The best dummies for breastfed babies

Sleeping baby with dummy

by Georgia Aspinall |

Finding the best dummy for your baby isn't an easy task. Suckling is a basic instinct for newborn babies, both for feeding and comfort; if you are breastfeeding your baby, you'll want to find a baby soother that is similar to the texture of your nipples.

Sometimes babies can suffer from 'nipple confusion', as they struggle to switch from a dummy back to your nipple and vice-versa.

Is it safe to give my baby a dummy?

Yes! In fact, some special care units use dummies to comfort little and poorly babies while they are having tests or injections. Evidence shows that suckling eases pain and when your boob isn’t close at hand, a dummy will do nicely.

If you're breastfeeding your baby, then it's generally recommended to hold off giving your newborn a dummy until about six weeks, to make sure they are settled suckling your breasts.

Parenting expert Rachel Fitz-Desorgher is here to help with all your questions around dummies: read more about how safe newborn dummies are here.

Are there any dummy risks?

To use a dummy safely, and to minimise any dummy risks, there are a few steps to take. Don’t tie the newborn dummy to your baby with strings or ribbons which could get tangled around your baby, and never dip it in sugar or foods of any kind.

Make sure you sterilise your baby's dummy regularly, especially if it gets dropped when out and about. You can do this using a bottle steriliser, a microwave steriliser or by boiling the dummy to remove any contaminants. Some are dishwasher safe too. Make sure to let it completely cool before giving it to your baby.

Check your baby soother regularly to see if it has broken, or if there are any cracks, and replace it as soon as you see any damage.

How do you choose the best newborn dummy for breastfed babies?

The dummies need to:

- Be made of latex, and be BPA- and phthalate-free

- Be sized and shaped for your baby's mouth - always check the advised age range

- Leave your baby's nose free

- Be taste-free and odourless

It’s better to invest in a dummy approved by the British Dental Health Foundation to ensure you purchase a safe and certified product.

To help you work out what is best for you and your baby, we've summed up the best dummies for breastfed babies on the market so that you can start shopping straight away:

The best dummies for breastfed babies

JUST SO YOU KNOW, WHILE WE MAY RECEIVE A COMMISSION FOR PURCHASES MADE THROUGH LINKS, WE NEVER ALLOW THIS TO INFLUENCE PRODUCT SELECTIONS.

Philips 2 Pack AVENT Soothie Pacifier

Best overall
Philips 2 Pack AVENT Soothie Pacifier
Amazon

View offer

  • Perfect for newborns
  • Made of hospital-grade silicone
  • It's super-soft
  • Respects the development of baby's teeth
  • Can be popped into the dishwasher

Review: "These dummies are fantastic! Ideal for breastfed babies as they mould to their mouth just like the nipple. I really love the fact they are made from just one piece of material so no risk of the teat coming away from the mouth guard. These leave no marks on your babies face either. My baby loves these dummies over any others, we’ve tried a couple of brands. These are the 3+ months so the dummy is stiffer (thicker) than the 0-3 month."

The First Years GumDrop Newborn Pacifier (Pack of 2)

Recommended
The First Years 2 Pack GumDrop Newborn Pacifier
Amazon

View offer

  • Made of BPA-free, Latex-free and Phthalate-free silicone
  • It's super-soft
  • Hospital distributed brand
  • Good for newborns but best for babies aged 3 months and over

Review: "I was a bit hesitant to try out a dummy as my LO was only 4 weeks and I am exclusively breast-feeding. I wanted to try one though as she was definitely comfort sucking and my boobs needed some rest!! These are great - she accepted it easily and I love that they are all in one piece. No problems with her latching on after using these and great at helping her to settle herself off to sleep when she is overtired which is only time I use it. Will be stocking up!!"

