Dummy (pacifier) for young baby - I feel bad! - Mothering Forums
Life With a Baby > Dummy (pacifier) for young baby - I feel bad!
Zimbah's Avatar Zimbah 07:40 AM 06-29-2011

DD2, almost 6 weeks, really likes her dummy.  We started giving her one at around 3 weeks as she was often rooting after she'd breastfed but didn't want to feed again - if I persisted in encouraging her to feed, she would either just cry or eat and throw up the whole lot (not just spit-up).  I have a lot of milk so she can't just suck for comfort wihtout getting a mouthful of milk.  I just feel bad that she has a dummy in her mouth probably 50% of the time, but if that's what she wants...  It hasn't affected her breastfeeding, she feeds around every 3 hours in the day.  This too is strange to me as DD1 fed a lot, lot more frequently, whereas DD2 seems to be putting herself into some kind of routine.  Anyway I was wondering how other people square their pro-bf'ing approach with a baby who actively prefers a dummy to sucking on mummy.

gumshoegirl007's Avatar gumshoegirl007 10:27 AM 06-29-2011

There's what I believe and then there's what my baby needs/wants.  My DD sounds exactly the same as yours.  From early on, she had an intense need to suck and we put a finger in her mouth until around 6 weeks as which time we introduced a binky.  I can rarely get her to comfort suck at the boob given the mouthful of milk issues. 


My DD also likes to suck herself to sleep.  I like that she will now nurse to sleep and sometimes will use her binky to self-soothe herself to sleep.  This is particularly true after her evening bath right before she goes down for the night.  I'm holding her the entire time, but she very clearly prefers her binky to breastfeeding at that time.


While I'd prefer she didn't have a binky at all, I would rather meet her needs that she so clearly expresses.  That's my priority as her mom.



Mosaic's Avatar Mosaic 10:31 AM 06-29-2011
A pacifier isn't evil. I hated the things and never used them with my first daughter. Then my second daughter had (has) feeding issues, and I spent HOURS trying to get her to take a pacifier as part of her therapy.

It is true that sometimes it can interfere with breastfeeding, but I never realized it can also help a breastfeeding relationship. And if you have a baby who wants to suck and doesn't want milk, a pacifier seems like a good solution. thumb.gif
Greenlea's Avatar Greenlea 10:45 AM 06-29-2011

Both my kids got pacifiers.  Both were comfort suckers.  However, I went back to work after having them and they can't exactly comfort nurse if I'm not with them.  They pretty much only got the binky at bedtime.  I got my older son to give his up pretty easily around 18mths.


I understand the need for babies to have binkies.  But I don't feel like they need them while playing or "just because".  A binky for soothing at bedtime is understandable.  I would hope as the baby got older, binky time would happen less and less as they'd need less soothing unless going to sleep. 

Adaline'sMama's Avatar Adaline'sMama 10:50 AM 06-29-2011
My DD had a paci in her mouth a bout 50%of the time until she hit 6 months old. When she started eating solid food, she just wasnt interested anymore and I packed them all away. I think some babies want to suckle all the time and a paci is a great tool for that.
prothyraia's Avatar prothyraia 11:20 AM 06-29-2011

Originally Posted by Zimbah View Post

DD2, almost 6 weeks, really likes her dummy.  We started giving her one at around 3 weeks as she was often rooting after she'd breastfed but didn't want to feed again - if I persisted in encouraging her to feed, she would either just cry or eat and throw up the whole lot (not just spit-up).  I have a lot of milk so she can't just suck for comfort wihtout getting a mouthful of milk.

My oldest did this; he also gave up the pacifier on his own once my supply settled down (I forget when that happens- 3 months? Something like that?).


