic Pacifier has an illuminated handle to help sleep-deprived parents (and babies) find the sucking piece without turning on the lights.
Pros: High-quality form and functionality that glows-in-the-dark for nighttime wakeups
Cons: Needs a very bright charge in order to glow all night
The Glow-in-the-Dark Night Orthodontic Pacifier is MAM’s popular orthodontic pacifier shape and design with a twist — all by adding a practical, glow-in-the-dark handle to help with those midnight wakeups.
At first, I was worried that the glow so close to the baby’s face would keep her awake, but I never noticed any problems of that nature in actual usage. Other pacifier brands offer a glow-in-the-dark option, too. There’s the Philips Avent BPA Free Night Time Pacifier, which is affordable, but parents say that the glow-in-the-dark functionality barely works and runs out of charge very quickly. So, because of the good quality of the materials, the popular nature of the design, the widespread availability, and the good price, MAM is still the all-around best.
Though some have found it takes a very bright light to charge the MAM enough for it to really glow well all night, we still found that this brand glows better than other options. It comes in blue, pink, or green styles, and two different sizes for older or younger babies.
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