Do you use a pacifier? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 04-05-2006, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have heard that using a pacifier with the baby is bad but I have also read that it was o.k. Just need some advice ladies. If you use them why and if you don't why. Thanks so much for the advice.




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#2 of 28 Old 04-05-2006, 10:20 PM
 
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I don't use them, but it's a hereditary thing. When my sister was a baby, and I was ten, my mom refused to use pacifiers. She called them something like "bozo-nose clown suckers" because she thought they looked so stupid. I don't think it had anything to do with breastfeeding.

I originally didn't like them because I grew up hearing how stupid they were, but when I learned more about breastfeeding and the problem of nipple confusion, I decided against them. I didn't want to introduce an artificial nipple to the baby and make it harder for him or her to breastfeed. If you do it after the first 6 weeks or so (I think?) nipple confusion isn't as much as a problem.

My other issue with them is that I don't want another thing to keep track of. Whenever we're at church and there are kids around with pacifiers, the parents are always bending over to pick them up off the floor. I don't want to have to worry about losing them, getting them dirty, forgetting them at home, etc.

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#3 of 28 Old 04-05-2006, 10:22 PM
 
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I plan on giving it to them if they need it after the nursing relationship is established and then weaning them off it around 6 months. I read about this method in Happiest Baby on the Block and it makes sense to me especially since my babes will be preemies and possibly be more sensitive. I'd like to go without, but if I feel they need it, I'll do it. My sis used one after about 6 weeks or so and it didn't have a negative affect on their b/fing.

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#4 of 28 Old 04-05-2006, 10:29 PM
 
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I'm wrestling with this one myself. I hadn't planned on using them. Nipple confusion, needless extra things, etc. Grandmother-in-law gave us a pack of them. Now I'm trying to decide if they're evil enough that we should get rid on them and not have them in the house at all.

I'm leaning towards getting rid of them. We'll have to start cup- or spoon-feeding at one or two weeks since I can't take much time off of classes and three hours is too long to go without nursing and seems to early to introduc bottles. If DH and DD are going to go to all the trouble of learning how to cup/spoon feed, why risk messing that up by using an artificial nipple?

My mother also was not of them. She kept a couple around for older babies and toddlers, but always insisted on using one-piece ones. Apparently when we were little several models of pacifier kept coming apart and choking babies. I remember my mom scoffing at babies with pacifiers stuffed in their mouths.

But I hate just throwing stuff out. And what if baby screams her head off the whole time I'm in class and DH can't find a way to comfort her? Not sure. My ideal is not to sue them, but one hears one's ideals scoffed at so much that it becomes a bit frightening to take a stand in advance.
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#5 of 28 Old 04-05-2006, 10:35 PM
 
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THey do have their time and place, I think.

I have used them minimally with my first 2 children, the third just wasnt' interested.

For example: nursing in the car, when baby is freaking out screaming, and you don't want to (or can't ) get back there to pop a bub in their mouth, you just give them the binky and pray that it lasts long enough to get you to where you're going.

Or: late at night, you and dh are getting busy, baby is next to you, wakes up, pop in the binky until you finish, then give him/her the bub.

Other than that, for us, seems pointless.
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#6 of 28 Old 04-05-2006, 10:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cicerosum
THey do have their time and place, I think.

I have used them minimally with my first 2 children, the third just wasnt' interested.

For example: nursing in the car, when baby is freaking out screaming, and you don't want to (or can't ) get back there to pop a bub in their mouth, you just give them the binky and pray that it lasts long enough to get you to where you're going.

Or: late at night, you and dh are getting busy, baby is next to you, wakes up, pop in the binky until you finish, then give him/her the bub.

Other than that, for us, seems pointless.
My SIL is strongly against pacifiers but ended up buying one for long car trips. Her son, who was maybe 5 months old at the time, couldn't handle being in the car for more than an hour and the pacifier really helped. He never expected it outside of the car.

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#7 of 28 Old 04-06-2006, 01:17 AM
 
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i'm really going to try not to fall into the binky trap this time. ds is still using one, and it can be such a pain sometimes. it's really become a sore spot with me, and several times i've wished i never gave him one in the first place...

if i feel babe really needs one, and can't get him/her to latch onto a finger or thumb instead, then i'll break down and get one, but we're really going to try our best not to get the habit started again.

