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#1 of 23 Old 05-31-2006, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it normal for your baby to use your nipple as a pacifier? He is 9 weeks old and sometimes he will not go to sleep if he is not nursing. Is this normal or is this a habit that I should break him from doing?
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#2 of 23 Old 05-31-2006, 03:53 PM
 
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From all I have read this is totally normal and nothing to discourage. Sucking is a very soothing activity for babies. This is also good for encouraging a big strong milk supply.
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#3 of 23 Old 05-31-2006, 03:53 PM
 
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I think it's normal.

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#4 of 23 Old 05-31-2006, 04:06 PM
 
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Very normal. Your babe could be doing it for many reasons, like to increase your supply by stimulating your nipple more often, maybe in preperation of a growth spurt? But most likely it's for comfort, and that's by all means okay!

If there's anything I've learnt from motherhood it's that babies know what what they need, and so far it's been true that there's always always a reason for their behavior weather it's clear in the moment or in hind-sight.

If your baby needs to suck, let him suck and try to accept and enjoy the moment.

Laurie, wife to guitar.gifDH (Aug/04), mom tobikenew.gifDS1 (Nov/05) and bfinfant.gifDS2 (June/12).

 

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#5 of 23 Old 05-31-2006, 04:18 PM
 
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Completely. I certainly was one! As long as it isn't hurting your nipples then it is totally fine. I wish I had actually given dd a pacifier because it was terribly hard on ym nipples to be sucked on constantly but nonetheless we made it through and she doesn't need me for a pacifier anymore, since like 3 or so months, I think. It is still great as a true "pacifier" when she is upset or something though!

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#6 of 23 Old 05-31-2006, 04:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secretresistance
From all I have read this is totally normal and nothing to discourage. Sucking is a very soothing activity for babies. This is also good for encouraging a big strong milk supply.
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#7 of 23 Old 05-31-2006, 04:35 PM
 
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Yep, it's normal. Pacifiers are just the artificial version of what you're already doing. FWIW, DS did this alot early on, but slacked off as he got older. He's pretty much a strictly for nutrition guy these days, by his own choice. Too much to see/do! My DS does still nurse to sleep...I don't really see the negative there. It works pretty well for both of us.
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#8 of 23 Old 05-31-2006, 05:02 PM
 
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Constant nursing is good, normal and healthy. A pacifier is an artificial substitute for a breast. (In other countries it is called a "dummy" like a store mannequin is a "dummy" or artificial person.)

If anyone says "don't let the baby use you as a pacifier," I owuld not recommend listening to their breastfeeding advice because they don't get it.

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#9 of 23 Old 05-31-2006, 07:14 PM
 
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To pacify means to calm, gentle or establish peace. Would you rather that your child learns to turn to another person for that feeling, or a piece of plastic? Breastfeeding is much more than a food delivery system.
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#10 of 23 Old 05-31-2006, 07:55 PM
 
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What's ABNORMAL is to use a pacifer instead of a breast

Babies are designed to suck. And breasts are designed to be sucked on.

-Angela
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#11 of 23 Old 05-31-2006, 09:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momtwice
Constant nursing is good, normal and healthy. A pacifier is an artificial substitute for a breast. (In other countries it is called a "dummy" like a store mannequin is a "dummy" or artificial person.)

If anyone says "don't let the baby use you as a pacifier," I owuld not recommend listening to their breastfeeding advice because they don't get it.
:

I just hate all the books that say you should not nurse to sleep, yet advocate pacifiers. So my breast isn't okay, but a cheap plastic replica of it is???? :
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#12 of 23 Old 05-31-2006, 09:22 PM
 
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i WISH my baby wd. use my breast as a pacifier and nurse to sleep! instead, he gets angry when he wants to just suck and milk comes out, so we have resorted to the pacifier. i think for us, though, part of the problem is that i have such a strong let down that it gags him when he really just wants to sleep.
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#13 of 23 Old 05-31-2006, 09:53 PM
 
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My Lu is almost 8 months old and she still uses my breast to soothe herself to sleep! Does it end? Anyone know how to wean her off of it?
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#14 of 23 Old 05-31-2006, 09:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momtwice
Constant nursing is good, normal and healthy. A pacifier is an artificial substitute for a breast. (In other countries it is called a "dummy" like a store mannequin is a "dummy" or artificial person.)

