Who would have thought significantly difficult decisions needed to be made on such small things as pacifiers? It doesn’t help that there are so many opinions for, against, and about tentative choices of nipple material. So, when it comes down to it, what’s the better option, silicone vs. latex pacifier nipples?
Latex is natural rubber, soft, flexible, but not durable, especially when exposed to extreme heat. influences such as saliva, UV-light, and natural aging affect the material. Silicone, on the other hand, is a synthetic product that retains shape and has high-temperature resistance. Unlike the counterpart, it’s hypo-allergenic, taste-neutral, and odorless.
Each baby is unique, and there are allergies or reflexes to consider when choosing pacifier nipple material. Using binkies reduces the risks of sudden infant death syndrome of SIDS. Keep reading then to help your decision-making when sleeting between a silicone and latex pacifier.
Which is Better: Silicone vs. Latex as Pacifier Nipple Materials
There’s no short answer to which pacifier nipple is made of the best material, silicone vs. latex. Except in cases of rubber product allergies, you may prefer a look, or your baby might find a fit or orthodontic design more appealing. When exercising this personal choice, reasons to consider will consist of durability, eco-friendliness, hygiene, and give-outs like odor or taste.
Orthodontic pacis feature flat-shaped nipples on the bottom but rounded at the top. Others have teats shapes like small balls. Pediatric dentists tout these as being better for your baby’s jaw and palate development. There are also various funny pacifiers featuring all manner of laughable novelty concepts, often attached to the shield.
Some binkies are made up of three pieces, nipples, shields, and rings. Others consist of one piece of silicone or latex. Are you worried about small part choking hazards or the presence of bacteria in cracks? Then you may prefer these single-piece pacifiers.
Only make sure that the ‘paci fairy’ comes to take your child’s dummy away by the time you’re lighting three candles on their birthday cake. Otherwise, pacifier use can degenerate into a hard-to-kick habit that will affect their teeth, jaw, and palate development.
Differences between Silicone and Latex for Pacifier Nipples
The two common materials for pacifier nipples and feeding bottle teats are silicone and latex. Both have proven themselves albeit with different qualities as attributed by variations in properties.
Pure silicone is a polymer, known as an elastomer which means it’s elastic or stretchy. The main ingredient is silica, a component of sand. After a complex manufacturing process, products are generally more shape retentive, durable, and safer than latex.
While natural rubber withstands temperatures of up to 176°F, silicone has a heat resistance of 482°F. Latex doesn’t weather as well as its protagonist but is more abrasion resistant with approximately five times more tensile strength. Both materials feature excellent compression capabilities and don’t have very significant reactions with lubricants or hydrocarbon fuels.
When Should I Go with Silicone or Latex Pacifier Nipple Materials?
Concerning pacifier nipples, silicone withstands constant heat sterilization methods like microwaving or running through the dishwasher. That’s unless you’re too bothered about chemicals used in its manufacturing process. Considered relatively safe, it’s also more affordable.
The downside with silicone as a nipple material is how rigid it sometimes is. As such mums usually introduce these pacifiers later, starting with latex which is more elastic and feels closer to your breast. But some manufacturers have incorporated innovative proprietary technology to make teats that feel like your teat to your baby.
For nipples made of rubber, on the other hand, being natural is a selling point. Its flexibility mimics the real breast closer than silicone. Undesirable features of these pacis concern the biodegradability of the material. That means breakdown is quicker due to how much rubber can expand. The nipples start to get sticky, and you may notice cracks or tears especially if your baby is teething, replacement must be more frequent.
One tip you can use to prolong the life of latex pacifiers is having multiple binkies in use at the same time. You can keep one dummy for the crib, another for around the house, while the car seat can have one. Your baby can use natural rubber pacifiers for the required two months before up-sizing. That’s as long as you properly cleaned, sanitized, and store them.
Which Material Should You Chose for Pacifier Nipples if You Only Have One Choice?
On one hand, latex pacifiers are one-piece models. They’re without joints and using rotational use, you can avoid fast deterioration like splitting or cracking. When you sterilize the single-piece binky, very little bacteria will remain on its surface. Silicone dummies come in two or three pieces, but with resistance to high temperatures, you can sanitize them more easily without risking material breakdown.
There are attributes shared by both silicones and latex pacifier teats. But the decision to go with each could be clear-cut without choice. You may notice an allergy associated with rubber items, such as your baby having inflamed corners of the mouth. As such, you’ll have to go with silicone even for your infant, and luckily models specialize in softer-than-usual, odor and taste-free nipples.
The material trumps its natural rubber counterpart mainly in heat resistance and how little you have to replace them. Your main concern is the health of your baby. I recommend latex for newborn to infant age and then you can take up silicone pacifiers when they’re toddlers. Smaller tots don’t have tough gums or budding teeth to shred rubber pacis, but older kids will grind, chew, and generally abuse their binky.
As an indispensable accessory for the best care, you can give your baby, pacifiers are among any new mother’s at-hands-length items. In the past, pacifiers were all yellow and opaque. A cheap rubbery product with no service life or safety concerns. While today’s latex fares are better in odor, taste, and overall durability, binkies have another material in synthetic silicone.
After taking over latex’s domination, silicone has proven a high-end solution due to its durability, and how well you can keep it germ-free. It’s environmentally friendly and non-toxic, possessing heat withstanding characteristics that endear it to dishwashers and microwave ovens. In matters of elasticity, however, none stretches as well as natural rubber does.
I’m Cathrine and I’m a 39-year-old mother of 3 from Utica, New York. And I’m extremely happy you’ve come to visit my hide-out on the web. Here I post about everything related to family-life and usually it will involve babies and lessons I’ve learned over the years from experts, friends, and my own mistakes. So hopefully you will find what i write fun and informational!