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#8 of 28 Old 04-06-2006, 02:31 AM
 
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We only used one occasionally for a month or two when DS was about 6 months. It was a keep-him-from-screaming-in-the-car thing, but after a while it stopped working. He never took one again. Some babies aren't into them.
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#9 of 28 Old 04-06-2006, 02:59 AM
 
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NOPE!!!!

Pacifier use during the first six weeks can cause nipple confusion and problems with breastfeeding.

Besides they fall, they get lost, they get dirty, and I just read in American Baby that one company had to recall theirs because the sucky part came off and caused choking (plus who wants their babe sucking on plastic?)

I would MUCH rather just nurse, give wooden and cloth toys, and let baby discover the wonders of their own hands, and you don't ever have to wean them off the things.

I found that if I never had them in the house at all, I never missed them.

Got one free with the diaper genie and threw it directly in the trash.
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#10 of 28 Old 04-06-2006, 09:11 AM
 
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My dd would only suck on my fingers when she was a baby, and we never thought much about trying to get her to use a binky. However, just in January, she found one around (probably in her toybox... we were gifted a handful and when she never showed much interest it just became more of a toy) and has been SERIOUSLY addicted ever since. I really hated it at first - I also grew up in a household that talked alot of smack about the binky - but now, I can accept that she is still fulfilling some sucking need. It's said that toddlers can maintain an intense sucking need until they are three - I am sure that it varies from kid to kid. DD self weaned when I was about 4 months pregnant, and it was a few months later when she got hooked on the bink.

I'm undecided about the newborn - I probably will just offer fingers again. It seems that it really will depend on the babe's temperment. Especially in the car, etc. I surely won't even attempt it until we've got a solid breastfeeding relationship down!
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#11 of 28 Old 04-06-2006, 11:33 AM
 
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With dd we used a pacifier sometimes... we really didn't use it all that often but it's there covering her mouth in pictures. She wasn't a big comfort nurser and didn't get very attached to the paci so I chucked them one day. She picked up on sucking her thumb for a little way and then quit that too so we didn't have any issues with it.

With ds, he was a big comfort nurser and I just preferred to let him suck at the breast rather than introduce a pacifier. He never sucked his thumb either. I guess I was lucky... we do practice CLW so maybe that helps avoid the thumb habit.

I don't plan to use them, it's one more thing to keep track of...
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#12 of 28 Old 04-06-2006, 11:43 AM
 
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I tried a little with my first two. #1 hated it and would never take it. #2 took it for about 2 wks then no go. Never bothered with them again. All my kids are big comfort nursers. I have noticed thought that about 15 mo or so if they find one in the toy box my kids don't suck on them but they chew on them when teething their molars. I just chuck them if I see bite marks on them.

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#13 of 28 Old 04-06-2006, 12:18 PM
 
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We won't use one at all until 6 weeks, once a nursing relationship is well established (for all the reasons others have mentioned--nipple confusion, reduced supply, etc.).

After that, I think would we only offer one on car trips, if bun has real issues being in the car. Both of our families live 4 hours away, and I know that, realistically, we may not be able to pull over IMMEDIATELY every time she needs to nurse. So if it helps soothe her/tide her over in that situation, I would use it. Otherwise, I think mama and papa are better and healthier comfort providers than a plastic nipple!
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#14 of 28 Old 04-06-2006, 12:30 PM
 
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I never used one w/DS - not *so* much out of principle, though I can't think of a reason to LIKE them - but because I didn't think he'd take it. He had/has a HUGE sucking need, but it's all focused on me - he never discovered or was interested in being shown his fingers or thumbs - he screamed in the car to the point where I learned to nurse him with us both fully belted in because that was the only way we could go anywhere further than 10 minutes away, etc.

Every baby is different, though. My nephew (1 yo) really only nurses for food and gets mad if offered the breast when what he wants is non-food sucking. He uses a paci, he sucks his fingers, etc. He's been that way since birth. Hmm. He was offered bottles of EBM pretty early, though. I don't know.

I think I'd rather do it my way than my SIL's way for purely selfish reasons. I got my cycle back at 15 mo post-partum. She got her cycle back at 6 weeks! I'll take a non-stop nurser and no periods for almost 2 years over a paci anytime!

