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Pacifiers

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
For some reason, I thought pacifiers were evil. I never used one with DD1 and she never needed it. She nursed to sleep and was a happy baby. I thought pacis were used by evil parents to shut needy babies up or something.

Fast forward to DD2. Colicky from birth. Screaming inconsolably for hours every day. Nothing works. Refuses to nurse except when hungry. Soothed by nothing. Not holding, or rocking, or singing, or anything. Miserable all day long. Healthy and gaining VERY well (weighs 7 kilos at 3.5 months old), just colicky, whatever that really means.

And sucking on her fingers like a maniac most of the time, without it making her any happier. (DD1 is still a thumbsucker. I guess my breasts offer no comfort for my babes, just food)

The last straw: the baby sucks on her fingers while crying until she makes herself puke. That's it, I'm getting a paci!

And she loves it! It transforms her into a brand new happy peaceful baby, even when she's not using it! She laughs a lot and can be content being held in my lap and is relaxed and not wiry all the time. It's a godsend! And even her latch seems better and gentler (I got NUK's 'orthodontic' thingy).

So I wonder: what are the downsides to using a paci again? What do I have to be careful about? Any tips? Has anyone else used one?

I feel sort of scared and almost dirty using one, but my baby is so happy with it and I have to oblige. It's sad seeing your baby go happy and relaxed in your arms sucking on silicone instead of your breast, but it's sadder seeing said baby scream her head off when you offer said breast...
post #2 of 15
I had a great experience using a paci w/ my baby. Like you said, it totally transformed him. He was miserable all the time - the paci really helped him focus, get ready for sleep, etc.

And then at about 6 months he just kind of lost interest in it on his own.

I think that pacis should not be demonized. Like many other things, they are a useful tool for the right child and parent. Use them if they help your baby! Don't feel guilty or bad about it.

The only things to worry about are if you are using the paci so much at the expense of other things (not checking to see if they have a wet diaper, b/c you don't want to play/soothe them, etc.) And also if they are still addicted to paci in their toddler years I think it can cause orthodontic problems later.

But at this stage, use the Paci if it helps - and don't look back! Odds are your baby will spit it out when he's done.
post #3 of 15
You are choosing the pacifier mindfully and because it has a positive effect on your child - that should be celebrated! Based on what you have written, you do not sound like you would use it as a "plug" to delay feeds or meeting her needs, so have at it. Stock up - they are like preschooler's shoes, always in the way when you don't need them, and nowhere in sight when you need to get out of the house 5 minutes ago.
post #4 of 15
Urgh, i am on my 3rd shape/brand....i have a sucky baby who eats eats eats pukes eats eats pukes eats pukes pukes pukes... She won't take a bottle or a paci. She won't "latch" on even a finger, she likes something against her mouth but not in it (likes to suck the straps on the wrap for example...) probably due to my flat nipples...

I WISH i could get her to take a paci!
post #5 of 15
I felt pretty similar about paci's before my first child. He had a very strong sucking need and my breasts just didn't cut it. I also had a high milk flow/let down and so he would get so upset when the milk kept coming. After weeks of having our fingers in his mouth constantly I gave in. The paci was super helpful, kept him happier, slept a little better, let me sleep a little better. I just always made sure I was attending to the needs, like bfing on demand, changing dipes, holding him enough.
When he was around 18-24 months we started weaning the paci during the daytime. It started to stay in the bed for naps and night time. Except for car rides. We weaned him from it completely by the time he was 3.

My second ds takes a paci although has much less of a need for it than his brother. But started out the same with my milk let down and his desire to suck. He generally doesn't take it much during the day (now at 10 months) only maybe when he's getting fussy/tired. But he uses it for the car and to fall asleep.
post #6 of 15
In your instance, I think a paci is totally o.k and I'm glad you found something that works for both of you.
Sounds like you and baby are happier!
post #7 of 15
I never needed a paci with ds... however, I just had dd in July, and she is colic as well... she didn't really seem to take the paci when I tried, but now... man oh man! She has been using it, and loves it!


