Best Baby Pacifier
The WubbaNub Pacifier quickly became a tester favorite, and we bet your baby will enjoy it, too. The pacifier is medical-grade silicone (free of latex, BPA, and Phthalates) and attaches to a soft plush animal. In our experience, younger babies can have difficulty keeping pacifiers in their mouths, and the plush animal helps stabilize the pacifier. We noticed that the plush animal makes it easier for older babies to grab and navigate the pacifier to their mouth, plus we often find children playing and stroking the soft plush. In terms of cleaning, WubbaNubs are handmade, so it is best to hand wash or surface clean the plush animal with cold water and allow it to air dry. It is machine washable on a gentle cycle for added convenience, then let it air dry. Thanks to the plush animal, we believe this pacifier easier to locate around the home as it is harder to overlook than single small pacifiers, especially clear ones.
The WubbaNub is for babies ages 0-6 months, and, unfortunately, there is no next-stage pacifier available. If you have an early teether on your hands, be aware that emerging teeth can damage the pacifier. If so, immediately stop using it. There is no doubt that the WubbaNub brings a dash of fun to the world of pacifiers, and we highly recommend it to families with babies between 0-6 months of age.
The Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier is an excellent pacifier for newborns with its cylindrical nipple shape that is soft and collapsible to respect the baby's sucking pattern. This pacifier is medical-grade silicone (BPA-free), and since it is of one-piece construction and hallow nipple, with no nooks or crannies for germs to hide, it easy to clean. The silicone shield is flat, and it offers a tab for parents to hold.
In our experience, this pacifier can fall out of the baby's mouth while sucking; however, this situation is not unique to this product. It can happen with other pacifiers, too. We recommend this pacifier for families with newborns within the first three months of life despite this possible situation.
If this pacifier works for your newborn, consider moving onto the Philips Avent Super Soothie once your little one hits the 3-month mark and beyond. It is similar in design, but for older babies.
The Dr. Brown's HappyPaci is silicone (BPA-free) and offers the same shape as Dr. Brown's standard/narrow bottle nipple. The butterfly-shaped shield curves away from the baby's face for comfort, providing room for nose and cheeks. The pacifier's loop is one of the largest among the competition, and we believe this makes it easier for babies to grab.
The pacifier is suitable for newborns, but we noticed the nipple is longer than others. Therefore, if your newborn easily gags, this pacifier may not be a match. We also noticed that our six-month-old tester's top lip would occasionally come over the top of the pacifier, which may imply the pacifier's size is not compatible with this child. Although this is not a deal-breaker, it is merely an observation, and it does not mean that it will not fit your child of the same age as every child is different. We recommend this pacifier to families using Dr. Brown's bottles and would like a pacifier with a similar shape to make the transition easier.
The MAM Air Night stands out among the competition with its glow-in-the-dark button, making it easier for babies and parents to locate the pacifier in the middle of the night. To maintain the pacifier's glow, keep it in the light during the day, but not direct sun. Another noteworthy feature is its minimal shield, allowing generous airflow, which is excellent for babies with sensitive skin. The orthodontic nipple is silicone, and the shield is plastic, both BPA-free. It is available in various colors and patterns, plus each set comes with a plastic sanitizer case. During testing, our little tester could grab and hold this pacifier with ease. We also like that the case helps keep the set of pacifiers together in the diaper bag and safe from germs.
With concerns regarding plastic and the potential of chemicals leaching, we feel that sanitizing the pacifier in its plastic sanitizer case is not the best method. We think the old-fashioned boiling water method works just fine. Also, the pacifier is not of one-piece construction, and there is potential for water to enter the nipple, leaving moisture for germs to grow. Nonetheless, we recommend this product to families who will appreciate the glow in the dark feature and minimal shield with extra airflow, reducing the chance of skin irritation for their little one.
The MAM Clear Pacifier may catch your eye with its butterfly-shaped shield and fun button designs. It is available in various colors and patterns. The shield is thinner, and with many small openings, air can circulate and allows the baby's skin to breathe. The pacifier has a silicone nipple (BPA-free). Also, instead of a cylindrical nipple, it is orthodontic in design, with a thinner base, which increases to a bulb shape. The nipple is straight with no incline. The manufacturer claims this nipple shape is ideal for oral development. We think this pacifier has a close fit against the baby's mouth.
Since this pacifier is not one-piece construction, there is potential for water to enter the nipple, which is not ideal for hygiene reasons as it can promote germ growth. If this occurs, the manufacturer suggests squeezing and shaking the nipple to expel the water. We recommend this pacifier with adequate airflow to families interested in using an orthodontic nipple that is straight, with no upward flex.
The RaZbaby JollyPop Pacifier is 100% medical-grade silicone and one-piece construction. It is free of BPA, DEHP, phthalates, and latex. The shield has a soft curve with two airflow holes on the upper lip. We appreciate the loop handle with small textured bumps, which we think is easier for parents to hold.