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#15 of 28 Old 04-06-2006, 12:38 PM
 
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I'm definitely anti-paci. I never used them w/ my DD and I don't plan on using them w/ this DC. I think they're totally unnecessary and confusing for the DC... Not to mention they look completely ridiculous.
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#16 of 28 Old 04-06-2006, 02:37 PM
 
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We used one occassionally after nursing was well established - car trips and sometimes diaper changes (she really hated those in the beginning). She totally lost interest at 4 months,
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#17 of 28 Old 04-06-2006, 02:40 PM
 
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I tried to introduce one to ds around a month, after bfing was well established, but he didn't like them. He never was a thumb sucker either. Just boobs for him. LOL I don't even plan on bothering this time around.
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#18 of 28 Old 04-06-2006, 03:42 PM
 
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Only the human kind!!!! DD is a big time comfort nurser, I've spent many hours as a human pacifier. I think the difference between comfort nursing and a plastic pacifier is similar to the difference between holding your baby close and rocking them to sleep vs. sticking them in a mechanical swing and leaving them to fall asleep there by themselves.

The one exception would be neccessary, "horrific" car rides - if baby won't take your nipple, is crying hysterically, and pit stops aren't helping, I could see where someone might try a plastic pacifier. Although you'll be surprised how, um, flexible your breasts can be with a crying baby in the carseat. I'm sure some motorists have caught a glimpse of more than they were expecting!!
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#19 of 28 Old 04-06-2006, 03:45 PM
 
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I plan to avoid using pacifiers (other than the breast and snuggling ), but I'll kind of wing it on this one, I think. Some good advice I've heard for those who DO choose to use them:

- Don't give them any artificial nipples until 6-8 weeks (can cause nipple confusion)

- Don't give them a pacifier if they are hungry, just if they are inconsolable by other methods (this can cause stunted growth)

- Wean them off of the pacifier at/by 6 mos (it is harder to do when they are older, and it is good for them to learn to calm themselves without needing a "tool")


** I also recommend Harvey Karp's "The Happiest Baby on the Block" for ways to make a baby happier during the first 3-4 months. I really enjoyed the book and it gave some really great, solid advice.

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#20 of 28 Old 04-06-2006, 03:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ent_mom
The one exception would be neccessary, "horrific" car rides - if baby won't take your nipple, is crying hysterically, and pit stops aren't helping, I could see where someone might try a plastic pacifier. Although you'll be surprised how, um, flexible your breasts can be with a crying baby in the carseat. I'm sure some motorists have caught a glimpse of more than they were expecting!!
I had to let ds suck on my finger because even if I was a passenger and I sat right next to ds there was just no way I could nurse him at all. I guess it's probably because I'm quite small... a b cup or so depending on how full I am and how soon after my milk comes in. I'm in awe of women who can nurse while baby stays buckled in and they are buckled too!
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#21 of 28 Old 04-06-2006, 05:26 PM
 
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anathea-- My DD and your DD did the same thing! She was about eleven months when she found one and has been hooked on it ever since. Luckily, it is only a nap & bedtime thing, but I wish she never found it.

When dd was a small baby she would scream for hours every evening. NOTHING WORKED! She wouldn't nurse, wouldn't take a pacifier, couldn't stand to be swaddled, and the SHUSH, SHUSH, SHUSH did nothing. I prayed for something to make her feel better. I would have gladly used a pacifier to give both of us some soothing. I plan on not using a pacifier for dd #2, but if she anything like dd#1, I will give it a try.
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#22 of 28 Old 04-07-2006, 03:05 PM
 
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I plan on buying a perfect pacifier from the Micheal olaf company. It looks more like a ball with several nubbys on it. makes it easy to hold for baby and suckable without really being a pacifier. I haven't used one before so I will let you know what it ends up being like. ds#1 liked the pacifier but ds #2 preferred a toy ladybug that had squishy legs to suck on-unless he was nursing-he was a comfort nurser also. YOu never know what will end up being your little ones preference. I don't really have anything against pacifiers for young babies-I hate seeing older kids withone though because all that constant saliva is bad for the teeth.

