Last updated: August 4, 2021

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When little ones are restless, we like to rock them in our arms. But that doesn't always help and it doesn't always work. Even though we love our children more than anything, sometimes they are quite exhausting and we are glad when they are finally quiet.

Pacifier can help to calm children. But we don't want our children to ingest anything harmful or develop unhealthy habits. That's why it's important to give a BPA-free dummy that doesn't release any substances.

So that you can give your child a dummy with a clear conscience, we introduce you to Pacifier in our big Pacifier test 2022. We have compiled comprehensive information on the subject of dummies and give you tips and criteria so that you can choose the right dummy for your child and use it correctly.




Summary

  • Pacifier allow you to soothe your baby quickly and easily. When buying a pacifier, you should consider the material, the shape, the design and the age recommendation.
  • There are Pacifier made of silicone and latex. Latex is slightly brownish and more durable, silicone is transparent and becomes brittle more quickly. In any case, it is important that the material is BPA-free.
  • Pacifier can be used from 1 month of age and should not be used longer than 3 years of age, as otherwise malpositioning of the palate, jaw and teeth can occur.

The Best Pacifier: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Pacifier

How much does a Pacifier cost?

You can usually buy a dummy in a double pack. The cheapest duos are available for as little as two euros. The upper limit in this range is around ten euros for two pieces. This range is mainly due to the different materials, colours, shapes and brands.

What material is a Pacifier made of?

Basically, Pacifier can be made of two different materials:

  • Silicone
  • Latex

Both bring advantages as well as disadvantages. The silicone teat is transparent and somewhat softer than the latex teat, therefore usually a little more comfortable for the baby. However, they are not as elastic and tend to crack more easily.

This could cause small pieces to break off and your little one could choke on them. Therefore, as soon as the dummy is torn, you should dispose of it immediately.

Latex, on the other hand, is slightly brownish and therefore not as visually appealing. The material is harder and more durable than silicone, but if it is exposed to strong heat, the teat quickly becomes porous. This can happen through frequent boiling but also through strong sunlight.

The following table summarises the two materials:

Soother material Description
Silicone Transparent and softer than latex, not as elastic, cracks form more easily
Latex slightly brownish colour, material harder and more durable

From when and for how long can a Pacifier be used?

The manufacturers recommend using the soother only from one month and not longer than until the child is three years old.

You should be careful not to give the baby a soother right from birth, as different sucking techniques are required between breastfeeding and sucking on a soother and this could have an effect on breastfeeding.

Silicone teats on dummies are more comfortable for babies, but more cracked. Latex teats are harder and therefore more durable. (Photo: Ben_Kerckx / pixabay.com)

If the baby no longer wants to be breastfed because of the use of a dummy, the use of a breast pump helps to continue to supply the baby with the valuable breast milk.
Therefore, you should wait until your baby is one month old, because then he or she will already be used to breastfeeding and you can help with a soother.

Did you know that the sucking reflex is already active before birth?

Babies already suck their thumbs in the womb. Newborn babies may even have slight calluses on their thumbs. Thumb sucking is not only a preparation for feeding in the first months, but also a method of calming down and relieving stress. Moreover, sucking is fun for the infant, which is why a dummy is so popular with babies.

Since your child's language development could be delayed because he or she always has something in his or her mouth and does not learn how to speak properly, you should gradually wean your child off the dummy from the age of three at the latest.

You should change the dummy every one to two months. At the latest, however, as soon as tears appear.

Decision: What types of Pacifier are there and which is the right one for your child?

Basically, you can distinguish between two types of soothers:

  • Soother made of latex
  • Silicone dummy

Depending on your wishes and preferences, a certain dummy is more suitable for you and your baby, because there is no right or wrong here. In the following section, we want to help you find out which dummy suits your needs best.

Therefore, we would like to introduce you to the two different types. To do this, we will describe the two types of soother and explain their advantages and disadvantages.

How does a latex Pacifier work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Latex is a natural material. In addition to its less appealing yellowish colour, it also has its typical latex smell and taste, which not every child likes. Due to its natural fats, it becomes unattractive relatively quickly.

Nowadays, these latex dummies are rarely used. However, latex dummies are very robust, stretchy and bite-resistant. This makes them especially suitable for children who already have little teeth.

However, the stability suffers under frequent use and under the effects of heat, such as boiling the dummy and sunlight. Therefore, you should always check beforehand whether the dummy is already porous and has cracks.

If this is the case, you should replace it with a new one. Depending on storage and care, a latex soother can last up to two months. After these two months, however, you should replace the old dummy at the latest, even if it still looks good. Note, however, that some children are allergic to latex.

Advantages
  • Natural product
  • Hard-wearing
  • Bite-resistant
Disadvantages
  • Not visually appealing
  • Not heat-resistant
  • Becomes porous

How does a silicone Pacifier work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Silicone is a man-made material and is therefore odourless and tasteless. Because silicone soothers are transparent and clear, they are usually nicer to look at and soiling is easier to see.

Unlike latex soothers, silicone products are heat resistant and therefore generally last longer. The material is softer and may be more comfortable for your baby.

