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Best Baby Soothers

Updated November 17, 2020

Baby soothers go by many different names among parents: pacifiers, binkies, soothers, nukes, nubbies or dummies. No matter what you call them, getting the right one for your baby can be a great relief.

This buying guide will take you through the basics of baby soothers as well as some safety and care measures you should take once you’ve made your choice.

Rank Product Highlights
#1 Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier 

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  • Age group: 0-3 months
  • Colors: Blue, Green, Pink, Purple, Yellow
  • Materials: Hospital-grade silicone (no BPA or latex)
#2 Nanobebe Pacifiers 0-3 Month Orthodontic 

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  • Age group: 0-3 months
  • Colors: Translucent and pink, grey, teal, white
  • Materials: BPA and phthalate-free silicone
#3 Philips Avent Soothie Snuggle Pacifier and Detachable Holder
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  • Age group: 0-6 months
  • Colors (designs): Elephant, giraffe, monkey, seal
  • Materials: fabric plush toy, BPA-free silicone soother
#4 NUK Sensitive Orthodontic Pacifiers 

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  • Age Group: 0-6 months
  • Colors: blue/green for boys, pink/purple for girls
  • Materials: silicone (BPA-free)
#5 Dr. Brown’s HappyPaci Silicone Pacifier

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  • Age group: 0 months and above
  • Colors: blue and pink
  • Materials: 100% silicone (BPA, latex, lead, phthalate-free)
#6 MAM Night Pacifiers

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  • Age Group: 0-6 months
  • Colors: Blue, Pink, Grey
  • Material: 100% silicone

A Guide to Baby Soothers

A soother is a handy little device that can help calm down an irritated infant by giving them something to suck on when they’re not feeding. There are three main parts to the anatomy of a pacifier:

  • The nipple is the softer part that the baby puts in their mouth and sucks on. Often made of silicone or latex, they provide the “feeding” comfort to your baby that calms them down.

  • The shield (more commonly known as the guard) keeps the whole nipple from falling in the baby’s mouth, which would otherwise serve as a choking hazard. This part of the soother should have ventilation holes to prevent the buildup of saliva and potential rash or a breathing obstruction.
  • The ring is the handle by which you hold the soother drool-free. Just grab the soother by the ring and gently remove it when needed. This can also be attached to a strap so the soother won’t fall on the floor.

Types of Baby Soothers

Basic (three-piece): This is the most common version of the soother on the market with pieces made separately and assembled later on. Since it’s made up of separate pieces, the three-piece soother does need a bit of care to avoid the pieces becoming loose, damaged, or worn down.

One-piece: These soothers are molded from a single piece of plastic or rubber to avoid falling apart and becoming a potential choking hazard like a soother with multiple pieces could. These soothers come in plenty of unique shapes and ergonomic designs.

Stuffed Animal Pacifier: A more recent way to market soothers, attaching a stuffed animal to select pacifiers supplies its own advantages such as being more appealing for babies and easier to find for adults.

Night-Time (glow in the dark): Glow in the dark soothers, as the name suggests, are extra handy when used at night. They’re easily visible in the dark, which makes them a subtle and comforting night light for babies. The obvious plus to a glow in the dark soother, however, has to be how easy it is to find when the baby drops it in the middle of the night.

Novelty: Novelty soothers can be as fun and silly as you want them to be! The variety of novelty items can complete any costume you give your baby.

What to Look for in a Baby Soother

— Material

Silicone: This material is the most common one among baby soothers. Silicone is usually used for just the nipple, unless it’s one piece (then the whole soother is made of silicone). The pros of silicone are its sturdiness, its resistance to odor buildup, and its dishwasher safety.

Latex: Latex is a much softer and more flexible material than silicone, which makes it perfect for babies who prefer that softer feel. They’re naturally sourced and one-piece latex soothers are often advertised as biodegradable and safe for the environment.

However, due to their soft nature, latex soothers wear out much quicker and aren’t usually dishwasher safe. It’s also worth noting that if your baby is allergic to latex, these soothers should be avoided.

Rubber: Sturdy rubber soothers are always one-piece and are often pricier than those made of latex or silicone. If your baby likes the more solid texture, this will work great for them.

Hard Plastic: Soothers made with hard plastic are not very common but are very durable and won’t wear down easily. They’re easy to clean and maintain, but it’s likely that your baby might reject a soother made of such hard material.

— Nipple type

Rounded: As the name suggests, rounded-nipple soother are often perfectly round and are advertised as “almost like a mother”

Orthodontic: This nipple shape is flat on the bottom and rounded on top to fit properly in the baby’s mouth. It’s shaped to fit comfortably between the tongue and the roof of the mouth. The intention of this shape design is to reduce interference with oral development versus the rounded nipple shape.

— Size

Soother sizes will vary among brands and the shape design, but it is important to get one that fits just right. The wrong size soother could cause a safety issue, particularly a choking hazard. To avoid confusion, soothers are sold according to age and the recommended age will be mentioned on the packaging.

