Should I give my breastfed baby a pacifier?(2 infographics)

Ahmed Fawzibreastfeeding tools0 Comments

Either your baby is breastfed or not; using a pacifier for your baby is like a game.

In fact, it has rules also.

Thus, every mom should follow the rules to maximize the prize.

And like any tool, baby pacifier has its pros and cons. Be smart and be aware of the data in our breastfeedo guide, and I promise you to cover all what you really need to know step by step.

Who should be interested in that baby pacifier guide?

  Pregnant moms who are preparing for breastfeeding.
 New mom and 1st baby is on board
 Analytical personality need trusted evidences.
 Busy mom who need bottom line & final result.
 Practical moms seek actionable tips about pacifier use.

Let the fun starts right now


Two huge pains are facing any new mom when they are searching for a baby pacifier online


    First pain:  Tons of data & opposite opinions regarding baby pacifier use or not .

   Second pain : Poor & boring online articles or posts .

Breastfeedo Pacifier Guide is the killer of those 2 pains

      Let’s deep in to see    

What do you need to know about baby sucking skill?


  • Baby Sucking Skill is the first skill your baby acquires.
  • When?

At the 20th week of your pregnancy journey.
It is considered baby’s survival skill.

  • Hence, your child starts to suck his thumb
    before starting to suck your breasts !!!
  • After your delivery,
    your baby sucking need is high.
    Either after feedings ( breastfeeding or bottle ), he may show signs of sucking need.


Baby sucks his thumb when he still in his mom's womb

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 Do you know what are the Natural Pacifiers?

Your baby sucks at the natural pacifier when he needs more joy and comfort using:

      His thumb
       Your finger
       Your empty breast
  • Those 3 examples -plus pacifier sucking- are called: Non-Nutritive Sucking (NNS)

( sucking without gaining milk or food)

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The Natural pacifiers are: your empty breast, your baby's finger, and your clean-clipped finger Click To Tweet
Why Non-Nutritive Sucking is important to your baby either breastfed or not?

  • Upon American Academy of Pediatrics (for full term baby):
  1. Almost 100% of normal babies engage in non-nutritive sucking.
  2. Make your baby self-regulate his/her emotions.
  3. Relax & focus his attention
  4. It is a source of comfort, security, calmness, and soothing.
  5. Mood enhancer (when the baby is tired, bored, anxious, or upset).

   Low birth weight or small for gestational age are being fed from a tube. They need to be trained on sucking, so NNS would help in:

 Decrease the length of hospital stay

 Support baby stability when he is tube fed.

  Behavioral development

  Fast transition to oral feeds.

   Organization of sucking ( The survival skill ).

   Digestion is enhanced.

   Decreasing gases & vomiting.

   Relieves the distress of a crying baby, where crying affects respiratory status & oro-motor development negatively.


What experts recommend?

  • We conducted a wide search for different medical opinions for using a pacifier for babies .
   The use of pacifiers has been shown to decrease the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Conclusion: Pacifier use is associated with baby life-saving.

American Academy of Pediatrics

 Many experts agree that pacifiers may cause: otitis media, early breastfeeding weaning, and baby dental problems, but the evidence is still unclear.


 Pacifier use may protect against SIDS ( Sudden infant deaths), but further researches are needed to validate this benefit.

Conclusion: Lack of substantial evidence, either for or against the use of pacifiers.
Canadian Pediatric Society

  It’s possible using a dummy (Pacifier) at the start of a sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS

 Dummy use won’t cause permanent problems, as long as the habit stops by the time your child gets their second teeth, but it can be a hard habit to break.

Conclusion: Dummy use has a benefit of SIDS risk reduction.


UK National Health Service

  A pacifier (dummy) may be offered, while placing infant on their back to sleep .

   No earlier than 4 weeks of age and after breastfeeding has been established.

Australian Government National Health And Medical Researches

 Pacifiers never be used as a substitute for the mother’s breast or comforting.