Although the cylindrical nipple is soft, we believe it is not as soft as the Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier and the Evenflo Balance Plus Pacifier. We recommend this pacifier to families with a newborn as it is most suitable for babies within the 0-3 month range.
The Evenflo Balance Plus Pacifier is soft and easily bendable. It has airflow holes on the upper lip, and the shield has a minimal curve with a downward angle loop for baby or parent to hold. The cylindrical nipple is malleable and collapsible.
One drawback to consider is the pacifier's frosted color, which we think is easy to overlook or misplace. But, if you don't mind this factor and are searching for a soft pacifier, then look no further, this may be a match for you and your baby.
The Chicco PhysioForma Soft Pacifier is the only pacifier in our review with a nipple with an upward flex. The manufacturer claims this design is to help position the tongue forward to maintain an open airway. The pacifier is 100% silicone, and the nipple is orthodontic in shape. The shield has four heart-shaped airflow holes, two on the top, and two on the bottom. It also has a very slight curve and offers a loop that is one of the largest, right behind Dr. Brown's HappyPaci Pacifier. This pacifier comes with a reusable case, which we think is helpful when keeping a pacifier from vanishing in a diaper bag, plus free of lint and germs. Also, our little tester appreciated the loop for holding the pacifier.
We prefer not to use the plastic sanitizer box given the potential of plastic leaching chemicals, and we think boiling water to sanitize is an easy task. Also, we think the pacifier's transparent color can be easy to overlook. We recommend this pacifier to families interested in an orthodontic nipple with upward flex and don't mind the clear coloring.
The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Pacifier is slightly bulkier in appearance thanks to the plastic shield. The pacifier is BPA-free and made of polypropylene plastic with a silicone nipple. The shield is flat without any curve. The silicone nipple has holes around the base, like a clock, for airflow, which can decrease the chance of skin irritation.
Unfortunately, this pacifier does not offer a loop. Our little tester (6 months old) couldn't hold onto this pacifier, and accidentally put the paci in his mouth like a wafer, prompting parent to remove the pacifier and help with proper positioning. Once in place, our little tester enjoyed it. We recommend this pacifier to families who use Tommee Tippee bottles and would like a pacifier with a similar nipple for their baby in the age range of 6-18 months.
Why You Should Trust Us
BabyGearLab has been testing a wide range of products over the past decade, accumulating extensive experience and knowledge with every review. Leading this review is Senior Review Editor, Molly Bradac, who also holds over 14 years of experience as a professional Nanny and Newborn Care Specialist. While testing, we were able to enlist the help of some awesome little testers, ranging in age from newborn to 6 months. We purchased each product in our review and completed hands-on testing and side-by-side comparisons to assess performance.
Analysis and Test Results
We tested our lineup with various little testers and evaluated each one for size, material, and more, which played a role in our ranking of contenders.
It is essential to choose a pacifier's size that is appropriate for your baby's age and stage. As babies develop and teeth, pacifiers can change, so keep an eye on the suggested age, typically found on a product's packaging. The Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier is suitable for babies within the 0-3 month range, whereas the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Pacifier is better suited for older children within the 6-18 month age range.
Often, pacifiers use silicone, but latex nipples are available. We suggest double-checking material before using a pacifier, especially if your child has a latex allergy. All of the pacifiers in our review use silicone, including the Dr. Brown's HappyPaci and Evenflo Balance Plus Pacifier. The benefit of silicone is that it is less porous and less prone to bacteria than latex nipples. It also can withstand high temperatures, which is excellent for boiling and sterilizing for hygienic reasons. A few pacifiers in our review use some amount of plastic, like the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Pacifier, the MAM Air Night, and the MAM Clear Pacifier. If you are looking to avoid plastic due to the possibility of leaching of chemicals under high heat, this is a factor to consider.
What is best, a cylindrical or orthodontic nipple? Honestly, the answer depends on a few factors, and every baby is different. We suggest discussing this topic with your pediatrician and lactation consultant, but we can kick start the discussion and provide information. A cylindrical nipple is bell-shaped, whereas an orthodontic nipple has an irregular shape with an indent in the center. For instance, the Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier has a soft, cylindrical nipple. In contrast, the Chicco PhysioForma Soft Pacifier has an orthodontic nipple with an upward flex, unlike any other product in our lineup. Finding the right pacifier for your baby may take some trial and error. Also, since there is some discrepancy in what style is best for breastfeeding babies or when to introduce a pacifier to breast-fed babies, your pediatrician and consultant can help you navigate these waters.
A pacifier can help comfort your baby and meet non-eating sucking needs. It may also help reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). If you determine that a pacifier is right for you and your baby, make sure the pacifier's size is appropriate for your baby's age. We encourage purchasing a variety of baby pacifier brands and styles to try, and you'll know when one works. But, don't force it. We are confident that the information and recommendations in our review will help your decision-making.
— Molly Bradac