I agree that people need to be really careful about using pacifiers and be ready to ditch them if they start to cause problems, but I also think that in some cases they can *help* the breastfeeding relationship; oversupply/overactive letdown is one of those times.  My son deserved to be able to comfort suck when he needed to; my breasts didn't really cooperate with that at first. 

new2this's Avatar new2this 06:32 PM 06-29-2011

DD has one and she is attached to it. I have no issues with it. We had a great breastfeeding relationship but comfort nursing she couldn't get down as well as I wasn't interested in being a human pacifier. I would have entertained the idea for a while but with her suck need no way could I have done it. I say as long as its not interfering with your feeding relationship then whats the problem?

sunshinemum's Avatar sunshinemum 06:47 PM 06-29-2011

my first baby was very disdainful of the dummy, he only wanted mummy. The 2nd and 3rd, however, have both enjoyed their dummies. I too had/have a lot of milk, and my babies wanted to suck but didn't want any more milk. I had no trouble weaning DS2 off his dummy and I don't anticipate having much trouble with DD either. I know all the reasons why dummies are considered bad, but sometimes you just have to do what works and trust everything will turn out ok.

~adorkable~'s Avatar ~adorkable~ 07:36 PM 06-29-2011

breastfeeding and binky's dont have to be a zero sum game, one does not negate the other. although we have trouble breastfeeding becasue of premie isues and bottles given in the first week, it was actually the binky at week 4 that help my littlest learn to suck strong. now they love them to sooth them to sleep after breastfeeding.


being a attentive parent means paying attention to what your child is happy with and providing that as long as it is no harmful, binkies are usually not harmful. So if they find it comforting, by all means provide it. im so glad that around here they dont call them a "dumby" that must add to your dislike on some level.



Heck, we could keep our babies warm by wrapping ourselves around them 24/7,

that doesn't mean we are bad parents by putting clothes on them...

laneysprout's Avatar laneysprout 07:44 PM 06-29-2011

My dear friend (who also happens to be the best lactation consultant in the state of RI!)) is very clear about the fact that babies under six months of age or so definitely have non-nutritive sucking needs.  Neither of my kids would accept a pacifier or a bottle (and I tried with both).  I also had an oversupply with both kids that caused them to gag/spit up when they accidentally got a mouthful of milk when what they really need was to comfort suck.  Eventually my supply evened out and I continue to comfort nurse my DS, who just turned a year, throughout the day and night.  Every child is different, though, and a central tenant of AP/NFL is being attentive to your child and attached enough to know what they need.  It sounds like you are doing just that!

SeattleRain's Avatar SeattleRain 08:40 PM 06-29-2011

I absolutely don't think there is ANYTHING wrong with a pacifier! If your baby wants one, by all means give it to her! I agree with what previous posters have said about babies needing to suck. My son is 1 and he still gets his paci when he's in his crib. He used to get it literally all the time whenever he wanted. Then he turned 6 months or so and we started putting some limits on it so he wouldn't get too attached. Now he only gets it occasionally in his carseat and every nap and sleep.

Partaria's Avatar Partaria 01:04 PM 07-01-2011

I was totally against pacifiers for the first 8 weeks, as that's the advice we got from our midwife as well as a lactation consultant we spoke to prior to DS's birth.


Well, that's all well and good. But one of the first things I learned as a new mom is that not every baby goes by the book. And as someone trying to practice attachment parenting, I feel my first priority is to follow my son's lead, not to rigidly adhere to books and expert advice. Even if that advice is from pro-AP parenting resources. :)


DS wanted to suck all. the. time. Absolutely every moment. And I'd had a long labour followed by a c-section. I hadn't slept more than 3 hours in four days, and my breasts were sore as hell. I gave him a pacifier within his first week of life. I felt totally horrible about it and was convinced I'd ruined our breastfeeding relationship. But I was just so desperate to get some rest, I didn't know what else to do. DS took the pacifier for about 3 minutes then fell dead asleep for a glorious 3 hours.


He still uses pacifiers to help him settle. He will do what others here have described. He'll eat and then keep suckling until he gets way too much milk and throws up. Then he'll want to suck some more. He just likes sucking, and he gets frustrated when he wants to suck without getting choked by milk (I have a heavy letdown and a big supply, so that adds to the issue).


He is still an amazing eater, and is in the 95th percentile for weight. He lost a pound a few days after he was born, and gained back his birth weight within the first 10 days of his life.


I share that just to show you that a pacifier, used very early, doesn't ALWAYS ruin breastfeeding or interfere with a baby gaining weight. In our case it didn't. It might be different if we have another baby, but for my son, I followed his lead and gave him what he wanted/needed and it worked out for us a-okay.