Introducing the Pacifier to your Breastfed Baby

Introducing the Pacifier to your Breastfed Baby

I’m still not sold on this thing…

There are many different ideas out there on pacifiers, including when to introduce, when to wean, and what type to use. It can get a little overwhelming for a new mom with all of the information and conflicting views out there. You will find out what is best for you and your baby–and it might not be what the books say.

I have two babies: the first was exclusively breastfed for 18.5 months (I was 3.5 months pregnant when she weaned) and the second is still going strong at almost 14 months. One of the pacifier suggestions that I chose to follow I found on Kellymom.com, a great breastfeeding resource. They suggest that you do not allow the hospital to give any pacifiers to your newborn; this is to give you and your baby the best possible start to a successful breastfeeding relationship. I believe by not introducing a pacifier at this point definitely helped my babies become breastfeeding champs.

Another piece of advice I heard was “no pacifiers or bottles until six weeks old.” I was strict about this with my first, but tried to give my second a pacifier a few times in this six week window. I say “tried,” because he never really liked it and I did not force it.

After six weeks with both babies I let them try the pacifier on a regular basis. My first never took a pacifier, but at around nine months my second took a pacifier for a few weeks. During these few weeks my 2.5 year old thought she would run around the house with a pacifier too. After that, neither wanted anything to do with pacifiers.

On the bright side, I never had to wean a kid from the pacifier, but I also never really benefited from the pacifier calming a fussy baby. My babies have always calmed down the best with nursing. It is much harder to breastfeed your baby walking through the store than it is to calm them with a pacifier. It has also been hard (not impossible though) for others to calm my babies down if they are upset or hurting. I have been blessed to stay at home with my babies, so this has not been a big issue.  The benefits of breastfeeding my babies for over a year have far outweighed the few times that a pacifier might have been helpful.

Kristen Beggs is a breastfeeding mom of two precious babies who never really liked pacifiers.

 

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