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Thread: hunger versus pacifier

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Default hunger versus pacifier

    my baby (2 weeks old) LOVES the pacifier. but i had heard if you are breastfeeding (or trying to) that a pacifier can cause nipple confusion. but they told us in the hospital that he finds a pacifier VERY soothing, as they used it during several medical procedures he had to calm him. and there is no question it calms him.

    so, how can you tell if he's hungry versus if he would benefit from the pacifier alone (no feeding)? any tips?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Florida
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    Default Re: hunger versus pacifier

    I was worried about nipple confusion also - not all babies get it. I tried not to use a pacifier, but sometimes it seems to soothe my LO better.

    I always offer the breast first, and if he seems to be playing, flutter sucking, or sucking, then spitting mouthfuls of milk out (his favorite thing to do) then I give him the pacifier instead. He shouldn't be wasting all that milk.

    You will learn your LO's different signs and needs. We are 6 weeks in, and there's so much I have learned, but so much yet to know!
    Kat

    SAHM mom to Richard, born 6/6/07 at 8 pounds, now 27!

    Wife to Michael for 13 years

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    1,090

    Default Re: hunger versus pacifier

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueKat View Post
    I was worried about nipple confusion also - not all babies get it. I tried not to use a pacifier, but sometimes it seems to soothe my LO better.

    I always offer the breast first, and if he seems to be playing, flutter sucking, or sucking, then spitting mouthfuls of milk out (his favorite thing to do) then I give him the pacifier instead. He shouldn't be wasting all that milk.

    You will learn your LO's different signs and needs. We are 6 weeks in, and there's so much I have learned, but so much yet to know!
    I found the same thing. If baby is hungry, it will eat. My DS would start to nurse and then get pissed that milk was coming out. I knew then that it was time for the Nuk. I was careful not to just stick it in his mouth for the sake of it. I did it to calm him, or if he was done eating, and wanted to suck for a really long time...I found it most helpful in the car, which never interfered with nursing because I can't do two things at once.

    BEfore you now it you will be an old pro at this Mom thing

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    100

    Default Re: hunger versus pacifier

    my baby soon to be 4 months and loved his southie since the word go
    not a problem

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    789

    Default Re: hunger versus pacifier

    I think if you are offering the breast first, and are confident that your baby is eating enough, it's Ok to use a pacifier too. Babies do have a very strong urge to suck, some even more than others, and some mom's don't want to be a human pacifier.

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Default Re: hunger versus pacifier

    You are correct. Any artificial nipple (including pacifiers) can lead to nipple confusion. In addition, if a pacifier is overused, it can lead to decreased milk production.

    If you should decide to try a pacifier, offer to nurse first.

    Here are two helpful resources that explain why pacifiers can cause problems and how to prevent them:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBNovDec95p172.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/concerns/pacifier.html (non-LLL resource)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    39

    Default Re: hunger versus pacifier

    I found a paci with my second BF child that is made for BF babies. I had to give him a paci because his sucking reflex was not strong enough. It's made by Gerber called NaturalFlex. IMO, they are better than those yucky hospital pacifiers. They are pretty affordable too. I got mine for 3.50 a package, but they were B1G1 too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    2,770

    Default Re: hunger versus pacifier

    Haley is a major comfort sucker. I introduced a paci at 3 weeks out of desperation and fortunately did not have any problems (it is recommended that you wait 4-6 weeks, until bf'ing is well-established). I only give it to her when she really needs to be soothed or when we're in the car and I can't nurse her. She always lets me know when she's hungry. If she's getting the paci and wants the nipple, she makes it clear. And if she's getting the nipple and wants the paci, that's pretty clear too!

    Give it some time, and you'll learn to read your LO's signals better and better. And, as he gets older, he'll start sucking on his fists and fingers more. Haley is constantly soothing herself with a fist in her mouth. In the meantime, you can also offer a pinkie finger to suck on (a little more natural than a rubber nipple).

    (By the way, depending on the medical procedure, you can try nursing while the procedure is being done. Haley had to have blood drawn to monitor jaundice, and I was allowed to nurse her while it was being done. Research has shown that BM helps dull pain receptors so LOs stay calmer.)
    I love my kids. I care for them accordingly. What more can I say?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    621

    Default Re: hunger versus pacifier

    interesting you mention sucking the fist. my baby has done that very often, since birth and does it still, now at 2 weeks.

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