Using the breast as a soothie? — The Bump
Alaska Babies

Using the breast as a soothie?

Michael is a sucker.  I didn't want to use a paci but caved when we were still in the hospital.  (because ds had jaundice and had to be under the bili lights.  and altho he roomed in i wasn't allowed to hold him except to feed him so i gave him a pacifier to help calm him down) he's only used it a few times since then at bed time.

My question is (sry i'm a bit of a rambler)  when you absolutely know that your lo is not hungry (no hunger cues, ate within the hour etc) but he wants to suck do you allow him to use the breast as a pacifier?  i'm asking mainly because since i brought michael home i've allowed him to use the breast as a soothie.  my mom (who did not bf) has said that it will confuse him and the pedi did not seem so supportive of it the other day.  but the way i see it is that if he is on the breast then he's getting nourishment that he wouldn't with a paci and that not only is it the sucking that soothes him but the closeness of our bodies (i try to bf skin on skin whenever possible) that is comforting

 TIA for the opinions/sharing

Re: Using the breast as a soothie?

  • do you live in alaska??
  • I do. Mostly during the night, but Danny used to during the day as well. I once heard at a La Leche League meeting that once a baby is full, they may continue to suck without taking any milk... if that makes any sense. I don't believe that this has confused Danny at all.

    I think it is actually kind of wonderful. Instead of Michael receiving that comfort and security from a pacifier, he receives it from you. :)

  • I did, and I did until he stopped wanting to around 4 months.

    Comfort nursing is completely natural and normal, and beneficial for both mom and baby. After all, the pacifier is designed after the breast. It's only purpose is to give mom a break, or to fill in during times the breast is not available.

  • Yes, I did this.  Before DS was born, I never thought I would, but it just seemed the most natural thing and it was far more comforting to him that a pacifier ever was.  DS never liked a pacifier.  He only did it for a few months, and then he grew out of it for the most part.  Your LO will not be confused!
  • thanks ladies for your support

    as a side note,  i asked the same question on the 0-6 board and the answers (for the most part) are very different and further show why we need an attachment parenting board

  • image NewMommy44691:

    thanks ladies for your support

    as a side note,  i asked the same question on the 0-6 board and the answers (for the most part) are very different and further show why we need an attachment parenting board

    I noticed that, and I totally agree with you! Just very different perspectives.

  • At the LLL meetings they always say that early on it's a great idea to allow the baby to comfort suck as much as possible.  To answer your question from my experience... I did both.  How's that for non-committal?  Smile

    The one good thing about introducing a paci for us was that it gave her some comfort in the car, when there was absolutely no way I could put a breast in her mouth.

    ps - love how you're pointing out how much we need an AP board of our own here!  SO TRUE!

  • we don't use pacis - i welcome comfort nursing.  great for the LOs, great for my supply, and totally natural.  :)  idk why but i hate the thought of pacis for us.  DH wanted to use them and he tried a couple times and the babies both hated them.

    however i do like the car idea.... DS hates the car so much :(

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  • Comfort sucking is normal. I allow DS to do this when he needs to - mostly at night. He hates the pacifier (we tried it), but would take my finger from time to time and has now found his hands so he uses those when I am not available.

  • I let DS comfort nurse as long as I can stand it but it is the only part of BFing that I have found painful (if it goes on for a while).  We introduced a paci at 3 months for sleep and carseat only. We held off as long as possible but he clearly has a need to suck - a lot.  And he went through a phase where he wasn't comfort-nursing much.  But when we give him the paci it's like he goes "Ahhhh" and he's OUT.  Now he's back in a phase where he likes to comfort nurse and I am happy to oblige b/c I don't spend nearly as much time w/ him as I'd like now that I am back to work FT.  :(
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  • We do this, too!  Gabriel likes to suck... a lot.  He's been trying to get his fingers/thumb in his mouth since he was only minutes old, and he gets so frustrated that he can't quite manage it.  I did introduce the paci fairly early, but only to give my poor nips a break; the near-constant sucking was making them excruciatingly painful.  He doesn't really like it---he'd much rather use me (or his fingers!)---but it's really helpful when I can't nurse, such as in the car.

  • Yes and I still do at 15 months.  I don't see it as a bad habit.  My DS never really comfort nursed that long and he wouldn't take a paci.  The only issue I ran into is that he saw me as his lovey, which after 14 months got exhausting getting up several times a night plus going to work.  His new lovey?  A book.  Yep, I put my DS to bed with a book and apparently that's as good as the breast.  Smile
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