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Thread: Pacifier to combat SIDS

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Pacifier to combat SIDS

    Gosh, my story is SO similar to yours!

    We needed a nipple shield for 3-4 weeks before we eventually weaned from it, and we were very worried about SIDS and heard about the whole pacifier thing and ultimately waited until our son was 8 weeks to try.

    He never took to the pacifier. I'm not sure if things would have been different if we had tried to introduce it sooner, but that is what happened in our situation. All of the previous posters bring up very valid points about SIDS and the risks. I would make a decision based upon how well your baby is nursing now. My son was still having trouble nursing at 6 weeks, but we were both a lot more comfortable around 8-10 weeks.

    In some situations it would be helpful if he would take a pacifier, but mostly, I'm happy he is not attached to one. You sound like you are very committed to breastfeeding, so if you decide to introduce one now, and it causes trouble, you would be able to take the correct steps to get your baby back on the breast. Obviously avoiding any "nipple confusion" would be best, but I think whatever decision you make is a good one!
    Nursling: Kevin (March 2012)

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Pacifier to combat SIDS

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    Well I don't think it's fair to say we don't know what causes SIDS. SIDS is what ALL infant death that they can find no reason for is classified as. It's a catch all phrase. But ultimately based on all the things that REDUCE it it's fair to say that much of it is caused by a child forgetting to breathe or stopping, sleep apnea and suffocation. Which unless the mother is using drugs or alcohol, she is in tuned to that. And much more likely to catchesit when in the same space.
    Yes, it is true that SIDS is essentially a catch-all phrase, which is why I said "cause(s)" - there are likely several things contributing to SIDS which would therefore be prevented in different ways. One of the current ideas about what causes SIDS is the baby's system kind of shutting down, as you say forgetting to breathe, essentially. But suffocation is by definition NOT SIDS. If a baby is determined to have suffocated, then they are by definition not classified as SIDS. My understanding (though I am no expert) is that suffocation is fairly easy to determine based on physiological characteristics, so would be unlikely to be confused for SIDS.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Pacifier to combat SIDS

    EDIT: FYI, here is the official LLLI media response to the AAP pacifier use recommendation: https://www.llli.org/release/sids.html

    I would like to talk about pacifiers and breastfeeding for a minute. Because if a mother is considering using a pacifier for any reason, it is important to consider what, exactly, the concerns are. In other words, WHY are pacifiers, especially the early introduction of pacifiers, considered counter effective for nursing? I think if a mother understands the issues, then, IF she decides to try pacifiers, they are less likely to cause any serious breastfeeding problems.

    One possible issue is that baby may develop a different way of sucking via the pacifier, and try to nurse on the breast in a way that is similar, causing nipple pain and/or difficulty latching.

    tbirdie, it appears you are well informed mother who has already made it through some early breastfeeding issues. If, sometime after the introduction to pacifiers, breastfeeding starts to hurt you or baby has difficulty latching, then presumably you will know that the issue may indeed be the pacifier, and stop the pacifier use and fix the issue, rather than giving up nursing.

    The other issue with pacifiers is that a baby may ‘pacify’ through a feeding. In part this is because the act of sucking sends a hormonal signal to baby that signals to a baby that they are sated. Basically, pacifiers were invented to replace the breast, and sometimes they work all too well!

    So, pacifier use is linked to slow weight gain in babies, because the baby actually may nurse less than normally needed, resulting in baby not getting enough and milk production becoming inadequate. This is a much more dangerous aspect of pacifier use, imo.

    The fix? Make sure baby is not doing this. A baby this young would typically be nursing at least 10 times a 24 hour day. Make sure baby still nurses at least this often. Baby pacifiing on the breast is normal and is good for milk production. Let baby do this. Recognize that it will be many weeks, possibly months, before your baby naturally sleeps longer than 3-5 hours at a time. This is normal. If, after the introduction of the pacifier, baby starts taking long sleep stretches or nursing less overall, consider that this may be due to baby pacifying and on the pacifier rather than the breast, and consider limiting pacifier use.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; January 29th, 2013 at 06:15 PM.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Pacifier to combat SIDS

    The research on pacis found that baby who use one and then had it taken away were then more likely to die. And pacifiers are replacements for nursing so just nurse baby. If she's in the room with you and can hear you breathe she is getting the benefits of co-sleeping.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Pacifier to combat SIDS

