Pacifiers and breastfeeding

In the past, it was believed that you should wait by introducing a pacifier until breastfeeding was established. Today you can offer the pacifier much earlier if you are informed about what to be aware of.

When should you introduce a pacifier to your baby?

Watch the video of nurse and health visitor Kirsten Lise Andersen explaining when to introduce a pacifier.



Pacifiers that support breastfeeding

The round nipple is the one most health professionals in Denmark initially recommend when breastfeeding your baby. This is because the round nipple makes the baby roll its tongue around the pacifier just as it does during breastfeeding.

It is important to focus on the pacifier’s length so that it enters the mouth and touches the soft part of the palate, which stimulates the natural sucking reflex.

It can be very demanding and difficult for a newborn to use the round pacifier. If you want to breastfeed and your baby has difficulty latching on when being fed, the round nipple can help the baby with practicing the right way of sucking, because the baby exercises its jaw and mouth muscles while using the same technique as it should do while breastfeeding.

Other nipple shapes

There are of course other shapes of pacifier nipples than the round one. We offer both round, symmetrical and anatomical nipples.

The reason for this is that it is different from one baby to another what nipple shape they prefer. Babies have different sucking techniques, different mouth anatomy, and therefore different preferences when it comes to pacifiers.

The flat symmetrical nipple is for babies who may have difficulty holding the round pacifier inside the mouth. It is easily pressed flat up against the baby’s palate, and it is therefore easy for the child to keep in the mouth.

The anatomical nipple is curved at the top for a natural fit to the baby’s palate (like the round nipple) with an angled tip for easy tongue placement (like the flat symmetrical nipple). At the same time, the baby rolls its tongue more compared to the flat nipple, but less compared to the round nipple. It is a pacifier where the baby gets the effect of training its tongue, but to a lesser extent than with the round nipple.

What to choose?

If you are challenged with your breastfeeding, consider trying out a round nipple and see if it makes a difference. As mentioned, the round nipple exercises the baby's jaw and mouth muscles in the same way as when breastfeeding.

If your breastfeeding works well, do not worry about what pacifier shape your baby uses. Many children can easily distinguish and adapt to different sucking techniques depending on whether it is on a pacifier, on the mother's breast, or on a baby bottle.

Babies have different preferences, different sucking techniques, and different mouth anatomy. As parents, you can try to encourage your child to choose a particular pacifier, but in the end, it is an individual choice which type of pacifier your baby prefers.


About Kirsten

Kirsten Lise Andersen is a nurse and health visitor with her private nursing practice, ‘Working With Baby’. She has 15 years of experience working with children as a registered professional nurse, and she is the mother of four. Kirsten is our go-to advisor in everything health-related, as she has years of experience and the needed expertise to answer all our and your questions regarding babies
Tags: Pacifiers