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katieesther 09-17-2012 11:58 AM

Wasn't sure where to post this but I was wondering how many mommies went with out the pacifier the whole time their little ones were breastfeeding?  And how did you women get things done?  I wasn't having any doubts about Aurora using me as a pacifier until yesterday when I had several of my Aunts telling me that she was just using me as a pacifier and how do I get anything done?  I told them that my thoughts were that before the plastic soother came around the baby had to use the breast and those mothers got through it.   I was loving that I could soothe her all by myself but all those women questioning what I was doing kind of made me feel weird for doing this  and after I came home I started looking around at the house & started to have second thoughts on it.  My BF is a great help and never complains that some days the house is not quite presentable because Aurora needed mom just a little more that day but now I'm just wondering how normal this is.  I guess what I'm looking for is some reassurance that what I'm doing is right and possible.  She is only 2 months also so maybe this 24/7 sucking will be over in a few weeks??


Thank you!!

Mama2mc 09-17-2012 12:07 PM

My LOs never used a paci. To get things done, we babywear. It's easier to do chores around the house, and baby is happy and can nurse...

rinap 09-17-2012 12:13 PM

Whether this is right and possible depends on the baby, and it depends on you. If it's working for your family, then great. If there comes a point when *you* need a break and your baby still needs the comfort of sucking, then a pacifier can be a great tool. We used one for a while to get one of our girls to stay asleep when I unlatched her at night (so I could have a little time). But one of our girls never really took to it. And either can be fine if you are getting the time you need and your baby is getting the comfort she needs. And that may change over time. It's not right and possible for everyone, but it seems to be both right and possible for you right now.

AmandaT 09-17-2012 12:26 PM

I never introduced a paci to my DD, who is now almost 9 months. I also liked the idea of soothing her myself, and took pride in being the one to comfort my baby. What you're doing is completely normal, natural, and possible!!


DD's nursing (both comfort and nutritional) needs definitely slowed down between 2 and 3 months and I frequently had 1-2 hour stretches where she did not nurse. I would either place her in her seat/on a blanket or if I wanted more time give her to her daddy. Although, at two months PP I was not worried about what state the house was in orngtongue.gif


There have been a few occasions (maybe 5) where I wished I had given her a paci- a few times I really just wanted to finish my dinner or horrible car rides (I had a baby who HATES the car)- but overall I'm glad I never gave her one. A good friend of mine has a 3.5 year old who won't give hers up (I know this is extreme) but I'm glad I don't have to go through it at all. 


ETA: There is nothing inherently wrong with pacifiers and they help thousands of families every day, but if you don't want to use one don't let yourself be pressured into it! The baby stage is so short and the time you use to soothe your daughter is time you will always remember and cherish love.gif

AmandaT 09-17-2012 12:27 PM

I have to second the babywearing suggestion! Although I didn't get the hang of nursing her in the Ergo until she was a bit bigger, usually just wearing her calmed her down enough for me to get some things done. 

vanni 09-17-2012 12:43 PM

My daughter is 10 months and we've never used a pacifier. When I look back maybe I would have given her one if I thought it really would have allowed me to get more done (??) but I'm not sure. I'm still BFing and when she was smaller I was concerned that a paci would mask signs of her being hungry. My husband was also really opposed to using one, for no real reason other than he was afraid she would be a paci addict. But for some babies/families, it seems to work well. When she started sleeping through the night at 8 months, she started sucking on her fingers, and also does this throughout the day as a self-calming tool. Definitely easier than having to retrieve a pacifier! You could always try it and see what happens. I definitely nursed and wore her around the clock in the early months, and didn't get much done outside the bare minimum for survival!

katelove 09-17-2012 02:52 PM

My 2.5yo has never had a dummy. To get things done I either wore her or DH had her. At 2 months though I also wasnt too worried about how the house looked. And I didnt have any other children to look after either.

fruitfulmomma 09-17-2012 03:19 PM

I am on my 6th without having used one. Eh, I might be slower in getting things done but it works for us.


Can I just add how sick I am of the idea that babies use momma as a paci? Breasts are the default, the thing babies were designed to suck on. They know nothing about pacifiers unless we introduce them.

Asiago 09-17-2012 03:59 PM

Funny enough, I made a comment to someone prior to birth "and I don't want to be a human pacifier"......yet once my son was born the thought of using a paci never crossed my mind. I didn't utilize baby wearing enough early on and it wasn't until about four months that I did it most of the day. It does make nursing and being mobile so much easier.

