Dummy, binky, soother, or teether, there’s different names for the pacifier depending on who you ask. Made of silicone, rubber, or plastic, a pacifier is designed for babies to suck on. Consisting of a nipple, shield (that guards the mouth/face), and handle, pacifiers can either be assembled from separate pieces are made from a single mold. Even though sucking is a natural instinct for babies, not all babies will want or need pacifiers. If your baby already uses pacifiers, or if you would like to try to use pacifiers with your baby, be sure you follow some of these general tips:
Pacifiers can be made from a range of materials, usually silicone, rubber or latex (latex is generally not recommended due to the possibility of latex allergies). As a pacifier is something your baby spends a great deal of time suckling, you naturally want to be careful with what you choose. This is why many parents will turn to natural rubber pacifiers as an alternative to petroleum silicone or petroleum rubber pacifiers. Other than using natural materials, natural pacifiers are also considered for their sustainable production and biodegradability. If you are also interested in purchasing a natural pacifier, here are some of the best natural pacifier options available.
One of the most well-known and popular natural pacifiers brands is Bibs. Based in Denmark, Bibs is a company with more than forty years of history that makes soft, natural rubber baby pacifiers that mimic the shape of a nipple. Shields on the pacifiers have holes on them to allow air to pass through and prevent the pacifier from sticking to your baby’s face. The whole pacifier is BPC, PVC and phthalates free, although only the nipple section is made from natural rubber. Although assembled from three different pieces, there is no risk of choking, as even parents have found it difficult to take the pacifiers apart for cleaning. Be aware that pacifiers do come in different sizes, and you should purchase and update accordingly. Bibs pacifiers are sized for 0-6 months, 6-18 months, and 18-36 months. Sold in sets of two, Bibs pacifiers are available in 61 different beautiful color combinations. In addition to using natural rubber, this wide range of colors is probably one of the reasons why Bibs pacifiers are so popular.
Another popular natural pacifier brand is Natursutten. Designed in Denmark and manufactured in Italy, Natursutten pacifiers are BPA, nitrosamines, PVC, phthalates, chemical softener and artificial coloring free. The pacifiers only come in one color in four different designs – with a rounded nipple with original round shield, orthodontic nipple with original round shield, rounded nipple with butterfly shield, and orthodontic nipple with butterfly shield. Whilst the original round shield will touch the baby’s nose, similar to the breastfeeding experience, the butterfly shield is designed to fit around their nose, making it easier for them to breath. The only recommendation when it comes to round or orthodontic nipple is just to test and see which style your baby prefers. Pacifiers come in three sizes and Natursutten recommends a medium for babies three months are older as their pacifiers tend to run small compared to other brands. As Natursutten pacifiers are made from a liquid rubber milk from the Hevea Brasiliensi tree, the natural material does make it harder to care for the product. Some parents have found that the pacifier will get sticky after exposure to warm temperatures, such as packed in a bag outside on a hot day. The brand recommends that after 6 to 8 weeks use, or when the pacifier gets sticky or starts peeling, it’s time to replace the pacifier. Although the one piece design means less gaps and nooks for bacteria to accumulate, it can also make cleaning this pacifier more difficult.
Hevea is another brand that makes natural pacifiers. Like Natursutten, Hevea pacifiers are a single mold pacifier made from 100% natural rubber from the Hevea Brasiliensi tree. As such, Hevea pacifiers are BPA, PVC and phthalate-free. Unlike Natursutten, Hevea offers different pacifier designs. There are three types of teats available from Hevea, and the shields have cute shapes cut into them. The orthodontic nipple has a large flat end that will fit more easily when the baby starts teething, and prevent teeth alignment problems. The round nipple has a classic, round shape that is similar to the round teat found on feeding bottles. The symmetrical nipple is designed to most resemble a female nipple and is recommended for breastfed babies. However, Hevea also recommends that pacifiers should be purchased based on the preferences of the baby. The shields on all pacifiers from Hevea are the same shape that has curves cut into the top and bottom for the nose and chin. Different styles of nipple come with different shapes cut into the shield. There is the Crown Round Pacifier, Duck Symmetrical Pacifier, Car & UFO Pacifier with Orthodontic Teat, and Star & Moon Pacifier with Orthodontic Teat. Hevea also offers some colored options, using natural minerals to color the guards on pacifiers. Currently, there is only the Twilight Blue option with orthodontic teat available. Hevea has announced that they have developed more colored natural rubber pacifier options, and will be releasing them soon. Some parents have noticed that there is a heavy rubber smell to the Hevea pacifiers, but this does not affect safety or usage. Hevea also recommends replacing pacifiers every 6 to 8 weeks because continuous use can cause the teat of the pacifier to change shape.
Ultimately, what works for one baby may not work for another, especially with something as intimate as a pacifier. You may have to go through many pacifiers to find one that works for your baby. Have you tried any of these natural pacifiers? Or do you prefer a traditional pacifier? Let us know in the comments below.