Pacifier addiction? Do I have an unhappy baby? What am I doing wrong? Need advice, please. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 07-12-2011, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We gave DS a paci around 3 weeks because nothing else would work. My supply and overactive letdown made him scream and cry, and constantly spit up when I tried to nurse and then comfort nurse him. I have made sure he BFs often, and try not to give the paci when he might be hungry (although I do question how many times per night he would BF versus be soothed by the paci...most times with the paci he goes back to sleep, and I worry I am subbing it in lieu of a feeding without really knowing.)

He basically needs the paci to fall asleep, and sometimes/often to *stay* asleep. (Although not every time...he's sleeping on me in the Beco now without it, since I took it away once he naturally dropped it and he didn't fuss to have it back. If he fusses, I give it back.) I BF him and then he gets to a point where he wants to suck but wants the milk OFF, and since I am not a faucet, I can't completely turn it off. eyesroll.gifredface.gif

However...it's getting to the point where it seems like he he's awake, he's crying or unhappy if he doesn't have the paci. And sometimes even the paci doesn't work. It takes upbeat music, bouncing on the yoga ball AND the paci most times, plus holding or babywearing, shushing, head-rubbing, you name it. I am SORE. All day long I wear him for naps, which is getting to me physically, considering I also have a fairly intense 2yo to care for. I've read Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution (again) and she mentions getting babies to occasionally NOT suck to sleep and to sleep laying down alone for some naps as possible in order to make life with an older baby/toddler easier in that respect, and I just can't see how to do that with some serious crying (which I won't do.) I wanted to initiate some of these steps, but it seems impossible, like my DS is already addicted to the paci for sleep, and a certain set of requirements in order to sleep. greensad.gif

I didn't use a paci with DD, and I was against them for DS, but he seemed to need one, and IMO that is more AP than avoiding one at all costs. I still can't stand it and wish he didn't need it, but I don't know what else to do...what should I do?!?

He seems so upset when he's awake. Am I doing something wrong? I feel like I should know, since this is not my first baby. I'm spending HOURS soothing him in various non-nursing ways, which is so foreign to me, since DD would nurse for several hours no matter what was coming out of my breasts.

BTDT? Advice?




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#2 of 14 Old 07-12-2011, 04:37 PM
 
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I only have one child. She loves her pacifier. She breastfed till I got pregnant. She has it all the time. Not as much during the day unless she is more fussy or not feeling well. She still gets it at nap time, bed time and longer then normal car rides or if we are going to be out a bit longer in places she isn't used to. 

 

She had a suck need that I chose not to meet as being a human pacifier. I also had over supply and so she never got the hang of comfort nursing. She would get more mad when milk came out when she wasn't wanting it.

 

At night when she woke up if I knew she just at I would offer the pacifier if she went back to sleep I knew she just wanted to suck and not eat. If she was hungry the pacifier wasn't going to calm her at all. We did bed share for awhile as well so I was able to figure out if it was a hunger or just wanting her pacifier because there were times where I offered the breast and she would not stay latched gave her the pacifier and she went right back to sleep. 

 

We were lucky in the sleep department in that after a certain point I could lay her down in her crib or pack n play and let her nap. and she also at about a month old started going to bed before us in the pack n play in our room so she was used to going to sleep on her own. But again we were lucky in the department because she was just an easy baby when it came to sleep. She just never was one that needed to be held 24/7 as well as one who needed her space so full time bed sharing ended around 2/3 months for us. 

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#3 of 14 Old 07-12-2011, 05:58 PM
 
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My first DS was TRULY addicted to his pacifier. I weaned him from it at 18 months and it was NOT EASY. However, he was (mostly) bottle-fed and I was not altogether AP/NP when he was a baby, so using the pacifier didn't bother me much.  My DS is 34 months and DD is 5.5 months - of all the things I have ever had to do with my kids, weaning DS from his pacifier was THE WORST.

 

Because of that experience (and because of stumbling into AP/NP), I was SO set that DD would never have one. I didn't buy a bottle, I didn't buy a pacifier. I didn't take the one they gave us at the hospital. However, I made DH run out and buy some when DD was 3 weeks old. My oversupply/forceful letdown was just so intense, and poor DD was desperately trying to suck-to-sleep and coming out with a mouthful of milk she didn't want. I tried nursing her uphill instead (on her tummy) but the excess foremilk gave her tummy issues and she wanted no part of that. It's like the instant sleep. Nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse, pop off, get pacifier, pass out.

