How Many Pacifiers Do I Need (Complete Parents Guide)

Giving your baby a pacifier can be a great way to help the baby sleep better and learn to self-soothe. Sometimes this item along with bottles, diapers, wipes, or clothes can be a controversial subject on parenting boards.

You may feel exhausted by all the parenting information. Will it affect breastfeeding? How many pacifiers do I need for my newborn? How do I keep a pacifier in a newborn’s mouth? Will my baby become dependent on her pacifier?

These and many other questions are what every parent has. In this article, we’ll answer your question “How many pacifiers do I need”? Pros and cons of pacifier use, what you should look for when buying a pacifier, and many other things to consider when using a pacifier.

Do You Need Pacifiers For Babies?

No! Babies don’t necessarily need a pacifier. Some babies will show interest while some may show no interest in pacifiers, and you don’t need to force the issue.

However, many parents find that pacifiers help their babies sleep better which allows the adults to get some much-needed free time.

Babies have a very strong sucking reflex. Some of them have been seen on scans sucking their fingers or thumbs.

This sucking behavior has a calming effect on babies and helps to soothe them. It goes beyond what the baby eats; this is why many parents rank pacifiers as one of their essential items of baby kit.

Benefits Of Using Pacifiers

Using pacifiers have shown some medical benefits for a breastfed babies and newborn, these include:

1. Reduces the Risk Of SIDS

This is the biggest benefit for many parents. Pacifiers have been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome by as much as 50 percent. Although, doctors and scientists aren’t exactly sure what the connection is.

Some report suggests that using a pacifier stimulates your baby’s brain while asleep, thereby encouraging them to breathe.

However, if your baby rejects a pacifier, you don’t have to panic about SIDS. The most important part of preventing SIDS is putting your baby in a safe sleep environment. This means being in their small bed without pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals.

2. Helps Baby to Develop Suckling Reflex

Another benefit of using a pacifier is that it helps baby’s to develop a natural suckling reflex. This is this important because it gives parents a break. If you’re breastfeeding, your breastfed baby might decide to nurse just for comfort.

Well, this is not bad, but if you need to catch some rest and your baby isn’t eating, a pacifier is a good option. It helps your baby express that suckling reflex and gives your nipples a break.

3. Makes Baby to Sleep Better

Some parents believe using a pacifier helps their babies sleep better. As discussed earlier, it helps the baby develop a suckling reflex. This helps baby your baby sleep more soundly and for longer stretches.

4. Trains Self-Soothing

Most parents believe that pacifiers also help babies learn to self-soothe. This is an important skill to develop. Newborns don’t yet have that reflex, so each discomfort or stress toward them will lead to crying. Giving your baby pacifiers can help educate him that he can calm himself down without you yelling.

How Many Pacifiers Do I Need For My Baby?

This will be different for a parent based on whether their baby is a thrower and his/her age. However, there is no set rule for how many pacifiers you will need. A good rule of thumb is to have more than you think you do.

Normally, babies often throw away or hide their pacifiers in odd places, and they disappear at a surprising speed. To stay on top of the game, you’ll need a minimum of two to three pacifiers on hand.

If you’re often in the car or you travel a lot, you should carry extras. Keeping 1 or 2 spares in your car could save you a lot of work.

It’s best advised to have a replacement pacifier with you in case the one you’re using gets lost, dropped, or dirty. Another smart way is to always carry a spare either in your baby bag or even your car in case of emergencies.

Some babies are very particular about the kind of pacifier they like and will only use that one. Any slight variation means that they’ll throw it away without even thinking.

If your baby is particular for a certain pacifier then it may be worth having a small stock of that brand in case. However, don’t go extreme as your baby will grow and that means it’s time to change their pacifiers.

