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Thoughts on pacifiers

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

What are your thoughts on giving soothers...I don't really like the idea of providing a piece of plastic for my daughter to soothe herself with, and also don't want it to turn into a substitute for nursing to soothe or misinterpreting if she's actually hungry or not.  I find when we're out somewhere unfamiliar she sucks on her fist and can't concentrate to nurse well...so then everyone is constantly asking where her soother is, which I hate! 

post #2 of 51

My thought on pacifiers is that they're great for some babies and unnecessary for others. My daughter falls into the second category. I have noticed, for example, that some babies have a very high suck need, but don't necessarily want nourishment every time they want to suck, and I have seen them actually get frustrated when latched on because milk is coming out! Those babies tend to do really well with a pacifier. Babies like my girl, who don't have a high suck need seem to do fine without one.

post #3 of 51

DS would not take one, but we offered because he can be really fussy. But I too would have concerns, and in a way I'm glad we just don't have to deal with that.

I've also heard it said, in favor of not giving a paci, that if a baby really has a high sucking need, they will suck on their fingers or thumb.

post #4 of 51

My first never cared for it, and I didnt care to to keep trying it on him, since I was at home and didn't need it. My second was given one in the nicu all the time and I would have to come in and beg the nurses to stop. He sucked on one at home for about a month but didn't care for it. My 3rd? She wouldn't stop sucking her little fist from the moment she left the womb. She was sucking her fist so hard and often she gave herself blisters on her fist. She is 5 month old, almost, and sucks on it when we give it to her (when she is with dad, or something similar) but we use it sparingly. I would rather have her suck on a pacifier when her urge is so strong, than injure her skin. No, she doesn't always want to nurse when she gets the instinct to suck. Infact she mostly nurses at night when she's sleeping with us.  

 

I think nipple confusion is kinda an old wives tale of sorts. We went through hell with my 2nd dealing with an ng tube, bottles, etc, and after week 2 he woke up and latched right on. None of my kids had any confusion between a hard peice of plastic, and mom's warm soft nipple that sqirts milk :)

post #5 of 51
Thread Starter 

I only notice the sucking when we are out somewhere new and it's chaotic...or she is tired and isn't able to settle down and get to sleep (which is easily fixed if I just hold her and rock), otherwise she doesn't suck on her fist.... I broke down one night when she was fussy and I couldn't figure out why and tried to give her a soother and she wouldn't take it...which I was SO happy about.  I find it frustrating because so many people ask where her soother is if she makes even the smallest peep, so I just tell them she won't take one...then they respond with "oh you just keep shoving it into their mouth and eventually they will give up and suck on it" which I think is terrible....

post #6 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelsnyder View Post

hey respond with "oh you just keep shoving it into their mouth and eventually they will give up and suck on it" which I think is terrible....



...and just not true. As I said, DS can be terribly fussy so believe me we tried! I still have one clipped to the baby carrier although I haven't tried it in awhile. We keep one on the changing table, and he likes it for chewing, as any toy! But I would say we tried for six months, albeit inconsistently, and he never took to it.

post #7 of 51

When Ada was younger, the only way I was ever able to get anything done was to use a soother. She would. not. sleep. unless my boob was in her mouth. In the carseat, she screamed bloody murder to the point where I could not go anywhere ever. Finally, at about 4 weeks I realized that if I was side nursing with her, I could pull my boob out and quickly  replace it with a bottle and she would stay asleep- until she got choked up on the milk. So, we just used the bottle nipple for about 3 days and then we decided to give up on our "no paci, no bottle" rule. I think if your kid needs to suck constantly, they are awesome! I wouldnt encourage a babe to use them if it didnt seem like they needed one. My babe stopped using her paci around 6 months, when she started eating larger chunks of food. She also only used a sippy cup at 6 months. I think the intro to the sippy made her realize that chewing is way more fun than sucking. :).

post #8 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelsnyder View Post...then they respond with "oh you just keep shoving it into their mouth and eventually they will give up and suck on it" which I think is terrible....


I think my response to this would be a look of horror!  We do use one.   DS has a medium need to suck and sometimes just wants to sleep with my boob in his mouth while I just want to sleep with my boob to myself!  Especially now that he's teething he reaches a point while falling asleep and bites, so I do a quick switch to paci when he's done eating.  So we use it occasionally, daycare uses it occasionally when he's cranky, but we don't HAVE to have it, DS doesn't HAVE to have it.  It's just a tool around here, and he certainly doesn't get confused.

