Desperately in need of help/advice/reassurance about pacifier/nap cycle. My DD is 5 months old. She has always been a finicky napper, but sleeps great at night. I went back to work at 3/4 months and she stays with g'ma 2-3 days and DH 2-3 days. She takes the bottle fine and never has a problem transitioning back to breast, in fact she can't wait to get back to breast. So no nipple confusion.
We introduced a pacifier pretty early on, but really only use when all other efforts have been exhausted. This usually happens in the car and she rarely gets worked up other than that. DH and I work together on this and he uses the pacifier to put her down during the day after exhausting all other options. He takes it out when she is down. She naps usually for about 45 min - 1 hour, multiple times a day.
G'ma gets her to nap for 2 hours. When I asked her how she did this, she revealed that she uses the pacifier quite frequently. I think she uses every time she puts her down AND when she starts stirring she just pops it back in. We have mentioned multiple times that this is not how we do it at home and she always says I know, I know. (Sidenote: I also think this is masking her hunger symptoms as g'ma goes much longer between feedings, but feeds her more at each sitting)
Recently, the past week or so, when I'm home, I'm having a really tough time getting her down. She shows all the normal signs that she's sleepy, but won't go to sleep. Same for DH. She'll just start to get so worked up. So I put her on the breast (which I don't mind doing) and she goes down...for 20 minutes and wakes up angry. It's obvious she wants to suck as she doesn't really eat when I put her to the breast. And I think she is having trouble staying down without the pacifier in her mouth now.
This is exactly what I didn't want to happen. I'm fine with using the pacifier when she needs it (although I'd like that to be never), I just don't want her to form an association with the pacifier and nap time (bedtime is different and she never uses it then). I want her to be able to fall asleep and sleep in a healthy way and feel this is an unhealthy development.
Am I blowing this out of proportion and should just give her the pacifier for nap time if that's how she sleeps best and it seems like she wants it? I'm tearing my hair out over the fact that I have a pacifier baby. I'd love to hear all thoughts for/against paci use with your LO. Thanks!