Exploring the World of Pacifier Nipple Shapes

Choosing the perfect pacifier for your little one can be a daunting task. There are so many options available from material to mouth guard design to nipple shape. How do you choose?

To make it even harder, every baby likes different things! Maybe your mom friends swear by a round pacifier nipple shape, but your child turns it away. Maybe your first baby loved an anatomical nipple, but your newest baby spits it out every time you try to offer it.

When trying to find a pacifier your child likes, nipple shape and material are great places to start. If you want to learn more about silicone vs rubber, check out our post about it! Here, we’ll tell you about the pros and cons of different nipple shapes.     

The Basics of Pacifier Nipple Shapes

Before we go into detail, let’s understand the basic types available:

  • Orthodontic Nipples: Also often referred to as an anatomical nipple, these nipples are rounded on the top and flat on the bottom. They’re designed to minimize the orthodontic risks associated with other pacifier shapes like misaligned teeth. They also mimic the shape of the breast.
  • Round Nipple: Also referred to as a cherry shape, these pacis are cylindrical with a round bulb at the end. This shape encourages proper tongue cupping around a nipple.
  • Cylindrical Nipple: This nipple shape has a hot dog shaped nipple. They tend to have a flared base and, like the round shape, promote proper tongue cupping.

Now that we understand the basic types, let’s explore deeper!

Orthodontic Pacifiers

itzy ritzy orthodontic nipple shape

Orthodontic nipples promote proper oral development. The flattened side of the nipple rests against the baby’s tongue. This encourages the tongue to rest in a position that benefits the natural development of the palate and jaw. 

The anatomic shape helps alleviate pressure on gums and developing teeth and encourages a natural sucking motion. This helps your child avoid issues like an open bite, overbite, or crossbite. 

You can introduce an orthodontic or anatomical pacifier from birth. The natural shape helps prevent nipple confusion, a common fear when breastfeeding.

It’s beneficial to consider an orthodontic pacifier by six months of age or when baby teeth start to come in. Any prolonged pacifier use has the chance to result in orthodontic issues, though, so aim to wean off by three years of age at the latest.

Cherry-Shaped Nipples

bibs pacifiers cherry shaped nipples

Cherry-shaped pacifiers feature a rounded, bulbous tip that closely resembles the shape of a mother’s breast. These nipples have a more traditional feel that may be preferred by babies who have difficulty latching onto orthodontic nipples. 

While sucking on these pacis, your baby’s tongue is encouraged to cup the nipple similarly to the breast. If they prefer a fuller, rounder shape in their mouth, then these binkies will be a good fit.

Cylindrical Nipples

example of cylindrical nipple shape

This shape shares many benefits with the cherry shape. Cylinder nipple shapes also promote proper tongue position for suckling. Uniquely, these nipples often widen at the base, which allows your baby’s lips to rest in a slightly open position.

If you’re breastfeeding, you might consider starting with this option. If your baby rejects this shape, you can move on to a cherry shape.

Finding the Perfect Pacifier for Your Baby

It’s essential to consider your baby’s individual preferences when choosing a pacifier. Some babies prefer the gentle contours of an orthodontic nipple, but others may find comfort in the roundness of the cherry-shaped nipple. Experiment with different shapes to find one that works before for your baby!

Understanding the nuances of each shape can help you make an informed decision. At the end of the day, your little one’s comfort is the most important factor. No matter the shape you choose, a comfortable and happy little one makes for a happy family.

Always utilize pacifiers within age recommendations and wean at the appropriate time for your family. With patience, experimentation, and a bit of trial and error, you’ll find the binky that brings joy to your little one!

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