The best dummies for breastfed babies and newborns

best dummies for breastfed babies and newborns

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

Finding the best dummy for your baby isn't an easy task and if you are breastfeeding your baby, you'll want it to be a suitable dummy for breastfed babies. While every baby finds comfort in different ways, suckling is a basic instinct for all newborn babies, both for feeding and comfort. That's why dummies provide a level of comfort for your baby.

Sometimes, babies can suffer from 'nipple confusion' as they struggle to switch from a dummy back to your nipple and vice-versa, so it's important to find a dummy similar to the texture of your nipples. That's why looking at the best dummies for breastfed babies is in their best interest as well as yours.

The best dummies for breastfed babies at a glance:

Best overall dummies for breastfed babies: MAM Comfort All-Silicone Soothers - Buy now on Amazon UK

Best dummies for breastfed babies for newborns: NUK Star Baby Dummy - Buy now on Amazon UK

Best hospital-grade silicone dummies for breastfed babies: Philips 2 Pack AVENT Soothie Pacifier - Buy now on Amazon UK

Best dummies for breastfed babies for sleeping: MAM Night Soothers 0+ Months - Buy now on Amazon UK

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. There are some that are compatible with dummy clips, whilst others are multipacks, so you'll always have one spare.

The best dummies for breastfed babies

Best overall dummies for breastfed babies

MAM comfort sootherRobyn Cann

The MAM Comfort All-Silicone Soothers were developed in collaboration with leading paediatricians, nurses and speech therapists, to make sure they’re helping your baby as much as possible. This dummy is extremely lightweight, and features an extra-small teat which helps to support natural sucking behaviour and promote healthy oral development; one mum tester commented: "Cannot recommend these dummies enough! My baby girl only has a small mouth and found all other sizes and shapes uncomfortable for her. These are absolutely brilliant!"

The dummies are made from a soft material that’s really gentle on baby's skin; they come in a convenient box that can be used for sterilising. They can be sterilised in three minutes in the microwave without the need for a separate steriliser. We find this extremely handy as you can easily sterilise them when you’re at someone else’s house, or if you just want to blast the dummies without doing a big batch of sterilising. 

We tested this dummy as part of the Mother&Baby Awards 2023, when it won Bronze for Best Product For A Newborn - 0-4 Months. 

Read our full MAM Comfort Soother review

Pros

  • Orthodontic teat supports natural sucking
  • Promotes healthy oral development
  • Comes with a carry box that can be used for sterilising 

Cons

  • Only two in a pack

Best dummies for breastfed babies for newborns

These NUK Medic Pro Star Newborn Soothers are designed for premature and newborn babies aged between 0-2 months; they’ve been developed in partnership with dental health experts, with a soft, flexible teat which reduces the pressure on baby's jaw and teeth, reducing the risk of teeth misalignment. The soft part at the top of the teat is meant to be even more comfortable against the baby’s palate than other dummies; one mum tester said: “I bought this dummy for my 4-month-old baby (who is breastfed) 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."

Like most dummies, these come with a carry case that can be used to sterilise them in the microwave.

Pros

  • Specifically designed for premature or newborn babies aged between 0-2 months
  • Soft surface moulds gently against the palate, giving the tongue plenty of space for natural sucking movements
  • Made from soft-flex silicone
  • BPA-free
  • Comes with a carry box that can be used for sterilising 

Cons

  • Teat may be too small for some

Best hospital-grade silicone dummies for breastfed babies

Philips 2 Pack AVENT Soothie Pacifier
Price: $6.42

These Philips AVENT Soothie dummies are ideal for breastfed babies. The orthodontic design supports natural palate development, and they're made from soft hospital-grade silicone. When it comes to cleaning, simply pop them in the dishwasher as they're dishwasher-friendly, or sterilise them as normal. The dummies are made from just one piece of silicone, meaning there’s no risk of parts breaking off. 