 

Just be firm in your beliefs when you are questioned.  It's your choice to use or not.

post #9 of 51

I think they are a good tool to have in your toolbox, especially if you have a particularly fussy baby or one that doesn't sleep well, or one that screams in the car, etc.

 

I never had anyone say anything like that to me in public...I think I would have been surprised and offended even though I use one.  I mean, it's none of their business how you care for your baby, kwim?

 

Both of my lo's used a pacifier at some point, but they both gave them up on their own -- alleviating my terror of having a toddler or older child I had to wean off the paci!  Both of mine also went through phases where they wouldn't take them.

 

I only tried again later because I couldn't bear the fussiness or the over-long and tortuous bedtime routine.  For us, it was a tool that helped in certain circumstances and phases.  Ds is apparently done with his at 15 months, and I think dd gave hers up between 18 months and a year.  Neither of them was ever very hooked on it.

 

Oh, and I agree with a pp that I don't think there's much chance that your lo would decide to suck on a pacifier instead of nursing when hungry.  If a baby is hungry and sucking and not getting anything, he or she will get mad fairly quickly, in my experience.

post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by bendmom View Post

I think nipple confusion is kinda an old wives tale of sorts. We went through hell with my 2nd dealing with an ng tube, bottles, etc, and after week 2 he woke up and latched right on. None of my kids had any confusion between a hard peice of plastic, and mom's warm soft nipple that sqirts milk :)


It's truly wonderful that your little one didn't have any issues with nipple confusion, but unfortunately, it is a very real thing. I have seen the heartbreak it causes.

post #11 of 51

If your daughter is happy sucking on her fist, then why change anything?  :)


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post

My thought on pacifiers is that they're great for some babies and unnecessary for others. My daughter falls into the second category. I have noticed, for example, that some babies have a very high suck need, but don't necessarily want nourishment every time they want to suck, and I have seen them actually get frustrated when latched on because milk is coming out! Those babies tend to do really well with a pacifier. Babies like my girl, who don't have a high suck need seem to do fine without one.


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Of my two, the younger never had any need for a pacifier (hate that term...) and I don't think we ever offered one.  My older son, though, was frustrated by my over-active letdown, really wanted to comfort nurse but was getting drowned, and liked to nurse to sleep but to also twist his head from side to side (no fun for *either* of us!). 

 

 

post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by bendmom View Post

I think nipple confusion is kinda an old wives tale of sorts. We went through hell with my 2nd dealing with an ng tube, bottles, etc, and after week 2 he woke up and latched right on. None of my kids had any confusion between a hard peice of plastic, and mom's warm soft nipple that sqirts milk :)


It's truly wonderful that your little one didn't have any issues with nipple confusion, but unfortunately, it is a very real thing. I have seen the heartbreak it causes.


I guess we don't know the age of the baby in question.  After the breastfeeding relationship is established, I really think it is very unlikely to cause a problem.

post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by bendmom View Post

I think nipple confusion is kinda an old wives tale of sorts. We went through hell with my 2nd dealing with an ng tube, bottles, etc, and after week 2 he woke up and latched right on. None of my kids had any confusion between a hard peice of plastic, and mom's warm soft nipple that sqirts milk :)


It's truly wonderful that your little one didn't have any issues with nipple confusion, but unfortunately, it is a very real thing. I have seen the heartbreak it causes.


I have to concur. Not all babies are subject to nipple confusion, but it is very real, and very difficult to overcome. I have fought it twice, with two of my kids, and once managed to overcome it-- went on to nurse into toddlerhood with that LO. The other time, we lost the battle, after weeks and weeks of work and sweat and tears, and went into a long downward spiral of EPing and low supply and weaning and formula. Both times, it made the early weeks with the babies into a miserable struggle.

And it doesn't just happen in early infancy, although I would venture to say it's most common then.

That said-- in my experience, bottles are a WAY bigger factor in nipple confusion. Both of my nipple-confusion babies were babies who were given bottles early on. And so, in a baby who's past the early newborn period, and is otherwise nursing well and gaining weight and thriving, I wouldn't hesitate to introduce a pacifier if I thought it would help us cope better with life's challenges. I had twins who wouldn't nurse at the same time, so I KNOW the value of a good binky. I think you use it with care, and pay attention to how it seems to be affecting baby-- if baby starts to nurse less often, or to have a poor latch, or refuses the breast, or stops gaining well, then you stop the paci right away, before the problem grows into a huge one.