 However, they also state that pacifiers can be of help to a breastfeeding mother when used judiciously, for short periods & in limited circumstances.

La Leche Leage International

I have broken one of the cardinal rules of lactation counseling by saying that I don’t think pacifiers are the devil’s tool. This is because I have survived raising 6 children, and I know that you do whatever works and helps you keep your sanity.Anne Smith, IBCLC owner of
What Breastfeedo recommends?

2300 babies die / year in the USA from SIDs

300  babies died  /  year from SIDs in the UK

1 baby death every 2733 could be prevented when a baby use a pacifier, especially when it had been used before going to sleep.

90% decrease in babies deaths in a Californian study in pacifier users during last sleep compared with nonpacifier users.

Also, SIDs is at higher % in the first 6 months of your baby’s life

Our Conclusions:

1- Use a baby pacifier -for your breastfed baby- after the 1st month and up to the sixth month of your child’s life.

2- It is crucial to give your child his/her pacifier before sleeping, as it is the best time of pacifier in preventing sudden infant death.

3-Plus that 80% of babies dislodged pacifier from their mouths of within the 1st hour of sleep.And according to Weiss and Kerbl, they found that 78% of pacifier usage episodes to be <15 minutes.

Babies who sleep with a pacifier (dummy), have a reduced risk of Sudden infant death (SID) Click To Tweet



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It all depends on you, mom. Nipple confusion is what you should avoid (definition in infographic)

Good if:

 You give your baby a pacifier after breastfeeding is well established ( 4-6 weeks after birth).

  You give your baby a pacifier before or after the breastfeeding session. And before nap time/sleep.

Bad if:

 You replaced the breastfeeding session with a pacifier.

 You started to give your baby a pacifier before his/her first month of age.

In 2 cases:

 If your baby used a pacifier beyond his first year.

 If  you dip dummy in anything sweet, such as sugar or jam before your baby use.

   Instead, start to wean (break the habit) your baby from sucking the soother at the 6th month up to 1 year.

 Dummy contamination is the main cause.

 Proper cleaning & storing (in details later) are the most effective ways of protection



What is the safest Pacifier ( for breastfed baby or formula fed one) ?

There Are
0 million

and theit accessories were recalled from USA, Canadian market due to failing to pass
The Pacifier Pull Test

  The Pull test is crucially important to do before the 1st use & each baby use of a pacifier.

  The objective is to ensure that the nipple and the shield of the pacifier are intact, properly fixed to each others (not detached during baby’s sucking).

How?  By holding the nipple by your fingers and stretch (pull) it in a different direction while holding the shield with the other hand for 5-10 seconds.

  So, you have to evaluate the pacifier by yourself, not by brand.



The baby pacifier safety pull-test infographic



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Take into your consideration 

The best pacifier is the one that always passes the pull test. Besides, it has the following:

  • Silicone nipple
  • Wide base
  • Ventilated holes
  • Separated cover
  • One piece clip

Also, to pick the best pacifier for breastfed baby:

  • Buy some extras (pacifier cover-clip). Pacifiers always getting lost or falling.
  • Check the suitable size (of pacifier teat) for your baby. As your baby grows, he needs the bigger size (bigger mouth).

Example for sizes available:

+0 , +2 , +4 , +6 ..etc (months)

Size 1 ( from 0-6 month), size 2 (from 6-12 month), and size 3 (above 12 months)

  • Silicone is the safest material for pacifier nipple (long-lasting – dishwashable )
  • Avoid those Materials

1-Latex pacifiers as it may produce allergy.

2-Rubber has a toxic derivative called N-nitrosamines. Its levels must be less than 10 ppb.

3-Pacifier must be free from BPA, di-isononyl phthalate (DINP),

4-A polyvinyl chloride (PVC) used to polish and soften plastic products.


When to replace a pacifier?

Pacifiers deteriorate over time, replace it if:

  The pacifier failed the pacifier pull test.

  The pacifier is being used for 2 months, which is the proper time frame to change the pacifier.

  Any cuts, color changes happened to any part of it, especially the soft nipple.