They’re designed to be easy to accept for breastfed babies, and one mum said: “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 baby's face either. My baby loves these dummies over any others, we've tried a couple of brands."

Note that this design is for babies aged over three months; some mums found them to be too hard for newborn babies, so always check the age range before you buy.

Pros

  • Made from hospital-grade silicone
  • Designed to respect the development of baby's teeth
  • Can be popped into the dishwasher

Cons

  • Not the cutest of designs
  • Suitable for babies aged over three months, not newborns 

Best dummies for breastfed babies for sleeping

MAM Night sootherRobyn Cann

These MAM Night soothers glow in the dark, meaning they’re ideal for finding in the middle of the night after the night feed, when you don’t want to turn on the big light to find that missing dummy. If you continue to use them as baby grows, they will eventually be able to find them in the dark themselves too - saving you getting up when it drops out; one mum tester said: “They have even been helpful in getting her used self-soothing to sleep. We also like their design; they look cute and are easy to clean.”

Each soother has a MAM SkinSoft silicone teat, accepted by 94 per cent of babies, and has been designed in collaboration with paediatricians, dentists and orthodontists to make sure your baby’s oral development is looked after. 

These dummies come with a carry box that can be used for sterilising in the microwave, which mums appreciate: “The two dummies came with a sterilising storage box, too, which was a handy extra! Would buy again!"

Read our full MAM Night Soothers 0+ Months review

Pros

  • They're great for healthy jaw and teeth development
  • They glow in the dark, making them easier to find at nighttime
  • 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

Cons

  • Design may vary

Best dummies for breastfed babies one-piece design

Nanobebe sootherImage: Amazon
Price: $4.49
Alternative retailers
Walmart$7.68View offer

These Nanobebe Baby Soothers are suitable from birth; they’re made from just one piece of silicone - like the Philips AVENT Soothie dummies above - meaning less risk of parts breaking or snapping off.

The design is clear, which does take some getting used to; some parents love this design, while others aren’t fans. The shape of the dummy means your baby’s nose will be clear while using it; one mum tester said: "We tried so many different pacifiers and finally tried this one. I have never heard of this brand before but it was part of our amazon baby box when we created the registry. I have repurchased these three times now because my daughter ONLY likes these and as everyone knows pacifiers always seem to mysteriously disappear. We will continue repurchasing these. The colours are cute too!"

They are available in a range of colours - all transparent - although some are often out of stock because they’re so popular.

Pros

  • Made from BPA-free and Phthalate-free silicone
  • Good for newborns and breastfeeding babies 
  • Made from super-soft silicone 
  • Designed to avoid blocking the nose

Cons

  • Not ideal for older babies (over 3 months)

Best ergonomic dummies for breastfed babies

The Chicco Soft Ergonomic Silicone dummy is soft and supple, meaning your baby will be comfortable sucking these even while sleeping.

The orthodontic teat helps to promote proper oral development - it distributes pressure on the palate evenly, and helps baby to position their tongue correctly. Again, like many dummies we’ve tested, they’re made from just one piece of silicone, meaning less chance of pieces breaking off; one mum said: “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!"

The handle on these dummies is easy to hook a finger through - great for grabbing when baby drops them out of the pram; the handle is also easy for baby to hold on to once their dexterity develops.

Pros

  • These dummies are best for babies over three months
  • Made from super-soft silicone
  • Useful large handle 
  • Ergonomically shaped with ventilation holes

Cons

  • Quite large in size

Best BIBS dummies for breastfed babies

Bibs BohemeLorna White
Price: $15.95

BIBS dummies are extremely popular worldwide, and the BIBS Boheme GLOW has the same high quality as the original BIBS pacifiers but with an added practical glow-in-the-dark feature. Just like the MAM Night Soothers, this means they’re easy to find in the dark after the night feed, or if they drop out of baby’s mouth while they’re asleep; one mum tester said: "I absolutely love these BIBS dummies. My six-month-old baby cannot get enough of them. He has now learned to use the ring to put the dummy back in himself. Having three boys under four means I have gone through my fair share of dummies. But I have never seen such an effective and bright glow-in-the-dark dummy. This is a savour in the middle of the night when you can barely see through sleep-deprived eyes."