Read Also: Can Breastfed Babies Use Pacifiers

How To Choose The Right Pacifier For Your Baby

Here are important points to keep in mind before buying a pacifier:

  1. Make sure the pacifier is for the right age and stage for your baby.
  2. Make sure you go for a pacifier that is made of one piece as there is less chance of it coming apart and causing any choking threat.
  3. Your baby’s teeth may not come to your mind at the moment since they have none. But you should consistently go for one that has an orthodontic design, as this will help to support your baby’s gums and teeth.
  4. The pacifier should have a large safeguard that is much bigger than the baby’s mouth. Also, ensure that the safeguard has ventilation holes for airflow.
  5. The pacifier should have a symmetrical nipple shape.
  6. Avoid scented pacifiers.
  7. Be mindful of what your pacifier is made of. It is best advised to go for silicone or natural rubber pacifiers. Silicone-made pacifiers will keep their shape and will not expand. Natural rubber-made pacifiers could potentially cause allergic reactions if you have a history of allergic reactions in your family. They also expand over time and will need to be replaced regularly than any other type.

Read Also: How To Keep A Pacifier In Newborn’s Mouth

What Are The Best Pacifiers Available?

best pacifiers 2021

Usually, first-time parents may find it difficult to figure out the best pacifiers to get for their little ones for a start. This may take a while to figure out, but here are some of our best pacifier recommendations that could work perfectly for your baby:

  • NUK Orthodontic Pacifier: This Pacifier has a unique heart-shaped safeguard. NUK Orthodontic pacifier is designed to rest under your baby’s nose to keep their airway open and clear. Additionally, it has large openings that help release sweat and drool. The orthodontic shape is easy for babies to hold and clean as well. The NUK pacifier comes in a range of sizes and can be cheaper on Amazon.
  • Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier: This Pacifier is made from soft silicone. The Philips Avent Soothie pacifier is a one-piece with an asymmetrical nipple. With a safe design and can be purchased at an affordable price on Amazon, it’s mostly the top choice for both parents and hospitals.
  • Natursutten Orthodontic Pacifier: This Pacifier is slightly more expensive than many other pacifiers. Despite that, Natursutten Orthodontic remains a top choice both in its native Denmark and in the United States. This pacifier is made of natural rubber. The large safeguard rests against your baby’s nose to emulate the natural feel of breastfeeding.
  • Dr. Brown’s One-Piece Silicone Pacifier: This pacifier is well-known for its bottle line, but the One-Piece Silicone Pacifiers are well known also. Dr. Brown’s pacifier is made of long-lasting silicone; these pacifiers are also one single piece, which helps reduce choking risks. The safeguard is made to rest under your baby’s nose to boost airflow and help the baby stay safe.
  • Chicco PhysioForma Soft Silicone Pacifier: This Pacifier has a one-of-a-different nipple shape. This pushes the baby’s tongue forward to assist with keeping their airway open. The safeguard keeps the baby’s nose free and repels spit-up. The Chicco PhysioForma Soft Silicone pacifier comes with a special sterilizing case so you can clean it in the microwave.

Read Also: 10 Best Baby Pacifier

What Age Should Babies Stop Using A Pacifier?

It’s best advised that you start weaning your baby off their pacifiers by the age of 6 months to around one year. It should be stopped totally by the age of four years old to avoid any dental issues for your child.

The best way to wean babies off a pacifier is to decrease the number of times in a day that they use it. Eventually, you should be able to reduce its use to just stressful situations or unpleasant times like nap time.

According to both the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and the American Academy of Family Physicians they recommend weaning babies off pacifiers by the time they are 6 months to reduce the risk of ear infection.

Read Also: How To Clean and Sanitize Avent Pacifier

Pacifiers Safety Practices

  • Pacifiers should be cleaned often to prevent your baby from infections.
  • Replace pacifiers at regular intervals.
  • Always make sure that the brand of pacifier you’re using is suitable for your child’s age and stage.
  • Do not dip a pacifier in any sweetened solutions like honey.
  • Always pacifiers regularly for any signs of wear and tear.

Read Also: How To Sanitize Pacifiers (5 Easy Steps)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Pacifiers Suppress Hunger?

The main purpose of a pacifier is that they’re used to comfort a baby, as it emulates the suckling of a bottle or breastfeeding.

Pacifiers should not be used to replace or delay a meal. Parents need to understand that there is huge a difference between a hungry baby and a baby who needs comforting.

If I’m Breastfeeding, Can I Offer My Newborn A Pacifier?

