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Thread: Thumbsucking interfering with hunger cues?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    212

    Default Thumbsucking interfering with hunger cues?

    If pacifier use can mask hunger cues, can thumbsucking? My 4.5 month old daughter just found her thumb this morning and has been going to town on it. Before and after feedings, so I don't think she's sucking out of hunger, just a desire to suck. She doesn't (or can't?) comfort nurse...my milk continues letting down even when she obviously doesn't want to drink.

    Anyway, she's an extremely laid-back/undemanding nurser, so I definitely don't want anything masking her already very laid-back desire to nurse...

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,710

    Default Re: Thumbsucking interfering with hunger cues?

    Have you had problems with her not eating enough/losing weight in the past? If not, I would trust her to know the difference between a need for comfort and hunger at this age. If she's really hungry, a thumb isn't likely to satisfy her. Sounds like she found a good solution to her inability to comfort nurse at the breast.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Thumbsucking interfering with hunger cues?

    Thanks for your response! No, she hasn't ever lost weight or anything. She's gone through very fussy periods (while nursing), as well as being super distractible currently, but her weights have averaged our fine (I dreamfeed her a few times overnight).

    It's pretty ironic timing because we just flew home from vacation yesterday and I offered her a pacifier for the first time ever because she was really fussy on the plane and wouldn't nurse. She took to it right away and it immediately calmed her down, which I was simultaneously thankful for and fearful of! So, I used it very very sparingly and hid it back away as soon as she was calmed down. I told my husband that I was going to throw them away (just afraid of her becoming too fond of them over nursing)...and she started sucking her thumb literally the next day!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    3,320

    Default Re: Thumbsucking interfering with hunger cues?

    My son did a similar thing around the same age, but it didn't interfere with nursing (except his frustration that he couldn't figure out how to get his thumb out of the way to eat lol), and was short-lived. I think PP is correct--she'll let you know when comfort isn't what she needs.

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