Attachment Parenting

Offering breast in lieu of pacifier?

I was reading on Dr. Sears' website, and he does not recommend pacifiers, but instead says it is okay to be a "human pacifier" when baby is fussy.  My DD has a very strong urge to suck and is addicted to her Soothie.  She only uses it to get to sleep, but should I be offering her the breast instead?  I feel like maybe that is another bad habit to start.  Although, I don't want to run into issues of breaking her from the pacifier when she is a toddler.  What do you all do?
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Re: Offering breast in lieu of pacifier?

  • henry uses me as a paci at night to soothe to sleep. usually it's okay. when it's just too much (painful) i take it away.

    henry has never had a paci.

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  • My son sucks on a pacifier. Sometimes he'll scream at my breast because he's not hungry. He just wants to sooth and the pacifier makes him happier than getting milk when he doesn't want it. My first son self weened from the pacifier at one year. I expect this one to do the same. We'll see though.

    Personally I take the information out there with a grain of salt and do what works for my family. 

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  • I've been a human paci since day one. Carter doesn't like pacifiers at all, he used one for about 2 weeks but that was it. When nothing else works I offer him my breast and he sucks to soothe for a bit then passes out.
  • I'm a human paci. However, my baby wouldn't take a paci. If what you are doing is working, I would continue if you want to. There is no need to force a boob if he takes a paci.

    I think in the early days, being a human paci helps keep your supply up, but you are probably past all of that now, so I wouldn't worry too much.

  • Your LO probably won't want to nurse instead of the paci if she is already liking the paci so much. I wouldn't worry about it. 

    Personally, I wish Emmy had taken a paci. I had a horrible case of thrush, followed by an allergic reaction to the cream that was supposed to make it better. Nursing was so, so painful. I dreaded it. It would have been so much better if she would have soothed with a paci sometimes instead of always a boob.  

  • I say do what works for your baby.  My first DD was and still is addicted to her Avent paci and my second DD acted like any artificial nipple (paci or bottle) was a torture device.  She prefers the human paci.  I honestly feel like breaking the human paci habit is going to be easier to break than the artificial one, considering my older DD who is 2.5 is fighting us HARD on giving up her paci and my 9 month old is already weaning from using me as a human paci and not waking up as much to soothe at night.
    Ava Caroline 8.27.07 I Charlotte Grace 5.18.09 I Lila Katherine 1.20.11

  • Oh man, no way. Bunny LOVES his paci (we call it his sucker) and my nipples are grateful.

    The LC in the hospital told us to give him a paci to start with because he'll suck his tongue if there's nothing else and that was screwing up his latch.

    If she likes her pacifier, there's no need to yank it just because some guy who's never met your child wrote a book. Just sayin'.


    (Full disclosure - when Bunny gets teeth and starts chewing, the sucker is going to be a thing of the past. Because ew.)

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  • My DD has the strong urge to suck, too. She takes her paci and sometimes sucks her hands/thumbs. Sometimes she'll use the breast when she's tired but mostly she wants the paci (or hand). I agree that you should do what works for you and your baby.
  • I let LO use the breast as a paci and we never had any problems, but we never had a paci.  Do whatever works for your LO.  I think no pacis used to be a pretty hardcore AP stance and LLL stance, but both have softened with statements that they're fine if you don't abuse them (like any baby gear) and follow your child's lead.
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  • My DS refused all artificial nipples for the first 12ish weeks, so I was his paci.  Since I was on maternity leave then, it worked out for us (plus I think it really helped my supply!)  Now he takes a paci but usually still nurses to sleep.  Since your LO takes a paci, I wouldn't worry about offering the breast now instead. 
  • LO still prefers me over the paci when she wakes up at night. Doesn't matter that much to me, but she always makes me letdown and then stops like a minute later - annoying! I wish there was a way to let her suck w/o causing letdown when she just wants to comfort herself.
  • I'm happy to be the human pacifier. And for DD I was and she would never take a pacifier. 

    But DS seems to get ticked off when he keeps getting milk in his mouth and he's just trying to get comfort. I can't really explain it, but he just looks mad about it Stick out tongue So I try the breast first and if he doesn't want it I offer the pacifier.


    - Jena
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