Looking for a safe and soothing binky for your baby without dangerous substances like phthalates and PVC? Natural pacifiers are the way to go, and many parents are seeing their benefits.
We've done our research and compiled a list of the best natural pacifiers, such as Natursutten's pacifier made seamlessly with natural rubber. There are five more parent and baby-approved pacifiers to choose from, plus a buying guide to get you started on the path of no-plastic baby soothers.
Dr. Regina Hardin is a pediatrician and the founder of MyKidzMD Pediatrics. She enjoys spending her day caring for newborns and helping parents handle their most common pediatric concerns. You can learn more about Dr. Hardin's work on her Instagram page @mykidz_pediatrics or at her website listed above!
When it comes to her career, Dr. Hardin says:
"Parents are often afraid of routine newborn care for fear of hurting the baby or possibly doing something wrong. My mission is to empower parents with education and by giving them the tools to keep children healthy, happy, and thriving."
The main advantage of getting a natural pacifier is the lack of potentially harmful chemicals and components such as phthalates, parabens, and PVC (polyvinyl chloride).
They're also produced in more eco-friendly ways using sustainable resources. An environmentally-friendly option can go a long way, given a pacifier's short life span. Experts advise replacing pacifiers every two months. Since you'll replace it anyway, one that won't have as much impact on the environment could help!
Other advantages include them being softer and more like the feel of a breast.
Natural rubber is not only used in pacifiers but also in medical devices, gloves used in doctor's offices, balloons, and many toys. Although the risk is not zero, natural rubber pacifiers are less allergenic and don't have any artificial colorants. Biodegradability is a definite plus!
Here we have some of the best natural pacifiers. They all have a nipple made from sustainable, natural rubber. You can find round or orthodontic and one- or two-piece versions in the list.
*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Dr. Regina Hardin.
|Age group||6+ mos.|
|Age group||0-6, 6-18 mos.|
|Type||Round or orthodontic|
|Age group||0-3, 3-36 mos.|
|Type||Rounded or orthodontic|
|Age group||0-6, 6-12, 12+ mos.|
|Age group||0-6, 6-18, 18-36 mos.|
Sophie La Girafe
Ergonomic Natural Rubber Pacifier
Natural Rubber Pacifier
Sustainably-Sourced Natural Rubber Binky
Eco-Friendly Pacifier With an Ergonomic Design
A Pacifier for Easy Transitioning
Natural Rubber Pacifier With a Specially-Designed Shield
Pacifiers With Natural Rubber Nipples Offered in Different Colors
|Design||One piece||One piece||One piece||One piece||Two piece|
|Type||Round||Orthodontic||Round or orthodontic||Rounded or orthodontic||Round|
|Age group||6+ mos.||0-6, 6-18 mos.||0-3, 3-36 mos.||0-6, 6-12, 12+ mos.||0-6, 6-18, 18-36 mos.|
If you're new to the idea of using a natural pacifier for your baby, the following buying guide should help explain why this is a parent-approved alternative.
Natural pacifiers are made from rubber. Rubber trees are an eco-friendly and sustainable resource because they can be tapped up to 35 years for material while serving as a habitat for wildlife. In addition, rubber pacifiers are soft, and it has been found that babies like the feel of this material.
However, the rubber is made from latex, which is the sap-like component of rubber trees. Therefore, if your child is allergic to latex, this material should be avoided.
Some natural rubber pacifiers have had the latex proteins that trigger allergies removed during production. Still, experts advise those with diagnosed latex allergies to proceed with caution when choosing such "latex-free" products.
The FDA has recommended that manufacturers stop using the term since it is too vague to be helpful. There is no accurate test to determine if a natural rubber has zero allergy-causing latex proteins. In addition, the production or packaging process could still result in contamination.
Latex exposure over time is a factor in the development of an allergy to it, so if you are concerned about this, it's best to avoid natural rubber pacifiers altogether.
What might an allergy to latex look like? Symptoms could include itching, redness, hives, rash, runny nose, cough, wheezing, swelling, or trouble breathing. The reaction or reactions can be mild to severe.
Parents, siblings, or close family members who have latex or food allergies should first discuss the use of natural rubber pacifiers with the pediatrician.
Pacifiers have three key parts: the nipple, which should be soft and comfortable for the baby to suckle on; the shield, to stop the nipple from becoming a choking hazard; and the ring, to make it easy to remove and hold the pacifier.
From there, you have two main designs or pacifier shapes: orthodontic and round pacifiers. Orthodontic pacifiers have a flat nipple on the bottom side and a rounded area at the top. The design complements the baby’s flat tongue surface and curved roof area of the mouth.
Meanwhile, round pacifiers have nipples that are round throughout, much like a baby bottle nipple, and it mimics a female’s nipple. You might need to mix and match a particular nipple type to your baby’s preference, so we recommend trying out different shapes until you find one that sticks.
Orthodontic pacifiers help lessen the pressure on the baby's gums and developing teeth, which helps with issues like malalignment, including overbite and underbite.
However, whether the choice is orthodontic or traditional round shape, the length of use can play a factor, as both types can be problematic if used for long periods of time.
Pacifiers are often created in different sizes depending on a baby’s age or developmental stage. The pacifier size is a crucial consideration to ensure that it isn’t too big or too small for their mouth, both for optimal soothing and to minimize choking risks.
You can find pacifiers for made for babies from newborn to three or six months old and older. We recommend checking the product dimensions carefully as manufacturers don’t follow a standard regarding the sizing of pacifiers and the nipples.
Natural pacifiers often feature a seamless design, wherein the rubber is molded out of one piece with a shield that is at least an inch and a half wide so that your baby can’t put the entire piece into their mouth. A multi-piece pacifier should be securely fastened without the risk of the nipple accidentally dislodging and becoming a choking hazard.
We recommend pacifiers with holes in the shield to allow for air circulation. A baby’s saliva can quickly accumulate behind the shield, and the ventilation helps reduce rashes or irritation.
We advise periodically cleaning it when needed with soap and warm water to prevent dirt and bacteria buildup. Some are dishwasher-safe, so give the product description a look-through regarding this.
You might be wondering if babies need a pacifier at all, as some parents swear by it while others consider it detrimental to a child’s development.
Pacifiers were created to calm and soothe babies through the sucking motion mimicking breast or bottle feeding. Some studies have shown that pacifiers may help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which happens during deep sleep. Pacifiers also mean babies don’t suck their fingers or items they come into contact with.
On the downside, pacifiers have been found to increase the risk of dental problems. There is also the chance of the child losing interest in breastfeeding after being too accustomed to a pacifier. Therefore, going the pacifier route depends solely on the parent and what they deem fit for their child.
Other reasons to consider using a pacifier might include easing ear discomfort caused by cabin pressure changes when flying on an airplane, helping to soothe your baby through painful procedures, easing the process of falling asleep and settling down for your baby. Of note, not all babies will need or accept a pacifier.
If you have questions about caring for your baby's natural pacifier, check out Dr. Regina's input below!
Dr. Hardin says, "The best way to clean a natural rubber pacifier and to ensure adequate shelf life is to boil it initially for five minutes when you receive it. Allow it to cool down and dry on a clean towel.
For subsequent cleanings, using warm water and baby-safe dish soap is sufficient. Remember to replace your baby's pacifier every six to eight weeks."
In addition to her advice in our buying Guide, Dr. Hardin was also kind enough to recommend her favorite natural pacifier.
|Type||Round or orthodontic|
|Age group||06, 6-12, 12+ mos.|
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