Pacifiers are safe for a newborn. It’s best advised you wait until your baby is 3 to 4 weeks old and you are settled into a regular and successful nursing routine before you offer a pacifier.

Should Baby Sleep with A Pacifier All Night?

Sadly, there is no sure approach to answer this question. Some babies may sleep all through the night at just a few months old, while others may take up to a year or more. However, pacifiers play a huge role in getting babies to sleep for longer stretches and reduce midnight wakings.

Will Pacifiers Affect Baby Teething?

Well, pacifiers can affect the growth of teeth if used into toddlerhood; but they’re not likely to affect teething in the early stages. They can even offer a certain level of comfort to your baby during the painful process of teething.

Do I Need To Sterilize Pacifiers Before Using Them?

You must sterilize your pacifiers before use. Newly-bought ones are not excluded also. Newborn babies under 6 months are especially susceptible to infections.

To protect your baby, it is best advised to sterilize pacifiers regularly for babies under the age of 6 months. This should be done using boiling water as they help kill any germs that are present.

Once a baby is over 6 months, they are not so prone to germs. Although you still need to make sure that the pacifiers are clean before use.

Read: How To Clean And Sanitize A NUK Pacifier

How Often Should You Replace Your Pacifier?

It’s advised to replace your pacifier every two months. Avoid dipping the pacifier in sugar or honey. This will harm your baby’s teeth.

Do I Need Pacifier holders For My Baby?

Pacifier holders can be a beneficial tool for keeping track of your baby’s pacifier. But there are few admonitions.

Avoid using a pacifier holder that has beads or other detachable parts. Essentially, make sure they are no longer than 7 inches. Anything longer could cause strangulation risk.

If you decide to make your pacifier holder, then make sure the holder is at least 7 inches long from end to end.

Keep the pacifier holder at your baby’s shoulder, attached to their cloth. Do not allow your baby sleep to with a pacifier holder, as this is unsafe.

How Many Pacifier Holders Do I Need?

As a new parent, the pacifier holder may quickly become one of your favorite baby innovations of all time. The pacifier holder is simply a holder or clip that you can attach to your child’s clothes to keep the pacifier from being lost while out and about.

Numerous designs can also be hooked to your car seats, baby strollers, or babywearing clothing! You’ll only need one pacifier holder. However, there may be some situations where having two or more pacifier holders may come in handy.

As soon as your baby starts teething, for instance, the pacifier holder may get dirty a little more quickly than usual. You may also want to clip your second pacifier to your baby’s diaper bag for emergencies.

Read Also: Does Wubbanub Help Keep Pacifier in Mouth

Where Can Pacifier Holder Be Placed?

You can place a pacifier holder anywhere on your baby’s clothing that does not get in their way. A lot of parents prefer attaching the holder to the baby’s pants when they are young.

However, as the baby grows, you may need to attach the holder to your baby’s shoulder or arm on their clothes.

With this, your little one will learn to grab for the pacifier as he/she grows older. Make sure you clip the pacifier where your baby can access it easily if he/she wants it.

Do Pacifiers Lower The Risk Of SIDs?

Pacifier use has been shown to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by more than 50 percent. This is true regardless of whether the baby lets the pacifier drop from their mouth after falling asleep.

Are There Any Risks Associated With Pacifier Use?

Well, this depends on the age and stage that your baby is at. However, there are risks concerns associated with each age group or stage.

For a child that is up to 6 months and older, there’s a risk of breast weaning. In older infants that are up to six months to two years, there is a risk that prolonged use of a pacifier could increase their risk of ear infections. For children that are 2yrs up, there is the risk of dental issues such as misalignment of teeth.

Read Also: Pacifier Alternatives (For Babies and Toddlers)

Conclusion

Whether you believe a pacifier can be a helpful tool or not for teaching your baby to sleep and self-soothe, it comes down to the personal choice of the parents and the individual conditions of the child.

If you believe pacifiers can a lifesaver as I do, make sure you have at least two or three on hand. Of course, most parents would argue that you really can’t have too many when discussing “how many pacifiers do I need”!

Interestingly, only you know what’s best for you and your child! Now that you’ve known how many pacifiers you need and tips on choosing the right pacifier, you can make that decision and help your baby stay safe and healthy.