I never worried about paci weaning. My girls both used theirs into the preschool years, but once they were walking we limited them to the house, and once they were three, we limited them to in bed. They gave them up easily around 3 to 4 years old, and have no noticeable dental issues as a result.
post #14 of 51

My little DS is one of those babies who sometimes prefers the binky over the breast (he will arch his face away from my breast and fuss if he's done nursing, but still wants to suck.) I also find that when we're in a chaotic situation, or in the car, or if he's kind of irritated and tired but not sleepy - he'll want his bink and want nothing to do with nursing. A lot of times he'll be whining and fussing and generally miserable but give him a binky and he settles into this really nice mellow state where he can just hang out and watch whatever is going on.

 

I don't know how old your LO is but it was pretty clear for me early on when he was hungry and when he wants the bink. I'll often offer him my breast first and if he says "no thanks!" then I know for sure. Pacis (binkies, whatever) are not inherently bad - like the PP said - for some babies they're a great "tool" in the toolkit.

 

post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post

My thought on pacifiers is that they're great for some babies and unnecessary for others. My daughter falls into the second category. I have noticed, for example, that some babies have a very high suck need, but don't necessarily want nourishment every time they want to suck, and I have seen them actually get frustrated when latched on because milk is coming out! Those babies tend to do really well with a pacifier. Babies like my girl, who don't have a high suck need seem to do fine without one.


Yep, this. My LO is 8 months and has never had one, in fact we have never bought one. I do think that if you can avoid it for the first 6 weeks it's a good thing. Not just because of the risk of nipple confusion but also for milk supply. If the baby needs to suck it's best to suck on the breast to get the supply well established IMO.

 

It does seem to me, and this is just my observation, that people do tend to pop dummies into the mouths of perfectly content babies, just because the dummy is there. I wonder what effect that has on development because J puts everything in her mouth and did from an early age. And it's hard to talk around one. I don't know if there is any research but I'd be interested to see if it had an effect on motor and verbal skills at all.

 

But, if it helps babe (and parents!) to be more content then, as a PP said, it's a useful tool to have in your kit.
 

post #16 of 51

My biggest problem with pacifiers is when I am out and about and I see a 3,4,5 year old kid running around with a binky in his mouth. It is completely unnecessary for a child that age to have a pacifier, and IMO it is extremely lazy parenting..

 

I agree with the PP, they are a great tool for small babies, if needed and used sparingly... I believe LLL recommends stopping use of a paci beyond six months. At that age, a baby should be able to self soothe.

 

I never needed to use one with DD, and in fact never bought one. She sucked on her hands until she was around six months and then abruptly stopped..I had worried about her sucking her thumb, since I did so until I was five...but I was FF, not nursed....but I never had to worry about it. She did nurse constantly,  but that lessened quite a bit as she got older. She is sixteen months now and is self weaning very nicely. She used to nurse around the clock but now she nurses about 4-5 times a day, for about 10-15 minutes a session. I feel like if I had used a paci,  it would have damaged our nursing relationship, but that is my personal opinion, and I don't knock anyone for needing to use a paci, I just have a child who didn't need one. I am a SAHM, too, so I had plenty of time to sit on the couch with her, and that is basically what I did for the first six months, lol.

 

 

It doesn't sound like your DD needs one, honestly. Don't give in and get one just because of peer pressure..I swear, most people give their children pacis because they think they "have" to, not because they are needed and then they don't take it away in time and the child attaches to it, and you have a real problem on your hands.

post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bebe's Mom View Post


My biggest problem with pacifiers is when I am out and about and I see a 3,4,5 year old kid running around with a binky in his mouth. It is completely unnecessary for a child that age to have a pacifier, and IMO it is extremely lazy parenting..



 



I agree with the PP, they are a great tool for small babies, if needed and used sparingly... I believe LLL recommends stopping use of a paci beyond six months. At that age, a baby should be able to self soothe.



 



I never needed to use one with DD, and in fact never bought one. She sucked on her hands until she was around six months and then abruptly stopped..I had worried about her sucking her thumb, since I did so until I was five...but I was FF, not nursed....but I never had to worry about it. She did nurse constantly,  but that lessened quite a bit as she got older. She is sixteen months now and is self weaning very nicely. She used to nurse around the clock but now she nurses about 4-5 times a day, for about 10-15 minutes a session. I feel like if I had used a paci,  it would have damaged our nursing relationship, but that is my personal opinion, and I don't knock anyone for needing to use a paci, I just have a child who didn't need one. I am a SAHM, too, so I had plenty of time to sit on the couch with her, and that is basically what I did for the first six months, lol.



