Which pacifier is better — latex or silicone?
Pacifiers, as well as nipples, can be latex (yellowish) and silicone (transparent). Which one is better and safer for your child?
Latex nipples are soft but fragile, they need to be replaced every month. Latex is a natural material — caoutchouc. It has a slight characteristic taste and smell, that’s why some babies don’t like these nipples.
Usually, pediatricians recommend latex nipples for weak or preterm babies, as this material heats up in the mouth and becomes very similar to the mother’s breast. The main disadvantage of latex nipples is that latex contains protein molecules, which can lead to allergies. Dirt easily sticks to such pacifiers so it is harder to wash them. Do not buy latex nipples by unknown manufacturers and at a low price, because low-quality latex may contain different carcinogenic substances.
Latex nipples are short-lived. Even direct sunlight is dangerous for this material. Microscopic cracks quickly form on their surface because these pacifiers are very soft. If yellowish nipples turn into brownish — it’s time to change the pacifier. When the walls of the nipple stick while sucking it’s also a sign of deterioration or poor quality. If you notice these changes, stop using the nipples.
Latex nipple is not so slippery as a silicone one. Therefore, your baby will be less likely to lose it. As latex nipple is made of natural material, it quickly becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. There are cases of allergic reactions to these nipples. It is believed that a latex pacifier has less impact on the growth of the baby teeth.
Silicone is a durable material without smell and taste. Silicone nipples are harder than latex, they are not afraid of sunlight and do not change the taste of food. Silicone pacifiers can serve up to 3 months. You can boil them without fear of damage. However, it’s not difficult to crack a silicone pacifier. That is why they are recommended for babies who have no teeth yet.
The main advantage of silicone nipples is the absence of allergies to silicone in infants. In contrast to latex, silicone keeps shape well and retains elasticity long enough. It does not absorb odors and is easy to care for. Therefore, for healthy babies with well-developed sucking reflex silicone nipples are better. Silicone pacifiers can be often disinfected, but over time, they become harder and even start to crumble. Therefore, do not give silicone nipples to babies with teeth — as they can bite silicon through and choke.
General tips for choosing the material for nipples
If you combine breastfeeding with bottle-feeding, choose a silicone nipple as your baby has a well-developed sucking reflex.
Pediatricians do not recommend offering babies a latex soother first because after it, the baby is less likely to take a silicone one. Silicon nipples help your baby develop sucking reflex, which is useful. Satisfaction of the sucking reflex is very important for a baby. It has a positive effect on emotional and physical development, formation of a correct bite and speech development.
Buy 2 different pacifiers — latex and silicone. Let the baby choose the most suitable variant.