Which Pacifier Nipple Shape is Best?

When selecting a pacifier for your baby, it's not just the material that matters; the shape and size of the nipple also play a significant role in ensuring your baby's comfort and oral development. Every child has their own preference and there is no size or shape that fits all. Babies have different sucking techniques, and mouth anatomy.

It is necessary to try out different shapes and sizes to find the perfect fit for your child. Do note that the shield of all pacifiers on our website come in one size, no matter the difference in nipple size. Read our Size Guide to find out the difference in our pacifier sizes.

Round (Cherry) Nipple

 The Ugly Duckling FRIGG Fairytale Natural Rubber Latex Pacifiers | Personalised by FRIGG sold by JBørn Baby Products Shop

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Round, or cherry, nipple pacifiers have a bulbous shape that closely mimics the mother's breast. The round nipple promotes a similar tongue placement and sucking technique when breastfeeding, since the round shape allows the sides of the tongue to elevate and cup around the nipple. This design can be particularly comforting for newborns and breastfed babies, providing a familiar and natural feel.


Symmetrical Nipple

Blossom BIBS Infinity Symmetrical Silicone Pacifiers | Personalised by BIBS sold by JBørn Baby Products Shop

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The tip of the pacifier features a symmetrical flat-drop shape to accommodate babies who prefer the flat symmetrical nipple shape. The drop-shaped nipple promotes a tongue placement and sucking technique where the tongue is flat and presses the pacifier flat against the palate. The baby does not need to suck as hard, as with a round nipple, for the pacifier to flatten inside the mouth. The shield and nipple are symmetrical, which means that the pacifier always lies correctly in your baby’s mouth. Also, the shield is carefully designed with large holes on each side to ensure minimum contact with the sensitive and delicate skin around the baby’s mouth, which means less chance of moisture build-up from saliva that can cause rashes and sore spots.

Anatomical Nipple Pacifiers

Baby Blue BIBS Colour Anatomical Natural Rubber Latex Pacifier | Personalised by BIBS sold by JBørn Baby Products Shop

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Anatomical, or orthodontic, nipple pacifiers have a flattened bottom and a rounded top, designed to mimic the shape of a mother's nipple while promoting proper dental development. Pediatric dentists often suggest orthodontic pacifiers for their design that reduces pressure on the gums and teeth. They also recommend limiting pacifier use as the child gets older to avoid potential dental problems.

Recommended ages for each nipple type

  • Newborns: Round pacifiers are often recommended for their familiar shape and comfort.
  • Older Babies: Anatomical pacifiers are beneficial as they support dental health during the teething phase.
  • All Ages: Symmetrical pacifiers are suitable for all ages due to their versatile design.

Despite the recommended shape for each age group, the best way is to observe your baby's sucking habits to see which pacifier shape they prefer. Some babies may have a strong preference for one shape over another.

Pacifier Safety

After you have chosen your pacifier, here are some tips when using them:

❗️Pull test: Do the Pull Test every time before you give your child a dummy: Pull the pacifier nipple in all directions, and discard at the first signs of damage or weakness. 

❗️Replace regularly: Check the manufacturer’s leaflet to see how long it recommends you use the dummy for. Rubber pacifier lifespan is around 4-6 weeks (depending on usage). Throw away any dummy that shows signs of wear and tear, including a hole, a rip or even discoloration. If you are using rubber pacifier, the elasticity of the material allows the nipple to change shape and size because of the baby’s strong vacuum, this means that the nipple in some cases can expand if it is not replaced in time. Read more about when to replace pacifiers here

❗️Sterilise only according to the manufacturer’s instructions: Please read our cleaning guide here 

🙅🏼‍♀️ Away from heat: Never leave a dummy in direct sunlight or near a strong source of heat, such as a radiator, as this can cause rubber to perish.

Recommended Readings

Natural Rubber Latex vs Silicone Pacifiers

Which pacifier size to choose?

When to replace pacifiers?

3 Factors that affect your pacifier’s shelf life

How to clean and sterilise your pacifiers?