Pacifier=Necessity? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 08-01-2003, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Recently, DP, a case manager, was talking to a child protection worker about a client they have in common.

The child protection worker mentioned that this parent was problematic because she wouldn't even give the baby a pacifier. And, she claimed, everyone knows that babies need pacifiers because babies need to suck!

I could be out of the loop - I'm not a mom yet, after all - but I've never heard before that babies need pacifiers because they need to suck. I've heard many reasons why babies should not have pacifiers. And I also know plenty of moms whose babies use pacifiers, but I've never heard them claim that there's scientific need for one.

I'm not trying to start a debate here about whether pacifiers are philosophically good or bad. I'm just curious if this claim about the need for a pacifier to fulfill a need to suck has any validity. Any thoughts?

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#2 of 10 Old 08-01-2003, 05:56 PM
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I think if they were necessary, babies would have them instead of thumbs. ;-)

There's always stuff available for babies to suck on. If not boobies, then their hands, thumbs, board books... I would've let my baby have one if he wanted it, but he never showed the slightest interest.
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#3 of 10 Old 08-01-2003, 06:08 PM
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I had decided not to give my ds a pacifier before he was born. When he was about 6 weeks old, he went through a phase where he would suck and suck and suck while nursing and then throw up everything he had eaten. I finally got the idea that he wanted to suck but didn't need to eat. We gave him a pacifier and it helped get him over this 'sucking hump.' The pacifier would only work at night when he was really tired. Now he doesn't want it at all. So I believe that every babe has their own individual need to suck... and some take to the pacifier more than others.
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#4 of 10 Old 08-01-2003, 06:17 PM
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Some do, some don't, but it's hard to believe someone is so stupid that they think EVERY single kid needs one. :

We used one with Gavin because he wanted to suck constantly and would get REALLY upset when there was still milk coming out when all he wanted to do was suck.

He uses it now at times, however, I'll just put it near him. If he wants to suck on it, he puts it in his mouth, otherwise, he just goes on with his playing and doesn't give it a second thought. At night when I don't want him to get excited, if I try to give it to him and he doesn't want it, he closes his lips and won't let it through, and when he does want it, he opens his mouth a bit for it. (He started doing this before he was 1 month old)

We also only have 1 pacifier. I won't buy 3219857135 like some parents, nor will I tie the thing on to their clothes, which I HATE HATE HATE to see. (Personal pet peeve, no offense to those who do that)
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#5 of 10 Old 08-01-2003, 11:01 PM
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So I believe that every babe has their own individual need to suck... and some take to the pacifier more than others.
I agree. Also, I think it's a difference of AP vs mainstream parenting. If you're willing to be the pacifier than they have little need for anything else beyond you and their own fingers (and toes). That seemed to be the case with dd. At 7 mo she started having some sleep problems so I tried to introduce the pacifier and she wasn't interested. It's still kicking around, and she occassionally puts it in her mouth but to chew, not suck, on it and it doesn't really matter to her what part of it she gets into her mouth (nipple, handle, side). Similarly, although we have tried to introduce a 'favorite' stuffed animal, she also doesn't have a 'lovey' and I believe it's because we have a family bed and so she doesn't really need one for nighttime comfort.
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#6 of 10 Old 08-01-2003, 11:21 PM
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I agree that it's not a necessary thing, but some kids are born with a strong sucking urge and do not care to comfort nurse. This applies to my DD. For the first five weeks, she'd nurse and nurse and nurse from around 7PM to 2AM. After about an hour or two, she'd latch on, suck for a few moments, then arch her back, pop off, and scream. Frantically search for the nipple again, latch, suck, pop off, scream, repeat. She didn't like fingers (ours or hers) to suck on. Eventually, we got her a pacifier, and it helped things out a lot. Once she'd finished nursing (repeat the latch, suck, pop off, scream routine a few times), I offered her the pacifier. I got a weird look, then she sucked a few times and went off to sleep. I was amazed.

So no, pacifiers are not necessary, and probably should be avoided if possible. But in cases like mine, they can be useful.
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#7 of 10 Old 08-02-2003, 01:04 AM
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I can't believe a child protection worker thinks a paci is a requirement for all babies. Good grief, I hope someone doesn't report me because I don't use one (so far). !!
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#8 of 10 Old 08-02-2003, 01:40 PM
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Everything you (and that silly CPS worker) need to know abt pacifiers (known as dummies in the UK!).
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#9 of 10 Old 08-02-2003, 04:29 PM
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Argh, that is a peeve of mine too - pacifiers are helpful for some babies but I hate the assumption that every baby needs one - my stepfather told me "it's more important to take along than your keys!" I have seen kids 7 or 8 years old walking around with pacifiers and it really bugs me.

We were given tons of pacifiers as baby gifts, dd was even given a pacifier at the (supposedly BF friendly!) hospital without my being consulted at all, but once we got home she never had any interest in them whatsoever. Now at 4 months she happily sucks on her fingers when she feels the urge; she also does some comfort nursing but mostly at bedtime.
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#10 of 10 Old 08-03-2003, 11:14 PM
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Scary! In just a few generations, people have forgotton the unique role of the mama....

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