Thinking about using the pacifier? Here are the pacifier pros and cons as I’ve found them, as well as how to use the pacifier without having to put it back in all night long.
I’ve used the pacifier with all my babies and have to say that I do love them.
They have their pros and cons, but can be an extremely effective tool in helping comfort, calm, and sleep train your baby.
But first, if you are deciding whether to take the plunge to pacify, consider three things:
- your baby will get addicted
- he will not kick the habit willingly
- he will attempt to have you reinsert it day and night if you let him.
If you’re okay with those things (and I always was!) then it may be for you!
As long as you know those things you’re ready to go :)
Here are some general rules of
teat thumb when using the pacifier.
- Do let them suck during their wake time or when they’re happy as it satisfies the non-nutritive sucking need young infants have.
- Do use the pacifier to help night wean your baby or toddler. If they are used to nursing to sleep, try substituting the pacifier (particularly if it’s one they can put back in themselves) as this will help wean them from nursing. This probably works best if your spouse gives them the pacifier, not you.
- Do get a pacifier that babies can put in and keep in and toddlers can find in their crib without your help. I have purchased quite a few of these pacifiers, and they are easy to find in the dark for your baby or toddler.
- Do let your baby have the pacifier if you need to prolong the time until their next feeding. It will give them temporary relief, aka. they will be pacified, and you can get another 15 minutes out of them to finish at the checkout (because running errands with babies is hard), pay the bill at the restaurant, etc.
- Do take the pacifier away when your children start to throw it out of the crib just so you’ll come back in to get it for them. This is a sign that they are now gettin’ tricky! When my son started this we took it away. After only one day he was sleeping without disruption again. If they’re old enough to play this game they’re old enough to go to sleep on their own ;).
- Don’t confuse them by prolonging the pacifier wean. Of course you’ll know your kids better than anyone else, but I’ve found with my kids that once you start the wean then finish it. You can poke a hole, make it bigger, etc. or another trick of the trade, but don’t take it away then give it back then take it away, etc. Make a plan then stick to it.
- Don’t use it so you don’t have to hear your baby cry. Learning their cries helps you accurately meet their needs which means they’ll probably cry less anyway. So sure you can use it to comfort your baby, but try to determine the reason of their cry first.
- Don’t let your babies use it indefinitely as a sleep prop. Using the pacifier can be a good sleep association, and help the baby or toddler to get to sleep, but don’t make a habit of going back into the room to put the pacifier back in. If they can’t put it in themselves again then I’d start out how you can hold out. Mine have all been given the pacifier at bedtime, but I didn’t go back in all nigh long (unless they were teething or night weaning) and that is the best of both worlds.
How to stop going in all night to put the pacifier back in
It sound simple and you’ll meet resistance, but there’s pretty much two options here.
- Get them a pacifier they can find and put back in (my kids used these) or just stop doing it.
- Continue giving it at bedtime, but comfort in another way until they’re back to sleep and learning to sleep through their transition.
You can use the pacifier to help your baby or toddler in many ways, and as long as you take a start out how you can hold out approach then you’ll all be happy you did.
I am having the same issue as the woman above with my 11 week old. We are having to go into her room and put her paci back in her mouth several times a night. Please help!
Okay, this can definitely start happening. You have two options. 1) pacifier wean. 2) figure out why baby is waking and try to address that then hope baby stops waking so often.
During teething or when they were around the 5 month age and not quite on solids, but starving, I would end up inserting the pacifier a lot. And I just went with it. Other times I’d let baby fuss a bit and try to get back to sleep on their own.
Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.
You can definitely use the pacifier to help night wean, but if baby is super hungry they’ll keep waking at every sleep cycle.
I am a little confused though about how to not reinsert it. My baby is 9 weeks and our problem is with naps (he is tired enough at night he doesn’t need it). He has a hard time settling himself and so using the pacifier helps him get to sleep.
However he will then wake up with gas several times throughout the nap and cry because he lost his pacifier. At this age I don’t feel it’s wise to use CIO and nothing else (shh, patting, etc.) will calm him except reinsertion. And even when we reinsert, sometimes he’ll continue to squirm, making it keep falling out and creating a difficult situation. Any advice for how to fix this?
One trick I did with one of mine that worked really well was to let them have the pacifier to actually get to sleep – a sleep association – and then, after they were asleep, to gently remove it. This way the pacifier didn’t accidentally “fall” out.
Baby sleep issues can be uber stressful for moms, I know. If using the pacifier seems to do more harm than good, scrap it. If you don’t mind going back in to give it back for a while until he gets old enough to be more settled, then do it!
At 4 weeks old would you give the pacifier one time in the beginning of a nap or bedtime. And if the baby cries due to losing the pacifier would you allow them to cry until they fall asleep or would you go back in and try to comfort them another way and just not reinsert the pacifier?
I do have the wubbanub he still loses it and is swaddled and he is unable to put it back in himself. I am asking this because this is my second child and my first child was addicted to The Pacifier we would wake up 10 times a night to reinsert we had to take it away cold turkey and went through four nights of crying it out to fix the problem. It was horrible.
So, this does happen with pacifier weaning, unfortunately, which is why many people don’t love them.
I still do love them, but try to minimize this discomfort.
I think that at 4 weeks old it might be too soon to have the pacifier if you are nursing because it can contribute to nipple confusion. So if baby is confused when you are nursing, that’s likely a culprit.
If baby seems to be sucking and sucking and not quite satisfied, I’d heck your milk supply as well in case baby is simply hungry and some good old fashioned cluster feeding would do the trick.
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