 

It made me very nervous and hesitant at first and I was nervous she would somehow love her pacifier, prefer it to my breast, interfere with breastfeeding, you name it. But while I figured out my oversupply issues it was a LIFESAVER. After I got my supply leveled out, she did start occasionally nursing to sleep, which makes me so happy. Mostly, that's just a night-time thing though. During the day, she prefers to nurse, pop off for her pacifier, and use it to fall asleep. She learned very young (maybe 2 months?) to grab her pacifier and put it in her mouth if she wants it, but she generally doesn't after she's fallen asleep (she spits it out). 

 

She went through a short phase around 3.5 months where I was afraid the pacifier was taking over. She wanted it for car rides, when she was upset during the day - I wear her all day, was wearing her for naps, tried laying with her, rocking and shushing her, helping her get gas out, doing little massages, etc... but bottom line, she WANTED HER PACIFIER. My only rule was that I continued to offer her breast first - EVERY time, which is sometimes really difficult (my DS is also a very intense little man), but I stuck to my guns to make sure she wasn't using the pacifier to REPLACE feedings.

 

It only lasted a few weeks and now it's back to a sleep-aid only. She actually uses it now less than ever and I no longer fear long-term attachment. She likes nursing, she likes nursing to sleep, she likes holding my breast. Her pacifier is SIMPLY for when she wants to suck and nothing else. She will grow out of it, and I don't let myself fret over it anymore. The bottom line for me is that my baby doesn't cry. 

 

 

As for seeming upset when awake - my DD got/gets this way because there's just too much stimulation sometimes. My 34 month old's day looks something like this... He wakes up screaming "Good mor-mor Jee Jee! Me love you!" and then eats, plays, eats, plays, runs in circles, screams, reads, runs in circles... we go to the park and he runs and climbs and plays and we go for a walk, then we come home and he laughs and runs in circles and eats and then (deep breath!) they both take a nap. then he wakes up screaming "Good mor-mor Jee Jee! Me love you!" and repeat until dinner. Just merely being AROUND all of that can be SO overwhelming for someone so little. I do my very best to implement mandatory quiet times while I allow DD to unwind, especially when she seems overly cranky. When DH gets home, he tries to take DS outside for a bit so DD can breathe in the quiet. It is the one thing that has really improved her daytime fussiness. Life with a toddler is crazy (as mama knows!)  and it can be rough on baby, too. 

 

 

Oh boy this post is getting long but as for laying down for naps alone... When I need her to sleep on her own for whatever reason, the most effective method is laying down with her, nursing her side-lying until she's mostly asleep, subbing the pacifier when she pulls off, and cuddling her for a few minutes. It usually takes about 15 minutes (the whole process) and then I can slide out and hang out with DS or what-have-you. 

 

 

Well that became ridiculous in length but my DD is so similar! I hope you find some of this to be helpful. hug2.gif


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#4 of 14 Old 07-12-2011, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by anjsmama View Post

My first DS was TRULY addicted to his pacifier. I weaned him from it at 18 months and it was NOT EASY. However, he was (mostly) bottle-fed and I was not altogether AP/NP when he was a baby, so using the pacifier didn't bother me much.  My DS is 34 months and DD is 5.5 months - of all the things I have ever had to do with my kids, weaning DS from his pacifier was THE WORST.

 

Because of that experience (and because of stumbling into AP/NP), I was SO set that DD would never have one. I didn't buy a bottle, I didn't buy a pacifier. I didn't take the one they gave us at the hospital. However, I made DH run out and buy some when DD was 3 weeks old. My oversupply/forceful letdown was just so intense, and poor DD was desperately trying to suck-to-sleep and coming out with a mouthful of milk she didn't want. I tried nursing her uphill instead (on her tummy) but the excess foremilk gave her tummy issues and she wanted no part of that. It's like the instant sleep. Nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse, pop off, get pacifier, pass out.

