Baby Won’t Take a Pacifier? 6 Tips That May Help

We’re supported by moms. When you buy through links on our site, As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission.

A pacifier is generally a must-have piece of baby gear. It helps to soothe your baby and can help to keep them quiet when they’re getting fussy. But, what happens your baby won’t take a pacifier?

Aren’t all babies supposed to take them and like them? Not necessarily! It’s never a one size fits all mentality when it comes to babies. They all do their own thing and deciding whether they’ll take a pacifier is one of them!

If your baby won’t take a pacifier, it can be frustrating, but know that it’s common.  That’s why there are some tricks out there that you can try to help your baby take a pacifier.

Read on to uncover why your baby may not be a pacifier fan and what you can try to do to change that.

Why Doesn’t My Baby Like a Pacifier?

There are some common reasons why your baby may not like his pacifier. Anyone or several of these may be at play:

Your baby is getting confused with the pacifier nipple

If your baby is breastfed, they’re used to the nipple feeling a certain way…not the way a pacifier feels.

When you put the pacifier in his mouth, he’s expecting one thing, but getting something totally different. That’s one reason why he may be spitting it out.

Your baby’s vocal cords are developing and they want you to know about it

As your baby finds his voice and stretches his vocal cords, he wants to be heard, not silenced. He sees the pacifier as a silencer and doesn’t like it.

Your baby is teething

Teething is an unpleasant experience for babies. While sucking on a cold pacifier can be soothing for some babies, other babies hate it and would prefer something else like a teething ring.

When you give them a pacifier, their teeth may be hurting and the pacifier could only be making things worse.

Your baby prefers sucking on his hands

Some babies like to put their fingers or hands in their mouths as a way to soothe themselves. The pacifier just isn’t going to cut it for them.

Your baby doesn’t like the specific pacifier you’re offering

There are all types of pacifiers on the market. It may be a case of trial and error to find the pacifier that your baby likes. If your baby doesn’t like the one you’ve bought, consider trying a few different ones to see if that’s the problem. 

Tips to Get Your Baby to Like a Pacifier

Wait a Few Weeks

Sometimes it just takes time for a baby to get used to a pacifier, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Medical experts advise waiting up to four weeks after birth to introduce a pacifier.

Babies get confused between a pacifier and a nipple. This is one of the reasons why they may not like the pacifier right away. 

If you wait a month or so and let them get used to breastfeeding before introducing something else new, like a pacifier, you may be better off in the end.

Wait Until Your Baby is Content

While you may want to put a pacifier in your baby’s mouth as they’re screaming, it may not be the best idea. Your baby is already agitated and you trying to stick something in their mouth isn’t going to sit well.

Instead, wait until they’re calm before giving them a pacifier. This may result in a more pleasant experience for everyone.

Try Tapping it

Some parents have had success with their baby taking a pacifier if they tap on it gently with their fingernail after putting it in their baby’s mouth. This may trigger your baby’s instinct to suckle.

Give it Flavor

Making the pacifier taste good or familiar may help your baby take it. Try dipping it in breast milk or formula before giving it. Once your baby tastes the breastmilk or formula, they may associate the pacifier with a good taste and be more apt to take it. 

Don’t Switch if You Find Something They Like

While it may take some trial and error to find a pacifier your baby likes, once you do, don’t switch it! This may cause them to reject it and push you back to the start position. Find one and stick with it. Everyone will be happier in the end.

Be Patient

Finally, be patient if your baby won’t take a pacifier. Babies feed off of our energy. If they sense you are getting frustrated and annoyed at the process, they’re going to feel the same and reject the pacifier.

As hard as it may be, take a few breaths and be patient. If your baby sees you’re staying calm, they may be more likely to do the same.

The Takeaway  

If your baby won’t take a pacifier it’s important to realize that some babies just don’t like them and won’t ever take them.

You’ll find other ways to soothe them like rocking them, rubbing their backs, or playing relaxing music. These are all ways that can help everyone stay calm.

Kristina is a freelance writer and children's book author. She's the mother of two girls who keep her very busy! When she's not spending time with her family, she enjoys taking a spin class and reading a good book.

Kristina is a freelance writer and children's book author. She's the mother of two girls who keep her very busy! When she's not spending time with her family, she enjoys taking a spin class and reading a good book.