Mothering Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
731 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK I'm going to show my ignorance or lack of experience here but I'm giving it a go. I am expecting in August and he has Down Syndrome and I've been reading a lot about low muscle tone, LLL has a booklet about possible feeding issues and solutions etc. I'm not one to use a pacifier, never have, I rather be in tune with my baby and address issues, not put a stopper in LOL. I was wondering, though, if pacifier use would help build up muscle tone and help with nursing or would nursing itself exercise him enough? I know I'm putting the cart before the horse but curiosity got the cat here.

TIA Kitty
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,391 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Aeriane
OK I'm going to show my ignorance or lack of experience here but I'm giving it a go. I am expecting in August and he has Down Syndrome and I've been reading a lot about low muscle tone, LLL has a booklet about possible feeding issues and solutions etc. I'm not one to use a pacifier, never have, I rather be in tune with my baby and address issues, not put a stopper in LOL. I was wondering, though, if pacifier use would help build up muscle tone and help with nursing or would nursing itself exercise him enough? I know I'm putting the cart before the horse but curiosity got the cat here.

TIA Kitty
I know two people who have downs syndrome children, both nursed and both used pacifiers. One nursed for several years, while one only did for a year. You may want to ask a physical therapist about the sucking and building tone. Call early intervention in your area (which your son will qualify for) and ask if you can speak to someone about this before he is born. My son had hypotonia and had trouble sucking from a bottle, but not the breast at all. He didn't start therapy until he was 13m old, but we started doing exercises for sucking and building tone in the mouth with a straw, so it seems a pacifier would help do the same thing.

Goodluck!

Kim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,971 Posts
My dd has some low muscle tone - the OT says she has some in her mouth (which I often times find hard to believe since she had the latch of a baby croc :LOL )

Anyway, when dd weaned, she started sucking her thumb. Dh hated it, but I wasn't going to take her "security" away from her. She only really does it when she's tired or feeling overwhelmed. I asked the OT about it and she said that actually, sucking on the thumb does help strengthen oral muscles so my dd should keep sucking it for the time being.

You also have to remember, bottle feeding sucking and breastfeeding sucking actually use different sets of muscles. So if you can breastfeed and let him use a pacifier or he sucks his thumb, then he will be building up all sorts of facial and oral muscles instead of a specific few.

And remember, some kids need that sucking motion to soothe them. My one ds wanted something in his mouth all night but would wake up and cry every time my breast left his mouth. Finally I shoved a pacifier in there and he went to sleep and finally slept through the night (he was 20 months old.) And my dd loves her thumb. My other two kids never used a pacifier and never sucked their thumbs - they just didn't need it. Some kids are just more orally fixated than others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,270 Posts
There are also a huge variety of teethers, chewies, etc. for infants and toddlers that help develop muscle tone in the mouth, tongue, etc. Check out some of the special education/speech catalogues such as:

beyondplay.com
superduperinc.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,562 Posts
My DD has Ds and we never used a pacifier. She is still nursing. There are other things to do to help stimulate the mouth also. We use little vibrator toys to wake up her mouth.

Good luck - the nursing can be rough in the beginning but it comes along.

Hope all is well for you and your new little one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
428 Posts
I may be in the minority here, but the more oral-play he/she can do, the better. We use anything and everything with my dd, ranging from pacifiers (which she still can't really do) to probes and vibrating teethers. But my dd has really low tone in the trunk... Then again, my typically developing 3mo also uses a binky. He has very high sucking needs and either the binky or the thumb is in the mouth pretty much at all times. I never thought I would be a paci advocate either, but then reality hit and the "rules" went out the window. :LOL I figure since he is going to be sucking on something at all times, I might as well let him choose what it is. Sometimes he wants the binky, sometimes the thumb.

Have you checked out the breastfeeding aids from Medela? My dd was not able to nurse at all, but we did have a little bit of success with the haberman bottle and expressed breast milk. It is hard to know in advance how well your baby will or will not be able to breastfeed, so I would try to acquaint yourself with breastpumps and breastfeeding aids just in case, if you have not already.

I applaud you for being so proactive about breastfeeding! Good for you!

ETA: I just noticed this is #6 for you! WOW! Now I'm really impressed!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
First--congrats on your upcoming baby!Secondly,I am very partial(even biased)when it comes to children with Down Syndrome,my dh and I have adopted two boys(at seperate times)w/Downs.Manny is 4 1/2 and Samuel is turning 4 in September.We've had Samuel since he was 3 months,but I could never get him to take a pacifier,although I really didn't push it.Manny came to us when he had just turned 3,and had always taken a "binky",and still does at cuddle time before going to sleep
: I'm going to tel you honestly that if a pacifier is something that comforts them,I think it's a great idea because so many of these kids have such poor muscle tone,any oral stimulation can certainly help!if you're able to nurse,that's even better!I was actually able to induce lactation with Samuel(the non pacifier one!)and nursed for awhile.If you have any other questions,I'd love to help if I can,here's a link for an awesome web site/forum page
www.downsyn.com
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top