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I'm just curious, what do people see as wrong with pacifiers? In other words, why would they not want to use them?

Are they seen as a "crutch"? Is it about nipple confusion? plastics in the mouth? orthodontic development?
 

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for me it was nipple confusion. we were already having issues and I didn't want to make them worse. we did end up using a pacifier because I had over supply and ds wanted to comfort nurse.. but he rejected it after 6 weeks.
 

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for me it was nipple confusion too....or so they told me. so i didn;t give my dd anything for weeks. now she's so nipple un-confused she won't take a bottle.
now they (different "they's") tell me i should have given her a bottle earlier and that nipple confusion just doesn't happen all that often. you just can't win.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tzs View Post
for me it was nipple confusion too....or so they told me. so i didn;t give my dd anything for weeks. now she's so nipple un-confused she won't take a bottle.
now they (different "they's") tell me i should have given her a bottle earlier and that nipple confusion just doesn't happen all that often. you just can't win.
same here! we missed the window of opportunity on that. I don't have a compelling reason to try and get him to take a bottle now at 5 months, but it would be nice to have the option
 

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They can interefere with breastfeeding not only because of nipple confusion but also because they can affect supply-- a baby who is meeting her sucking needs with a paci and not at a breast might not be getting enough milk/stimulating the breast to make enough milk. It can also be a jaw development issue. That said, I don't have a huge issue with using them past six weeks or so, once breastfeeding is well established.
 

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It can affect supply. It can affect bonding. It can cause nipple confusion. It can affect ortho development.

Ultimately many AP moms question why they're considered so necessary in our society. Most societies in the world don't have them and get by just fine. I know when my grandmother was nagging me about giving him a pacifier at 4 weeks I just wanted to hit someone - we were already having severe BFing problems, a pacifier wasn't going to improve things, yet she couldn't understand how I could possibly not be forcing him to take one (he's always refused them).

And there are no guarantees that a babe will be willing to take an artificial nipple anyway. My DS started on a bottle at 2.5 weeks, and to this day (4.5 mos) he still won't tolerate a paci - even the one made by the same company as his bottles. If there's not milk involved, he'd rather just suck on his fingers, and I'm fine with that. At least he's not going to lose those at the mall, ya know?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by texaspeach View Post
same here! we missed the window of opportunity on that. I don't have a compelling reason to try and get him to take a bottle now at 5 months, but it would be nice to have the option
what is that window? i just wonder...

i will be
and taking
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
They can interefere with breastfeeding not only because of nipple confusion but also because they can affect supply-- a baby who is meeting her sucking needs with a paci and not at a breast might not be getting enough milk/stimulating the breast to make enough milk. It can also be a jaw development issue. That said, I don't have a huge issue with using them past six weeks or so, once breastfeeding is well established.
This is exactly my reasons.
 

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Nipple confusion and affecting my supply were my biggest reasons for not starting one immediately. And, I really thought about it cause he was tongue tied and nursing hurt like crazy until we got it clipped. Once we got to a point that I felt more comfortable giving one, he wanted nothing to do with the thing. He's 5 mos now and will take a bottle just fine as long as something is coming out of it, but he gags and acts like you are killing him if you try to give him a pacifier.
 

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For me, it is more about going a more natural route first.
I have nothing against them though - my son had one. (and I am a firm believer that once you offer your child that kind of comfort, it should be their choice as to when they no longer want it - I let my son give it up in his own time and he eventually did...just like children will eventually no longer be nursing and/or sleeping in the family bed! hehe)
But I would prefer to try other things first - a 'pacifier' being the last 'resort' really.
Some babies are just sucky. Some will cry and cry and theres not much else you can do about it because they are really sucky and fail to find a finger or be satisfied by using mum as the 'pacifier'.
I personally, would prefer to be the 'pacifier' - but I realise that this doesn't always work out (such as oversupply...ive seen sucky babies suck, spit it out, then cry in frustration because they just want to suck - not milk! lol).
All 'sucky' babies will eventually find a finger if that need is not being satisfied in other ways. I was sucky - this baby might be sucky...will see...I would prefer them to not have a 'pacifier' if I can work out the over supply issue but I will not let them be frustrated and cry cry cry so unhappy until they do find a finger if thats what it resorts to - they can have a soother instead! I have had a handful of friends refuse to give their baby a soother (because they think they are a pain to get them off of) - and just had a SUPER upset/crying all the time/frustrated/unhappy baby for about 4 months until they did find a finger! I wouldn't be pleased about letting my child go through that personally. If they found a finger MUCH sooner - great! lol ...but otherwise...soother it is!
They may or may not cause nipple confusion - I have yet to actually see that. Most people whom I know that do breastfeed, are still breastfeeding their three years olds who also happily have a 'pacifier' as well. I am convinced that babies are not stupid...if they are really sucky, they won't get confused - because when they are actually really hungry, they know milk won't come from that! lol
Orthodontic issues are not actually a problem if you are buying orthodontic soothers (neither is a finger a problem in all reality).