When to Give Your Baby a Soother

Introducing the soother to your baby will depend on whether they’re being bottle or breastfed.

If you’re bottle-feeding your baby, you can introduce the pacifier right away. It’s recommended that you become familiar with your baby’s signs of hunger, discomfort, gas, and sleepiness before bringing up the soother, so you know when they feel like using it.

If your baby is being breastfed, wait around six weeks (as recommended by experts) or when the baby has become comfortable and familiar with the breastfeeding routine. This is to avoid what is known as “nipple confusion”

Signs that your baby wants a pacifier often involve sucking on baby bottles or the breast, their own fingers or toys, and becoming irritable when drawn away from sucking.

Learn from our baby nursing tips for parents.

How to Care for Your Baby’s Soother

When it comes to cleaning your baby’s soother, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturers. Cleaning instructions for most soothers go the same way as cleaning bottles or sippy cups. 

Soothers need to be sterilized often, which will usually involve putting them in boiling water or microwaving them to avoid the bacterial buildup. Specific instructions for certain materials should also be available on the packaging. 

Soothers don’t last forever and will eventually need replacing. How long they last will depend on the material and the amount and intensity your baby uses them.

The soother will need replacing when you see these signs:

  • The nipple is discolored or stretched out.
  • There are loose pieces or holes in the nipple.
  • Plastic parts have become jagged.
  • The nipple has become constantly sticky.

Every time you introduce a new soother, always sanitize it before giving it to your baby.

 

Best Baby Soothers Reviews 

1. Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier 

SPECS:

  • Age group: 0-3 months
  • Colors: Blue, Green, Pink, Purple, Yellow
  • Materials: Hospital-grade silicone (no BPA or latex)

Best Overall

A reliable brand among baby products, Philps AVENT has produced a soother favored by professionals and distributed among hospitals across the nation. Made for newborns, these highly durable “Soothie” pacifiers are made with hospital grade silicone that is both BPA and latex-free. They’re designed to be one piece and feature a nipple that doesn’t get sticky, discolored, or lose its shape over time. Being made with silicone, the Soothie is easy to sterilize. All you need to do is boil it for 5 minutes and it’s safe for use. 

In order to maintain the Soothie for longer, you can wash it and its snap-on hygienic caps safely in the dishwasher. While they can also work for infants over the age of 3 months, the Soothies are made for newborns 0-3 months of age. These pacifiers are available in various colors that include a simple unisex design.

Pros Cons
  • Distributed nationwide, trusted by doctors and hospitals
  • Hospital-grade silicone
  • No detectable taste or odor
  • Dishwasher safe
  • BPA and latex-free
  • Harder material, may be difficult for newborns to hold

Who Should Buy This?

If it’s your first time buying a soother for your newborn child, these pacifiers from Philips AVENT are a safe purchase that won’t disappoint.

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2. Nanobebe Pacifiers 0-3 Month Orthodontic

SPECS:

  • Age group: 0-3 months
  • Colors: Translucent and pink, grey, teal, white
  • Materials: BPA and phthalate-free silicone

Best Orthodontic Pacifier for Breastfeeding Babies

This sleek-looking and ergonomically designed Flexy pacifier from Nanobebe is not only a good choice for breastfeeding babies – it’s an award-winning one in the category. Made with a unique shape, this soother contours your baby’s face and promotes healthy oral development. 

The Flexy soothers are all made with sturdy silicone and an extra soft nipple with a shape that prevents confusion for the baby. It’s gentle on the gums and teeth, provides a soothing experience, and poses no choking hazard. This one-piece pacifier is also lightweight and features a double venting system to keep it from getting uncomfortable during an extended period of use. It adheres to the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines. 

This soother is completely free of harmful chemicals like BPA and phthalates. It’s quick to cool so it prevents the growth of bacteria.

Pros Cons
  • 360 dual ventilation
  • Lightweight pacifier with a super soft nipple
  • Quick cooling to prevent bacterial growth
  • Helps transition the baby from breast to bottle easier
  • Not recommended for babies over a specific age group
  • Nipple is smaller than most

 Who Should Buy This?

This orthodontic pacifier is the best choice for parents who want to transition their child from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding with minimal confusion.

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3. Philips Avent Soothie Snuggle Pacifier and Detachable Holder 

SPECS:

  • Age group: 0-6 months
  • Colors (designs): Elephant, giraffe, monkey, seal
  • Materials: fabric plush toy, BPA-free silicone soother

Best stuffed toy pacifier

This stuffed toy/ pacifier duo is not just a fun toy for your baby, it actually helps keep your pacifier with your baby. Made with 0-6-month-old infants in mind, these adorable stuffed toy pacifiers are a great way to keep your baby calm. With the help of the lightweight stuffed toy, the pacifier becomes easier to keep in the baby’s mouth as well as easier to find in case it gets dropped or when searching in your bag. It provides a secure feeling and grip for your baby, so they’re less likely to lose or drop it. 

