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Pacifier and Breastfeeding

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Our son is very colicky, and we are at our wit’s end. Shortly after birth, we introduced the pacifier as a last ditch effort to calm him. It is one of the few things that (sometimes) works to soothe him. So far he does fine with breastfeeding, but I’m worried he’s going to get ‘nipple confusion’ if he keeps using the pacifier. Should we wean him off it?

Sometimes we need to do what works! I have a few suggestions to [hopefully] prevent any pacifier related problems.

  • Avoid introducing a pacifier until your breastfeeding relationship is well established. This may take a month or so.
  • Be sure to nurse your baby often, and be sure that he has received a productive feeding before giving him the pacifier. This will prevent your baby from missing a feeding. Young babies can confuse pacifier sucking with feeding and miss a meal.
  • Finally, be sure to wash the pacifier in the dishwasher daily. Pacifiers can pass unwanted germs back and forth!

Stacy Rubin is a nurse and lactation consultant in Hartford, Connecticut. She is also the author of the ABC’s of Breastfeeding: Everything a Mom Needs to Know for a Happy Nursing Experience.

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