Sometimes the only thing that will keep a 2-month-old baby happy is a pacifier, but at that age, baby is too young to retrieve the pacifier after it falls out.

It helps to tuck the pacifier under baby's swaddle blanket, but this is not a perfect solution.

I can imagine a device similar to those used to keep a retainer in, but I am not sure that this would be safe, and I don't want it to be a muzzle.

Are there any safe and respectful ways to help the pacifier stay in baby's mouth?

  • 2
    There are plenty of solutions to this matter but first of all you want to find the right pacifier for your baby. There are many different shapes and sizes you need to evaluate why it is falling out first and make sure you can tell what type of issue your baby is having. It is probably hungry if the pacifier doesn't stay in it's mouth.
    – user4251
    Apr 27, 2013 at 16:33
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    Keep in mind that if a pacifier is constantly falling out, the baby could be pushing it out because it wants your attention. Jul 24, 2013 at 18:49
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    Duct Tape... ok really, we just bought the wipes meant for cleaning it. We had the leash for them that attached to the cloths but she would just take it off :/
    – Tony
    Jun 13, 2014 at 12:38
  • Is this causing the baby to wake up, or was the baby already awake? If it is waking up, how often (the baby may be waking for other reasons and spitting it out) Jan 9, 2017 at 2:39

12 Answers 12


Seems unsafe to even try anything like that. I recall our hospital had a whole bunch of things they said not to do with pacifiers that pretty much all revolved around the notion of "don't do like your grandmother did." (if you look at old pacifiers, you'll see they have 4 holes, two on each side... those were for tying ribbon behind the baby's head to keep the pacifier in place.)

Two thoughts though:

  1. try one with a different shape. We found that one shape always stayed in longer than the others. Different kids seem to want different shapes.

  2. get a pacifier tether or clip to keep it handy when it does fall out. They're just a short length of ribbon with either a velcro closure, or a loop that you can thread it through on one end and a clip of some sort on the other. These were an amazing help at keeping pacifiers clean and close at hand to pop back in. And as torbengb points out in the comments, make sure it's not long enough to be a safety hazard, either from choking or strangulation.

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    If I'm thinking of the same holes that you indicate then those holes are not meant for tying string but rather to provide air to the skin around baby's mouth. Tying it with string indeed sounds like gross negligence to me. Apr 15, 2011 at 8:01
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    ad 2), make sure the tether is less than 20cm because otherwise it would be long enough to wind itself around the neck and be a strangling danger. Apr 15, 2011 at 8:02
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    @torbengb the only time we ever use a tether is when we are carrying them (baby bjorn) or a situation where it may drop on the ground.
    – Jacob
    Apr 15, 2011 at 13:34
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    @torbengb, on modern pacifiers, yes; they even tell you not to block them. The really old ones they were showing had the holes way too far out and on upraised parts that wouldn't even have been on the skin. And great point about the tether length, seems like you can't even buy them much longer than 14cm or so here, but I didn't think about folks making their own, editing to add that.
    – cabbey
    Apr 15, 2011 at 17:13
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    "Seems unsafe to even try anything like that." Yes! Fixing something in place in an infant's airway seems like a really bad idea to me. Some kind of tether to keep it from falling in the dirt is another matter, but doesn't solve this problem. Some problems don't really have a solution.
    – Marc
    Jun 13, 2014 at 17:50

You should never secure a pacifier to a child's mouth. Doing so could obstruct a child's breathing, prevent stomach contents from clearing the mouth or airway if refluxed or regurgitated, and decrease oral sensory awareness if the child's senses perceive the device as offensive.

It is important that you consider why the pacifier is falling out. Questions that need to be answered include:

  • Is the child hungry and needs milk?

  • Is the child's suck weak? This is sometimes the case for many reasons including prematurity, inexperience, and low muscle tone.

  • Does the pacifier match the child's oral motor skills? If a pacifier is too short or long, too wide or narrow or too stiff or soft it will contribute to fatigue, poor suction, gagging, or difficulty

  • Is the problem related to poor hand and motor skills? A child may suck vigorously on the pacifier with good firm pressure, but the pacifier falls out when they rest. The only problem here is the inability to coordinate movements to return the device to the mouth. This will resolve with age and motor development.

Matching a pacifier or nipple of bottle to a baby should consider many factors and may require many trials. You may want to explore a variety of devices to see if one is a better match for you baby.


I think you'll just have to put it back in once he or she complains. It shouldn't be that hard since you're never far from a 2 mo. old anyway, right?