Per your aunt's comments, and saying something equally ignorant prior to nursing myself (!), it just seems a societal or perhaps cultural mindset....that nursing is just about nutririon (and immunity, etc)....yet non-nutritive suckling is so important and I think that is one of anthropologists Kathryn Dettwyler's beef's also. That western culture, oddly enough, does not quite grasp non-nutritive suckling, yet it probably did prior to the 20th century when bf'g was much more prevalent.

Emaye 09-17-2012 05:03 PM

I never used one but my children did not seem to need it.  I would have no problem introducing it to them if I thought they needed constant sucking and I needed a break.  Nothing wrong with using a paci or not using one.  Depends on the child, mom and the comfort of everyone involved.  So, if it is working for you and your babe, keep on doin' it smile.gif

HappyHappyMommy 09-18-2012 05:29 PM

Hi katieesther and welcome to MDC! I'm going to move your post to the general breastfeeding forum and I think you'll get more responses there. smile.gif


As a reminder to all, if you are ever unsure where a post goes, this is a helpful guide to the Breastfeeding Challenges forum or feel free to PM an admin or moderator.

phathui5 09-19-2012 12:44 AM

I've always thought the "using you as a pacifier" comment was an interesting one. The pacifier is a substitute for mom, for the sucking at the breast that babies are programmed to expect.

Quinalla 09-19-2012 07:17 AM

Babywearing helps a lot with getting things done if your baby enjoys it (mine did, but only in certain positions). As far as pacifiers, my baby wanted to be held all the time anyway, so a pacifier would not have helped me in that regard anyway, so I never even thought to use one when I was around (except in the car). Once I went back to work FT or if I was away and she was in DHs or someone else's care, then I was fine with a pacifier to help them to soothe her (not everyone is and that's fine, but I had no problem with it). So yeah, I'm with you, it made more sense to soothe her myself when I was around except in the car. Honestly for me it ended up not mattering much as she would rarely take a pacifier, usually only when she was teething and would alternate sucking and gnawing on it smile.gif However, if you do want to try a pacifier, I think that's totally fine, but if you don't want to you shouldn't feel like you HAVE to just because someone else thinks you should. I know how easy it is to question yourself after every little comment someone makes, I remember that and it was hard, maybe talk to your BF for reassurance if you need it? I can tell you right now you are doing great!

annaknitsspock 09-19-2012 07:37 AM

Originally Posted by Quinalla View Post

 if you do want to try a pacifier, I think that's totally fine, but if you don't want to you shouldn't feel like you HAVE to just because someone else thinks you should.


This! That's exactly what I was going to say. 

ivyciolli 09-19-2012 07:51 AM

It is what nature intended!  My son is 3 today and is still breastfeeding.  Nothing replaces the mother's nipple to pacify a baby!  Continue to give your breast and not an artificial pacifier to soothe your baby.  Hearing your heartbeat, feeling your warmth and your voice is what your baby needs.  Most moms want to do what is easy and convenient for them.  You will raise a healthy, happy and confident child by being there to comfort and nurture them when they need you...not a pacifier!

chibabyc 09-19-2012 08:24 AM

My 2 kids didn't use a paci except for the first days in the hospital, despite dad and their grandparents trying and trying when they were caring for them. Wouldn't take a bottle either even with breast milk. Sometimes as a mom, especially early on, you are not always confident. But if it's working for you, go with it. I often felt tied to the couch and I had to learn to let things go in the house. Breastfeeding is not just feeding, it is comfort and bonding time too.

yitlan 09-19-2012 08:27 AM

I was so surprised to see this on the Hot Topics in my email. My youngest is now 5, so I don't visit here too much and our nursing days are over.  But my three never used a pacifier.  So it's possible. I did have one child where it crossed my mind in the wee hours but come daytime I never went out and got one.  I now have nieces/nephews who make me so glad my kids didn't use one. They were weaned from the breast before age 1 but in my mind just got weaned to the paci.  I couldn't believe how the house was ruled by that thing until he was 3!

Boone Family 09-19-2012 08:45 AM

I agree with the Mama who mentioned that the pacifier is a replacement for the breast.  Hmmmm....which came first, the breast or a plastic replacement?  