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#23 of 28 Old 04-07-2006, 03:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnutter
/I hate seeing older kids withone though because all that constant saliva is bad for the teeth.
??? Everything I have heard says that constant saliva PREVENTS cavities. That is why sugar-free gums are good. You are supposed to keep your mouth moist with saliva! Dry mouth from mouth-breathing in your sleep is linked to tooth decay.
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#24 of 28 Old 04-07-2006, 04:43 PM
 
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I used one for dd when she was in the car. And then after I nursed her to sleep I would give her one because de-latching seemed to wake her up. For me, it was a survival tactic. She gave it up voluntarily at 7 mos.

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#25 of 28 Old 04-07-2006, 04:49 PM
 
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DD used a paci until she was 10 months old, when she abruptly weaned herself from them. She is still nursing at 3.5, so we obviously had *no problem* with nipple confusion!

I think babies just need to suck so much, and even though I always nursed dd on demand, it was sometimes nice in some situations (carseat, restaurants) for her to be able to have her sucking needs met without having to nurse for the 50th time that hour. I did wait a month or so before giving her one, to avoid nipple confusion. We also never had any problems with weight gain or her not getting enough to eat or subsituting the paci for me, when she needed food. I think babies will let you know when they need to nurse vs. when they just need something to suck on.

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#26 of 28 Old 04-08-2006, 01:00 AM
 
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Well, it wasn't something that I had planned yo do, but we did. DD seemed to have a strong need to suckle beyond BFing. In fact, at times she would go to the nreast to just suckle and get so mad when she'd get a mouthful of milk that she would just scream and scream. I would try to give her a pinkie first, and sometimes that would work.

She also HATED her car seat though-I mean she would scream at the top of her lungs from the second she was put in it (and she was a shockingly loud baby-even our FP commented on her astounding volume at her 10 day appoinment). Going to the grocery store 10 min away was a nightmare. Even with 2-3 stops on the way there and back to try to nurse/soothe her would do nothing. Anyway, when DD was 5 weeks old DH had to be out of town for business for several days. I was still anemic and tired from all of my postpartum complications, so I went to stay with my parents. They live about an hour away by car. The ride was excruciating. When it was time to go back home, my Mom suggested that I try a pacifier. I was resistent, but within a few blocks I broke down. DD used her pacifier until she was about 20 mos. old. It went from fairly frequent "need to suck but noy nurse" use to just car & crib, to just crib, to nothing.

In our case, it didn't interfere with nursing and DD self-weaned when she was around 2.5 years. I'm hoping not to need one with this baby, because every child is different and my life circumstances are different. DD was/is just very sensitive to environmental stimuli and quite difficult to soothe. I also had to commute with her (alone) for about 3 hrs. round trip M-F from when she was 6mo.- 18mo. As much as she hated the carseat, I literally can't imagine what a mess we both would have been without something to soothe her-she would never suck on her fingers/thumb, even if I tried to encourage it.

Bottom line, my view with all things parenting is know your general preferences/views but don't try to make too many hard and fast decisions in advance. You never know what your child's needs might be, and you don't need the guilt of feeling like you're "too weak" or something when you decide to do something that deviates from what you had planned.

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#27 of 28 Old 04-08-2006, 01:00 AM
 
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I'm considering using one after bf is established. I never introduced one with ds, but looking back I can see a lot of times where it might have been useful. DS used to scream in the car and nursed almost constantly until he was 2.5 months old. I mean, he would finish one nursing session, I'd rush to the bathroom and unless he was asleep he'd be ready to nurse before I even got out! It was very very stressful to me. I think that if he would have taken a pacifier it wouldn't have been so bad. I don't plan on abusing it though if I do use one with dd, it'd strictly be a when I cannot nurse right that second type thing and as soon as I can we'll nurse.
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#28 of 28 Old 04-08-2006, 10:18 AM
 
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I am going to try with this one, because with DD [bold]I [/bold] was the pacifier. I remember HAVING to lay next to her with a boob in her mouth so she would sleep.

Ugh. It was horrible. I distinctly remember flipping out a time or two after a few hours had gone by - and I NEVER had a minute to myself with this child.

So - I hope he will take one! They are pretty easy to take away when the time comes.

And yes. I also think a 4 year old walking around with a paci looks absolutley ridiculous.
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