Let me begin by saying that I generally don't like the idea of a mother substitute. I don't like bottles. I don't like day care. I don't like Pacis. I don't like Blankeys. I believe in "People Not Things" when it comes to soothing my little ones. But my daughter is the world's worst sleeper. She wakes every 60-90 minutes. We've tried a variety of night time arrangements: varied my proximity to her, varied her sleep location (my bed, her crib, a mattress on my floor....never in her own room though). We've also varied the method she falls asleep (play til sleep--only worked a handful of times since she was 8 weeks, walk to sleep, rocking chair to sleep, sing to sleep, yoga ball, pick up to soothe then put back down). Overall, getting her to sleep hasn't really been a problem though, until this week. She celebrates her 6 month bday today and is on the verge of crawling, which I know can intensify her need for physical closeness with me. She's always been a frequent waker and now it's a real struggle to put her down, despite her exhaustion. After 1.5 hours of trying this morning, I put a paci in her hand, she was biting it and yanking it out with a vengeance. I ran down to attend to my son who was screaming for me at the bottom of the stairs. My daughter stopped screaming before I got down to him. 5 minutes later, I checked on her and she was on her belly, with the paci held tightly in her mouth. I checked on her an hour later and it was still in there, unable to be pulled out easily so I left it in. This is a FIRST. How weird is it to begin using this as a tool at 6 months old? I'm terrified that she will grow dependent on it and weaning will be painful for her and me. I'd be fine nursing her back down all through the night, but that doesn't even work with her all the time. At least 2 times a night she needs to be walked/bounced back to sleep after nursing. I'm terribly tired and losing steam. Please give me the pros and cons of paci use in general and of starting it now. Oy!
Cons: to me the biggest con is that it can have adverse affect s on her teeth...though she doesn't have any yet Ive heard it can affect the way they grow in..., so I plan to stop using it around 9 mo.
Sounds fine to me. My DS took a paci and loved it. Right before he turned 2 he started biting holes in them to the point it was a choking hazard, so we ripped the nipple part off and gave him the base. That was the end of the paci for him and no damage to his teeth either. :)
That's the age when my son starting using one, and it has worked out great. He refused to take one prior to 6 months, which was fine because he was usually nursing all the time anyway during those first 6 months.
Now he hardly ever uses it during the day, but he needs it to go to sleep (two naps a day and bedtime). Until he was 6 months old he would only sleep while latched on to me during the day and I wanted him to be able to fall asleep without a breast in his mouth (at least be able to).
I say don't worry about it.
I've been considering introducing one for my 13 month old, as well, for similar reasons. I have doubts that she'll take to it this late, though. I have just about every kind available and she has rejected each one. Bah. I am so insanely sleep deprived this morning. I have a co-sleeper that comfort nurses at night and when she's nursing, i'm WIDE awake. I just can't sleep through it anymore. It's becoming so disruptive. I'd love to night-wean, but don't even know if that's possible while co-sleeping.
Good luck with the pacifier. I may dig out my stash and start trying them again tonight, because i can't do many more nights like this. SO TIRED!
@ Nikki....it is possible using Dr. Jay Gordon's night weaning plan. It's written for those of us that share a family bed! I didn't have success with it with my first, because my son was ultra intense so he'd scream if my nipple was more than 1 cm from his mouth! I just didn't have the energy or awareness throughout the night to do it consistently. But my cousin night weaned her co-sleeping daughter. Good Luck to you. Hope you are feeling well rested today.
I'll definitely look into that! Our experiement with a re-introduction to pacifiers failed horribly. She is now 15 months old (today!) and last week I pulled out all the paci's, cleaned them, and let her try them out. She was a good sport, but it ultimately ended in her pelting them at my head! She has zero interest. She thinks that they're stupid, and that I'm an idiot.
DH and I decided to pull out her old pack-and-play, which we purchased because it has an attachment that turns it into a co-sleeper. We used it for the first few weeks while we got over our nervousness of having her in the bed. I set it back up after the pacifier failure, and decided to just see night-by-night how it went.
It has been going wonderfully! I'll bring her to bed with me, nurse her until she falls asleep, and then transfer her over to the pack and play. Most nights, she has stayed asleep the entire night! A couple of nights she wanted to wake to nurse, and after a feeding and a bit of a cuddle I'd put her back and she'd sleep happily until morning. We had one night where we went away for the weekend and she slept in the bed for the full night again out of necessity. And again, she was a non-stop nursing fiend. I slept maybe an hour that night. =/ Once we got home and back into the side-car sleeping arrangement...bliss!!
I even noticed last night when I kept her in the bed with me a little longer, that she started getting restless and flailing around a bit. I transfered her over because it was annoying, and she fell right to sleep. I think she might like the space? Our bed HAS been getting quite cramped, and she is a little furnace and wakes in a little sweaty spot in the morning, so maybe this is a perfect arrangement for all of us.
Signed - happy, well-rested mamma. ;)