 



 



It doesn't sound like your DD needs one, honestly. Don't give in and get one just because of peer pressure..I swear, most people give their children pacis because they think they "have" to, not because they are needed and then they don't take it away in time and the child attaches to it, and you have a real problem on your hands.




 



Wow. Your post really seems a bit harsh towards parents who let their children use a pacifier and I guess I don't understand your anger. "Lazy parenting" because an older child uses a pacifier? While it is wonderful that your child was able to soothe herself without any assistance the same is simply not true for all children. My dd's both adored their pacis and I let them use them until they felt that they were ready to get rid of them. Who am I to decide when their need for something is through. Would you feel the same way if the child chose instead to soothe by comfort nursing? Heck, we caught my 21 year old sister sucking her thumb in her sleep one night - she had no clue the next morning but after a rough night maybe that was her mind's way of soothing her anxiety while she slept.
Regardless of your feelings on pacifiers, the simple truth is that it is none of your business & I would hope that people would hold their tongues because there was several occasions where adults would make rude comments towards my girls & their pacifiers loud enough for my kids to hear - is expressing one's opinion really so important that possibly embarrassing a child is worth it?
post #18 of 51

Personally and in my family no baby has ever used one. None of my siblings kids, my kids, etc.. We all see then as un-needed.

I really don't like them and the idea of something like that in my kids mouth was just too much.

But to each his own. You have to use what works for you as a parent.

post #19 of 51

I was completely against them with my first and never used one.  I do, however, use one with my younger DD.  I held out until DD2 was five months old (she was already sucking her thumb even) and then I gave her one.  She just loves to suck.  She would suck on the breast just for suckings sake and get a belly full of milk that would make her spit up all the time.  She would suck her thumb going to sleep but wasn't too keen on it during the day.  I started giving her my finger to suck on but after AF came back (at five months) I just said, "Screw it," and gave her a pacifier.  Some kids just need to suck.  I do worry though about when and how to wean her from the pacifier......

 

post #20 of 51

I would never try to embarrass a child, and I wouldn't say anything to the child or the parent. It is not my place. However, I am entitled to my opinion.

 

I sucked my thumb until I was five, and I now have an overbite, TMJ and a gap between my teeth. My parents tried to get me to stop, but I was inconsolable without my thumb, it was so bad I actually had a callus. I did not want that for my child, and I did my best to avoid it.

 

The point I am making is that pacis are a tool that can be and is overused by many parents, and sometimes they allow it to go on for way too long. As far as comfort nursing, that is not the same thing at all...firstly, because it doesn't harm the child's mouth. Secondly, if you comfort nurse a child, it generally lasts for maybe five minutes, tops, the child doesn't run around all day with your nipple in his mouth. I try not comfort nurse my child, because I don't want her to depend on my breast. She needs to learn how to soothe herself since I won't always be there to whip out my boob when she is crying. But sometimes it is warranted, and when it is appropriate, I do it.

 

Parents need to respond to their child's needs in the best possible manner, which means doing what is best for the child, not just giving in and allowing the child whatever they want. The parent knows better than the child, and is supposed to help and guide the child. Yes, when I see an older child with a pacifier, I get angry at the parents. Because they have not found other age appropriate ways to help the child soothe themselves, such as a lovey, etc..Giving an older child a pacifier is not encouraging them to mature. Would you want to see a five year old carrying around a bottle?? No, because bottles are for babies. Just as a five year old has no business having a bottle, he should not have a pacifier either.

 

Pacifiers can change the shape of a child's mouth, insuring the need for braces and retainers, possibly causing TMJ, and creating an oral fixation. LLL does not strongly endorse pacifiers, and in fact does not recommend their use past six months of age. At that time, the babies sucking need dramatically decreases. I have seen this in my own child.

 

Sorry if you feel I am being harsh, but I feel very strongly about this issue, and I will not change my opinion to spare your feelings.

 

Pacifiers do have their uses, and I am not criticizing parents who use them judiciously..They are a tool like any other..They can do good but also great harm.

 

http://www.llli.org/NB/NBNovDec95p172.html

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