I have 5 kids and only my first used a pacifier *briefly*.  Babywearing has been so helpful for us.  Now with older children, they can also help hold the baby while they go about their daily activities, etc.  (We also home educate so I have the blessing of having my 13,10, 6 and 3 year olds around along with the 9 month old).  


In parenting, I think some of the best advice I've heard is that YOU are the parent...not the aunts, grandmothers, etc.  You need to make decisions based on good information and your choices...NOT bullying by these "well-meaning" people.  Your baby will only be small once.  I have nursed nearly all of my children to age 3...and they are all happy and well adjusted....If I'm the "pacifier" oh well!!!  ;-)





~mama to 5

eknuckles 09-19-2012 09:09 AM

My DD will be one month next year and I never used a pacifier. Some people begged me to during horrible screeching car rides, but I said no.
(instead we bought a toy that lit up in the dark and she loved that).
I would wear her around the house sometimes in the (woven) baby wrap, but other than that I got things done during naps. For the first two months i did not do much at all though.
It's totally doable smile.gif and the 'mommy is a pacifier' is an odd statement... Because why does it matter ?!?!

aifdo 09-19-2012 10:52 AM

We never used a pacifier  with any of our three although there were times in the car where I would have loved to have given them one..LOL..they all went through hating the car at some point!

Baby wearing has been great for us and I certainly don't live in a pristine house but it is manageable.

I totally agree with PP's about the idea of the pacifier as replacement mother, I am happy to be a human pacifier but some people are not able or willing and so thats up to them..if it works for you then keep on going and don't listen to the naysayers.

CatsMom129 09-19-2012 11:52 AM

Just agreeing with all the PPs here. My dd never had much interest in the pacifier, so I didn't use it. Do what works for you. If your aunts think it's weird, that just means that your experience is different from theirs. We have a lot more breastfeeding info now than in previous generations, and they may not be up on it. They might not realize how much healthier the breast milk is, how it provides nutrition and immunological benefits, as well as mommy snuggle time -- none of which pacifiers provide. And yes, as babies get older, especially when they start solids, they will gradually nurse less. (Unless they're having a growth spurt, or fighting off germs, or just need more mommy time. There's an ebb and flow there.) They don't nurse 24/7 forever.


I had a hard time learning the baby-wearing stuff. If you're in the same boat, you might want to check out any baby-wearing groups in your area. You can check online or ask around at La Leche League or any attachment parenting groups you're a part of. I think Dr. Sears' Baby Book has some info, and I've heard good things about the Tummy 2 Tummy video. You might need to experiment and practice a while before you get the hang of it. Good luck!

margherman 09-19-2012 12:26 PM

Wise comments from all the moms who responded!

I have just one observation to add, which is how many times you see a mom or other caretaker automatically insert the rubber-and-plastic device into a baby's mouth without any prompt from the baby. In fact, the adult keeps pushing it back in the baby's mouth. It becomes a kind of plug, like the one Maggie on The Simpsons uses. Pacifiers can be useful for fussy babies who -- for one reason or another -- cannot be soothed at the breast. For a baby who seems to be content, what's the point? The pacifier is for the benefit of the adult, I guess. 

angelarose1 09-19-2012 03:00 PM

My first baby wouldn't take a paci at all, he nursed for extended amounts of time and still loves to nurse as much as I will allow. My youngest is 4 months and seems to prefer the pacified when comfort nursing, I have a strong letdown and it seems to annoy her when she isn't hungry. Every baby is different, I had to let go of my ideals and just go with the flow:)

rebbecky 09-19-2012 04:29 PM

I see you have received a lot of feedback, but I will still share my experience. I used a pacifier in the beginning, but now wish that I had not. I only say this because I would have had more chances to nurse my baby (he is now 6 months old). I made the mistake for a little while of using the pacifier when he probably wanted to eat, b/c a PA told me (when he was about 3 months old) that he was just using me as a pacifier and that if I new he'd eaten already to not give him my breast (use the paci instead). Fortunately, he seemed to give it up not long after that, but I think it was because I'd really started nursing him on demand at that point and stopped watching the clock and started watching him.


I agree with the other moms about baby wearing. I did this as well and it can help you get some things done, but also keep in mind that the house work will always be there...your LO will not always be 2 months old! This thread brought to mind the poem:


"Babies Don't Keep"


The cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'til tomorrow,

For babies grow up, I've learned to my sorrow.


So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.

I'm nursing my baby, and babies don't keep.