My only only only one tiny little problem with them - is them being forced on babies. I have seen that too. Babies that are not sucky at all. Babies that have them shoved into their mouthes to 'shut them up' (usually the parent will mumble that). They are usually crying and upset for other reasons (like - simply wanting to be held and not always stuck in some contraption). They spit it out over and over again but eventually the baby gives up and takes the only comfort it can get. That is the only problem I have with them. Though I can tell you, these are not the kind of parents I generally hang out with.
 

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I love pacifiers.

However, I think people should wait until nursing and supply are established. And don't give a hungry baby a paci in hopes of putting off feeding. If the baby wants to nurse, nurse. But my first wanted to suck a ton more than she wanted to nurse, and I had severe oversupply as it was and more nipple stimulation was he last thing I needed. I don't know if I would would have continued nursing if we hadn't used a pacifier, because I would have quit if I hadn't gotten that terrible oversupply figured out, and that baby was colicy (probably caused by oversupply) and I needed the paci to help wtih both.

Oh, and the second one only is interested in them in the car. The pacifier keeps her peaceful in the car, therefore I can keep her rear-facing longer.

They have their place.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
They can interefere with breastfeeding not only because of nipple confusion but also because they can affect supply-- a baby who is meeting her sucking needs with a paci and not at a breast might not be getting enough milk/stimulating the breast to make enough milk.
FWIW, the reverse can also be true: a baby meeting their sucking needs at the breast might receive enough milk when doing so that they never get really hungry enough to effectively empty the breast, thus also negatively impacting supply.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
FWIW, the reverse can also be true: a baby meeting their sucking needs at the breast might receive enough milk when doing so that they never get really hungry enough to effectively empty the breast, thus also negatively impacting supply.
Breasts are factories, not warehouses, and so they are always producing milk and never truly "empty".

ETA: That came out terser than I intended. It's just that I've gotten a fair number of phone calls from confused mothers who think their babies aren't getting enough milk because their breasts aren't empty, and it's breastfeeding language that is confusing and misleading. I think a baby who is taking constant quick trips to the breast can end up with a hindmilk/foremilk imbalance if they're always only nursing enough to get the foremilk, and in this case a paci could be a tool in getting the baby to go longer in between feedings so they get a more complete meal. But again, not something I would recommend before breastfeeding is well established.
 

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Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
Most societies in the world don't have them and get by just fine.
Really? Most? Cause I've lived a lot of places with my kids and we currently live in a rather global community (over 90 different nationalities) and so far, pacifiers seem to be considered not only normal but vital to the newborn parenting arsenal. The only people I have spoken to who don't use pacifiers are from tribal communities and even they stll use other forms of substitute nipples for sucking comfort, not to mention other methods of pacifying babies that would certainly raise eyebrows amongst most westerners to say the least...I don't get this arguement at all.

I didn't introduce one until I watched my son writhe and cry in frustration from wanting to suck and not being able to, and he just couldn't keep his fingers in his mouth, if he could even get them there to begin with. His latch was good and my supply was solid, but if he sucked my milk came down, and fast. I did worry about the chemicals in the plastics, but found a good local brand in Argentina that was natural rubber and he loved it better than anything else I could offer.

He also spat it out one day at about six months, and never looked back.

That's just my experience. I don't think they are necessary, but they can be a very good source of comfort to a baby who just wants to soothe themselves but can't quite manage yet. I think you have to follow your baby's cues.
 

