Can Newborns Safely Use Pacifiers While Sleeping?

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the question that plagues many new parents: Can newborns sleep with a pacifier? As a parent, ensuring your baby’s safety and well-being is paramount. Pacifiers can be a source of comfort and relief, but they also come with their own set of concerns. In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the safety and benefits of pacifier use during newborn sleep and provide you with expert advice and practical tips. Let’s explore this important topic together.

The Safety of Pacifiers for Newborns

Here are some myths and concerns regarding pacifiers for newborns:

Myth 1: Risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)

One common concern is whether pacifier use increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The truth is, that research has shown that pacifiers can actually reduce the risk of SIDS. While the exact reason isn’t fully understood, using a pacifier during naps and bedtime seems to have a protective effect.

Myth 2: Nipple Confusion

Another worry is that pacifiers may cause nipple confusion in breastfeeding babies. However, most experts agree that introducing a pacifier after breastfeeding is well-established (usually around one month old) is unlikely to cause confusion.

Myth 3: Dental Health

Concerns about dental health often arise when discussing pacifiers. The key here is moderation. Prolonged pacifier use beyond the age of two can lead to dental issues, but using a pacifier in moderation during the first year should not cause problems.

newborns sleep pacifier

Benefits of Using Pacifiers During Newborn Sleep

Can newborns sleep with a pacifier? The answer: yes, giving pacifiers to a sleeping newborn is perfectly fine! Here are some benefits that you can derive from doing so:

Comfort and Soothing

Pacifiers are known for their soothing properties. They provide comfort and help babies self-soothe, which can make bedtime and naps more peaceful for both baby and parents. Using baby sleep sacks could also give more comfort to your sleeping baby.

Reduced SIDS Risk

As mentioned earlier, pacifiers can reduce the risk of SIDS. It’s a simple yet effective way to provide an added layer of protection for your little one while they sleep.

Sleep Association and Self-Soothing

Pacifiers can become a sleep association for babies. When they learn to associate the pacifier with sleep, it can help them fall asleep more easily and even learn to self-soothe when they wake up briefly during the night.

Safe Sleeping Practices with Pacifiers

While it’s perfectly fine to give pacifiers to sleeping newborns, ensuring their safety during sleep is of utmost importance. Here are some crucial safe sleeping practices to follow:

  1. Always Place Your Baby on Their Back to Sleep: The safest sleeping position for infants is on their back. This position reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  2. Don’t Attach the Pacifier to Anything: While it may be tempting to attach the pacifier to a string or clip for convenience, it can pose a choking hazard to your baby. Instead, simply offer the pacifier as needed without any attachments.
  3. Check for Pacifier Falls: Babies can lose their pacifiers during sleep. To ensure a peaceful night’s rest, make sure there’s always a spare pacifier within arm’s reach. This prevents any unnecessary disturbances during sleep time.
  4. Monitor Pacifier Condition: Regularly inspect the pacifier for any signs of wear and tear. If you notice cracks, holes, or other damage, replace it immediately to prevent choking hazards.
  5. Choose the Right Pacifier: Selecting the appropriate pacifier is essential. Look for pacifiers that are one-piece, which reduces the risk of breakage. Additionally, ensure that the pacifier is BPA-free to protect your baby from harmful chemicals.
  6. Adequate Pacifier Size: Different pacifiers are designed for various age groups. Choose a pacifier that matches your baby’s age to ensure a secure and comfortable fit.
  7. Regular Cleaning and Maintenance: Maintain good hygiene by cleaning the pacifier regularly. Simply wash it with mild soap and warm water. Avoid the common practice of “cleaning” the pacifier by putting it in your mouth, as this can transfer harmful bacteria to your baby.

By adhering to these safe sleeping practices, you can confidently incorporate pacifiers into your newborn’s sleep routine while prioritizing their safety and well-being. Remember that these guidelines work in tandem with the numerous benefits pacifiers can provide during sleep, such as soothing and reduced SIDS risk. While the answer to the question “can newborns sleep with a pacifier” is yes, always consult with your pediatrician for personalized advice to ensure your baby’s specific needs are met.

When and How to Introduce a Pacifier to a Newborn

Pacifiers are baby-caring tools. Like most tools, they have a proper way and time to use. Make sure to follow the following guidelines before introducing pacifiers to your bundle of joy.

Age Considerations

Experts recommend waiting until breastfeeding is established before introducing a pacifier, usually around one month of age. This ensures that the baby doesn’t experience nipple confusion.

newborn pacifier

Step-by-Step Guide to Introducing a Pacifier

  1. Select the Right Pacifier: Opt for a one-piece design to minimize choking hazards. Make sure it’s BPA-free.
  2. Choose the Right Moment: Offer the pacifier when your baby is calm and not overly hungry. This increases the chances of acceptance.
  3. Hold it Properly: Hold the pacifier gently against the baby’s lips, allowing them to accept it at their own pace.
  4. Be Patient: Not all babies take to pacifiers immediately. It may take a few tries.
  5. Don’t Force It: If your baby consistently rejects the pacifier, don’t push it. Not all babies find comfort in pacifiers, and that’s okay.

Addressing Common Concerns and Questions

Addressing Nipple Confusion

If you’re concerned about nipple confusion, wait until breastfeeding is established before introducing a pacifier. Most babies can switch between breast and pacifier without any confusion.

Impact on Breastfeeding

As mentioned earlier, introducing a pacifier after breastfeeding is well-established is less likely to interfere with breastfeeding. Trust your instincts, and if you notice any issues, consult a lactation consultant or pediatrician.

Pacifier Dependency and Weaning

Worried about your baby becoming too dependent on the pacifier? It’s natural for them to seek comfort, but as your baby grows, you can gradually reduce pacifier use. Experts suggest weaning from the pacifier around the age of one to two years.


In conclusion, the question “Can newborns sleep with a pacifier?” has a clear answer: yes, they can, and it comes with several benefits, including soothing and reduced SIDS risk. However, it’s essential to introduce pacifiers at the right time, follow safe sleeping practices, and monitor your baby’s development. Always consult your pediatrician for personalized advice, and trust your instincts as a parent.

  • Danice Naiya

    Dr. Danice Naiya, a dedicated pediatrician with 5 years of experience, is a proud parent herself. Graduating from St. Catherine Medical College, she now resides in Maplewood. Apart from her role as a caring pediatrician, she shares her wisdom on parenting through her contributions to With her passion for writing and educating parents, she's a reliable source of guidance for families on their parenting journey.