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What do you do when you have a "sucker"?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
We never gave DS a pacifier. He BF'ed 'til just over 3. When he was a tiny baby and was upset, we tried to help him find his thumb for sucking, but he was just never really into it. The only time we used a pacifier was when we were flying, and he was old enough to not just keep nursing when I wanted him to, but he was too young to eat snacks to battle the air pressure.

This new LO is a "sucker". She will nurse and nurse, then doze off/pop off. I'll hand her to DH, and she starts sucking his arm or shirt. She will often try to suck on her hand/fingers/thumb, but has some coordination issues with getting them in her mouth. We can both tell that DD enjoys sucking much more than DS ever did. DH knows I don't want to give her a pacifier, and I really don't, but we don't want to keep DD from sucking if she really wants to.

What have been your experiences? Am I awful for not giving her a pacifier? Would I be awful if I gave her a pacifier? (I've really enjoyed not going through the whole "taking away the paci" thing all of our friends have gone through, and I always felt justified in my stance against using one with DS. I just am not sure...now that we have a "sucker".)

Any thoughts???

Thanks!
Joanna
post #2 of 12


This is my little one too-she seems to want to nurse all day long! I don't mind really, but I'd like to be able to find other ways to soothe her need to suck.
post #3 of 12
*shrug*

I've got a sucker, and he's got a pacifier

DD hated them/never used them, and DS is a total sucker who nurses/wants to keep nursing just to suck. I have been using a pacifier for him when he's in between feeding and it's working like a charm, no nipple confusion. I know a lot of people are anti but I'm not so I say if you've got a sucker, let em suck!
post #4 of 12
I give 'em a binkie. I won't use one until breastfeeding is well established but after that, if they are a high-suck-need baby I'll give 'em a pacifier. When Max was in the hospital (for the meningitis) he was very fussy, for good reason but was just to sick to nurse. I asked for a pacifier. Little man latched on to it like a life preserver. We kept letting him have it after he got better. So far it is working as intended for him. He still nurses a ton, inlcuding non-nutritive sucking but when he needs some soothing and doesn't want the breast he'll take the binkie for a little while until he calms himselfbut it isn't eve-present in his mouth.
I've found taking away pacifiers to be easier than breaking the thumb sucking habit. All but 1 of my kids have either sucked their thumbs or had a pacifier. Downside of pacifiers is the 'disappearing binkie' problem. I hate hunting for one in the carseat or in the bed in the dark or in the depths of my purse :P
post #5 of 12
DD1 was a sucker, we gave her a dummy at 5 weeks, at 8 weeks she found her thumb.

DD2 is also a sucker. I just let her nurse all day, i reckon she'll find her thumb soon too. Yesterday she was on the breast for around 14 hours. She slept 7.5hours overnight though! I'm guarding my supply due to supply issues last time (not related to dummy) so i'm happy enough to ;et her suck and suck and suck and.....

ETA - i'm not worried about breaking thumb-sucking habit. I still suck mine and i'm 30 in october!
post #6 of 12
I've had one child who was a sucker and one who wasnt. With my hyperlactation, i can't just pop my kids on the boob to soothe them, it brings in my milk and then with the over active let down they are left with gas and major reflux and lots of puking due to having too much food in their little tummies. So with dd#1 i introduced the binky and she was a much happier baby. DD#2 never nursed to soothe, she simply ate to be fed and never needed anything to suck on.

DS though, he's another sucker. We've had to work really hard at getting him to even take a binky, all he wanted for weeks was my nipples. We haven't been forcing it, but we have continued to introduce it to show him the self soothing via a binky instead of my nipple is ok. I feel absolutely no guilt about my kids who have used a binky, it's a heck of a lot better then having to put them on reflux meds like i did with my first.