However, if your baby is already teething, the soother can quickly become unusable. Silicone teats are not as elastic and tear more easily. This means they don't hold up well to your baby's biting attempts.

Therefore, always check for holes or cracks before use and replace immediately if necessary. Your child's biting attempts can cause particles to break off that your child could swallow. You can test this, for example, by stretching and pulling the teat.

If your baby tends to bite on the soother, it is better to use a latex soother. Storage and care, such as boiling, do not change the material, unlike latex dummies. Nevertheless, you should use a new dummy after two to three months at the latest.

Advantages
  • Odourless and taste-free
  • Softer material
  • Heat-resistant
  • More durable
Disadvantages
  • Less elastic
  • Not bite-resistant
  • Danger of swallowing

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate Pacifier

In the following section, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate dummies. This will make it easier for you to decide whether the soother suits you or not.

These are the criteria:

  • Material / BPA-free
  • Shape
  • Design
  • Age recommendation

In the following paragraphs, you can read about the individual product features and how you can evaluate them.

Material / BPA-free

As described above, there are two materials used for soothers. One is silicone and the other is latex. You can find out about the strengths and weaknesses of the product in the guide.

However, it is particularly important that the materials are free of BPA. BPA, also known as bisphenol A, is a chemical with hormonal effects and is used in many plastic articles, such as drinking bottles.

You should therefore make sure that the dummies are BPA-free, as over-absorption of this substance can lead to various health disorders. Not only the teat but also the dummy shield should be made of high-quality plastic.

Depending on the age of the baby, different dummies are recommended. There are also dummies in different materials, shapes and designs that can be chosen according to preference.

Shape

There are several shapes of dummies with different functions. Jaw-adapted shapes are designed to prevent tooth and jaw misalignment later on.

Round shapes are intended to avoid suction confusion in breastfeeding babies, as their shape is supposed to be similar to the nipple.

The symmetrical shape, on the other hand, is due to handling. Here, it doesn't matter how your baby puts the soother in its mouth. It is always the right way round

Soother shape Description
Jaw-adapted shape The flattened teat fits into the oral cavity and is designed to prevent misalignment of the teeth. It leaves plenty of room for the tongue and does not interfere with swallowing.
Jaw-adapted shape with step A step in the shaft adapts to the jaw and relieves the jaw joint.
Symmetrical shape Its upper and lower sides are the same, so it is always "stuck" the right way round.
Round shape The round teat is supposed to resemble a nipple, which is highly recommended during breastfeeding. However, it is not very jaw-friendly.

Large holes are particularly important for the skin so that air can circulate well, a rounded dummy shield and nubs on the inside of the shield. If these features are present, you can prevent skin irritations.

In the end, however, your baby will decide which soother shape and which material he really "likes". Sometimes patience and trial and error are the order of the day.x

Design

Every company develops different child-friendly designs and uses soft and soothing colours. Motifs are often animals, sun, moon and stars or abstract patterns.

The most common colours are blue and pink, which is traditionally for boys or girls. However, some manufacturers also offer green, white or red soothers. You have many different design options and can choose one that appeals to you.

Did you know that MAM dummies can glow in the dark for up to 500 minutes?

The innovative button of the MAM dummies glows in the dark when it is charged by daylight during the day. Charging the button is possible because there are crystals in the button that absorb and re-radiate light. The glowing dummy can be found more quickly by parents and baby at night.

Age recommendation

Soothers are usually available in three different sizes. Depending on the size of the soother, it is recommended for a certain age. The first category is usually from one to six months, the second for six to eighteen months and the third from eighteen months. However, you can also tell from the child's reaction whether they find the soother comfortable or not.

Facts worth knowing about Pacifier

How do I sterilise a soother?

There are three different ways to clean a dummy.

  • Boil out
  • Vaporizer
  • Cold disinfection

When boiling, the dummy is placed in a pot of boiling hot water. It should be completely covered with water so that all germs are killed. The vaporiser is a special device that is available in specialised shops. This method uses only hot steam, which is gentler on the dummy and so it does not become brittle as quickly.

With cold disinfection, a solution is mixed with chemicals and the teat is placed in it. However, this option is not highly recommended as it can happen that chemical residues stick to the silicone or latex and are then fed to the child.

How can I wean my child off the Pacifier?

This usually happens in three to four different phases:

  • Reduce times
  • Establish rituals
  • Refer to peers
  • Give teats to the "dummy fairy" or to the Christ Child

First, it is advantageous to shorten the times when the dummy may be used and to determine these precisely. For example, the dummy is only used when the child falls asleep or is sick. You can also refer to siblings or kindergarten colleagues who no longer need a dummy.

In this way, you slowly introduce your child to the topic and when you think the time has come and the dummy is no longer so important, the "dummy fairy" can come, take it away and give it to a child who may need a dummy.

Is there an alternative to dummies?

It often occurs to parents that babies could simply use their thumb instead of a soother. However, this is strongly discouraged because the thumb does not have a tooth- or jaw-friendly shape and thumb sucking can lead to malocclusions.

Image source: Pixabay.com / Ben_kerckx

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