The best pacifier for a breastfed baby is one that does not interfere with breastfeeding. The shape of the pacifier can influence how your baby latches onto it. As long as your baby continues to breastfeed well, without pain, then the pacifier you are using is probably fine.

This baby is sucking on a common pacifier shape. Notice how the baby’s lips remain tightly closed around the nipple.  If the baby transferred this suck to her mother’s nipple~ ouch!

In the next picture, the same baby is sucking on a pacifier shape with a wider base than the one pictured above. The mouth is slightly open, and the lips are not pursed. This mouth placement is better for a baby who is breastfeeding. Baby looks relaxed.

In our book Balancing Breast and Bottle . . .

  • Learn about the four common pacifier shapes on the market, and how different shapes influence a baby’s tongue placement and movement.
  • Discover how to protect your breastfeeding relationship by the five-step list of when to avoid using a pacifier.
  • Find recommendations for age of pacifier weaning.
  • Examine pacifier use as it relates to the prevention of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

Is it okay to use a pacifier?

  • Research says yes.   Every family is different.  If a mom will be separated from her baby, and sucking is soothing and makes her baby feel happy, a pacifier may help fill that void during separation.
  • One problem      Too often we see a pacifier used as a quick-fix to make a baby happy.  It replaces the need for parents to investigate the underlying problem.  Is the baby hungry?  Bored?  Tired?  The pacifier should not take the place of parenting.


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