ETA: and we never had a fight about when it was time to get rid of the binky. The binky fairy came and my dd willingly gave away all her binkies and never asked for them again. But i also believe in child led weaning (for soothing issues as well) and watched her signs and didn't let society tell me when was an appropriate time for my child to no longer need the sucking mechanism to soothe her.
post #7 of 12
Our dd1 found her thumb early in life. She refused a pacifier. She sucked it until she was 10 and I'm sure the orthodontist is thanking us for that right about now.

ds took a pacifier. He needed it to fall asleep. I had to give it to him otherwise he would keep nursing and nursing and nursing. Then he would eat too much and spit it all up, so we'd have to start the cycle again. He could only ever take 4 ounces of breastmilk (I had him at a daycare for a few hours and she insisted on giving him the entire 8 ounces of bm I'd left for him. He would drink it all, then proceed to puke the rest of the day. grrr) I nursed him for 5 months and coincidentally, that was the amount of time he ook the pacifier. At 5 months, he just stopped taking it and never looked back.

dd2 was similar to ds. I don't remember how long she took the pacifier, but it wasn't long.

And now this one loves her pacifier too. Many nights, I will feed her and then she goes down. When she wakes, if it's only been an hour or so, dh will take her and snuggle with her, holding her close with her pacifier in her mouth. She falls asleep happily until she's really ready to eat. If she's not happy with the paci, she will tell us and has been known to spit it across a room. So many times, though, it has helped when I KNOW she's not hungry but just wants to suck. In the events that she's gotten too much, she will spit up just like ds did. Forcefully and continually.

I was one of those who said "I hate pacifiers. I hope my kids never use them." I got over that quickly. We were lucky that our kids geve them up easily. I do try to limit the time that they're using them and am hypervigilent about hunger cues. They do have their place, though, when used properly. Thankfully, none of my kids ever had any nipple confusion either. They have all been able to go from breast to bottle to pacifier with no problems.
post #8 of 12
DS2 is definitely a sucker. He wants to nurse non-stop. I would dearly love to give him a pacifier just to give my nipples a break, but he won't take one . Sometimes he finds his fingers/thumb to suck on, but he get's annoyed when there's no milk. I don't get it though, because he will nurse and nurse on me to the point of just throwing up tons of milk and then want to nurse some more - it seems more like he just wants to suck on something .
post #9 of 12
My lactation consultant warned me not to give a pacifier until BF was solidly established. She said I'd be able to tell when DD was sucking just for comfort rather than out of hunger, and she said it was fine to give her a passy then. So far, I haven't needed to, but I wouldn't entertain guilt over it.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by slsurface View Post
DS2 is definitely a sucker. He wants to nurse non-stop. I would dearly love to give him a pacifier just to give my nipples a break, but he won't take one . Sometimes he finds his fingers/thumb to suck on, but he get's annoyed when there's no milk. I don't get it though, because he will nurse and nurse on me to the point of just throwing up tons of milk and then want to nurse some more - it seems more like he just wants to suck on something .
Have you tried different ones? Shapes are radically different from brand to brand and while some babies really could care less about what shape or material the pacifier is made of, some have a real preference. Max much prefers the MAM kind to the Nuk although he will take the NUK but not for as long or as easily.
You've got Nuk, MAM, Avent and the green hospital ones. I'd give them all a try before giving up as it sounds like your ds may be happier sucking on something that doesn't overfill his tum.
post #11 of 12
Francesca has a pacifier. Well, several of them, since it's easier to have them scattered over the house so I can find one when I want it. She wanted to suck all the time and my boobs were just so sore!

We only give it to her when she's sucking on everything, and is clearly not hungry (just ate, or just offered boob and didn't want to eat). She mostly only gets it when she's tired, as her suck need is higher then. I'm torn on when to wean - I know that it'd be easiest to take them away as soon as she can reliably find her hands/fingers and keep them in her mouth. But as a former finger-sucker, I don't want my daughter to have to break that particular habit, I remember it being horrible to break! At least the pacis can be physically taken away. But I'll figure that part out later. Or she'll figure it out for me, if she ever just stops taking one.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mediumcrunch View Post
Have you tried different ones? Shapes are radically different from brand to brand and while some babies really could care less about what shape or material the pacifier is made of, some have a real preference. Max much prefers the MAM kind to the Nuk although he will take the NUK but not for as long or as easily.
You've got Nuk, MAM, Avent and the green hospital ones. I'd give them all a try before giving up as it sounds like your ds may be happier sucking on something that doesn't overfill his tum.
We've tried four different brands/styles of pacis. He still won't take one. DS1 was the same way initially. He didn't take a paci until about 3 months. I'm hopeful that DS2 will eventually take one. But it's just a matter of whether my poor nips can take it till then!
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