Pacifiers can be a great tool to soothe your baby when they are inconsolable or just wants something to suck on, but when your baby is breastfed pacifiers can bring on other problems if you aren’t careful with the introduction of them. Here are some tips to make sure the introduction of the pacifier is a help to your experience and not hurtful.
Babies who are brest fed can get what is nipple confusion. This is when they get confused about what nipple they should have when they are introduced to a bottle or pacifier too soon. It is recommended that you do not introduce anything but breast for the first month. This way your baby gets comfortable latching onto the breast and will not be phased if they are given a bottle or a pacifier.
A newborn pacifier can be given, but it should be sparingly, and only after they have nursed. This way they are already fed and comfortable. This should really only be a last resort though. In the newborn phase babies need to nurse a lot to practice, as well as get the calories they need to grow. If a baby is fussy chances are they need to nurse to fuel their body. If your newborn is fussy, always offer breast first. Once they have latched and had an adequate feeding, then offer the pacifier if they still seem fussy.
Once your baby is a month old, and has a good grasp on latching, they you may start to regularly introduce the pacifier. A good time to give it to your baby is when they are getting ready to go to sleep. Since many say you shouldn’t nurse your baby to sleep, Once they start getting drowsy, give them the pacifier and lay them down. This way your baby gets used to falling asleep without nursing. Eventually you can start taking the pacifier away too to help your baby learn to fall asleep on their own.
While pacifiers can be nice some breast fed babies may not even take a pacifier. When they are so used to the breast, any other nipple may not be appealing to them, but their are options to try. One good pacifier for breastfed babies is the Avent Soothie. It seems to be well liked by many babies, even breastfed. If that option doesn’t work the MAM newborn pacifier is also a good option. It is always designed to be good for their teeth.
A pacifier can be a great way to console your baby when they are tired or just colicky. It is important that the pacifier is only introduced after they are comfortable latching onto the breast and have begun to gain weight from breast feeding. Once they do become comfortable. You may start to introduce the pacifier to help soothe the baby to sleep. Pacifier can be a real life saver for parents of colicky babies; it’s just important to introduce the right pacifier at the right time.