To Pacifier or Not To Pacifier? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 07-11-2010, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Are you using a pacifier and breastfeeding or not? I'm really trying to decide if using one is the right decision right now.

I have three kids. With my first baby, I breastfed him and he also used a pacifier. No problems, weight gain was fine, no problems with nursing, and he nursed for 2 1/2 years and gave up the pacifier a few months later. He was a super easy, happy baby and slept through the night with the binky at 4 months. I'd gladly to this all over again because we so totally enjoyed him.

With baby #2, he was a boob-a-holic and would never take a pacifier. By this point, I had started to realize some of the problems they cause with nursing, etc...because I was going through training to become a breastfeeding counselor. So I was thrilled that he didn't take one and was happy without- although he didn't sleep through the night until he was 4 and was an extremely high need baby. It was VERY hard on me to be his only comfort because I could not leave him, ever, for almost 2 years. His babyhood was a blur, and really rather traumatizing for me. Not that a binky would've change that, but who knows.

Now we have baby #3, who is 2 months old. For the first 5 weeks she had no artificial nipples at all, but also around 5 weeks old she became extremely fussy, especially in the car, so we bought a "car binky" which was a lifesaver. Then my husband started using it to comfort her when I was showering, cooking, etc...because all she would do is scream when he had her. In fact, she had started screaming most of the day and we were getting really frazzled. She's almost 9 weeks now and for the last few weeks I've noticed we've been using the binky more and more, and we've had a much happier babe. I've also eliminated dairy, given gripe water, and given her probiotics to try and help her fussiness- but nothing is really working. However, I HATE the binky and I want to throw it out the window, LOL!

What would you do? Happy baby, longer naps, happier parents, happier brothers...or angry pissed off baby who cries all day even when she's being held or in the sling or nursed with upset frazzled mama? Ugh! I hate this choice...but the last week she's been fussy at the breast so I'm concerned that its interfering with our nursing- however, I am a sleep deprived mess and have no desire to take it away and start over right now. I just hope some others might have an opinion to help me decide what to do!!!

THANKS!!

Jessica- married to David- parenting our 3 monkeys- DS #1 (age 7) DS #2 (age 4) and a brand new DD (born 5/10/10)
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#2 of 16 Old 07-11-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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I have breastfed exclusively for 5-7 months with both my other two, and this one is also exclusively breastfed. Not one of them would take a pacifier. And trust me, I've tried with this one, because she HATES HATES HATES the car with a fiery burning passion. But yeah, if she'd take a pacifier? I'd totally give her one.

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#3 of 16 Old 07-11-2010, 01:44 PM
 
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Yes, paci! I HATE them too but ds was a colic baby and truly NEEDED that darn paci. We've given one to new dd (exclusive bf) and she is just so-so about it but it does help soothe her. I have such oversupply her comfort nursing was causing both of us problems (me- more milk; her- projectile vomitting). Her ped said to give her one to satisfy her sucking need since comfort nursing wasn't working.
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#4 of 16 Old 07-11-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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Hey, our babes share a birthday!

I didn't believe in nipple confusion because DD1's latch was never affected by anything. DD2 is a whole different story. Her latch isn't great to begin with & we're still using nipple shields b/c she won't latch without them. I really want her to take a paci but not at the expense of breastfeeding. If your baby doesn't have nipple confusion and everyone is happier, I think it's a no brainer - give it to her!

Dee, mommy to Miss M 11/07 and little Miss I 5/10/10!
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#5 of 16 Old 07-11-2010, 06:16 PM
 
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Ds had nipple confusion from a bottle not a paci and I wasn't able to nurse. He hates the paci... Go figure. Dd2 is ebf and only in the last 2 weeks have I introduced a paci because as a single mama I just can't comfort nurse 24/7. It has been a life saver. She only uses it in the car and a handful of times during the day, never at night. She is nursing just fine.

I don't really know your circumstances or why you hate the paci. But if it's choosing between a baby crying all day and not well then the choice is pretty obvious. Are you worried about nipple confusion? You said your LO is 2 months right? I think generally that is past the point where nipple confusion usually happens.


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#6 of 16 Old 07-11-2010, 06:49 PM
 
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Yes to the paci. I wish my dd liked it more.
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#7 of 16 Old 07-11-2010, 07:06 PM
 
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We too had a pacifier for the car with DS - I lived 7 km (3 miles) from town and would have to stop at least 2 times on the way home because he screamed the whole way and I would arrive at home bawling my eyes out if I didn't stop. He used it for a couple of weeks off and on but it didn't do the trick at all. I couldn't take him out in a stroller or put him down at all, all he wanted was ME to comfort him. I had to hold or babywear him constantly (until about 6 months) - it was really hard. Well, even though the pacifier didn't work, it was a learing experience for me. I swore I would NEVER give my babies pacifiers.... but like so many "NEVERS" I imagined before I had a baby, I discovered that there have to be compromises sometimes to make things work for everyone.
I don't think there's anything wrong with giving a baby a pacifier as long as they are established on the breast already - especially if it reduces stress in the relationship.
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#8 of 16 Old 07-11-2010, 08:57 PM
 
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My son was early/sleepy/and had a terrible latch for the first 3 weeks. I broke all of the rules almost immediately and he had bottles and pacifiers and even a little bit of formula at first. But we worked through all of our issues and he has been BFing pretty much exclusively for the past month.

DH gives him a bottle maybe once a week because I have to go out and run an errand or something but DS always still prefers the breast when he can get it. I don't know, maybe I'm lucky. I use the pacifier in the car (although the one time I REALLY needed it...we were in a horrible traffic ham and I couldn't pull over...he spit it out and screamed anyway) and sometimes at night because I don't cosleep (DH is too afraid to do it) and it helps to comfort him.

