Friday, June 8, 2012

Pacifier Use In a Breastfeeding Baby

Isaac is a paci baby.  There is always a pacifier in his mouth, or very nearby!

Breastfeeding experts recommend waiting to introduce a pacifier until nursing is well established (six weeks or so).  I avoided giving Isaac a pacifier as long as I could, but must admit that I sent Ross on an emergency pacifier run at 10pm one night.  Isaac was screaming and would only quiet if he was sucking on my finger.  My finger was getting raw and the options were:  let him scream, or give him a pacifier!

I nurse on demand and pretty frequently.  Even so, I am mindful of being sure to feed him if he is hungry and not just "hold him off" with the pacifier.  Nursing when the baby is hungry is the best way to keep up my milk supply.  There are times though when he definitely just wants the pacifier, not me.

Another one of the reasons experts advise against pacifier use in the beginning is because it is so different than breastfeeding.  When a baby nurses, their lips should be flanged out like a fish.  When a baby sucks on a pacifier, they do so with lips closed straight down.  Soothie pacifiers are a bit different:

You can see in the photo above that Isaac's lips are flanged out as he uses this pacifier.  I will sometimes even fiddle with his lips and flip them out a bit more.  This helps protect the breastfeeding relationship and not confuse his suck.  Because of this, Soothies are the only pacifiers we use.

My older girls gave up their pacifiers around 9 months.  They both seemed to not really need them much at that point, so I took them away.  We never had any battles over it.  I even tried to give Julia back her pacifier once out of desperation and she wouldn't take it!  Isaac sure loves his.  Hopefully its not a struggle to take it away someday.  For now his little paci face is pretty cute!

This is not a product review.  I just way over-think everything, including pacifiers.  ;)


  1. Maybe if I tell Jonathan that these paci's are just like breastfeeding he'll let our next baby have one?

  2. Dylan and Eva both LOVED their Soothie paci's and nursed like champs! I was very thankful for those paci's!! ;-)

  3. Both my girl's took soothies, the older one for longer than the younger (she found her thumb)!

  4. We used soothies already in the hospital (day of/day after birth) and never had any problems breastfeeding (EBF). Both of my kids have been great with bf (16 months EBF for my daughter, still going EBF at 13 months for my son). My daughter swapped her paci for her thumb around 3/4 months. My son never would take a paci really. He likes to chew on them when he's teething. That's about it. My opinion is don't stress about a pacifier and bf. A child can easily do both. We only ever used soothies, so I can't say anything about other brands. My kids didn't like other styles.

  5. All three of my kids breasted. None took pacifers. I never introduced it because I didn't feel it was necessary.

  6. My kids are definitely paci kids! I argued with a nurse at 2am the night Ellary was born to get her a paci. After hours and hours of nursing her, she was still crying unless she was sucking. I needed her to stop using me as a paci so I could get some sleep. :) She will only take the soothie, and has started to prefer her thumb if she can find it. As for Karson-I may get him broke of his paci by the time he is in kindergarten. :)