One of the most asked questions we get here at tongue-tie-support.com, is what pacifier to use on a tongue-tied baby and on a baby that has just undergone a tongue tie release.
That a baby is not able to use a pacifier is actually a common symptom of a tongue tie. The restricted movement of the tongue and the high palate makes generating suction an issue. This is what causes the inability to breastfeed successfully and what makes it hard for the baby to keep a sustained suck on the pacifier. It is therefore only natural, that most parents to babies that have been released, want to introduce the pacifier as soon as possible.
In this article we will explore the best pacifiers for tongue tied babies, because in our experience those are also the best pacifiers following the tongue tie release, as babies following the release often also experience difficulties using a pacifier, as they need to properly learn to use their newfound mobility in tongue and mouth.
How soon after the revision should you use a pacifier?
According to Dr. Ghaheri, the use of a pacifier can have a negative impact in two ways. The first is how the baby sucks. The motion of the tongue on the breast is different than the motion on a pacifier. Premature introduction of a pacifier in the presence of a tongue tie, especially following a tongue tie release, can affect the speedy return of a normal sucking motion on the breast. The second is the effect on the palate. When the tongue rests in the roof of the mouth, it molds the palate into a broad conformation. Breastfeeding is beneficial, because the breast is moldable, so the impact on the palate is beneficial. The pacifier is not moldable, so when it is pushed to the palate there is pressure in an upward motion, which pushes the palate upwards thus narrowing it.
Despise the abovementioned concerns with using a pacifier, there can be some real-world issues which makes it necessary to use a pacifier anyway. Maybe you want to take a shower, have a nap, eat lunch, or just have 5 minutes without someone attached to you! We totally understand this, and this is totally okay, as long as you don’t introduce the pacifier prematurely and try to use it only when needed.
So when should you introduce the pacifier? Well no sooner than when a normal sucking pattern has been established. At this point you can start introducing the pacifier sparingly.
What are the characteristics of a good pacifier for tongue tie babies before and after release?
When looking for a pacifier for your tongue-tied baby, it is important to find a pacifier which is easy to use and does not hurt or harm your baby. You should therefore prioritize the following characteristics in a pacifier:
- Free of BPA, harmful chemicals, and fragrance. This includes taste!
- Large shield guard with big holes to enable maximum air circulation, while also keeping the pacifier secure in the mouth. This also reduces the risk of swallowing the pacifier.
- Shaped nipple which fits your baby’s mouth, preferably orthodontic.
- As little palatal pressure as possible.
- Easy to clean, e.g. dishwasher safe.
- As few components as possible, preferable in one piece.
- For older babies, a glow in the dark pacifier will enable them to easily find it themselves.
- The pacifier needs to fit your babies age.
What is the best pacifier for tongue tied babies?
The first thing to keep in mind, is that the “best” pacifier is individual. Pacifiers are just as individual as lotion, teddies and everything else. The only one that can definitely decide what pacifier is best for your baby, is your baby.
So, without further ado, here are some of the best pacifiers for tongue tied babies, and for babies after the tongue tie revision.
- Offers infants the benefits that a pacifier provides including facilitation of self-regulation, supports organization and proprioceptive input
- Reported as an excellent pacifier for infants with craniofacial and
- structural anomalies such as cleft palate, highly vaulted palate, flaccid lingual tone, oro-motor dysfunction and ankyloglossia (tongue tie)
- Soft, suction-release bulb spreads wider as baby sucks for low pressure comfort
- Helps to lower the pressures inside the mouth that can create dental issues, such as cross bites
- Thin-stem design is minimally intrusive on baby’s mouth
- Dishwasher safe
- BPA free
- Pacifier and stuffed animal detach for easy cleaning
- Stuffed animal makes the pacifier easy for parents and babies to find
- Stuffed animal keeps the pacifier close to baby
- Stuffed animal has a second attachment point for pacifiers with ring handles
- BPA free
- 100% silicone design smoothly contours to baby’s face, preventing marks on their sensitive skin
- Orthodontic nipple shape is asymmetrical with a scooped bottom
- Heart-shaped shield fits perfectly under baby’s nose for easy breathing
- Pack of 3 100% silicone orthodontic pacifiers; size 0-6 months
- Bpa Free; Silicone nipples; top-rack dishwasher safe; easily clean pacifiers in microwave with new NUK reusable storage case
Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Night Time Newborn Baby Pacifier, Glow-in-The-Dark, BPA-Free, 0-6 Months, 2 Count (Colors May Vary)
- ASSORTED DESIGNS. Receive a set of two pink, orange, or blue pacifiers as shown in the images
- GLOW IN THE DARK HANDLE: Makes finding the pacifier in the middle of the night easier for parents and baby
- IDEAL FOR NEWBORNS & INFANTS: Pacifier shield and soft silicone nipple sized perfectly for babies 0-6 months. 97% mom recommended
- ACCEPTANCE GUARANTEED: Ideal for switching between breast, bottle, and soother. 83% of parents recalled that their babies accepted the first time
- ORTHODONTIC: Symmetrical nipple shape helps support baby’s natural oral development
- BABY-SAFE: Soother is free of BPA, BPS, and phthalates
Chicco PhysioForma 100% Soft Silicone One Piece Pacifier for Babies 0-6 Months, Clear, Orthodontic Nipple, BPA-Free, 2-Count in Sterilizing Case
- Actively supports baby’s breathing
- Clinically developed, tested, and approved in partnership with an advisory panel of leading neonatologists, pediatricians, and orthodontists
- Lateral curve of the nipple evenly distributes the tongue’s pressure against the palate
- Tiny ridges and inclined nipple shape guide proper tongue placement
- 100% silicone one-piece design with easy hold handle. BPA and LATEX Free
- Narrow base for extra flexibility and optimal lip closure. Supports development of palate and teeth
- Ventilation holes for air circulation help prevent the gathering of saliva
Our recommendation for the best pacifier for tongue tied children
As we stated earlier, the only one that can decide for sure what pacifier is best for your baby, is your baby. With respect for this, we still feel comfortable recommending all the above 5 pacifiers for tongue tied babies, both pre and post revision.
They all live up to all or most of our recommended characteristics for a great pacifier and are of course all safe to use for your baby.
If we were to recommend only one pacifier, it would be the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Night Time pacifier. This pacifier has been specifically made with an orthodontic nipple that comes with two differently shaped edges, to give you the freedom to choose the one most suitable for your baby. The nipple is also shaped to negatively impact suction and the palate as little as possible.
To find the pacifier best suited for you baby you might have to go through a few. While it can be a frustrating process, take it as a learning experience that you and your baby have together, and let the experience bond you instead of letting it create frustration.