 

It made me very nervous and hesitant at first and I was nervous she would somehow love her pacifier, prefer it to my breast, interfere with breastfeeding, you name it. But while I figured out my oversupply issues it was a LIFESAVER. After I got my supply leveled out, she did start occasionally nursing to sleep, which makes me so happy. Mostly, that's just a night-time thing though. During the day, she prefers to nurse, pop off for her pacifier, and use it to fall asleep. She learned very young (maybe 2 months?) to grab her pacifier and put it in her mouth if she wants it, but she generally doesn't after she's fallen asleep (she spits it out). 

 

She went through a short phase around 3.5 months where I was afraid the pacifier was taking over. She wanted it for car rides, when she was upset during the day - I wear her all day, was wearing her for naps, tried laying with her, rocking and shushing her, helping her get gas out, doing little massages, etc... but bottom line, she WANTED HER PACIFIER. My only rule was that I continued to offer her breast first - EVERY time, which is sometimes really difficult (my DS is also a very intense little man), but I stuck to my guns to make sure she wasn't using the pacifier to REPLACE feedings.

 

It only lasted a few weeks and now it's back to a sleep-aid only. She actually uses it now less than ever and I no longer fear long-term attachment. She likes nursing, she likes nursing to sleep, she likes holding my breast. Her pacifier is SIMPLY for when she wants to suck and nothing else. She will grow out of it, and I don't let myself fret over it anymore. The bottom line for me is that my baby doesn't cry. 

 

 

As for seeming upset when awake - my DD got/gets this way because there's just too much stimulation sometimes. My 34 month old's day looks something like this... He wakes up screaming "Good mor-mor Jee Jee! Me love you!" and then eats, plays, eats, plays, runs in circles, screams, reads, runs in circles... we go to the park and he runs and climbs and plays and we go for a walk, then we come home and he laughs and runs in circles and eats and then (deep breath!) they both take a nap. then he wakes up screaming "Good mor-mor Jee Jee! Me love you!" and repeat until dinner. Just merely being AROUND all of that can be SO overwhelming for someone so little. I do my very best to implement mandatory quiet times while I allow DD to unwind, especially when she seems overly cranky. When DH gets home, he tries to take DS outside for a bit so DD can breathe in the quiet. It is the one thing that has really improved her daytime fussiness. Life with a toddler is crazy (as mama knows!)  and it can be rough on baby, too. 

 

 

Oh boy this post is getting long but as for laying down for naps alone... When I need her to sleep on her own for whatever reason, the most effective method is laying down with her, nursing her side-lying until she's mostly asleep, subbing the pacifier when she pulls off, and cuddling her for a few minutes. It usually takes about 15 minutes (the whole process) and then I can slide out and hang out with DS or what-have-you. 

 

 

Well that became ridiculous in length but my DD is so similar! I hope you find some of this to be helpful. hug2.gif



OP here...holding a sleeping DS in one arm and one handed typing....with his paci after screaming and arching BTW...

this bolded part is totally my DD

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#5 of 14 Old 07-13-2011, 05:33 AM
 
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i remember reading your other post (maybe in the breastfeeding section?).. have you had him evaluated for reflux yet? it sounds like he has some tummy upsets going on. i have dealt with them in both of my babies. they both needed me to cut out dairy, as well as medication for reflux. ((hugs)) once you find the root of the problem things will get much better!


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#6 of 14 Old 07-13-2011, 06:34 AM
 
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My first baby was high needs like yours, and wouldn't take a pacifier, and good lord do I wish she would have to give her some relief. (She did end up having refulx in the end so it is worth checking btw.) My second was an easier babe but I gave her a pacifier in the car to keep her happy there, and she loved the thing for a good while, but gave it up on her own during toddler hood (she's 2.5 and not using it now). I put pacifiers in my "don't sweat the small stuff" category. Don't worry about it. Pacifiers aren't evil, and they are a way to ease unhappiness for some babies without using any medication.
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#7 of 14 Old 07-13-2011, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i remember reading your other post (maybe in the breastfeeding section?).. have you had him evaluated for reflux yet? it sounds like he has some tummy upsets going on. i have dealt with them in both of my babies. they both needed me to cut out dairy, as well as medication for reflux. ((hugs)) once you find the root of the problem things will get much better!


