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Why is your new pacifier smaller?

Natural rubber versus silicone Have you just got new pacifiers home and are wondering whether the new ones look smaller than the old ones? There might be a perfectly simple explanation.

I regularly get enquiries from parents who are surprised that the new pacifiers they have bought have a smaller nipple than their child’s old ones. For the most part, there is a perfectly simple explanation for this: natural rubber grows as it is used.

Natural rubber grows as it is used
Natural rubber, or latex as it is also called, is a 100% natural product with a limited shelf life. It simply softens over time, and part of this process involves the material beginning to grow or expand.

At Littledeluxe, we have seen examples of natural rubber pacifiers that have grown by over half a centimetre.

This is a lot when you take into account that FRIGG round natural rubber pacifiers, for example, are just 27 mm long in Size 1 and 30 mm long in Size 2.

Most children don’t like it when there’s a difference between their pacifiers and will refuse to accept new ones if they are of a different size, for example. Even more will refuse to accept new ones that are smaller than the one they are used to – or made from different material.

At Littledeluxe, we recommend always having more than one pacifier in regular rotation at any one time. By always having several pacifiers on the go at one time, it is easier to tell if a pacifier is starting to show signs of wear.

Replace when the nipple shows signs of wear
Obviously, the pacifier must be replaced when it shows signs of wear – not just because it can be difficult to find a new pacifier that your child will take to, but also for safety and hygienic reasons:

  • As the pacifier expands, it becomes more porous so there is a greater risk of your child biting it. The surface also becomes stickier and will both attract dirt and be harder to clean. A good rule is to replace your child’s pacifier after around six weeks of use or when it begins to show signs of wear.
  • How much your child uses the pacifier, how often it is cleaned, whether it is handled correctly etc. are all factors that influence durability. Fortunately, it’s easy to check whether the pacifier is still fine or whether it’s time to replace it. 

Also read: 
How to clean pacifiers

It’s time to replace a natural rubber pacifier when it: 

  • Begins to grow/expand; A clear sign that the natural rubber is becoming worn out and broken down is that the nipple is getting bigger. 
  • Changes color. 
  • As natural rubber softens, the yellowish color changes and becomes more brown/darker, meaning it’s time for a new one. 
  • Develops a sticky surface; Natural rubber develops a sticky surface, meaning dust and bacteria easily accumulate and it’s time for a replacement. 
  • Becomes cracked or develops teeth marks; Grasp the nipple part firmly and pull it away from the shield in all directions. If you can see the slightest traces of cracks or teeth marks, it’s time for a new pacifier. 

Learn more about the benefits of natural rubber vs silicone pacifiers and how to take the best possible care of them so as not to reduce their durability by using them incorrectly in our blog post on 
Natural rubber versus silicone.

Best wishes