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5 Best Preemie Pacifiers 2024

Doctor-approve preemie pacifier picks you can feel good about.

5 Best Preemie Pacifiers 2024

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Having your baby prematurely is an anxiety-inducing time. While ensuring your little one is safe and healthy, there are ideal tools to make the experience more seamless. For one, the best preemie pacifier should be on every parent's newborn checklist.

The instinctive action of sucking helps to calm and soothe babies and all parents know the joy of a content baby. The best pacifier for breastfed babies once a feeding routine has been established with your infant as well.

Below, our top pacifiers for preemie babies.

What to look for in a preemie pacifier

Having a baby prematurely is stressful for parents—it’s unknown territory and is an overall daunting experience. The last thing parents want to be stressed about is finding the right pacifier for the early-born little one.

“Even after hospital discharge, things can be more difficult for a premature baby. Feeding a newborn has many challenges, but premature babies are at higher risk for feeding difficulties and various chronic conditions. This is due to their early delivery and catch-up development,” explains Dr. Mona Amin, board-certified pediatrician at International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

Amin says while not every preemie baby needs a pacifier, it’s recommended.

“Their use is frequently encouraged in this population due to prematurity placing babies at higher risk for SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome.” The most important thing for preemie-approved pacis is they must be small enough to fit into the infant’s mouth comfortably. Pacifiers labeled 0+ or 0-6 months are best.

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The ideal pacifier, “should be easy to clean and made of durable material. Softened silicone has been demonstrated to be a safer option for babies' palates and gums,” says Dr Amin. It's important to note that the American Academy of Pediactrics (AAP) suggests delaying pacifier use if possible.

Best preemie pacifiers to buy now:

Best overall

Tommee Tippee Breast-Like Pacifier

tommee tippee breast-like pacifier, best preemie pacifiers Merchant

Behold, the ideal pacifier for preemies. When mom’s breast isn’t available, a breast-like pacifier is the next best thing for baby to latch onto in between feeds. Made from super soft silicone, this pacifier feels, moves and stretches just like momma’s skin—meaning there’s less chance of confusion when feeding your baby from breast or bottle.

For extra comfort, the pacifier shield curves away from baby’s face and offers superior ventilation. The extra airflow prevents the build-up of moisture and protects their delicate skin.

Pros

  • Breast-like pacifier
  • Helps with the transition between breast and bottle
  • Silicone is taste-free (doesn’t retain any stains or odors)
  • BPA-free
  • Easy to clean
  • Available in a two-pack
  • Symmetrical silicone design is fully reversible

Cons

  • Easy to knock out of the mouth (no handle)

Best budget

Chicco PhysioForma Soft Silicone Mini Pacifier

chicco physioforma soft silicone pacifier, best preemie pacifiers Merchant

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Finally, a pacifier that soothes babies and parents! This pacifier is an extra light, ultra-small orthodontic pacifier that was designed especially for newborn babies. The Mini pacifier isn’t just for pacifying but aids in comfort, seamless breathing and orthodontic benefits—this is ideal for baby’s growing palate and teeth.

The best part? The pacifier is gentle against your baby's delicate skin, and the soft silicone shield is comfortable and breathable. It's also easy to sterilize or throw in the dishwasher—parents can pop their finger into the nipple to help hold it in baby's mouth for extra bonding.

Pros

  • Ideal for 0-2 months
  • 95% acceptance rate among babies
  • Ultra-light pacifier
  • Developed for comfort, breathing and orthodontic benefits
  • Reusable, sterilized carrying case included

Cons

  • Some reviewers say the pacifier nipple is too long for preemies

NICU-approved

Philips Notched Newborn NICU Soothie Pacifier

philips notched newborn nicu soothie pacifier, best preemie pacifiers Merchant

This hospital-approved Philips Avent binky is perfect for preemies who haven’t left the NICU. It features one-piece construction from hospital-grade, BPA and latex-free silicone and has a five-star average rating on Amazon—and more than 1,200 shoppers have weighed in! A single-piece means this soothie won't pose a choking hazard.

“Pacifiers are helpful to soothe infants which are especially beneficial during a NICU stay where the environment may be loud and stressful,” says Dr. Amin.

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While promoting the natural development of teeth and gums, the pacifier is easy to sterilize or throw in the dishwasher. Parents can pop their finger into the nipple to help hold it in baby's mouth during bouts of screaming.

Pros

  • Comforts and soothes your newborn
  • Promotes natural development of teeth and gums
  • BPA-free, latex-free
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • On the pricier side for one pacifier

Best for breastfed babies

NUK for Nature Simply Natural Pacifier

nuk for nature simply natural pacifier, best preemie pacifiers Merchant

Made for soothing your little one in mind, this silicone pacifier is designed to feel, fit and flex like mom. The innovative pacifier is modeled after the natural curve of a momma’s breast and made with soft silicone that mimics the smooth feeling of their skin.

The shield curves away from baby's face, allowing for good airflow to your little one's skin, which prevents irritation.

Latch more naturally thanks to a nipple that is also shaped like Mom's natural breast. This pacifier also comes in recycled and recyclable packaging.

Pros

  • Ideal for 0-6 months
  • Affordable price
  • Innovative, effective design
  • Comfortable fit (mimics a mother’s breast)
  • Single-piece
  • Packaged in eco-friendly materials

Cons

  • Made of silicone, prone to catch hair and dust easily

Best for those working on suck reflex

Zoë b Organic Newborn Pacifier

zoe b organic newborn pacifier, best preemie pacifiers Merchant
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Designed for babies with a shorter gag reflex, this paci is ideal. Handcrafted in Italy, the rounded tip closely resembles the shape of a mother’s nipple, so it’s great to prepare a baby for breastfeeding. Its comfortable, circular shield remains close to your infant’s face, which comforts them and stimulates future breastfeeding.

Pros

  • 100% pure natural rubber
  • Free of BPA, phthalates and nitrosamines
  • Won’t leave marks on baby’s face
  • Mom-owned company
  • Handcrafted in Italy

Cons

  • Material isn’t super flexible

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This article was originally published on Dec 05, 2023

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Heather Taylor-Singh is a commerce writer at St. Joseph Communications. Based in Toronto, she covers trending topics in lifestyle, culture and sustainability. When she's not feverishly writing, she enjoys overanalyzing movies and listening to her perfectly curated playlists on Spotify.

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