If the glow wears off, you simply have to hold the dummy up to a light, or the sun, for about five or ten seconds to recharge. 

The design of these dummies is cute, in a flower-type shape, and they’re made from natural rubber latex - a change to most dummies, which are made from silicone primarily these days. However, some mums have reported that water can seep into the cracks after being washed or sterilised - one downside to not being made from one piece.

Pros

  • Round nipple that’s easy for baby to accept 
  • Made from natural rubber latex
  • Recommended by midwives to support natural breastfeeding
  • The shield is made of 100 per cent food-safe material
  • Glow-in-the-dark making nighttimes easier 

Cons

  • Water can seep in when being washed

Best flexible dummies for breastfed babies

Nanobebe flexy sootherLorna White
Price: $4.49
Alternative retailers
Walmart$7.68View offer

nanobébé's Flexy Soother is a lightweight dummy made from an extra-soft silicone. The ergonomic shape is meant to make it less likely to slip out of baby’s mouth; these dummies are available in two sizes: for younger babies aged 0-3 months, and for 3 months+.

It's BPA-free, making them super safe for babies; one mum tester said: "We tried a few dummies, but luckily we tried these early on due to the fantastic reviews, otherwise, we may have abandoned altogether. A lot of dummies claim to mimic the nipple but obviously don't because they end up making your child gag or they just don't like them, this though my baby loves and is a lifesaver!"

Pros

  • Suitable for newborns, with older variations available for 3+ months 
  • BPA and Phthalate free
  • Ergonomic shape to stop soother from slipping out of their mouth
  • Extra-soft teat

Cons

  • Some parents find them heavy

Best glow-in-the-dark dummies for breastfed babies

Another glow-in-the-dark dummy that helps parents find them in the middle of the night, these NUK designs also feature cute fox and ladybird characters for even more charm. The teat is designed to mimic the nipple, so they’re brilliant for breastfed babies who need soothing. The design is also meant to help your baby’s oral development with its unique shape; one mum commented: "Who knew babies could be so fussy, my little one refuses all dummy shapes apart from this 'spoon' shape.”

The dummies come with a carry box that can be used to sterilise them in the microwave; our mum tester said: “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 into a bag.” 

The ergonomic shape is designed to relieve pressure on your baby’s face; one mum tester said: “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!"

These dummies are available in three sizes; for babies aged 0-6 months, 6-18 months, and 18 months onwards; this is a great benefit to keep the consistency of a dummy your baby has grown used to.

Pros

  • Extra-large air openings maximise circulation, allowing skin to breathe so perfect for sensitive baby skin
  • Glow-in-the-dark for easy finding at nighttime 
  • Promotes the healthy development of teeth and jaw by exercising baby's lips, tongue and facial muscles
  • Modelled on a mother's nipple while breastfeeding for a natural, satisfying feel

Cons

  • Some parents found them difficult to sterilise

Best ultra-light dummies for breastfed babies

Tommee Tippee Ultra light soft silicone dummiesRobyn Cann

This dummy is made from ultra-light silicone, and is meant to protect your baby’s oral development, keeping the tongue and jaw in the correct position. 

The design won’t appeal to all parents, as it is a different shape to most traditional dummies, but some love the design: one mum tester said: "As weird as these dummies look (and they do look really weird), they are our daughter's 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."

We tested these dummies as part of the Mother&Baby Awards 2021, where they were shortlisted as Best Product For A Newborn - 0-4 Months. 

