How To Pacify An Infant – Or Not
Pacifier. Nuk. Binky. (Husband has some weird term for it that he swears is legit, but sounds totally made up to me.)
Our little meatball is hardly a month old (Already! Seriously. I don’t know if I can handle this pace.) and I’m ashamed to admit how much time and energy I spend thinking about a piece of plastic and rubber small enough to fit in my pocket.
Parents, I want your input.
First, I tend to look to and trust the doulas and midwives in my life, on baby matters, more than pretty much anyone else. There are only two of them, but they’re passionate and wonderfully accessible. If one of them got in a fight with an OB, I’d side with the doula. I’m like that.
And they don’t like pacifiers.
- It can cause “nipple confusion,” especially in newborns, which makes breastfeeding difficult. Baby needs to learn how to latch on to a boob, and pacifiers are different, and some babies seriously, and understandably, have problems going from one to the other.
- There are benefits to letting Baby stay on a boob even when he’s not really eating anymore. It stimulates milk production. It releases hormones that help Mommy and Baby connect and bond. Ask yourself: Which came first – the nipple or the Nuk?
On the other hand, I’ve read:
- Sucking triggers a calming reflex in newborns and infants. It’s natural and normal, and doesn’t become an emotional attachment until Baby is 3-4 (some say 6) months old. It’s one of the “5 S’s” for calming babies.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends pacifiers for preventing SIDS.
I’ve heard from parents who have had no problem with pacifiers, and from parents who have vowed off pacifiers because of bad experiences.
So, parents, I’m soliciting advice.
Right now we have one that we keep in the diaper bag, and we only pull it out as a last resort … most of the time. He usually only gets it if we’re in public, or if I’ve tried everything else at home and he’s still angry (which doesn’t really happen much anyway), or if we’re in the car and he’s crying.
Parents, share your wisdom. Did you use one? If so, were you breastfeeding and did it interfere? Did he/she give it up easily later on? How much later on? How often did you use it? Did you try other things for comfort, or just go straight to the pacifier? If you didn’t use one – why not? Did your baby substitute a thumb or finger? Was that hard to break?
(Dooley. I’m not sure if that’s how it’s spelled, but Husband calls them “doolies.” I Googled it. He made that up.)