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Pacifier Buying Guide-Mother and Baby Shop

Pacifier Buying Guide

Pacifier, Binky, Soother, Dummy… parent’s around the world call them different names, but one this is for sure regardless of where you are from, if your baby is difficult to settle, these little things can be a lifesaver.

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As with everything else, your baby is likely to have a preference for one type over another, and with all babies being different, a little trial and error will come in handy. Luckily, compared to most other baby products, pacifiers are relatively low cost. It would be wise not to stock up on them before you understand your baby’s preference, but once you do, buy a a couple of extras to have on hand when needed. 

Pacifier buying basics 

Nipple Shapes: Orthodontic vs. Round Nipple Pacifiers

Pacifier nipples come in two basic shape variations: Round nipples and orthodontic nipples.Rounded nipple pacifiers are round all over while Orthodontic nipple pacifiers are round at the top and flat at the bottom. Orthodontic pacifiers are generally believed interfere less with baby's oral development than traditional round pacifiers, hence their name. 

Pacifier Sizes

Pacifiers are generally sold in different sizes according to the baby's age. Usually 0-3m or 0-6m, 6-18m, 18-36m etc. Each brand will base their sizing on various factors, so be sure to buy the correct size for your baby instead of guessing based on how the nipple looks. Remember getting the wrong size can be uncomfortable for your baby and could even pose a safety hazard. 

Pacifier Materials

Most pacifier nipples are made from silicone or latex.Silicone is sturdier than latex and won’t retain odours, while latex is softer and more flexible than silicone, but also wears out faster and retains scents. (Note that some infants are allergic to latex, so you may want to avoid latex soothers if you suspect he has a latex allergy.)

Pacifiers Safety Guidelines

  • Pacifiers don’t last forever. Nipples wear down with age and use. It is generally recommended that they be replaced immediately the pacifier shows signs of wear. The rate of wear will be determined by how often and vigorously your child sucks on the pacifier. Pacifiers aren't expensive, so it's best to replace your baby's as soon as it starts to show signs of wear.
  • Don’t tie your baby’s pacifier to his clothes using string or ribbon – it’s a strangulation hazard. Instead, use a proper pacifier tether. This is a special leash that clips easily to clothing and is short enough not to be a safety hazard .
  • Pacifiers are not Intended for older kids. Using a pacifier past 2 years of age can affect your child’s oral development. Inner-ear infections have been associated with pacifier use, especially between the ages of 6 months to 2 years, so if your baby is prone to ear infections you may want to wean him off a pacifier around his 6-month birthday or avoid them altogether.
  • Always clean it before use and never by sticking it in your mouth. Before using a pacifier wash it with mild soap and water. To sterilise, you can also drop a pacifier in boiling water for 5 minutes. When out and about, always carry an extra pacifier and you can also use pacifier wipes to clean them if they fall. 

Pacifier types available in Kenya via

Three-Piece or Basic Pacifier; The three-piece pacifier is the most common model.  The nipple is made of silicone or latex and comes with a variety of colours and patterns on the shield. They can be orthodontic or have traditional round nipple. 






One-Piece Pacifier; Made from a single piece of silicone, rubber, plastic or latex, this type of pacifier cannot break apart, which minimises choking risk. You’ll find a variety of shapes and colours available. Plastic can crack easier than latex and silicone so check one-piece soothers frequently for damage.

Stuffed Animal Pacifier; A relatively new and wildly popular variation on the classic soother, this type of soother includes a silicone one-piece nipple that’s attached to a plush doll, which can make it more attractive to baby and easier to hold.  It can be washed in the washing machine, and then air dried.


Feeding Pacifier; When your baby is 6 months old, you can start using a feeding pacifier to introduce new foods and flavours.  Place fruit in the mesh pouch so he can suck and gum it, and in warm weather freeze the fruit first to make a refreshing snack. The bag is permanently attached to the base so you won’t have to worry about it coming apart. 

Glow in the Dark Pacifier; This upgrade on the basic soother lights up in the dark so babies can find it easily at night.  It can also act as a dim nightlight.



AAP. 2015. Pacifier safety. American Academy of Pediatrics. 

AAP. 2015. Pacifiers: Satisfying your baby’s needs. American Academy of Pediatrics. 

AAP. 2015. Reduce the risk of SIDS. American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Consumer Reports. 2016. Pacifier buying guide.

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