The nipple of a pacifer is available in two materials: natural rubber latex and silicone - but, which one should you choose? What’s the best material for pacifier?
There are many benefits to both natural rubber pacifiers and silicone pacifiers. However, no matter how much research and personal preference you may have as a parent - the choice often belongs to the child who will decide what they like and prefer.
You may also get some guidance from your family physician as to a style of soother that best suits your baby's needs. Some NICU physicians recommend this style soother, whereas others may lean towards an orthodontic shape for dental reasons.
Natural Rubber for soothers is made from latex derived from many different species of plants around the world. This latex material is then refined and creates the soft brown/yellow rubber seen in pacifier nipples around the world.
- Bibs natural rubber latex is made from the “sticky milky fluid tapped from the Hevea tree.”
- Elodie Details is “the natural rubber is made from rubber tree sap and is highly elastic, durable and tear-resistant”
Natural rubber soothers are often considered to be more environmentally friendly than other types of pacifiers because they are made from a renewable resource. Natural Rubber pacifiers are biodegradable, which means that they will break down and decompose over time especially with exposure to UV rays, saliva, and the like. It’s important to regular test your pacifier and replace every 6 weeks.
According to Bibs, Natural rubber latex pacifiers should be scalded rather than boiled. It is recommended to replace natural rubber pacifiers every 4-6 weeks for safety and hygienic reasons. Color variation may occur with natural rubber pacifiers, resulting in small changes across different boxes.
- Elodie Details recommends replacing every 4 weeks, regardless the appearance or deterioration.
- Itzy Ritzy recommends that for safety and hygienic reasons, replace the pacifier after 4 weeks of use.
Note: the natural rubber latex nipple of the soother is biodegradable. However, most natural rubber nipples are held together with a plastic base. To decompose, the nipple would need to be seperated from the pacifer body. Elodie Details bamboo pacifier is made with mixed renewable bamboo fiber and olefin polymer to create a highly durable material with less environmental footprints than plastic.
This is a super soft and resilient material, and creates a soft symmetrical shape for the soother or 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
Silicone soothers are made from a synthetic polymer that is derived from silicone. This results in a product that is hypoallergenic, odorless, and taste-neutral material that is known for its purity. Silicone is 100% free of harmful and endocrine-disrupting ingredients such as BPA, PVC, and phthalates, and enjoyed across baby products for its safety and durability.
The silicone soother can also feature a transparent nipple that can be folded into different shapes. Silicone is more durable, holds it shape, does not age, and can withstand high temperatures.
They are also easier to clean and sterilize than natural rubber pacifiers, as they are resistant to bacteria and germs. However, silicone pacifiers may not feel as natural in the mouth as natural rubber pacifiers, and they are not biodegradable.
Despite durability, many brands continue to recommend replacing silicone soothers every 4-6 weeks for hygienic reasons.
Key Pacifier takeaways on Natural Rubber Latex versus Silicone
- Silicone is an allergy-friendly material, so if you have a latex allergy in the family, you should choose silicone soothers.
- Natural rubber soothers are a softer material that may feel more natural and gentle.
- Silicone and natural rubber soothers both need to be replaced every 4-6 weeks.
- Silicone pacifiers are sturdier than natural rubber latex pacifiers, they retain their shape, do not age, and can withstand high temperatures and last longer.
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