I don't see a problem with it at all unless it's abused. Everything in moderation is my thought right now
post #8 of 15
I'm with everyone else! Use whatever works, so long as it's not subbing for something else (which for you, it's not)! Sweetie B never used one, but then Baby G would nurse all evening 'til she puked. So. . .paci. Now, at 11 months, she's been off one for probably 2 or 3 months, which was totally her decision.
post #9 of 15
I honestly never got what the big deal about using a Paci is. Tons of babies use pacifiers. I hope to find a good balance with finding a time that feels good for us to wean our baby from the paci. But for now, as a little one, it soothes him, it fills his need to suck a lot, and it hasn't interfered in our breast feeding. It has been very helpful to us. When I see a little baby with a pacifier I just think it looks like they are calm, soothed. I say, go with the paci, embrace it as a helpful thing, and let go of the guilt. Because you don't want to give mixed messages to the baby such as- this is okay but really it is bad.
post #10 of 15
Both of my kids use pacifiers and it has been a good experience for us. No problems with nursing (I weaned ds at 3.5, dd is still nursing at 2.5), no problems with teeth. Very happy with whomever invented the paci!
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

I thought I'd update for the sake of anyone wondering whether to try pacis in "extreme" situations such as colic.

 

Our experience was great. We used a paci when nothing else worked (pooped? no. hungry? no. carry in arms around the house while singing? no. paci? yes, please.) and it really soothed her colic. When colic went away, so did the paci, and no one even noticed. She found it a while ago, rummaging through her closet - she's 15mo now. She laughed at it and bit at it upside down.

 

She's still an enthusiastic nurser, btw. :)

post #12 of 15

My DS uses a paci intermittently, he's only 7.5 weeks, but he lets us know when he *doesn't* want it.  I usually resort to the paci when he's acting like he's wanting to nurse, but only chewing on me and not really latching.  We use the soothie pacifiers, so at first he's kind of sucking our fingers, but slowly he pushes the finger out of the paci, ALSO, soothie has these fantastic paci's called WubbaNubs, and it's a little animal sewn onto the paci's so even itty bitty babies can hold onto it! best invention ever.

post #13 of 15

My first baby was an extreme comfort nurser; she was a month old and I was on the verge of giving up nursing due to sheer exhaustion before I had a talk with a very wise NP/LC who taught me that the paci really could be used for good and not for evil, and it was a huge relief for me and for my daughter. She was never a paci addict; she used it when she was upset or sleepy and gave it up all on her own when she was a bit over 10 months old. My son was a different story; his pacifier was his best friend and constant companion from day one right up until he bit through his last one just after his third birthday this past summer. Despite being so totally attached to his "binky" for so long, he was an excellent nurser, his speech is perfectly normal, and his teeth are in great shape; it wasn't the easiest transition in the world for him when I decided that it was time for him to give it up, but we did it gently and slowly and it wasn't a traumatic transition. All in all, I feel like the paci was a good thing for him, and I wish there were more moms in the world who had someone wise to teach them that it's not the instrument of evil that it's often made out to be.

post #14 of 15

I think the reason they get demonized so much is because of how we so often see them being used. I have a friend who from day one would stick it in anytime the baby made any kind of noise. She would then hold it there while the baby fussed & shook it's head trying to get it out of it's mouth until he/she finally accepted it. Then as toddlers you NEVER saw those children without it & all of a sudden she was forcing the issue of getting rid of it. It wasn't used as a tool when other things didn't work but forced on the baby & forced to be removed from the toddler. Many others use them instead of feeding on demand or dealing with whatever is wrong for the baby.

 

Like pp it's a tool & not evil - but it can be used inappropriately.

post #15 of 15

Before I had my baby, I was absolutely adamant that we not use pacis at all. But it's really the only thing that will comfort him when he's all riled up, so we're ending up using it with him when other soothing techniques don't work. It's especially helpful when he's so tired he needs to sleep, but is fighting it - with that little added comfort, he's able to settle right down. 

 

I agree with everyone else up thread that they're only evil when misused - pacis are not a replacement for attentive, mindful parenting. They shouldn't be shoved in the baby's mouth every time he makes a peep - crying is how babies communicate, and they shouldn't be automatically silenced. But they are great tool to use when applied correctly. 

 

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