The fabric stuffed toy is easily machine or hand washable and can be detached in order to do so. It is compatible with all of Philip’s AVENT Soothies and comes with four cute animals to choose from: you have the choice between an elephant, a giraffe, a monkey, and a seal.

 The pacifier that comes with the toy is actually the Soothie used by doctors, with all the features you’ve come to know.

Pros Cons
  • Friendly plush keep the pacifier in place
  • Lightly weighted to keep the pacifier in place
  • Easy to find in case the baby drops the pacifier
  • Easy to clean – Machine washable and detachable plushie
  • Dishwasher safe soother
  • Toy comes off a bit easily

Who Should Buy This?

This product is great for getting wary babies more comfortable with regular pacifiers by adding a friendlier look that’s easier to hold and keep the soother itself weighted in place.

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4. NUK Sensitive Orthodontic Pacifiers

SPECS:

  • Age Group: 0-6 months
  • Colors: blue/green for boys, pink/purple for girls
  • Materials: silicone (BPA-free)

Best for Sensitive Babies

The NUK orthodontic pacifiers are perfect for more sensitive newborn babies. They’re designed to be as gentle and comfortable as possible for the baby so they don’t end up spitting them out or dropping them too soon. 

The NUK soother is shaped in a way that it’s lightweight, comfortable, and fits perfectly. It’s curved to contour the baby’s face and heart-shaped to fit right underneath the baby’s nose. The soother features an orthodontic nipple with an asymmetrical shape and a scooped bottom to perfectly fit inside a newborn’s smaller mouth. 

The smooth silicone is not only gentle on the skin, but it’s lightweight enough to sit soundly. The larger holes prevent sweat and saliva buildup, adding a bit of breathability. The silicone is BPA free and microwavable for sterilization. 

These soothers come in packs of three and 2 colors among them. In the set for boys, you get blue/green and pink/purple colors for girls. A reusable storage case is included for taking.

Pros Cons
  • Asymmetrical design and scoop for a comfortable fit on baby’s face
  • Doesn’t leave marks and contours to face shape
  • Microwavable for cleaning
  • Top-rack dishwasher safe
  • Not suitable for teething babies

Who Should Buy This?

If your baby is sensitive to pacifiers or having things in their mouth, a sensitive pacifier like the NUK is your best choice.

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5. Dr. Brown’s HappyPaci Silicone Pacifier

SPECS:

  • Age group: 0 months and above
  • Colors: blue and pink
  • Materials: 100% silicone (BPA, latex, lead, phthalate-free)

Value Pick

The HappyPaci is a simple but effective pacifier option that works great for babies that are bottle-fed. If you’re just looking for a simple pacifier option at a good value, these are the ones for you. 

What makes this pacifier different is its familiar nipple shape, made to resemble those of the bottles from the same brand. This creates comfort with babies who are already comfortable with a bottle, especially one from the Dr. Brown brand. That said, the nipple is a bit longer than others targeted for newborns, and it may not be suitable for smaller mouths. 

The one-piece silicone design has a contoured butterfly-shaped shield that curves around the nose and cheeks that isn’t too heavy and hard for the baby to spit out. The silicone is BPA, phthalate and lead-free for guaranteed safety. These pacifiers are available in packs of 2 or 3, in blue and pink colors.

Pros Cons
  • Top-rack dishwasher safe
  • Sterilizer and BPA free
  • Contouring shape to cheek and nose
  • Lightweight and soft
  • Longer, a bottle-shaped nipple isn’t favored by younger infants (0-3 months)

Who Should Buy This?

Parents looking for some good pacifiers in bulk, especially for bottle-fed babies, will find this an easy choice.

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6. MAM Night Pacifiers

SPECS:

  • Age Group: 0-6 months
  • Colors: Blue, Pink, Grey
  •  Material: 100% silicone

Best Glow in the Dark Night Pacifiers

MAM night pacifiers are perfectly designed for nighttime use, with a glow in the dark feature that makes it much easier to find and much harder to stumble over at night. 

A unique anti-slip surface allows the soother to stay in the baby’s mouth, which comes in handy when they sleep with their head to the side. The curved shield shape comes with wide openings to stay breathable and comfortable that the baby won’t sweat or collect saliva. The whole soother is made of silicone that’s BPA free as well as free of odor and taste. The SkinSoft material and symmetrical design make for healthy promotion of proper jaw and teeth development. 

The set of pacifiers comes with a sterilizing storage compartment that makes your soothers much easier to clean. Just pop them in with some water and microwave for 3 minutes and they’re sterilized once again.

Pros Cons
  • Glows in the dark, easy to see
  • Unique anti-slip surface
  • Tasteless and odorless
  • SkinSoft material
  • Water is retained in the nipple after multiple washes

Who Should Buy This?

These MAM Night Pacifiers are a perfect nighttime solution that’s easy to find in the dark and safe while the baby is sleeping.

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Conclusion 

Soothers are a neat way to calm down fussy babies or provide help when going to sleep at bedtime. If you’re looking for a way to reduce your baby’s fuss factor you can find the right one with our recommended products. Don’t forget to share and comment below.