Adapted form "Song for a Fifth Child, " by Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Katica 09-19-2012 05:04 PM

We have three kids, the youngest is 3 months old. Never used a paci, had one just in case, but after a day or too they spat it out. Mommy is much better, you know? winky.gif No need for them, just wear your little girl and she`ll be happy as can be.

tanyato 09-20-2012 03:56 AM

I'm finding all the accounts of babies spitting out pacifiers really funny - my 10 month old has always looked at us like we're nuts whenever we've but one his mouth. Like "is this a joke?". He chews on it for a bit then spits it out.

So, sometimes babies won't even take one! If you're ever getting hassled and don't feel like explaining your views about paccis, you could always brush off the comments with something like "meh, she's not that into it" and then change the topic.

I will say, I am soooo glad 'i was his pacifier' for the first 6 months... In honesty though, some nights NOW I wish he'd take one.

closedaccount15 09-20-2012 04:30 AM

My 2 kids never took a pacifier, my sisters 4 kids never took one (we both had projectiles when we attempted) It was funny watching my mom hold the pacifier in the mouth for 10 minutes (she was determined they needed one), and some would comply during the time and some would actually scream at her. But once her hand was removed, it became a projectile by the mouth. And she would say "I have never seen a baby not take a pacifier" and I would say "um so far you have seen 6, so I am not sure what you are talking about"  The other 4 grandkids did take them and I know they had them a long long time, it was hard to break them off it.


babywear, carry, but just say she doesn't want one. And only allow them to hold the pacifier in the mouth if you want a good laugh. Babies are only babies for a year. (or sooner when they start walking at 9 months!) Stuff can wait for a year.

MichelleZB 09-20-2012 05:33 AM

Originally Posted by katieesther View Post
 I wasn't having any doubts about Aurora using me as a pacifier until yesterday when I had several of my Aunts telling me that she was just using me as a pacifier and how do I get anything done?


This sort of a amuses me! Apparently, according to your aunts, the only thing between you and untold hours of free time is a little plastic sucker. Ha... no.


Also, by "get anything done" they mean chores, right? Laundry, dishes. That's what everyone means when they say "getting things done." WHY ON EARTH would you want to find a replacement for nursing your child only to have the pleasure of doing the dishes? Doing the dishes sucks.


I get lots of things done while nursing, including but not limited to: bonding with my child, feeding him, reading a book, napping, drinking tea, and surfing the internet one-handed. I make other people do my dishes because I'm nursing. What? Your aunts didn't have a husband who did the dishes? How did they get anything DONE?

Hymanroth 09-20-2012 07:35 AM

My son is 13 months and still bf on demand and has never had a pacifier. I just knew he wouldn't go for plastic when he has the real thing anytime hed like.

How do I get things done? Wear him in a sling or ssc. And when he began crawling I made sure everything was baby proof and than I set up low shelves as per Montessori guidelines and toys that will keep his attention and interesting things to touch and explore available.

My mom and a nurse told me that I am just lettin him use me as a pacifier. Well guess what? Turns out that he was regulating how much milk he needs. And I was never bothered once.

My mom also complained until she was blue in the face that I need baby gates to contain him. He would be miserable and I would have to follow his every move to make sure he was safe out of the gates. He can go explore while I do anything and when he's done he comes to me to be worn on my chest.

Clarasmama 09-20-2012 08:31 AM

My DD is 18 months, still nursing, and never would take a pacifier.  She was always breastfed on demand (or "cue" which is a little nicer sounding), because I knew how important it was from the very first day to nurse, nurse, nurse to establish my supply!  I didn't even attempt the paci until a couple of months in, and I can't remember why I did anymore at all, but she would just chew on it and spit it out.  Maybe sucked on it a total of 5 times ever, before then chewing it again and spitting it out.  Oh, I remember now...she was a really fussy baby, and we'd heard about it being used as a temporary way to help soothe a screaming baby, as in it should help calm them down so you can take it back out.  Didn't work :)


With new DS due in January it'll be the same.  No pacifiers, bottles, anything except breast to establish supply (shouldn't be hard with DD still nursing!) and to get him latching on really well for the first couple of months, then we'll see how his temperment is.  I know some 100% breastfed and constantly worn babies that still need a paci, so it's not like it never happens.


I shake my head at the "human pacifier" comment're the mother, the one and only source of comfort that tiny being has known since conception...I'd much rather be the source of comfort to my baby than a piece of plastic.  Same goes when they're older...things should never replace people.

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