Dummies are a very useful and effective tool for settling babies, particularly in the early newborn days when the sucking reflex is strong and calms them down.
However, breastfeeding mums face a new challenge in finding dummies that are most like their breasts to prevent nipple confusion. This article is a recommendation of the most breastfeeding-friendly dummies, based on customer reviews as well as costs.
I also cover some of the most common questions regarding using dummies for breastfed babies.
Can baby sleep with a dummy?
Yes, it is safe for newborns to have a dummy at night, but only if you are following safe sleep baby guidelines. Additionally, ensure you are using the appropriately sized dummy for baby’s age for a better fit and to prevent choking.
Using the dummy is an effective way to settle newborns to sleep and extend their feeding period overnight, encouraging them to sleep longer without needing to feed.
However, it is advisable to introduce the dummy well after establishing breastfeeding (approximately 4-6 weeks postpartum) so that your milk supply does not get affected.
How to choose a dummy for baby
Most dummies these days are designed to feel as natural to a baby as possible to avoid nipple confusion. However, every baby is different and they have individual preferences. What works for one baby might not work for another, so choosing the best dummy for your breastfed baby requires some trial and error to find one that she will happily accept.
Some factors to consider when choosing a dummy for your newborn:
Most dummies are made with BPA free plastic and silicone, but there are also dummies made from natural rubber.
100% food-grade silicone and rubber dummies tend to require replacing every three months, or when signs of wear and tear first appear. They are also more expensive than those with plastic parts.
One-piece constructions are inline with the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for safe newborn products. Being made from a single piece of material, they don’t require any sealant or glue to hold pieces together.
They are also easier to clean and sterilise, and you don’t need to worry about grime or mould getting into joints.
If you’re only planning to use the dummy to settle baby to sleep, and only for the short term, cost may not be an issue as you will likely only need two – one for home, and one for when you’re out-and-about.
But if your baby is needing the dummy for playtime and extended periods of time well beyond the newborn phase, misplacing and losing dummies will become a common occurrence, requiring you to buy and replace them more frequently. Costs will quickly add up in this case.
Cost comparisons of popular newborn dummies
This is a quick cost comparison table of the most popular and well-received dummies by local Australian mums. Below the table, I go into more details on each of the product.
Prices checked on 8 May 2020.
|Brand||Materials||Price per piece (1)||Source|
Chicco Physio Comfort Soother 0-6M
|Plastic & silicone||$6.48||Baby Bunting – Buy Now|
Jollypop Newborn Dummy
|Silicone||$4.42||Amazon AU – Buy Now|
Philips Avent Bear Soothie 0-3M
|Silicone||$5.98||Pharmacy Online – Buy Now|
|MAM Dummy||Plastic & silicone||$5.50||Amazon AU – Buy Now|
|NUK Genius Silicone Soother 0-2M||Natural rubber||$6.00||Mighty Ape – Buy Now|
|Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Newborn Soother 0-2M||Polypropylene & silicone||$4.98||Pharmacy Online – Buy Now|
|Gumdrops Newborn Dummy||Silicone||$8.18||Amazon AU – Buy Now|
Best dummies for a breastfed baby
1. Chicco Physio Comfort Soother 0-6M [Editor’s Choice]
- One-piece construction, 100% medical grade silicone
- 90% acceptance rate by babies
- Unique teat design exclusive to Chicco that supports baby’s natural physiological breathing
- Soft, thin base to allow baby’s mouth to close naturally and easily
- Air vents on the shield to reduce the collection of saliva
Given that the Chicco Soother ($6.48 per piece) is suitable for 0-6m, and the Jollypop Newborn Dummy ($5.98) is for 0-3m, the Chicco Soother is a better value for money considering you can use it for longer.
So even though Jollypop claims to be the most widely used dummy in hospitals, I would give my vote to the Chicco Soother because design-wise they are almost identical, and they both have 100% 5-star ratings on ProductReview, but economically speaking Chicco Soother comes out as more affordable.