If anyone says "don't let the baby use you as a pacifier," I owuld not recommend listening to their breastfeeding advice because they don't get it.
AMEN!!!!

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#15 of 23 Old 05-31-2006, 10:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Doodadsmom
Pacifiers are just the artificial version of what you're already doing.
I was going to say just that! A pacifier is a substitute for the breast, NOT the other way around. It's absolutely normal for a baby to want to nurse a lot. Breastfeeding isn't just about food, it's also about comfort and bonding.



Jolene, your DD will need comfort nursing and nursing to sleep less and less as the months go by, don't worry! As she learns other ways of comforting herself, she'll decrease the comfort nursing. If you're feeling tapped out, see if you can introduce other sleep associations (like a song or reading a book or rocking a different way). For us, my DH gets pretty involved in the bedtime routine and that helps the transition from nursing to sleep to eventually going to sleep by themselves.

may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living whatever they sing is better than to know  - e.e. cummings
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#16 of 23 Old 05-31-2006, 11:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JkFelix
My Lu is almost 8 months old and she still uses my breast to soothe herself to sleep! Does it end? Anyone know how to wean her off of it?
Most babies become slowly ready to go to sleep in other ways by 2 or 3.

-Angela
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#17 of 23 Old 06-01-2006, 03:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JkFelix
My Lu is almost 8 months old and she still uses my breast to soothe herself to sleep! Does it end? Anyone know how to wean her off of it?

You really don't need to wean her off of it, she will do it herself as she becomes developmentally able to utilize other soothing methods to get to sleep. Consider nursing to sleep an incredible tool built in by nature.

You can start introducing other positive sleep associations with a bedtime routine, and as she becomes able she will be soothed by them as much as and then instead of the breast, gradually. The pp is correct in saying that most kids fall asleep with other soothing methods sometime between 2 and 3.

I chose to use nursing to sleep as a tool, I'll go find the thread where I posted our story about how it turned out -
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#18 of 23 Old 06-01-2006, 04:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by velcromom
You really don't need to wean her off of it, she will do it herself as she becomes developmentally able to utilize other soothing methods to get to sleep. Consider nursing to sleep an incredible tool built in by nature.
It can be difficult if you don't co-sleep, though. The No-Cry Sleep Solution describes a method to help encourage self-soothing for bf'ing non-co-sleepers.
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#19 of 23 Old 06-01-2006, 04:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dkeoshian
instead, he gets angry when he wants to just suck and milk comes out, so we have resorted to the pacifier. i think for us, though, part of the problem is that i have such a strong let down that it gags him when he really just wants to sleep.
Me too--but my son won't take a pacifier most of the time! Sometimes soothing him at all presents quite a challenge, poor guy! (He is, however, enjoying mum's nums at the moment whilst catnapping... )
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#20 of 23 Old 06-01-2006, 05:01 PM
 
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Yep. Totally normal. Breasts are the ORIGINAL pacifiers. :-) Those plastic things came along later as substitutes for the poor babies whose mommas wouldn't nurse them.

Don't worry, you won't be nursing constantly around the clock forever. Nursing patterns change and evolve as your baby grows. Enjoy this time for what it is. And don't worry about it.

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#21 of 23 Old 06-01-2006, 05:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by secretresistance
From all I have read this is totally normal and nothing to discourage. Sucking is a very soothing activity for babies. This is also good for encouraging a big strong milk supply.
agreed!!


My DD is 8 months old and still nurses to sleep - esp. at night (not always for naps). Doesn't bother me - it is comforting for her and I love our nursing relationship. I don't view it as a problem in any way

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#22 of 23 Old 06-01-2006, 05:10 PM
 
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Well I can't find the darn thread so I'll post the story again.




"Do they ever begin to fall asleep on their own at some point?

That seems to be a common concern/question many nursing moms have, with a lot of doctors and so called experts and grandmas discouraging moms from nursing their babies to sleep by saying "you have to teach them to get themselves to sleep or they will not be able to fall asleep on their own!!"