Immediately, replace the pacifier if it failed to pass The Pull Test Click To Tweet


 You successfully purchased a Pacifier, What next?

• Carefully read manufacturer instruction about proper cleaning, sterilization.

   Be patient as your breastfed baby may refuse the pacifier for first few times  

Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP

  •  Gently hit your baby’s lip with the paci nipple, while your baby is on his back.
    He can bring hands to his mouth and hold the dummy in place.
  • A Little trick: you may warm it before baby giving under warm tap water.
    Then extract your breast milk (2 droplets) on pacifier’s nipple. In that way, your baby would feel that is not something strange.
 Be patient as your breastfed baby may refuse the pacifier for first few times Click To Tweet


Popular Pacifier Mistakes

  Do not use pacifiers that are attached to objects, such as stuffed toys. That may cause a suffocation or choking risk.

   Never to force the pacifier into a baby’s mouth.

   Pacifiers should not be used to replace or delay breastfeeding sessions.

   Don’t wait for signs of pacifier damage. Instead, replace it at least every two months.

   Never ever tie a pacifier around a baby’s neck. Use clips with short ribbons (max. 14 inches) attached to them instead.

  Consider switching to a teething ring if  your baby starts to chew on a pacifier

Never ever tie a pacifier around your baby’s neck Click To Tweet


How to overcome pacifier infection/contamination?

In other words: what is the proper way to clean your newborn pacifier?

1 – 6 month of baby age
“Immunity not fully developed yet”

For 1st use & at the end of every day:  5 mins in boiling water, then squeeze the nipple to evacuate the trapped hot water (to avoid burning effect of hot water).

After a baby use (during the day): rinse with hot, soapy water.

If the pacifier is dropped from your baby’s mouth, rinse it under the tap water.

Above 6 months 

Just rinse under the tap water with soap is enough.

When to wean ? or when to break the pacifier habit?

  • To break pacifier habit is easier than thumb-sucking habit.
  • Maximum soother benefit is obtained from  (1 st month –  1st  year) of baby’s  age.
  • Earlier much easier:

try with your baby mama at the age from 6 to 12 month of age, as after that period:

  1. Your baby would be attached emotionally to it more & more “
  2. It is useless after that period.


To break pacifier habit is easier than thumb-sucking habit. Click To Tweet


 Effective tips for weaning

  •   Punish your baby to get rid of a pacifier and
    harsh words, teasing, or punishment may upset your child and is not an effective way
     Putting too much pressure on your child to stop may cause more harm than good.Instead :

   Reward your baby when she does not suck her thumb or use the pacifier.

  keep her/his hands busy or distract her/his with things she finds fun.

 As a first step in dealing with your child’s sucking habits, ignore them.

 There are devices that can be put in the mouth that make it uncomfortable to suck on a finger or thumb ( Ask your pediatrician, Dentist )

 If your child uses a pacifier as a before going to sleep, this is usually done in private and is not harmful.

  Most children stop their sucking habits before they get very far in school. This is because of peer pressure. Most often, they will stop on their own.


Reward your baby when he does not suck his thumb or use the pacifier Click To Tweet



Almost, no debate about the useful role of the baby pacifier regarding:

1. Analgesic effect during and after a painful procedure (injection, cannulation, blood sample collection)

2. Reducing SID when your baby is sleeping (day and night-time).

3. In the case of a stuffy nose (very popular), pacifier guarantee opening the other air pathway (mouth) especially when sleeping.

4. Pacifiers are superior on oral sugars in pain control for babies.

Other good news for Pacifier users:

Pacifier use may introduce a protection factor against   (Eczema & Asthma)

How it comes? Easy and straightforward
It is a little immunity trick:

• You are liking your baby pacifier (your saliva is on).
• Your baby swallows your saliva on the pacifier.
• Consequently, microbes from saliva act as immunization versus (allergic diseases) such Asthma, Eczema

Pacifier use may offer a protection factor against Eczema & Asthma Click To Tweet



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