We may earn commission from links featured in this post. Read more.
Breastfeeding itself is the most powerful soother for a baby as it brings both comfort and food, but sometimes you may not be there to offer them the breast or simply need a break from it and you know they need soothing and not food. Giving them a dummy is one way to soothe them from time to time.
Not everyone agrees with dummies, some feel it can damage teeth formation if over used and others believe babies never learn to self soothe and it can be difficult to take the dummy away when they’re older. Along with our selection of great dummies you can buy, we’ve also added an in-depth guide and FAQs with dummies to offer some advice on how best and how often you should use them with your baby. It’s important to know what the positives and the drawbacks are when using these pacifiers.
However, if you’re reading this article it means you are breastfeeding and need something to take the pressure off the non-stop feeds a bit. We’ve reviewed and curated a few great dummies we think will help you and your baby soothe a minute’s piece.
Dummies For Breastfed Babies Reviews
Tommee Tippee Breast Like Soothers
This simple Tommee Tippee dummy is great for breastfed babies as it has one of the most accurate shaped teats on the market and is quite close to the real thing. Fixes and stretches to the sucking just like a real nipple would and the silicon is as close to the feel of skin as is possible. All in all, it’s a fantastic soother to use between feeds when you need a break. However, the design is straight which may make it harder for your baby to aim to the top of the mouth which is the natural position for a nipple.
Even with the scientifically researched design done by Tommee Tippee it still may take some time for your baby to get used to.
NUK Happy Days Baby Dummies
The NUK happy days baby dummies are particularly good because they are angled in such a way which makes it easier for your baby to direct to the top of the mouth. The teat is a flat nipple shape and easy to grasp and suck. Made with BPA free silicon for a stretchy, wet skin like feeling. It’s a great all round breastfed babies dummy but we are particularly impressed with innovative angled super soft silicon imitation mother’s nipple.
Philips Avent BPA-Free Translucent Soothers (6-18 months)
The Philips Avent BPA free pacifiers are a well-known brand in the baby products field. So far, we’ve catered for parents who want to use a dummy for newborn babies so here is a great recommendation for older children 6 months and up. They feature a cute design on the front which may entice them to take to the dummy without issue.
But, more importantly, the nipple shaped pacifier is orthodontic and symmetrical which can be collapsed so the teat won’t get stained or have its taste affected when it’s not in use. It fits perfectly in baby’s mouth and will help mums give their sore breasts a break in between feeds or when they simply want the breast for comfort. A little more expensive than usual but they have been designed with oral development in mind and they are a well-known brand.
Little Sprouts Dummy Chain
For something a little different than a plastic round shape in the mouth why not try a dummy chain which has different shapes to help with teething, too. It doesn’t provide any of the sucking opportunities but if your baby is just looking for some relief from the pains of teething this could be a better solution than using a dummy like the other recommendations.
Some mums may opt to go for this dummy chain along with a traditional dummy to reduce the use of one over the other.
Chicco Soft ergonomic silicone dummy
We like this Chicco dummy as the super-soft silicone orthodontic nipple is designed to be placed in the top of the mouth which is the natural feeding position a breastfed baby is used to. On top of that, there are air holes to help your baby breathe if they are struggling or have a cold with a blocked nose. Available at a modest price and a great start to give a breastfed baby a dummy they may take to without much hassle.
Dummies for breastfed babies Buyer’s guide
Will my breastfed baby struggle to take a dummy?
Breastfed babies are used to getting their milk and comfort from the most ergonomically designed and natural source in the world – the mother’s nipple. Nothing can compare or compete with sucking on the boob, it’s as simple as that. The mother’s nipple does more than just feed the, it gives them comfort, helps them sleep and can be a pain reliever – using a dummy, regardless of how well it’s been designed, will never compare to the real thing.
So, some babies may struggle to take the dummy at first because they will be thinking ‘why would I want this when I am used to this?’. But, it can be done and there may be some crying involved until using a dummy gets a bit easier.
A tip we’d like to share is to offer expressed milk in a bottle as the teat on these bottles are the same as a BPA free dummy in most cases. If they can take to a bottle with the helping hand of expressed milk then you’re halfway there to having a baby who doesn’t mind being asked to use a dummy.
You may need to tempt them by adding some flavour to the dummy (but make sure it’s sugar-free) but the reality is you may need to hold it in their mouth until they start to suck on it and realise it can be a good pacifier from time to time.
Are dummies good for the baby?
Dummies are used as a substitute for the breast (or more specifically the nipple) so that babies can be soothed without needing to latch on. Dummies provide no health benefits and can damage the formation of teeth when overused. Dummies need replacing every 4 to 6 weeks.
However, a dummy won’t soothe them as quickly or effectively as breastfeeding will but it can, in time, help to breastfeeding mothers have a break from feeding which can feel constant, especially during the early months, during a growth spurt or when they are teething and tired. Often, babies will feed just for comfort and not nutrition which can be frustrating for mothers to be used that way.
However, we feel that dummies, overall, are not good for the baby but they can be very good for parents, especially mothers, to give their breasts and nipples a break.
Will dummies cause dental problems?
Overusing dummies or an oral pacifier can affect a baby’s oral development and lead to speech problems, an overbite (top row of teeth over the bottom) or a crossbite (lower row before the top row of teeth. This is because the dummy is in the way as the gums and teeth are growing and developing. However, if you use a dummy with an orthodontic design the risk can be greatly reduced but not completely.
The British Dental association recommend weaning babies off using a dummy by the age of 1 as that’s when much of the dental growth begins.
However, the easy way to avoid this is to use the dummy sparingly and not out of habit. If you fall into the trap of offering a dummy every time they cry or ask for the boob then you will have a baby who seems dependent on it to be soothed. This is the gateway to dental problems later on.
What alternatives are there?
If you’re baby is teething and you need a break then the usual infacol/gripe water can help or Calpol/Ibuprofen. This can help get over a tricky moment without the need to commit to something long term like a dummy.
Dummies for breastfed babies FAQs
Which dummies are best for breastfed babies?
We believe the dummies which have teats at an angle to make it easier to place at the top of the mouth are the best dummies as these are most closely resemble the natural oral feeding position of a breastfed baby.
Can you give a dummy to a breastfed baby?
Absolutely. There’s no reason why a breastfed baby can’t have a dummy just like a bottle fed baby. There may be some extra challenges with nipple confusion as they are used to a nipple whereas bottle fed babies are already used to plastic teats.
How do I get my breastfed baby to take a dummy?
There are plenty of guides out there on how to get a baby to take to a dummy successfully. In our experience it’s about patience and holding it in their mouth until they start to suck. It is not something that will happen in a day, in most cases.
When should I introduce a dummy to my breastfed baby?
Any time before 1. After 1 they may have gotten used to the breast so much that they will not see the point in a dummy.