After weighing up the pros and cons, many parents choose to give their baby a pacifier. For some the decision to give their baby a pacifier is difficult and others do not think twice.
When you do decide to give your baby a pacifier there is, however, one common question, “How many pacifiers do I need?” We are here to help you out and explain what types of pacifiers you may need and how many.
You will need a minimum of 2 pacifiers for your baby so that you can alternate throughout the day if one gets dirty and you cannot clean immediately.
If you are expecting a baby and you are deciding whether you want to give your baby a pacifier you will want to consider the below benefits:
- Better sleep
- Lowered risk of SIDS—by up to 50%
- Satisfied suckling reflex
While these benefits may appeal to many parents it is totally ok for those who do not want their baby to have a pacifier. There are, of course, downsides to giving your baby a pacifier including having to put it back in their mouth at night and the struggle to wean them off it.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. The links below may be affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.
Preparing to Buy Pacifiers
If you decide to use pacifiers you will want to add them to your list of baby items to buy, but you may be questioning yourself as to how many to buy. As a general rule, you will need a minimum of 2-3 pacifiers so that you always have a spare.
No matter how much you try to keep the pacifier in your baby’s mouth it will fall out from time to time, sometimes quite a lot in the early days. You may want to buy more than 3 if you find that your baby spits their pacifier out a lot or you are regularly out of the house for long periods.
You can keep the extra pacifies in your diaper bag if you are out and about or in a safe space at home. You should also think about buying pacifiers to leave at family members’ houses or nurseries if you are going to be spending time away from your baby.
You can see how quickly the number of pacifiers adds up but if you want to keep your baby happy and germ-free it is worth the investment.
Can I put Pacifiers on my Gift Registry?
If you are wondering if it is acceptable to put pacifiers on your gift registry the answer is yes. Having a gift registry means that you can prepare yourself for everything that you think you will need for when your baby arrives, big or small.
That means that pacifiers can be added to your registry.
When adding pacifiers you should follow the guidance above to buy at least 2-3 pacifiers but you can take the opportunity to add more as some people may want to make up a hamper of smaller items and the cost of a pacifier is not a great deal to add on to the other gift that they choose to buy.
There are different types of pacifiers to buy so you may want to stipulate which type on your registry and take the opportunity to have different types of pacifiers so that you can experiment with what one works best for your baby.
Alternatively, you may want to just ask for a gift card for a store that sells different types of pacifiers so that you can check for yourself.
How Many Pacifiers are too Many?
While at least 2-3 pacifiers are advisable, it is always best to be prepared and you may want to buy more than the minimum. That said, you don’t want to overdo it and buy lots of pacifiers only to find that they do not take to one.
Some babies just don’t like having a pacifier so you may waste money. Additionally, you may find that your baby only likes a certain type of pacifier, so, again, money may be wasted.
If you are unsure you can buy a couple of different types of pacifiers and then use a gift card from your registry to buy the one that your baby seems to prefer. You may also find that your baby will only like a certain brand of pacifier even if it is the same style in a different brand.
Again, for this reason, you should hang fire on buying dozens of pacifiers until you know which your baby prefers.
What Type of Pacifier Should I Buy?
When it comes to deciding on what type of pacifier to buy, you will need to take into account how many different types of pacifiers you want to try.
If you thought that there was only one type of pacifier you may be surprised to know that there are differently shaped nipples on pacifiers. Many people believe bigger pacifiers to be better as they allow for easier suction but some babies may struggle with a bigger pacifier.
Generally, you should consider the following factors when deciding what types of pacifiers and how many of each you should buy:
When you begin looking for pacifiers you will see that they are sold by age, most likely 0-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months, and 18+ months. Buying the right size pacifier will bring optimum success if you want your baby to feel comfortable using one.
The wrong size pacifier will not only feel uncomfortable for your baby but it may be a choking hazard. Be careful not to buy the same pacifier in every size as your baby may not take to it so the next size up may be wasted.
Pacifiers are available in different designs and shapes, mostly round or orthodontic. The round has a circle-shaped nipple and the orthodontics are shaped to fit the mouth so are less likely to fall out of your baby’s mouth.
You can also get pacifiers in one piece rather than a separate nipple and shield (which can be more of a choking hazard if the two pieces become detached from one another.
Pacifiers can be made using rubber, silicone, and latex to offer a different feeling for your baby. You should not buy too many latex pacifiers as your child may have an allergy.
Good ventilation is essential when buying pacifiers. You will notice holes in the pacifier that allow air to flow through it—a larger shield also helps with this.
Scented or Unscented
Some parents swear by scented pacifiers that help calm their babies and make them feel more soothing, however, some babies may be put off by too strong of a smell.
You will find that as soon as you begin to try different pacifiers for your baby that they will have a preference from the start.
Taking into account all of the above factors you can then decide on how many varieties of pacifiers you want your baby to try and just buy one of each rather than multiples of the one that you think your baby will like.
Sterilizing pacifiers is essential for your baby’s safety which is why it is always best that you have at least 2 pacifiers. If you have a spare pacifier then you can give that one to your baby if they drop the one they are using without waiting for you to sterilize it.
Your elders may tell you that a quick rinse under the tap will work but full sterilization will ensure full safety.
If you are at home and you know that you do not have any spare pacifiers you can always keep a boiling pot on the stove when you are trying the pacifier for the first time as your baby will spit it out often. All pacifiers must be fully sterilized before the first use too.
When you have adequate ways to sterilize opacifiers quickly you can reduce the number that you buy.
How Long do Pacifiers Last?
It is advised by both the AAP and the AAFP that your baby should not use a pacifier after they reach 1 year.
Using pacifiers after this time can lead to dental issues and ear infections. Some parents allow their babies to use pacifiers after 1 year as it is comforting and too distressing to wean them off it at a young age.
This may not cause too many problems but you should not encourage a pacifier after the age of 3.
While there is no definite number of pacifiers that should be bought for your baby you should buy a minimum of two so that you have a spare but 3 is advisable. If you are unsure about what type of pacifier your baby will like then investigate the options and the ones that appear the most you can buy.
Again, we advise keeping the numbers low on the types of pacifiers you buy as you don’t want to end up with 10 pacifiers that your baby will not take to. You can buy pacifiers as you go along or ask for a variety via your gift registry so that you are never without.