Read our full Tommee Tippee Ultra-light Silicone Soother review

Pros

  • Made from 100 per cent food-grade silicone and BPA-free
  • Light enough to stay put in the littlest mouths and suitable for newborns
  • Inspired by the shape of Tommee Tippee's award-winning breast-like bottle teats
  • It's super-soft

Cons

  • May be too large for some babies
  • Design won’t appeal to all parents 

Best designed dummies for breastfed babies

BIBS try it collectionLorna White
Price: $27.95
Alternative retailers
Target$27.99View offer

BIBS dummies have been parents’ favourites for years, and this pack gives you a range of four different styles for your baby to try. This is great if you like a range of options, but might be considered a waste if your baby only likes one of them. 

This pack features two rubber dummies and two silicone - so it’s worth trying to see which one suits your baby best; there are two round teats, one symmetrical and one anatomical teat. It’s helpful to buy this kit and get all four to choose from, rather than having to buy a variety of different ones at different times; one mum tester said: “Ordered this set to try out different shapes of soothers as I knew from my first child how difficult it can be to find the right fit for each individual baby. This was great as it comes with different shapes and textures, which can make a huge difference."

Pros

  • Pack of four different designs to help find one that suits your baby 
  • BPA Free
  • Two silicone, two rubber designs 
  • Size 1 suitable from birth to six months

Cons

  • If baby only likes one dummy, others are a waste

Choosing the right dummy for you and your baby

Whether you're looking for the best dummies for colic, reflux or premature babies, there are a few things to look for, particularly with dummies for newborns. The dummies need to be made of latex and be BPA- and phthalate-free. It is also important that they are sized and shaped for your baby's mouth - always check the advised age range. Your baby's nose should be clear. Lastly, dummies should 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.

When shopping for your baby's dummy, consider the following:

Materials – most dummies have a silicone teat with plastic handle but others can be made with a latex teat. While latex is softer, it probably won't last as long.

Age range – Make sure the dummy you buy is suitable for your baby's age range. They often start at 0-6 months, 6-18 months and 18 months plus.

Teat shape – We'd recommend opting for an orthopaedic dummy which is flatter in shape rather than a cherry-shaped rounded dummy while your baby is breastfeeding. This is because the orthopaedic teats are designed to encourage your baby to suck in the same way they would when breastfeeding.

Ease of cleaning – Most dummies clean easily with washing up liquid and warm water. For younger babies, we'd also recommend sterilising them too after cleaning.

Ventilation holes – To prevent suffocation, it's essential for your baby's dummy to have two or more ventilation holes on the shield.

Should you use a dummy for breastfed babies? Is it safe?

It's safe to give your baby a dummy. 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.

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 on whilst breastfeeding.

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

Are dummies good or bad for babies? What about their teeth?

Dummies are not bad for babies and how long you allow your child to have a dummy for really does depend on your baby and your personal preference as a parent.

It is important however to be aware of the potential implications of long-term dummy use on your baby. It's advised that your baby should give up their dummy once their teeth start growing through as it can lead to incorrect positioning of the teeth and also problems with speech development.

How do you clean a dummy?

Dummies are very easy to clean, and if you happen to drop it or get it dirty, it can wash easily in washing up liquid and warm water.

During the first six months of your baby's life, while they're still building their immune system, you should sterilise your baby's dummy every day which is why it's worth making sure you have a few before baby is born. Brand new dummies should also be sterilised before use to get rid of any germs.

Can you use a dummy over night?

According to the Lullaby Trust, the use of a dummy during sleep can help prevent SIDS, so it's definitely okay to offer your baby a dummy while they sleep at night.

If you notice their dummy falls out in the night, don't worry about putting it back in. Equally, if your baby is refusing to accept a dummy, that's also okay. Some babies simply do not like a dummy.

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.

Her main advice is to remove your nipple from baby's mouth once you can feel them slowing down at the end of their feed and quickly popping a dummy in while they're drifting off to sleep. Hold baby for a bit in your usual breastfeeding position until they calm down. Then you can put them back in their cot or moses basket for a nap.

Georgia Aspinall is senior features writer at Grazia UK, formerly at The Debrief. She covers news and features across women's health and fitness, sex and relationships, real-life stories, travel and politics.

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