No. I haven't had him evaluated for reflux. It *seems* to fit into the overactive supply/forceful let down category better than reflux, from what I read on Kellymom. At least, I hope so, because reflux seems like a much bigger problem to have. Oh, I hope it's not dairy. greensad.gif I've been trying some block feeding and wearing him for naps all day. And yes, I've been giving him the paci pretty much whenever he seems to want it.

I do wonder if I am trying to nurse him too often? Some sources (can't remember which) say don't overfeed, and some say to feed more often so they get a little bit more often versus one large feed spaced out longer. He spits up every time he nurses, and has usually one good burp which makes it happen. He seems to do okay nursing laying down for the most part, which is why I don't think it's reflux, because wouldn't he have more consistent troubles? As in, this morning he nursed great and then comfort nursed and fell asleep. (Granted he woke up the instant I laid him down, but that's another issue, lol) But last night...UGH. He was not happy no matter what I did and I tried everything over and over (nursing, bouncing, paci, diaper, walking, swaying, music etc.) until he had a giant poop, calmed down for a bit, then got distraught and finally nursed to sleep.

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#8 of 14 Old 07-13-2011, 12:09 PM
 
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I've had trouble with oversupply too. I'd keep block feeding, and you can increase the blocks of time if you need to. The pacifier will help with oversupply because frequent sucking stimulates more milk production, which in your case will make things worse rather than better. If the block feeding doesn't clear things up, you could look into reflux. He's still very new and your supply is still regulating.
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#9 of 14 Old 07-13-2011, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS just woke up and to avoid blasting him, I just pumped 2 1/2 oz out quickly before nursing him. Just until the milk was slightly more whitish and less clear. He nursed much more relaxed than normally. But how bad is it to pump out the more "skim" milk until let down happens with regards to oversupply?

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#10 of 14 Old 07-13-2011, 01:38 PM
 
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The only problem is that your body now thinks he drank and needed those 2.5 oz, so your body will take longer to reduce supply. But of course you can adjust how long you block feed - like instead of 4 hours on each breast, 6 hours, or whatever. But stick with where you are for a few days anyway because it takes a while for your body to respond and you don't want your body to reduce supply so much you end up with the opposite problem.
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#11 of 14 Old 04-29-2012, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, an update. My DS is now 10 1/2 months and is a total paci addict! I'm wondering if there is a good way to get rid of it at this point, or whether it's better to wait until 18 months or so. Sigh. duh.gif

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#12 of 14 Old 04-30-2012, 05:15 AM
 
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Well, an update. My DS is now 10 1/2 months and is a total paci addict! I'm wondering if there is a good way to get rid of it at this point, or whether it's better to wait until 18 months or so. Sigh. duh.gif

 

I can understand.  My first 3 were thumb suckers.  Number 4 is a binky girl.  At this point, I'd tell you to let it go. Mine luvs that binky and blankie.  I try to restrict it to bed time  and nap time now that she's 2.5 but I always have one in my pocket.  I never got upset when my others had thumbs, I had to ask myself why I was so bothered by the binky.  I realized, for me, it was the way others would view me.  Like people, especially AP people seem to think binkies are terrible.  But she is completely healthy and happy and I often ask her for it to put it in my pocket and she will comply very easily.  

 

 


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#13 of 14 Old 04-30-2012, 05:48 AM
 
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my oldest was 3 when i took hers away. the first couple of nights she kinda cried but it wasn't traumatic. looking back, i could have just let her keep it longer. she has perfect teeth. back then i just thought kids shouldn't have pacifiers for so long. my last two wouldn't take any at all. they really needed one! by toddler age i only allowed it for naps and bedtime but that wasn't a struggle for us anyway. that's a rule i'd stick to these days also, for developing social skills.


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#14 of 14 Old 04-30-2012, 10:33 AM
 
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I too wouldn't worry. My dd was the paci addict, but at 10 months I didn't sweat it. When she was able to understand me and connect point A to Point B we started just using it for naps and bedtime. The little booger would hide them and come out with one when I least expected it but for the most part it worked ok. She used them for bedtime till probably age 3 or so when we just stopped replacing them.

 

I also set up a consistant bedtime routine that included a sippy cup to drink from, when we initially stopped using the paci and that lasted about a year or so (until we stopped replacing sippy cups lol). We still have the bedtime routine, but now she has a bottle of water by her bed instead.

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