NORMAL? Or Just My Mistake?

Updated on July 16, 2007
J.F. asks from Matthews, NC
4 answers

My Mitchell (8 weeks old on Tuesday the 17th) is a wonderful nurser. He is a bit over 16 lbs and is not quite 8 weeks old. He was born at 10lbs so he had a big start, but still, is a great eater. At any rate, he is having trouble staying asleep all of a sudden...he seems to just need to suckle...but will not take a passy (they actually make him gagg) and has not found his thumb (which is not exactly what i want anyway,,you can throw away a passy some day,,can't do that with a thumb) I know the urge to suckle is inherent in infants and young toddlers....but my question is this to any and all breastfeeding mothers: Do we let them use us as the passifier? Do I allow him to suckle but not really eat to calm himself? How will he ever learn to put himself to sleep if I keep this up? How will I EVER get any sleep if I keep this up? (also have two and a half year old who he will wake up if he get crying loud in the middle of the night) Is there a trick I have not learned to get him to take the passy? My daughter took passy no problem, but did not nurse well at having a baby who nurses well and only wants me as far as what goes in his mouth, is new to me. Pardon babbling type writing,,just got in from driving home to Matthews NC from Ontario Canada today. We took the kids and my Mom to go see my granny in canada. It was a great trip. thanks in advance for all of you who take the time to read this and write me back.

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answers from Charlotte on

Hi J.,

My first son was a fantastic nurser and he loved his paci. If he was really fussy, I would dip the very tip in sugar and he would take it and calm down. I know I'm a bad mommy -- sugar and a paci,but he's 5 1/2 now and it didn't hurt him a bit. You know your child best. My son needed the paci much more than he needed to nurse. It probably didn't hurt that I had enough milk to feed a small 3rd world country. Trust your instincts.

Good luck!!



answers from Charlotte on


First off, my son is also breastfed, but I have never had any problems with his passy. He uses the "MAM" 0 to 6 month passy. He will not take any other kind. I don't think that a "comfort passy" cause nipple confusion, at least not from what I have found. (The hospital gave my son a passy from the time he was born, and they knew I was breastfeeding.) Maybe you should try different types of passies...shapes, sizes, etc. My mom would use a regular bottle nipple and stuff something inside to make it firm.

The not staying asleep all of the sudden is a normal stage they go through. My son did it b/t 6 and 8 weeks and many other mothers told me their babies did that around the same age as well. You should try a book that uses the 5 S's method. I like a book called "The happiest baby on the block". It's by Harvery Karp I believe. It's not a scheduling book, but teaches the sensitivities of babies 3 months and younger and how to soothe them. Really very interesting concepts.

As far as putting himself to sleep on his own, I think that will come with age. My son is now 12 weeks and doing much better with putting himself to sleep (with the help of his passy). Until about 9 weeks I had to rock him to sleep for about an hour, then it got gradually less. I also used co-sleeping to get his sleep schedule in line with ours. Many people do not like the idea, but I found it to be useful and it allowed me to get more sleep...especially since you are breastfeeding. More info at



answers from Charlotte on

Not sure I can help you much because I have one child (so far) and he was kind of the same way - LOVED to nurse and definitely used me for a pacifier. He did take a pacifier eventually, we just kept trying once in awhile. From what I've read from other breastfeeding moms, when you let the child nurse whenever they want - for food or for comfort - they are happy peaceful kids (this is definitely true of my son). However, there is certainly that trade-off with your sleep and freedom! Well based on my experience, I'd say your situation is normal. Don't fret. It will all work out. Congrats on your new son. God bless you.



answers from Charlotte on

Hi, I've been told as recently as today by the LC at work that pacifiers are out when breast feeding. Thats how I was taught too. My daughter never had one. As far as sleeping through the night, my babies were 6 months to the day before they slept through the night. I think its probably a phase, kids go through them all the time. My children would come and go for months that way. My daughter was 14 months when she stopped on her own, but never used me as a suckler,food always, and she was 9.5. You can contact a LC through your DR's office probably and ask her too. Good luck.
P.S. Hope your trip was great, thats where I'm from. Chatham between Windsor and London. Small world.----------S.

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