Philips Avent Classic Soother 0-6 Months

Best orthodontic
Philips SCF169_26 Avent Classic Soother 0-6 Months, Pack of 2
Amazon

View offer

  • Perfect for newborns
  • Developed with your baby's palate, teeth and gums in mind
  • Features a snap-on cap to keep dummy clean
  • Handle makes it easy to take out of baby's mouth
  • Bright and colourful design

Review: "After a long search finally our daughter accepted a pacifier. Couldn't find it in the local pharmacy anymore and she still wouldn't accept any other, even with a similar shape. Amazon step in. We love having soothing assistance, especially during the night, so do our neighbours don't have to use earplugs anymore 🙂 Great buy, good quality."

MAM Night Soothers 0+ Months

Best night dummies
MAM Night Soothers 0+ Months (Pack of 2)
Amazon

View offer

  • Suitable from birth
  • Made from soft silicone
  • They're great for healthy jaw and teeth development; they glow in the dark, making it easier for your little one (and you) to find at night-time
  • Includes a travel case to keep your dummies safe
  • Case can be used to sterilise dummies in the microwave
  • Available in a range of colours and designs

Review: "I bought these dummies for my breastfed baby, she had colic and cried a fair bit, we decided that a dummy might help provide some comfort. After trying several other brands that specified they were for breastfed babies, she either rejected them or struggled to keep them in her mouth. These dummies finally did the trick, she will happily suck on these and she seems to gain some comfort from them. They have even been helpful at getting her used self soothing to sleep. We also like the design of them, they look cute and are easy to clean. The 2 dummies came with a sterilising storage box too which was a handy extra! Would buy again!"

Chicco Soft Ergonomic Silicone Dummy

Best ergonomic dummies
Chicco Soft ergonomic silicone dummy
Amazon

View offer

  • It's best for babies over three months
  • Made from silicone
  • It’s super-soft
  • Ergonomically shaped with ventilation holes

Review: "The most hygienic dummies I’ve ever seen! As they are made of only one piece, there are no crevices where mould could develop and dirt could get collected. They go well in the steriliser and don’t discolour. Also, as they are ergonomic, they are better for the teeth. They were actually recommended by my dentist! Baby loves them! We have six at home!"

Tommee Tippee Fun Night Time (Pack of 2)

Best bottle teat dummies
Tommee Tippee Fun Night Time (Pack of 2)
Amazon

View offer

  • Made from BPA-free silicone
  • Orthodontic dummy has a symmetrical orthodontic nipple, specially designed to help baby's acceptance
  • Stars and planets design
  • Symmetrical orthodontic shape
  • The teat shape on the baby soother is more like a bottle teat for a more familiar feeling for a baby

Review: "Have always stuck with Tommee Tippee dummies for both my little boys. Both have great teeth after being weened off dummies at 18 months old... And oddly, they didn't really resist giving them up! Also worth noting, they all lasted well over a year of steam sterilisation, the odd trip in the dishwasher, and teething babies. Love these dummies!"

NUK Medic Pro Genius Newborn Dummies

Best dummies for newborns
NUK Medic Pro Genius Newborn Dummies
Amazon

View offer

  • Specifically designed for premature or newborn babies aged between 0-2 months
  • Made from soft-flex silicone
  • Soft surface moulds gently against the palate, giving the tongue plenty of space for natural sucking movements
  • BPA-free

Review: "Great, I bought this dummy (0-2months) for my 4-month-old (breastfeed) as he won't take any dummy and gags on others. This has a very small teat, very similar to a nipple. He has got on much better with this one, he just needs some practice."

NUK Happy Days Baby Dummies (Pack of 2)

Best dummies with storage case
NUK Happy Days Baby Dummies
Amazon

View offer

  • Come with a reusable storage case
  • Luminous ring ensures you can find your little one's dummy quickly and easily in the dark
  • Specially designed orthodontic shape that adapts to the shape of baby’s mouth
  • BPA-free

Review: "Love these Nuk pacifiers and recommend to everyone and anyone. My son was born with tongue-tie and has been very difficult to settle at times but these dummies fit perfectly into his mouth and are lightweight and a comfortable fit around his lips and into his cheeks. My son much prefers Nuk dummies to other leading brands out there. Easy to clean. The glow in the dark feature is excellent and makes the nighttime search for “where’s it gone” much easier. Highly recommend."