Just be careful though. Our baby only takes one very specific type of pacifier. We had two of them and our dog actually got ahold of one and chewed it up so now we are down to one. If something were to happen to this other one, I'd have to book it down to Babies R Us and get another package.

Anyway, if he's really hungry and not just comfort sucking, he'll usually spit it out and look for the boob. Good luck and do what works best for YOU!
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#9 of 16 Old 07-11-2010, 09:49 PM
 
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We haven't needed one so far and I hope we won't but, in the circumstances you describe I would definitely use one.

I understand your ambivalence though. Our neighbour lent us their baby swing. I had previously declined their offer but she appeared at the door with it one day which was very sweet. J loves it and it is the only thing which settles her sometimes. I am torn between not wanting to use any mechanical parenting devices and the knowledge that it sometimes makes her happy when we can't. I have come to the reluctant conclusion that it is better for her to be happy in the swing than wailing in our arms but it still makes me sad.

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#10 of 16 Old 07-11-2010, 11:07 PM
 
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We've pacified her with a pacifier since, oh, day two or so. She was under the bili lights and she'd take it and then she didn't cry- so...

DD1 wouldn't take a paci at all- and nursed until she was 4.

I'm glad DD2 will take the paci- sometimes it really helps. I'd say go with happy baby, happier family.

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#11 of 16 Old 07-11-2010, 11:14 PM
 
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Go for it. DS is also a high needs guy and will only suck on a pinky finger and hates pacifiers. We let him start on our fingers at 2 weeks old, but waited till 5 weeks for the paci (and six weeks for bottles of EBM) with no latch issues. We I wish he'd take the pacifier- much easier to keep cleaner when out and about with a fussy baby than my hands!

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#12 of 16 Old 07-12-2010, 09:06 AM
 
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I think I read somewhere that the sucking action releases some hormones that helps the baby feel calmer -- I'm not sure I'd say no to some of those myself!
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#13 of 16 Old 07-12-2010, 11:13 AM
 
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I totally wish DD would take a paci better. She was breast only in the beginning, and we introduced DW's breast at about a week because my milk supply was great, DD's latch was good, etc. Around 4 weeks I tried a pacifier because my oversupply makes comfort nursing difficult (think projectile vomit all over everything...) She had no idea what to do with it. About two weeks later we introduced the bottle for occasions like long car trips and future separations... I just wanted to know that she'd take it just in case. She took to the bottle great, and after that has taken the paci a couple of times (like, 2 and I try it every day.) She hates the car and I really really want her to be able to get comfort while we're driving! She's just a girl who likes the boob!

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#14 of 16 Old 07-12-2010, 06:04 PM
 
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Oh how I wish my baby would take a pacifier!
She has reflux and I have oversupply issues. It would give her comfort when I am chasing my toddler around but nah, she won't take one.
I think I waited too long to offer one.
My son on the other hand is 21 months and still loves his paci. Nothing wrong with that...he nursed just fine and is a great baby...

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#15 of 16 Old 07-13-2010, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your input mamas. She was getting fussy at the breast for a few days and that was mainly why I was ambivalent- so I stopped giving her the pacifier myself, and she is nursing much better now.

She will not take it from me now, LOL- but the great thing is she takes it from DH and her brothers for car rides and when DH has her and I'm unavailable (showering, ran to the store, etc...). I'm caring for her 90% of the time and available to nurse 99% of the time, so that 1% is totally not a big deal. She really doesn't love the paci, it seems to be more of a tool right now and hopefully we can take it away in a few weeks when her fussy phase is over (if it ever ends, LOL). She's 9 weeks so our BF relationship is well established and she nurses beautifully and has since day one.

Now I do need to work on the bottle thing, I am a wedding photographer and will be working some Saturdays starting in October, so we'll have occasional separations and she'll need to take a bottle so I should definitely not be so lazy about having DH give them to her now so we can have an easier time in the future. But who wants to pump and freeze in their spare time LOL.

Jessica- married to David- parenting our 3 monkeys- DS #1 (age 7) DS #2 (age 4) and a brand new DD (born 5/10/10)
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#16 of 16 Old 07-18-2010, 09:24 PM
 
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Sounds like you feel better about the paci but thought I'd add my two cents too-this whole discussion reminds me of others we've all debated about (swings, etc) b/c if we are on mothering, it means we have some committment to natural parenting or attachment parenting. But one thing I notice that I do is get on my soap box about something (like pacifiers) but then realize that I'm throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I think a pacifier becomes a "negative" when it's used to replace mommy (or daddy) for comfort ALL the time. When you use it as a tool in a busy life to help soothe your baby, I see NO problem with that. Just like my grandmother always says-"everything in moderation." Same with a swing or any other gadget. If you use to "replace" the parent-that gives me a bad feeling. When you are trying your best to attachment parent but you've got other kids, a job, etc to do and you sometimes use "help" to make your baby calm, you are doing the best thing for your baby.

Also, if you are familiar with Dr. Christiane Northrup (who wrote Women's Wisdom, Women's Bodies and Mother-Daughter Wisdom) she strongly encourages us to let our babies suck to their hearts content for as long as they need to. She suggests extended BFing, bottles and pacis as longs as your kiddo wants it. I think the idea is if you meet their sucking need early in life (and after all sucking is one way they get love and feel safe) then it won't come up later in a life as a lack (lack of love, etc.)

Sarah, SAHM to dd C (8-9-07) and C (5-27-10), happily married to DH for 10 years

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