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Pacifier/nap help, please?!?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

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!

post #2 of 5
This may be a situation where you have to decide if it's a big deal to you. If it is, I would just get rid of the paci altogether. If you don't want to get rid of the paci, then you'll likely have to deal wifth LO wanting it more often than you'd like, no matter how grandma uses it. Babies like to suck, and it's likely very soothing at nap time.
Also, I've found my LO can change drastically from week to week, so some of your DD's behavior and sleep changes could be related to growing, and developing, or learning how to communicate more effectively.
post #3 of 5
I didn't really get into my views about paci use, but I've never used one with my almost 1 DD. I like that she doesn't use one, it's likely helped her verbal skills compared to heavy paci users, but it also means she nurses far more frequently. It's annoying that she only wants to suckle me, and I don't have an alternate option.
I think this is something that may not be that big a deal looking back. One year into my first baby, things look a little different than they used to. I wouldn't mind next baby using a paci some, even for every nap.
post #4 of 5
Don't forget that her normal for naptime is to fall asleep without you since you work FT. I honestly think she needs the paci when you're not there and am not surprised by her wanting the same nap routine when you're with her. You can always wean her off the paci when she's 1 or 1.5. Using a paci at naptime doesn't make her a pacifier baby but a baby who is adjusting to mommy working as much as she can. I would instead insist on gma giving smaller bottles more often and bottle feeding in a paced manner to best support your nursing relationship. Kellymom.com has a whole section for working moms and how to bottlefed the breastfed baby.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you, thank you. I so very much appreciate your thoughts and advice. I definitely know this pacifier problem is my own problem...I think I feel like a bad mama because she needs one and I know I can't be there for her when at work :( Oh the guilt of a working mama. Thank you for reassuring the use of pacifier. And for the tip of g'ma feeding her.

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