NUK Space Night Baby Dummy Glow-in-the-Dark Soothers

Best glow-in-the-dark dummies
NUK Space Night Baby Dummy
Amazon

View offer

  • 0-6 months
  • Extra-large air openings maximise circulation, allowing skin to breathe; perfect for sensitive baby skin
  • Button emits a soft glow at night time for easy finding in the dark
  • Improved nuk original shape modelled on a mother’s nipple while breastfeeding for a natural, satisfying feel
  • Promotes the healthy development of teeth and jaw by exercising baby's lips, tongue and facial muscles

Review: "Who knew babies could be so fussy, my little one refuses all dummy shapes apart from this 'spoon' shape. The plastic box the dummies come in can be used as a microwave steriliser so don't throw it away, it also keeps dummies clean when popped on a bag. I like the open space (the dummy is not a solid plastic shape) as this doesn't leave a red mark on my son's mouth/chin when he's been sucking for a few hours. He won't sleep without a dummy these days but if it keeps the peace I'm all for it!"

Tommee Tippee Ultra-Light Silicone Soother (Pack of 2)

Best ultra-light dummies
Tommee Tippee Ultra-Light Silicone Soother 6-18m 2 Pack
Amazon

View offer

Review: "As weird as these dummies look (and they do look really weird), they are our daughter favourite. The best thing is, if she rubs her face while asleep, these don't tend to catch and fall out like other dummies, as these stick out less and there is no ring on them, meaning less waking up in the night than with other dummies. Would recommend it for anyone, especially if your baby wakes after knocking the dummy out while rubbing their face."

MAM Comfort All-Silicone Soothers (Pack of 2)

Best dummies promoting oral development
MAM Comfort All-Silicone Soothers
Amazon

View offer

Review: "Can not recommend these dummies enough! My baby girl only has a small mouth & found all other sizes and shapes uncomfortable for her. These are absolutely brilliant!"

How to use dummies 

- Limit how long your baby uses a dummy

- Most experts advise starting to use a dummy only after your baby is at least one month old and preferably get them used to it once your baby is feeding well

- Don’t give a dummy dipped in sweet foods, like honey or juices

- Try to use an orthodontic or flat dummy; some research suggests they are better for tooth development

- Don’t force your baby to use a dummy; if they don't want it, let it be.

If you aren’t sure how to use a dummy, read more here: when is it right or wrong to use a dummy?

Pros and cons of using a dummy for breastfed babies

Pros of using dummies for breastfed babies

Dummies can prevent your baby from sucking their thumb

Dummies are also called pacifiers, as they can calm your baby

You can use a dummy to distract your baby during vaccinations

If your baby has colic, using a dummy can keep them calm

Most premature babies are given a dummy.

Cons of using dummies for breastfed babies

Sometimes dummies can interfere with breastfeeding; to avoid this, you need to make sure your baby is feeding well and gaining weight before introducing a dummy

It can be really hard to break the habit of using a dummy

If your baby uses a dummy all day, it can be harder for them to communicate with you or begin to make sounds

Your baby could suffer from 'nipple confusion' as they struggle to transition between using the dummy and breastfeeding. A sign of this could be difficulty latching whilst breastfeeding.

How to get your baby to take a dummy

Sarah Cantwell, mum of two, shares her popular tips and tricks for getting your baby to take a dummy. She used dummies for both her newborn babies to keep them comforted and to keep her nipples from getting too sore.

Do you use a dummy for your baby? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

What to read next

Mum reveals clever dummy hack to soothe baby's teething pain

The best baby comforters to soothe your little one

The best sleep training tips to help baby (and you) sleep soundly through the night

5 simple ways to wean your child off their dummy

The best bottles for breastfed babies

Newborn baby essentials you actually need from day one