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hkrose 08-02-2003 01:26 PM

so here's my issue:

my 6 week old daughter gets very fussy in the evenings (as babies do) and whenever I try to put her to the breast to comfort nurse she will either tug at my nipple (which ends up giving me really bad nipple pain) while nursing- by pulling her head back and stopping and starting, or she will get frustrated that there is milk coming out and will start to cry. She only does this when she is tired and wants to fall asleep.

I really don't want to give her a pacifier and would prefer her to do all of her sucking at the breast, but then at night I end up in pain and frustrated and she crying and frustrated.

My husband and I have been letting her suck on our pinky fingers to calm her when she won't nurse, but I don't know if this is ok either, really.

Is it better to let her do this sucking on a pacifier? should we continue with the fingers?

Any advice would help!! thanks!!

AmyG 08-02-2003 02:13 PM

It's fine to have her suck on your pinky. It sounds like she's one of the babies that could use a pacifier and not have it cause problems with nursing, but if you'd rather have her suck your finger, that's a perfectly fine alternative. She probably will suck her thumb or another finger when she gets a bit older. Some babies just need that extra sucking. My DS is 7 months, and he'll frequently pull off the breast in the evenings and suck his thumb to go to sleep.

WickidaWitch 08-02-2003 05:18 PM

Mine loved his Binky as a baby (still does @ 26mo) and for us it didn't get in the way of nursing. When he was done getting the milk he wanted he would pull off and get his binky.
Sometimes he tried to have both!

Viola 08-02-2003 05:24 PM

My daughter used a pacifier for the same reasons when she was a few months old. There were times when she just didn't want to nurse because it was like she didn't quite know how to do the non-nutritive sucking. I had a strong letdown at times so that she would barely have to suck. I would give her a pacifier and turn her on the tummy and pat her. Then one day she refused the pacifier so I never offered it again. She ended up only using it about a month or two. By the time she was maybe 4.5 or 5 months along, she seemed to have mastered the art of using the breast as a pacifier. Or maybe it was just my milk supply was a little more regulated by then, I don't know.

I think a pinky is fine--it seems like it would be more pleasurable than sucking on a pacifier to me--but if your goal is lactational ammenorrhea for as long as you can have it, any kind of non breast sucking might have an effect on that.

MaggiesMom 08-02-2003 05:36 PM

If your baby seems to want something else to suck on, and breastfeeding is well-established, it shouldn't hurt. Maggie is a major comfort suck-er, and we ended up giving her a pacifier after a few weeks and have never looked back. I didn't want to give her one, but it isn't about stopping her from crying, which is what a lot of people against them say. As a matter of fact, she rarely ever gets one when she is crying, except in the car. If she is full but agitated, I give her one and she immediately stops flailing her arms and settles. Of course, if she is happy with her hands, I leave her alone. Your dd will probably get really good at getting her hands right where she wants them soon.

I should add that Maggie apparently has had significant reflux since she was born, so the pacifier is actually probably GOOD for her. The sucking makes her feel better, but if she was at the breast she would probably still get some milk, and the last thing she needs is to be over-full. She is very fussy at the breast in the evening....

So, as huge a proponent of breastfeeding as I am, I still think that pacifiers can be used "safely" under the right circumstances. If you decide to use one, don't feel guilty about it.

abranger 08-02-2003 05:43 PM

My dd actually punched and kicked my while crying if she was sucking and didn't want milk to come out.......instant calm when given a paccy...which I was NEVER going to do :

SHe is 7 months now nursing great and 99 percentile for weight....still sucking on that paccy though


scheelimama 08-04-2003 01:55 AM

We were not going to give a pacifier, but our daughter wanted to suck all the time. We ended up giving her a pacifier at 2 days old. She has had no problems nursing and I have had no problems with supply. She mainly uses it when she is tired. It helps alot to get her to sleep. She won't nurse when she is tired, either. Give it a try. The Nuk pacifiers are really great.

hkrose 08-04-2003 11:13 AM

thanks for all the responses-- we've started giving her the nuk pacifier after her 6ish nursing and she loves it- it really helps calm her in the far it han't interfered with nursing at all... I guess I just have a nuk baby on my hands!

Momtwice 08-04-2003 12:43 PM

Just make sure it's not the kind made out of two separate pieces, these are very frequently recalled for breaking apart and being a choking hazard.
Make sure it is made out of one solid piece.

If you develop sore nipples or the baby starts fussing at the breast or refusing to nurse (some possible problems from frequent pacifier use) then toss 'em.

Personally I would not offer them at 6 weeks because that is such a typical time for a growth spurt, which pacifiers can interfere with. My experience was that pacifiers interfered with milk supply.

Lucky Charm 08-04-2003 12:52 PM

My last baby would nurse with a binky in his chubby little hand.

None of my kids had problems using a pacifier while nursing.

hkrose 08-04-2003 01:22 PM

I will keep the 6 week growth spurt in mind. she is just at the beginning of her 6th week now. I always offer her the breast first, every time she wants to suck-- in the hope that she will actually nurse but unfortuantely if she is full and tired, she won't nurse- I wish she would nurse instead of use the pacifier.

MOM2ANSLEY 08-06-2003 12:40 AM

My dd had a paci since she was 4 days old, she is 9months now and I have not had any major prolems nursing. Actually, I had an over abundant supply. When she was younger, as soon ass she was through nursing, she wold latch off and want her paci-then immediatley fall asleep.

Momtwice 08-10-2003 12:11 PM

Great article about things to watch for with pacifier use:

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