23 answers

Newborn Using Me as a Pacifier?

Just wondering if anyone has ideas to help me get my 2 week old (who is primarily breastfed) to stop using me as his pacifier?

He won't take an actual pacifier, we've tried all different shaped ones with no luck in finding one he'll use for more than 2 minutes. It seems to mostly happen at night before bed, after feeding a lot in a couple of hours and he seems to not get full so he'll even get 2 oz of formula to help but he won't stop until I breastfeed him more until he's asleep. I wouldn't think he'd be hungry unless it's because he's not eating as much during the day, but the reason I'm feeling more like a pacifier is because he'll often fall asleep within a few minutes of starting to breastfeed (after the hours of off and on eating).

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

HI B.,

I would highly recommend the book "Baby Wise" by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. It teaches you how to teach you baby to feed and sleep for the betterment of the whole family. It worked like a charm so far for my 4 month old..

He's two weeks old!!!! Two Weeks! He needs the closeness, he needs the colosterum - which you still have at this point. Let him find and suck his thumb if he wants.

More Answers

I would nix the bottle/formula. It could reduce your milk supply in the long run. At 2 weeks, your milk should be enough (unless he isn't gaining weight, but even well-fed babies drop some off their birth weight before milk comes in). Try to finish feeding on first side before switching, even if he burps in between, so he gets the essential fatty hind milk. It also helps reduce colic.

At 2 weeks, a breast fed baby will want to eat about every 2 hours, almost around the clock. Sleep-deprivation for you, but it won't last forever. And it's perfectly ok for him to use you as a 'pacifier' - its soothing to him. And as his milk needs increase, he'll want to feed more for a few days until your production catches up - which it will only do if you nurse him whenever he wants to!

I honestly look back and sometimes miss the time spent nursing my babies (my youngest is now 5), so enjoy it now. It won't come back again.

2 moms found this helpful

One thing that I learned to accept as a new mom was that breastfeeding IS more than milk. It's human contact, comfort, etc. Plus letting your baby nurse on demand regulates your milk supply so you don't have supplement with formula. Now that my baby is 9 months, I can start adding ways to comfort her so our relationship can expand.

1 mom found this helpful

Congratulations on your new addition!
Consider that your baby has been completely connected to you until just a few days ago, and seeks that reasurring connection again through breastfeeding. How much nicer to snuggle a person who loves you instead of a plastic device, especially at this age! There's time in the future for substitutes as sanity savers, but for now, consider surrendering to the newborn time and just love that baby. It's so short.
Human milk production is all supply and demand, so if you're willing to let this be your "investment" time, your milk supply with meet your baby's needs completely. Sucking and swallowing are reflexes, so just because your baby will take the extra formula in a bottle doesn't mean he's still hungry--breastmilk changes in consistency during each feeding and letting the baby stay on the breast until he falls asleep ensures he receives the high-fat hind milk that helps him grow and put on weight. All that time at the breast ensures your prolactin hormone levels stay high and your body meets his needs; if you limit his time at the breast during these first few weeks or use a bottle it will backfire and you'll end up worryng about milk supply issues. Even if you don't think he could still be hungry, or it seems like he's not getting tons of milk, his time at the breast helps your production and soothes him so he can use his calories to learn and grow instead of complain. I suggest you follow you baby's lead during this early time. Watch urine/stool output for reliable signs that he's getting enough.
Many babies do what's called "cluster feeding," where they nurse very often for a few hours and then have a longer stretch of sleep. It's normal and healthy, and sounds like what your guy is doing. Also, remember that human milk is such a perfect food with no fillers or unnecessary ingredients and it is digested within 90 minutes. (Most forward-thinking anesthesiologists consider human milk a clear fluid and don't limit it before surgery with the same time frame they might limit other foods, you might already know.) AND, a two-week-old baby's stomach is the size of a shooter marble. That's little! So of course he will need to check in with you often, and not with perfectly spaced feedings according to the clock.
You might like using a baby sling to keep your baby close and happy as an occasional alternative to nursing, when you just have to make dinner or do laundry or go to the store, etc. I love my Maya Wrap brand ring sling.
Pacifiers are breast substitutes--so you're not a pacifier, you're a mom, and a dang good one to be so responsive to your little man's needs! This needy time will pass and you'll be glad for the investment.
I suggest getting in touch with your local La Leche League Leader for breastfeeding help and support. You can call and ask even a little question. Their services are all free and friendly and they can really help boost your confidence AND save your sanity. They are also usually experts at babywearing and can give you baby sling tips so it can be useful to help you hold baby while chasing your other little boy! (Seriosuly, a sling is like my third arm--I am chasing three boys.)
Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

The behavior you are describing is totally normal for a two week old baby. He is new to this world and needs lots of comfort and reassurance, to say nothing of his great need for food. Babies grow very quickly and they need lots of calories to do so. That said, I don't think that supplementing with formula is the answer, if you feel like you are not making enough milk to satisfy him then you need to make sure that you are eating well, staying hydrated, nursing frequently (that doesn't seem like a problem for you) adn possibly taking the herbal supplements fenugreek and blessed thissle. You did not mention how your baby sleeps at night, it could be that he is filling up on milk before bed time so that he can sleep for a long stretch (5-7 hours is a very long stretch for such a young baby) this is acctually a great habit if it is the case. Just try to relax, your baby is way too young for you to even think about cutting down on the time he is nursing, it is good for him to nurse as often as he wants at this age. As he gets oleder your baby will require fewer calories and he will naturally need to nurse less often. Good luck and congratulations on your precious baby!

P.S. to all moms out there, stay AWAY from "Baby Wise" and anytijng else written by Gary Enzzo, I am convinced that his methods are bad for babies!

1 mom found this helpful

babies don't just nurse for hunger, he might just need to be with you. different babies are different, as you probably well know, having more than one, and why not let baby do all the sucking at the breast? effective birth control? time with mom, nutrition for the brain and the body. there' no reason he HAS to have a pacifier and it's okay for baby to fall asleep at night at the breast. if you're resenting it, then you might need to make a change, but he's a little young to be starting any sort of schedule really, other than maybe nursing him to sleep, then taking him off and if he won't stay asleep, letting daddy rock him to sleep or something. good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I think a couple of things here -
#1 - your baby is only two weeks old, and will definitly use you as a pacifier. This is normal, healthy and a short, sweet time.
#2 - when you are sleep deprived it doesn't feel short or sweet, so I sometimes used my finger or my husband's finger with my son until he was a little older and would take a pacifier.
#3 - Skip the formula - breastfeeding is a supply & demand thing, so skip the formula. Nurse you son if he wants to nurse, and your body will respond by making the right amount of milk for him.
#4 - hang in there because it really IS a short time and he will want something besides you and you will be a little sad (though sometimes relieved).

I like the comments that breastfeeding is about more than just feeding - it is really good bonding time for you and your new baby. Your son is most comfortable and feels the safest and most secure at your breast. Breastfeed him to sleep while you can. You have a few months to change that routine up if you want to. Hang in there. You're doing the right thing!

1 mom found this helpful

HI B.,

I would highly recommend the book "Baby Wise" by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. It teaches you how to teach you baby to feed and sleep for the betterment of the whole family. It worked like a charm so far for my 4 month old..

All three of mine were like this. I would agree to drop the formula and look at it in a positive way. I was always grateful not to have to worry about weaning from the binky! My 1st breast fed for 20 min every hour! She had no growth problems and was very healthy. My second two were a bit more reasonable, but I totally understand what a dramatic change it can seem like. Try to go with it and in the long run (they grow soooo fast) you will be glad you did!


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