Happy Baby, Happy Parents: Tips to Keep the Pacifier in the Mouth


Parenthood is a joyous experience, but it can also be stressful, especially for new parents who are trying to discover the best ways to keep their baby comfortable and happy. One item that many parents have found useful is the pacifier, which provides babies with a sense of security and comfort. However, keeping the pacifier in your baby’s mouth can be challenging. Here are some tips to help ensure you and your baby’s pacifier journey is a smooth one.

Factors that Affect Pacifier Retention

Before we get into the tips, let’s talk about some factors that affect pacifier retention. First, the age of your baby is crucial when it comes to pacifiers. Newborns tend to have a weaker sucking reflex, so they may have a harder time keeping the pacifier in their mouth. Older babies have a stronger sucking reflex and may find it easier to keep the pacifier in their mouth.

Another factor is the type and size of the pacifier. Some babies have a preference for certain brands or shapes, and it’s important to try different types of pacifiers to find the one that works best for your baby. Also, make sure the pacifier is appropriately sized for your baby’s age and mouth.

Finally, the position of the pacifier can affect its retention. Sometimes, placing the pacifier too far into your baby’s mouth can cause it to fall out. Make sure to position the pacifier correctly, with the nipple against your baby’s tongue and the shield resting against their lips.

Tips to Keep Pacifier in the Mouth

Now that we’ve covered some factors that affect pacifier retention, let’s dive into some tips that can help in keeping pacifiers in your baby’s mouth.

Choose the Right Pacifier

As mentioned earlier, finding the right pacifier for your baby is essential. Try different brands and shapes until you find the one your baby prefers. Look for pacifiers labeled as “newborn” or “0-3 months” for young babies and “3+ months” for older infants.

Help Baby Get Used to the Pacifier

If your baby is having trouble keeping the pacifier in their mouth, try helping them get used to it. Place the pacifier in your baby’s mouth when they’re calm and relaxed, and not when they’re crying or upset. Also, consider trying different positions like holding your baby and placing the pacifier in their mouth in the lying position.

Keep the Pacifier Clean

Clean the pacifier frequently to prevent the accumulation of germs and bacteria. Wash the pacifier with warm, soapy water and air dry it before giving it to your baby. Avoid cleaning it in the dishwasher or boiling it as it can damage the pacifier.

Use a Pacifier Clip

A pacifier clip will ensure your baby doesn’t lose or drop the pacifier. Attach it to your baby’s clothing or diaper, keeping the pacifier close to their mouth, where it’s easy for them to grab.

Use an Orthodontic Pacifier

If you’re concerned about your baby’s oral development, consider an orthodontic pacifier. These types of pacifiers are designed to support the natural development of a baby’s teeth, jaws, and palate.

Pacifier Safety Guidelines

It’s important to keep some safety guidelines in mind to ensure the pacifier is safe for your baby.

Proper Pacifier Cleaning Techniques

Clean the pacifier frequently with warm, soapy water and air dry it before using it. Avoid dipping it in sweeteners or foods as it can cause dental problems and the buildup of bacteria.

The Dangers of Pacifier Overuse

While pacifiers are beneficial, overusing them can lead to dental problems such as crooked teeth, incorrect jaw placement, or even ear infections. Try limiting pacifier use to nap time, bedtime or times of intense emotional distress.

When to Wean off the Pacifier

The American Dental Association recommends weaning off a pacifier between the ages of two and four. This ensures the child’s natural oral development is not hindered by long-term pacifier use.


A pacifier can be a useful tool for parents to soothe their fussy, crying baby. By following the tips and safety guidelines, parents can ensure their baby’s comfort and happiness while avoiding potential problems while using pacifiers. Try different types of pacifiers, keep them clean, and use them in moderation for the best results. Happy baby, happy parents!