  • When my infant was 2 months old putting her pacifier back in when she complained (which she did at increasingly shorter intervals as sleep associations developed around 3.5 months) required walking to her room from mine in the dead of night. I realize that some parents bedshare, co-sleep, or room share to minimize this kind of walking, but my daughter was so noisy that room sharing woke us up when she was sleeping normally.
    – justkt
    Jun 11, 2013 at 19:46

We had similar problems. This pacifier worked for us:

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    The hospitals my kids were born at provided these (given permission from the parents). I've always liked this kind, but they still fall out. Apr 15, 2011 at 15:39
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    We also use this kind, and they're very unusual in Austria (European brands are much more common). From what the nurses told me, this model is actually designed to fall out by itself when the child stops sucking. Apr 15, 2011 at 19:10
  • My daughter used that kind as a newborn and continued to use it. Trust me when I say that it falls out very easily.
    – justkt
    Jun 11, 2013 at 19:48

The Avent Soothie Pacifiers are most effective for my son too. They seem to stay in better than the Mam or Nuk options until he's actually asleep and done sucking.

To get yours better at keeping them in, you can try tugging on it gently while s/he's sucking. S/he should suck it right back in. Do that a few times just after you give him/her the pacifier, and s/he should get pretty good at keeping it from falling out in the first place. This trained my son to hang on to it, and he's less than a month old. I got the tip from The Happiest Baby on the Block (p. 177 in my paperback version). If that doesn't work, I'd guess Baby is hungry or needs something else.

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    +1 for mentioning Karp's solution. However even that solution will not prevent a baby from dropping the pacifier while in deep sleep, and when the baby hits light sleep again missing the pacifier (once sleep associations are formed). It does help the initial descent into deep sleep, though.
    – justkt
    Jun 11, 2013 at 19:49

For some brands of pacifiers, you can find a stuffed animal which attaches to the pacifier. For example, for the Soothie pacifier, you can check out the Wannanub product line (see monkey version below), available on Amazon. Even young babies can learn that they can hang on to the toy and get access to the pacifier.

Wannanub monkey

  • I have heard great things about this type of solution as well. This brand allows you to attach many other brands of pacifier if your little one does not take to the Soothie.
    – amjohi
    Apr 19, 2011 at 12:21
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    question asker has a 2 month old baby. soft toys should not be in the cot.
    – DanBeale
    Aug 10, 2011 at 17:14

I realize this was posted a long time ago, but I figured I'd answer so that when other moms search the topic, this might help. This happens to me with my six week old. This is the conclusion I've drawn... The only real option, I'm realizing, is to gently hold it in her mouth (almost just catching it as it begins to fall from her mouth) until she's in a deep sleep (usually 5-10 minutes); then I gently pluck it out. I don't know about other babies, but my baby wakes up when the pacifier FALLS out, but NOT when I pluck it out! Go figure! A few minutes of leaning over the crib uncomfortably, holding the pacifier in, usually gets us to sleep a lot better than putting the pacifier in every few minutes when it falls out and she cranks! Good luck all!


Our little one always pushed out her pacifier. Eventually we realised that she just didn't want it, and so we've never used one. She's 14 months old now, and we won't have to wean her of it, though comforting her requires a breast.


Well I created a strap for my baby's pacifier and it works great. It's loose enough that she can spit it out when she really doesn't want it while still being snug enough for her to use her little fist to pop it back in if it slips out a little by accident. I never use it at night though and I'm a very vigilant mommy anyway, so she is always in front of me during the day.

I wear her half of the time anyway. She is 5 weeks old. Before the strap she kept crying because the pacifier kept popping out her mouth every couple of sucks, and yes, she wanted it because when it would fall out, she would go bananas until she got it back.


We roll a soft blanket and lay it along side of her. She sleeps with her head turned sideways so this allows the soother to stay propped but if she needs to push it out of her mouth she still can. Doesn't always work but buys us time. Hate constantly getting up to put it back in! She is 2 months old.


It is possible that they don't want the pacifier. My daughter never did. We ended up using our pinky finger (pad side up, nail down) when she was fussy.

  • This may not really apply to the OP's situation (when the baby does want the pacifier and begins fussing when it falls out)
    – Acire
    May 23, 2015 at 0:37

For completeness, though Im not necessarily recommending this...

In the NICU, they rolled up a receiving blanket, taped it as a tight roll, and then taped the pacifier to the end. It gave a good long tool to hold the paci close to our girl.

And though we use this, it's not without risks. In the NICU, the kids are on monitors all the time, so if there are any breathing issues they can address. Also, since they're on monitors, they let them sleep on their stomachs and sides a bit, so the pacifier/blanket is less likely to be popped out.

Though it's a risk, we feel it's lowish risk. The blanket roll is too big to get in her mouth, and rolled tight enough that it's not soft, so will not cover her nose. We inspect the tape every time to see if anything is loose. And she can't sleep without a paci at this point; so it's either this, or no sleep for her, which is a health risk in itself.

We also use the wub-a-nub that @gaosan80 mentioned. We have a broad spectrum of pacifiers, depending on situation.

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