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Thread: Sucking to soothe?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Default Sucking to soothe?

    Hi girls. Quick question, my little guy is 3 weeks today, he is nursing good, still only prefers left side, but all in all its going well. But.....it seems like when he is awake he is constantly hungry once I am done nursing him he is fussy unless my nipple is in his mouth, he doesn't suck productively but seems to just pacify himself with it, should I offer him a pacifier to see what he does or just let him non-productively suck on my nipple?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: Sucking to soothe?

    I opted not to use a pacifier and that works for our family. I am a pacifier. It is nice bonding time.
    However, I know many a mom who swear by the paci.
    PS- If you have supply issues with the non-preferred side this "extra" sucking could be good to build/maintain supply. (I think)

  3. #3
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Sucking to soothe?

    Nursing for comfort is a normal part of breastfeeding. One of the wonderful things about nursing is that it's not just about feeding baby; it is so very much about comfort, love, and being close. There's absolutely nothing wrong with comfort nursing - it helps build and maintain the nursing relationship, it's good for supply, and it's one of mother's most powerful tools for soothing baby! Let baby suck away. In any case, it's best to delay any type of artificial nipple (bottles, pacifiers etc) until after the breastfeeding relationship is well established at about 4-6 weeks.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sucking to soothe?

    well said bfwmomof3

  5. #5
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    Nov 2008
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    Default Re: Sucking to soothe?

    I often wonder why people say "He's using you as a pacifier!" as if it's a bad thing.

    First of all, he isn't using you as a pacifier. People giving a pacifier are attempting to replace the breast! If you think of it that way, they're comfort nursing the way they're supposed to. Young babies are also using you to help regulate their body heat, breathing and heart rates. A baby snuggling and comfort nursing with Mom is safe. Comfort nursing is their instinctive way to ensure that they stay with Mom where all of their needs will be met.

    There's so much more to breast feeding than just feeding.

    I also have a preferred side. If your 'good' side gets a little sore, see if you can flip him to the other side when he's sleepy for comfort nursing. My left side is a little flatter so it takes a little more effort. When they were hungry they had no patience to wait. So waiting until they weren't frantic, I could still get them to nurse on the left.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sucking to soothe?

    Yep, I'd flip him to the other side to comfort nurse. Maybe it will help with the breast preference. I'm guessing you're hitting (or about to hit) the 3 week growth spurt, in which case you might want to just let him nurse as much as possible to get your supply where it needs to be.

    All that said, I think you'd also be fine to offer him a pacifier once you've offered both breasts and you're sure he's not actually still hungry. Both my kiddos took pacifiers from day one and we never had any problems with supply or nipple confusion. If you were having latch problems or supply issues I'd probably give you a different answer. But since things are going well, I think you'll be fine.
    “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

  7. #7

    Default Re: Sucking to soothe?

    What do I do if this is the case (it seems) 24/7. As soon as I put him down he starts screaming his face off. It's driving me nuts. His dad usually has to intervene but he's not always here. =(

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Default Re: Sucking to soothe?

    I gave in to the pacifier when I had to supplement. I figured if there was going to be nipple confusion it was going to happen from the bottle so why not let her soothe herself a little. We did not have any confusion issues and it is a lifesaver in the car since I apparently have the only child in the world who hates car rides. I limited the times I gave her the pacifier and I think that helped. So she gets a pacifier if she is fussy in the car and at night after nursing to help her fall asleep at night. I send one with her to day care but they have told me she rarely uses it. She usually spits it out after about 5 minutes but has calmed herself down by then.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: Sucking to soothe?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*meyeonee View Post
    What do I do if this is the case (it seems) 24/7. As soon as I put him down he starts screaming his face off. It's driving me nuts. His dad usually has to intervene but he's not always here. =(
    Nursing can often feel (and be) that way. 24/7 nursing is good for baby, but I know a lot of people find it frustrating. Try to remember that these days are fleeting and that there are cycles. Growth spurts can often be a time of increased need/desire to nurse.
    I learned to do a lot with a carrier. That way baby doesn't have to be put down. I always think of the story that I heard somewhere (maybe here) about a baby's instinct from the days we lived in caves tells them being held is being safe. For all an infant knows they could be carried off by wolves. <--- okay someone jump in and tell that better than I did.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Sucking to soothe?

    You can offer the paci, though that may not stop your baby crying when you put him down if that's the issue. Babies tend to crave human contact and closeness, especially with their mother. It won't last forever, it's not manipulation, it's just normal baby behavior. It's only been three weeks since he was living inside you. You are the only sense of security he has in the entire world and he just needs you right now.

    I second the suggestion of a carrier so you can keep him close to you and still be somewhat productive. And if you absolutely have to set him down- to get in the shower or just because you need five freaking minutes to yourself sometimes, try a swing or bouncy chair or some kind of entertaining holder.
    “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

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