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Old 08-12-2006, 01:22 PM   #1
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Nursing to pacify?

I finally figured out this week that my daughter (3 weeks old) has been nursing to pacify herself to sleep or when she is upset. Initially I didn't think anything was wrong with it, but my mother keeps telling me that if I allow her to do so; she will make it a habit and will need to keep pacifying herself in this way even through her early childhood years. She tells me "let her find her thumb", but she is still so small and uncoordinated I feel like its cruel to watch her squirm and cry trying to find her hand.

This is my first baby, and my first experience with nursing. I have read so many books and heard so many opinions, but I feel more confused now than I did initially.

Is it ok that my daughter wants to pacify herself with the breast? Usually she will latch on, suck for a minute and then fall fast asleep. Whereas when she actually nurses she actively feeds for about 20 minutes.

Any opinions would be great!

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Old 08-12-2006, 01:47 PM   #2
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Re: Nursing to pacify?

Well, since you are asking for opinions...

I see absolutely NOTHING wrong with your DD nursing to pacify. That's what you really are there for. DD needs you to comfort her. If she finds her thumb or other fingers at another point in time, that's fine. But for now? She's only 3 weeks old!! You know, it took my DD almost 3 weeks to finally latch on correctly! lol

DD nursed to sleep for a long time. When I felt that the time was right, I weaned her off of it. It was a smooth transition. If you get tired of doing that, there are ways to wean your little one off of it. But you know, they are only little for such a short time... I bawled for 2 weeks after DD weaned completely (at only 18 mos.). I long for the nursing days.

YOU ARE THE MAMA!!! YOU DO WHAT YOU FEEL IS RIGHT FOR YOUR BABY!!!!!! You'll know what to do.
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Old 08-12-2006, 01:56 PM   #3
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Re: Nursing to pacify?

i agree, let her nurse. It makes me feel good to know that i am the only one that can comfort ds (4m) in that way. I literally just nursed him down for a nap and he is still sleeping in my lap. I cherish every moment of nursing him when he's this little. He's found his thumb, but still wants his nummies to go to sleep.

Another option you have is a pacifier, we introduced one as soon as he found his thumb (i sucked mine till i was 13 and dont want to have to deal with that) and occasionally he will take a paci to nap if i cant give him his nummies (in the car or something). Good luck mama!
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Old 08-12-2006, 02:06 PM   #4
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Re: Nursing to pacify?

at this age, I would hardly worry about it as long as you are sure she is getting enough hind milk. three weeks old is waay too young to worry about them getting spoiled on it. now if you had said 9 mo to a year that would be different, but at this point, don't worry about it.
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Old 08-12-2006, 02:07 PM   #5
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Re: Nursing to pacify?

I say, whether or not you should let DD "comfort nurse" is totally up to you. On the plus side, all the extra suckling at the breast will help keep AF away, along with your fertility, all the while she is getting comfort from you, the original pacifier! With my DD, she never took a pacifier, but she didn't really want a lot of suckling either and was content without it. With DS, he wants to nurse/suck all the time, so I chose to use a pacifier to give me a break every once in a while. Plus, sometimes when he was really fussy at night and I constantly nursed him, he would nurse so much that he would start spitting up a lot (more than normal, IMO) and I felt that he was getting too much milk which was actually making him fussier. Either way, you have to do what's best for you and your child and forget about what everybody else says.
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Old 08-12-2006, 02:37 PM   #6
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Re: Nursing to pacify?

I agree, let her nurse
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Old 08-12-2006, 02:48 PM   #7
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Re: Nursing to pacify?

Definitely let her nurse. My DS is 4mo and refuses to take a pacifier (although sometimes I wish he would). He nurses to sleep most of the time, and nurses when he's upset, and there's nothing wrong with that! Let your child find comfort where they can. I can't imagine letting a 3 week old cry because she can't find her thumb...my ds can barely find his!
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Old 08-12-2006, 03:31 PM   #8
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Re: Nursing to pacify?

Definitely do not be worried about this. Rest at ease that it's okay.

My son is 13 months and I've weaned him to just 2 times a day (it HURTS when you're pregnant!) - morning and night - and I must admit, I MISS the nursing to pacify days. Ok, I'm getting all emotional and hormonal now.


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Old 08-12-2006, 03:33 PM   #9
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Re: Nursing to pacify?

This is a great ? for new bfers, I had a hard time w/this first time around. DD is 10 mo and I still nurse to pacify/sleep. No one has mentioned yet so I will, that there is some hormone released in baby when nursing that acts as a natural pain reliever. Kinda seems like there's a purpose for that, eh?
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Old 08-12-2006, 03:36 PM   #10
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Re: Nursing to pacify?

I agree with what everyone else had said, but I thought I'd chime in anyway!

With DS (now 5 years old) I was very young and very unsure of myself and I let everyone else tell me how to be a parent. Unfortunately a lot of things were done that I now deeply regret (nothing serious, just things that don't jive with what I now know my parenting style to be). Do what feels right for YOU and YOUR baby!!

I now havea 4 month old DD and she nurses whenever she feels like it. I never time it or time the length in between. If she needs to nurse, for whatever reason, she lets me know and I respond. It's such a very short time in the life of your child, savor every moment of it!
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