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Thread: help! pacifier = breast refusal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Default help! pacifier = breast refusal

    7 mos old juniper has used pacifier since she was 1 month old. we gave her unrestricted use, and now she is ADDICTED. . . she is refusing to nurse. i am a full time stay at home mommy, so we breastfeed exclusively. we don't even own bottles. when i put her to the breast, she sucks maybe a few times, then screams when she realizes it isn't the pacifier. she cries, sobs, throws a tantrum, and loses all control. she looks up at me yelling MA MA MA!!! like i took a boob out of her mouth. i'm afraid she thinks that the pacifier is my breast, and she thinks i am taking it away from her.
    the only way to get her to nurse is by rocking her to sleep with the pacifier (tootsie, as we call it), and when she falls asleep, take it out and slip my breast in.
    so i have to trick her into nursing.
    wtf.
    someone please help me. i know the pacifier was the first mistake, but i have to get her to want to nurse. my goal is to nurse through at least a year old, but i'm loosing my cool here.
    i have started to wean her from the tootsie by not giving it to her during the daytime, only for naps and bed.. but today is the first day of this trial.
    ugh. i'm beyond myself.
    HELP!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,847

    Default Re: help! pacifier = breast refusal

    Yikes, that sounds really rough! I think you're doing the right thing to make the paci vanish now, before your LO gets even more hooked on it. My neighbor's kid was so addicted to pacis that he would steal his baby sister's Nuk and kept a stash of pacis hidden all around the house...

    If she's EBF, how often is she nursing in a 24 hour period?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: help! pacifier = breast refusal

    she nurses 6 times. i don't have her on a schedule, she has me on a schedule. i offer every 2.5 hours, but she wants 3.
    she has always slept through the night and still does, so she does not nurse from 11pm-6am. a few times she has woken me to eat, and i feed her happily. we are cosleeping, so it's no biggie to get up to feed her right away.
    she is gaining weight really well, by the way.
    i just want her to nurse better/more easily, and not get so stressed out. she gets so frantic, like it is painful. ugh. stupid pacifier.

  4. #4
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: help! pacifier = breast refusal

    Interesting. 6 nursing sessions per day is on the very low side when it comes to frequency. Most 7 month olds are nursing at least 8 times a day, and usually far more than that. But despite relatively infrequent feedings, your baby's weight gain is good, which makes me wonder about your milk supply. Is it on the high side? Sometimes when a mom has a ton of milk, and consequently a forceful letdown, babies become resistant to nursing because they don't like feeling like they are drinking from a firehose. But babies love to suck, so if they don't enjoy nursing all that much they may come to rely on a paci.

    Some signs of high supply:
    - frequent feelings of fullness or engorgement
    - strong letdown sensation
    - frequent leaking
    - ability to pump multiple oz of milk with ease, if pumping
    - baby may pull off the breast when nursing
    - if baby pulls off during a letdown, you may see milk spray or stream from the breast
    - baby may choke, cough, gag, splutter, or make a clicking sound while nursing
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,710

    Default Re: help! pacifier = breast refusal

    I agree with mommal that 6 times nursing is very low compared with the average. However, I heard from Dr. Newman at one point (via my mom) that some infants can occasionally go as low as 5 nursing sessions per day and still get enough (this was during a discussion about my being at work during the day - my daughter was refusing the bottle). So if there aren't any signs that the baby isn't getting enough (i.e. baby's gaining fine, etc.), I wouldn't necessarily be worried about that end of it. I don't have any specific suggestions re the pacifier situation, sorry. Just wanted to add that tidbit to the discussion. Hopefully others will have some good suggestions for you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: help! pacifier = breast refusal

    i do have somewhat of an oversupply, but juniper never comes off of the breast DURING nursing, the issue is mainly that i can't get her to want to latch on to the breast. as soon as i lay her into the nursing position, she starts rooting, but won't let me put my breast into her mouth. she cries as soon as she feels my breast, and doesn't let up until i give her the tootsie. then after she sucks on the tootsie enough to really calm down, i can slip my breast into her mouth. sometimes she comes back off of the breast during nursing, but not during let down.
    i don't pump, and i feed her on demand. i figure by now, my heavy let down/supply is the way it is because of her needs.
    she has nursed 5 times or so a day for several months now. i think she's gotten really efficient at emptying, so i wasn't concerned for the amount she gets (until now! you just had to plant the seed!). she very rarely asks to nurse. usually she eats because i sit her on my lap and offer, because i know it has been 3 hours so she is probably hungry.
    also, i know it is probably irrelevant, but she gets about 1-2 tbsp of yams or spinach or some puree at dinner time with us, if that makes up for a few calories here or there.
    really, now i'm freaking out that she isn't nursing enough/getting enough food. ack.

    any more advice would be appreciated! thanks for taking your time to respond, mommal

  7. #7
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    Default Re: help! pacifier = breast refusal

    So once she's nursing and there's milk there she stays on? Maybe you could hand express just enough to get your milk flowing and then latch her on. So she isn't sucking waiting on milk. Might be worth a shot just to see if it helps.

    I think if her weight gain is fine and she's having plenty of wet diapers, is happy, is growing, meeting milestones...you're probably feeding her plenty. Especially since you have an abundant milk supply. That wouldn't continue if she weren't stimulating it.

    I think you're doing alright here, mama. Don't lose your cool.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: help! pacifier = breast refusal

    with the PP. It's unusual that your baby feeds so infrequently, but there are certainly a percentage of babies who do just fine despite feeding much less often than their peers. If your baby's weight gain is good, then she's one of them. Nothing to worry about!

    It really sounds like your baby has a funky habit where she expects every feeding to begin with a pacifier session. Have you tried offering her a finger to suck before nursing, rather than a paci?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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