2. Jollypop Newborn Dummy [Hospitals’ Choice]
- One-piece construction
- USA made and designed
- Most widely used dummy in US and Australian hospitals
- Medical grade silicone
- Lightweight and flexible
- Two-tone colours
Designed and made by Sandbox Medical, Jollypop is a top-selling pacifier for hospital nurseries and NICUs around the world.
Jollypop recommends replacing the dummy every three months to maintain hygiene and safety standards. They are available as a 6 piece value pack on Amazon AU, it ships directly from the US.
Even with international shipping, the cost per piece works out to be cheaper than buying it elsewhere.
3. Philips Avent Bear Soothie 0-3M [People’s Choice]
- One-piece medical-grade silicone
- Orthodontic design for the natural development of teeth and gums
- A flexible shield that is comfortable against baby’s face
- BPA free
I did a survey on Blissful Maternity Instagram when I was doing research for this article, asking for recommendations from my 1.8k followers for best dummies for breastfeeding newborns. The Avent Soothie was by far the most popular answer.
Online reviews and customer feedback may be sparse for this particular dummy, but I am a firm believer in personal recommendations. So considering its affordable price and the fact that this is the highest voted dummy by real mums in Australia, I have enough confidence to place it high on the list.
4. MAM Dummy
- Night soothers – buttons are glow-in-the-dark
- Orthodontic teat for baby’s jaw and teeth development.
- Extra thin and flexible teat neck
- Easy to grasp knob
The MAM dummy is also a brand that has perfect 5-star rating on ProductReview. It is a European brand that’s not easily available in Australia, but has received great feedback from those who did manage to get it.
The places I’ve found that stock MAM dummies are:
- The MAM official website – Shipping from overseas, delivery cost may be expensive
- eBay – The most expensive option
- Amazon AU – The cheapest option, but they only have these glow-in-the-dark dummy available for 0-4m.
- BabyNest – Not cheap, cost is comparable to the official MAM website
- Comes in a reusable, transparent storage case
- One-piece design
- No parabens, PVC, Phthalates
- Larger shield touches the baby’s nose, providing closer simulation to breastfeeding
- Made with 100% sustainable, natural rubber from the tree Hevea brasiliensis
- Easy sterilisation
- Made to European and Australian standards
The Rubber Soother (Round) by Natural comes in two teat shapes – the round soother is recommended for breastfed babies as it mimics the shape of nipples and prevents nipple confusion, while the orthodontic shaped soother is for babies who are already familiar and accustomed to this type of shape.
For parents who want to an affordable eco option, this dummy would be my top pick as opposed to the more popular Hevea Natural Rubber Soother as it’s cheaper but made from the same hevea plant.
- Orthodontic design optimised and developed with dental experts
- Soft and flexible baglet to reduce pressure on the baby’s mouth and jaw
- Teat shape mimics mum’s nipple
- Air vents on the baglet
Nuk has a wide range of soothers, but the NUK Genius Soother is different in that it was developed with an orthodontic practitioner and has an improved shape design that’s more comfortable for baby’s jaw.
The Genius soother is also available with a latex teat instead of silicone. Latex is softer and more flexible than silicone, so some babies prefer it (See more differences between latex and silicone).
- Specifically designed for small newborn mouths
- 25% higher acceptance rate by newborns, as compared to the old-style Tommee Tippee design
As the cheapest brand on the list, Tommee Tippee is a well-known brand in Australia, easily available in major supermarkets and pharmacies across the country. If you’re only just starting to try out different dummies with baby, this is a dummy that serves as a good starting point, given its low cost.
That said, although there are success stories with it, the Tommee Tippee range of dummies have relatively low customer ratings as compared to the other brands on this list.
- Most widely distributed dummy in hospitals worldwide
- Developed by US company The First Years
- One-piece latex-free silicone design
Is it a coincidence that it is so similar to the Jollypop Dummy in design? Both are produced in the US, and both are highly popular in hospitals both locally and internationally. Am I suggesting a monopoly on the market? Probably, but I have no evidence, merely an observation and speculation.
All I’m trying to say is, sometimes it’s worth considering whether a dummy is just a result of hype and great marketing, or truly worth spending the big bucks.