Sold in a range of colors and patterns, pacifiers are the “it” accessory in the under one crowd. But they’re also essential to new parents: They can help calm down a baby and even help support safe sleep habits, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. A pacifier satisfies a baby’s need to suck and can give them comfort when they’re not nursing or feeding from a bottle. While the brand you buy is up to you, there are some safety things to note: A pacifier should be one piece (two piece models can be a choking hazard) and should be designed for your baby’s size—some models are made specifically for younger or older infants. Here are our picks.
An attached pal makes this model stay in place and gives the baby something to cuddle. Philips Avent
A pacifier-and-lovie-in-one is more than just cute: The weight of the animal can make it tougher for Baby to spit out. Bonus: The size makes it more findable in the diaper bag, too.
Soft and Flexible
This one will accommodate babies who are starting to teethe. Itzy Ritzy
Some infants are very specific when it comes to their tastes in pacifiers. Pacifiers designed to mimic the shape of a nipple (mom’s or a bottle) may be easier for an infant to navigate. It’s also smart to pay attention to age ranges: Pacifiers for older infants (over 6 months) may be made of firmer material than pacifiers made for newborns.
Many of these can be washed in the dishwasher or sterilized. And it’s always smart to pack a few in case one gets spit on the sidewalk during an outing. Philips Avent
A paci made from hospital-grade silicone won’t trap dirt or germs, so you can feel confident letting your newborn suckle on it. Starting a baby early with a pacifier can be helpful because it might prevent thumb-sucking later on.