Well I'm here to tell ya, that's not how it worked out for us. I was surprised to hear that it was even an issue; for us, the tucking in ritual is a very pleasant part of the evening and if you are going to be in the child's room helping them get to sleep anyway... why not be nursing?? I just didn't see what the big deal was. I'm going to be right there, cuddling, backrubbing, storytelling and lullabying... but then refuse to nurse? That just seemed silly to me.

So here's what happened when we ignored the "don't nurse your baby to sleep!" advice.

Or actually what didn't happen.

We didn't walk the halls trying to soothe a crying baby to sleep. Ever.

He didn't build a permanent "suck to sleep" habit. During the first year I'd spend anywhere from twenty minutes to fortyfive nursing him at bedtime. Usually that seemed dicated by his hunger level - he would stay awake actively drinking milk til he was satisfied, then he would drift off. I learned to be sure of the depth of his sleep before I put him down so that he wouldn't be awakened by the change of position.

Sometime around eighteen months, he began to drift off less. I noticed he was in a lighter state of dozing when I put him down. This happened gradually and not at a steady rate. Some weeks it occured more often, some less.

At some point, he began to unlatch and sit up during our bedtime nursing session. I was confused and would encourage him to finish, not wanting him to wake hungry again in an hour. After a few days of this I thought, wait, he's telling me something - he's done and he's ready to lie down! Duh! From that point on I knew nursing to sleep was a phase he was going to grow out of at his own pace. He had shown me that he could let me know when he wanted to stop, and that he could now lie down without being totally asleep.

Before this point I wasn't sure he'd grow out of it without me encouraging it. It was not that big a deal to me, since nursing to sleep was such an effective tool, but seeing him begin to respond to his own needs and beginning to mature in his sleep patterns was a big milestone and taught me that it really was going to happen with or without me!

At about the age of two, I could stop the nursing session myself without protest from him, and lie him down drowsy but awake. He would then drift off after cuddling close to his lovey and blankey.

Now that he is two and a half, I can put him down basically awake, but relaxed, after a few minutes of nursing. Occasionally he will let go and say, "I'm done" and I will lay him down. I anticipate the day that he lays in my arms and is content to merely cuddle, refusing my suggestion to nurse. I know it is going to happen sooner or later.

I know that many parents are conflicted about nursing to sleep. I encourage them to think of it as a tool. Nursing is very often a mother's most effective tool for many purposes. Nothing else even comes close. Like my husband says, "Why would I use a mediocre tool when I have a first-class one right here?"

Speaking of husbands and nursing to sleep, we wondered too if it would cause a problem if I ever had to be away at bedtime. There were a few times this did happen, and our son seemed to be well aware that daddy had no milk, and let DH soothe him to sleep in his own way with stories and music and cuddles.

It's true that not every baby can be nursed to sleep every time. Colic, overstimulation, overtiredness, growth spurts... all things that can and do interfere with baby's sleep pattern. If there's anything that stays the same, it's that a baby's sleep pattern is going to change. But I encourage moms to use nursing to sleep to the full extent that it is effective for them. If it works most of the time, use it most of the time. If it works sometimes, use it sometimes. But do use it to make your life easier. It's not a bad habit, and it isn't permanent. It's just a really powerful tool that you will have for a short time in your child's life, so make the most of it that you can, for as long as it works for you!"



A couple of notes -

I used the Pantley Pull-Off (from the No Cry Sleep Solution) to teach him to unlatch without waking so that I could put him down. (he went thru that phase of wanting to be latched on all night and would wake up and fuss all over again if I tried to put him down)

We were not cosleeping - he slept in his crib next to my bed til he was three when he decided to sleep in his own room.
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#23 of 23 Old 06-01-2006, 06:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by funshine
I was going to say just that! A pacifier is a substitute for the breast, NOT the other way around. It's absolutely normal for a baby to want to nurse a lot. Breastfeeding isn't just about food, it's also about comfort and bonding.
My 10wk daughter loves to suck for comfort (of course). I'm going back to work. Do you think is it better to let her figure out how to comfort herself in other ways, or give her a pacifier to suck on?
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