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I used to be vehemently anti-paci until I had my fourth who was, as ann put it, a very sucky baby. He was 9 pounds at birth, and started gnawing at his fingers as soon as he was born. He nursed pretty much straight through his first few weeks of life, LOL! He was also very spitty because he was overfilling himself. He never really took to it where I could leave him and his paci alone and the two would be happy, but it did help when he was all "Must. Suck. Now" and I was all, "Seriously? Because you just nursed for an hour and mama's boob's need a break."
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Breasts are factories, not warehouses, and so they are always producing milk and never truly "empty".
"Emptying the breast" is not an unheard of term, and regardless of whether it means every last drop is drained there are benefits to lengthy nursing sessions which deplete a significant amount of milk at a given time. Just like for some babies, particularly especially young babies, a pacifier *can* interfere with their inclination to go to the breast enough (while others would be fine), for others very frequent nursing resulting in very small amounts of milk *can also* interfere with nursing in a manner that better encourages milk production (while, again, other babies would be fine). In both cases it depends more on the way the baby reacts to the feeling of hunger than anything the mother is doing right or wrong.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
"Emptying the breast" is not an unheard of term, and regardless of whether it means every last drop is drained there are benefits to lengthy nursing sessions which deplete a significant amount of milk at a given time. Just like for some babies, particularly especially young babies, a pacifier *can* interfere with their inclination to go to the breast enough (while others would be fine), for others very frequent nursing resulting in very small amounts of milk *can also* interfere with nursing in a manner that better encourages milk production (while, again, other babies would be fine). In both cases it depends more on the way the baby reacts to the feeling of hunger than anything the mother is doing right or wrong.
I actually edited above to clarify.
It's a common term, but still a misleading one. Frequent small trips to the breast can exacerbate an oversupply issue. I still think nipple confusion and undersupply is a more likely problem, based on my own ten years experience in helping mothers breastfeed.
 

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I believed DD would suffer nipple confusion, but i had loads of milk, and if she wanted to suck but not nurse she would suck until let-down then choke, cry, fight and then cry and cry and cry and eventually accept the breast again only to repeat the pattern. If she was truly hungry that didn't happen, only if she was wanting to suck.

We gave her a clean pinky finger to suck until she was 5 weeks (by then our nursing was well-established) then a paci. She took the pacifier sometimes (it clearly needed a different sucking style to keep it in and she dropped it and cried for it often) until she was 8 weeks, then she found her thumb. She's still a thumb-sucker now (she's 4 in April). I'm also still a thumbsucker (i'm 30 in October) so it's not an issue of any sort for me.

The main thing that puts me off paci's for newborns, as a lazier-than-thou mama, is having to sterilize anything extra (on top of pump parts).
 

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Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
...he was all "Must. Suck. Now" and I was all, "Seriously? Because you just nursed for an hour and mama's boob's need a break."


I have so been in that place!
 

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3 babies:

#1 - No paci (I was opposed to them for many of the reasons PPs detailed.) Nursed like a champ, but refused all other nipples. Was difficult for others to soothe when mom was unavailable, which was often because I was in grad school 2-3 nights per week. Pumped hundreds of ounces of breastmilk that ended up going down the drain.

#2 - Got the paci right out of the gate. Also a terrific nurser. Flat out refused to take any bottle.

#3 - Like #2, got a paci immediately. Awesome nurser. Took bottles without complaint.

Having a pacifier never negatively impacted my breastfeeding relationships. In fact, for a mom that's struggling with nursing because of pain, exhaustion or the feeling of never being UNattached, I think a paci could provide some comfort to baby AND mom and could actually help the nursing relationship (barring supply issues).

While DD #1 was an amazing nurser, I was in terrible pain for the first 6-8 weeks. She was an aggressive nurser. Even though she was gaining beautifully, I came within millimeters of quitting because I was exhausted and overwhelmed and it just hurt so. damn. bad. The LC assured me that her latch was perfect. She almost DOUBLED her birthweight in the first 8 weeks. (6 lbs 13 oz to 12 lbs 6.5 oz.). But I hated nursing. Things got much better after the 2 month mark, but a pacifier might have made those early weeks a little less traumatic.
 
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