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*manitobamommy View Post
    Yes, it is true that SIDS is essentially a catch-all phrase, which is why I said "cause(s)" - there are likely several things contributing to SIDS which would therefore be prevented in different ways. One of the current ideas about what causes SIDS is the baby's system kind of shutting down, as you say forgetting to breathe, essentially. But suffocation is by definition NOT SIDS. If a baby is determined to have suffocated, then they are by definition not classified as SIDS. My understanding (though I am no expert) is that suffocation is fairly easy to determine based on physiological characteristics, so would be unlikely to be confused for SIDS.
    Hmmmm. My understanding is that suffocation WAS part of it. And that is why the now recommendation of putting them to sleep on their backs. Because when they are very young they are more likely to NOT be able to lift their own head and thus no be able to breathe. But the back sleeping they report reduces SIDS by a large number. They don't say it's reduces suffocation specifically.

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Pacifier to combat SIDS

    There is a lot of confusion around SIDS and suffocation, partly because it depends on who is making the determination about cause of death, and how they do it. There's another term, Sudden Unexplained Infant Death, that would be more of a catch-all that includes cases of suffocation where it's not clear-cut. But the recommendation to put them on their backs is not (or at least not entirely) about suffocation. My personal belief as a layperson who's read a lot about it is that the reason "back to sleep" is associated with a reduction in SIDS is because babies sleep less soundly - they are less likely to get physiologically into the state where their system shuts down. But that's just based on one of the current theories about why SIDS occurs and it's by no means established.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Pacifier to combat SIDS

    I've heard (sorry can't remember where I read this, but maybe try google searching it?) that the studies about pacifiers and SIDS are specific to babies who regularly use a pacifier: those that use one regularly and have one at night are less at risk than babies who use one and don't get it at night. So my interpretation is that if your baby uses a pacifier regularly, then giving one at night will lessen the risk, but if your baby doesn't ever use one then introducing one at night won't make a difference.

    My LO never really took to a paci. We stayed away from it for the first 4 or 5 weeks because he had problems latching (he had a tongue tie that was corrected, so we worked a long time on getting the proper latch). By this time, he just wasn't that interested. He would suck for a few seconds, then open his mouth and it would fall out. I used it a few times to help soothe him to sleep after a really long nursing session, to relieve sore nipples. But after he fell asleep I took it out of his mouth. I really didn't feel comfortable putting him in the crib with a foreign object in one of his 2 airways.

    The other day, now at 7 months old, he rediscovered the paci, but only to chew on all parts of it because he's teething. So I guess it does have its uses for us after all .

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Pacifier to combat SIDS

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*andie613 View Post
    I've heard (sorry can't remember where I read this, but maybe try google searching it?) that the studies about pacifiers and SIDS are specific to babies who regularly use a pacifier: those that use one regularly and have one at night are less at risk than babies who use one and don't get it at night. So my interpretation is that if your baby uses a pacifier regularly, then giving one at night will lessen the risk, but if your baby doesn't ever use one then introducing one at night won't make a difference..
    You worded this better than I did! I want to say I first saw this in an article on the leaky boob but searching the database didn't bring anything up. I did find a decent article on kellymom (sorry no link) which basically said the research is inconclusive whether the results were caused by pacifiers or just a correlation.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Pacifier to combat SIDS

    Thank you for all the thorough responses! I started to think about the paci for two reasons: 1.) SIDS and 2.) DD likes to suck. She has been sucking on her hands for about a week now, but can't always find them and the sucking soothes her so much. Now, whenever she has our fingers in her grip, she immediately takes them to her mouth. Still not quite coordinated enough to be successful every time, but she desperately wants to suck to soothe, even after she has a full tummy and is content. My thought was that a paci might make her happier in the evenings when she's getting ready for bed, which is when she fusses the most, and then it might help against SIDS as well.

    Her sucking her thumb is going to be just as much trouble from a teeth/ortho stand point as a paci is, but harder to discourage eventually, I think.

    So much conflicting info out there!

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Pacifier to combat SIDS

    I repeat, you should NOT introduce ANY artificial pacifiers for at least another 2-3weeks. Sids will NOT be an issue unless you offer her one and take one away. If one is never introduced, it's never a problem and you should NOT introduce an artificial nipple this early. At 5 weeks we DID let my child start sucking out fingers. Which he did until the 4.5 month point. And then he began to reject fingers on his own. Because your child has only been breastfeeding for 3weeks you need to wait longer to introduce ANYTHING as to not throw off your nursing relationship.

    Way too lazy for formula

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