Who Else Wants To Know Why The Baby Won’t Take The Pacifier?

As a mother, a pacifier is probably one of your greatest baby care products. It soothes babies nicely to sleep, reduces chances of SIDS knocking at your baby’s doorstep and generally keeps the baby calm as you do some stuff.

When it comes to pacifier or binky use, I used to hear a lot of stories of how it would be hard to wean the baby off it, and I guess most of you heard the stories too. But not much was said of how to get the baby to use the binky in the first place if she refused it.

The latter scenario always gets mothers worried since the pacifier has a way of making life a lot easier, mostly for those of us who breastfeed.  To help you out, I have prepared this article on what to do if your baby will not take a pacifier. There are also some tips on how to make her take it if you feel it is such a big deal.

Why Your Baby Will Not Take The Pacifier

Most babies tend to switch between breastfeeding and using a pacifier effortlessly. This statement is not a rule of thumbs as there are some exemptions. When it comes to parenting, I have learned that babies can be very different from one another (haven’t you?).

There are reasons why some babies spit out the lovely pacifier that you have just bought, at the first instant of putting it into her mouth. Because of the babies’ urge to suck, you would ordinarily think that your baby would welcome anything that can be sucked. This is why you would find it confusing for your baby to refuse to take a pacifier.

A breastfed baby (bottle fed babies should be just fine) are likely to spit out the pacifier because of:

  • Some babies find the synthetic feel of pacifiers strange in their mouth. And since they are human after all, their instincts tell them to spit them at the first instant.
  • No milk drips from the pacifiers. Breastfed babies always associate sucking with milk, so when there is something that feels like your nipples that doesn’t let out any milk, it becomes of no use to them.
  • He just doesn’t like it. When you have been letting your baby breastfeed until he falls asleep, he may find it hard to use the pacifier as a substitute.

What Do You Do If The Baby Will Not Take A Pacifier?

Teaching a baby to embrace a pacifier can be a very frustrating affair. Your desperation might go overboard, but it is good to calm down and not to give up. While you are at it, there is no harm in trying out the following.

1. Let Someone Else Try Giving the Pacifier

How simple can this be? Your baby might look newborn to you, but trust me, she is really smart. After all, she is mommy’s girl, right? She is smart enough to know it’s you from the smell in the room. And once she figures out it is her mommy, she expects nothing less than natural nipples and not synthetic ones.

Therefore, if you try giving her the pacifier and she refuses it, you can have your spouse do it instead, or someone else.  

2. Patience Is Key

If your baby refuses the pacifier after several attempts, let them be. Shoving the binky down her throat will not get you the desired results. On the contrary, your desperation may make the baby upset, and that won’t end well.

The best strategy is to adopt the “wait and see” approach. Sometimes what the baby needs is just a little time. If you see your baby trying to put things into her mouth (not a good idea), then you can throw a pacifier into the mix.

3. Sweeten the Deal

Has your baby ever refused your nipples? I guess not. This attitude of not refusing milk from mommy is because your breasts have a certain taste/feel or smell that is irreplaceable. Even the latex, silicone or rubber pacifier nipple cannot replace that.

What you can do is add drops of the ever-delicious breast milk on to the binky before giving it to the baby. Chances of the pacifier coming out in seconds are therefore greatly reduced.

4. Make the Timing Right

Babies may refuse to take a pacifier when it is given to them at the wrong time. Like, let’s say when she is hungry, she will not take it at all. If you notice the normal hunger cues such as finger sucking, then don’t introduce the pacifier at that time.

First of all, start the process of teaching the baby pacifier use after 4 or 6 weeks when breastfeeding is well established. Then, try to give the baby the pacifier when she is almost going to sleep, and not during a breastfeeding session.

5. Try Different Pacifier Shapes

These pacifiers are made with different shapes for a reason, don’t you think? If you find that your baby will not take the first shape, try the next, and so on. You will likely find a shape that your baby will like straight away.

Of the shapes, the two most common ones are the normal round one and the other orthodontic shaped one. Try each shape for about two days straight, and if she still spits it out, try the other one.

6. Mind the Temperature of The Pacifier

If you keenly note the “things” your baby likes sucking, you will notice that they are not always cold. Your nipples and his fingers are normally at the body’s temperatures of about 37 degrees and do not qualify as being cold.

When you, therefore, give your cute little one a cold pacifier, she rejects it since she is not used to having such cold temperatures in her mouth. First warm the pacifier by letting tap water run over it, or warm it in mildly warm water. Ensure all the water is squeezed out before giving it to the baby.

7. Limit Non-Nutritive Sucking

If you are keen, you may notice that at some point when breastfeeding your baby, she sucks without swallowing any milk. This situation occurs when you hear no swallowing sounds, and that is what is meant by the term “No-Nutritive Sucking.”

She only sucks for the joy (fun) of it. This makes your breasts her natural pacifiers, and babies would fall asleep when they have had enough joy for the day. A simple solution would be to start breastfeeding and then switch to the pacifier after a while.

8. Tap the Pacifier a Bit

Here is one of the many stories I have heard, although I am yet actually to try it out. Some parents say that if your baby is refusing the pacifier, then you can try tapping it gently with your fingernail.

Another trick that seems to work is shaking the binky just gently while in the baby’s mouth. What these actions do is trigger the baby’s sucking instinct, leading to them embracing the pacifier idea.


The use of pacifiers has its pros outweighing the cons, but some babies do not readily accept it at the first attempt. This is where these tips come in handy.

When using the pacifier, always remember to start when breastfeeding has been well established. The baby, in turn, does not become nipple confused. On the other hand, remember to start weaning off the baby from using the pacifier early so that it doesn’t become a problem later in the baby’s life.

Kristi Cathey

Hi everyone! My name is Kristi Cathey and I’m glad you found your way to my blog. I am a mother of 3 beautiful angels. This blog was created in order to share my personal experiences in baby care and general health care for pregnant women. If you'd like to get in touch with me, please contact me by sending me an email via kristicathey.intelligentmother@gmail.com. Welcome to Intelligentmother.com

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