Baby using nipple to soothe. Should I try s dummy?

(16 Posts)
PeaceLillyDoge Thu 03-Apr-14 06:41:20

LO is four weeks old, slowly getting the hang of breast feeding but it's been a hard journey.

Over the past few nights I've noticed that she is using the breast to soothe herself rather than feed. Essentially she wakes for a feed, falls asleep, is put down in moses basket, Skerries for five mins, starts grizzling then crying. Put her back on the boob and she immediately stops crying, has a tiny feed then falls asleep again.

Does this sound like a pattern which could be broken with a dummy? The sleep deprivation is driving me bonkers and I'm not comfortable with Co sleeping (don't want a debate about this please).

I'm wary of using a dummy and it causing is own problems later down the line, but right now id take that for some more sleep!

PeaceLillyDoge Thu 03-Apr-14 06:42:18

Skerries?? Sleep more like! Fracking auto correct

Cooroo Thu 03-Apr-14 06:46:24

I got to this stage with my DD though she was older. Bought a dummy against my better judgement (I loathe them!) And offered it to her. She spat it out in disgust and I binned it with relief.

This is life with a baby. Let her set the agenda. It will a all change soon enough. You are letting her know you are there for her and there is no greater gift you can give her.

Cooroo Thu 03-Apr-14 06:53:34

I got to this stage with my DD though she was older. Bought a dummy against my better judgement (I loathe them!) And offered it to her. She spat it out in disgust and I binned it with relief.

This is life with a baby. Let her set the agenda. It will a all change soon enough. You are letting her know you are there for her and there is no greater gift you can give her.

Morien Thu 03-Apr-14 07:08:34

I thought 'skerries' quite a nice word for what DD does when I put her down at night!

DD is 5 weeks and does this too. DH wants to give her a dummy, but like the PP I loathe them (if I knew she'd refuse I'd give her one like a shot, just so DH & I don't need to have that conversation again). I talked about it with the midwife the other day (I love my midwife), and she said that it will pass and that DD just needs the reassurance for now. She did say that although she's not a fan of dummies either, if I wanted to try it might help. I've decided just to stick with it and be a human pacifier for now.

In the last few days I've got better about knowing when she's just sucking on me in her sleep and I've become confident about removing my nipple then - I'm learning when to do it so she doesn't wake up.

summerlovingliz Thu 03-Apr-14 07:13:03

I also loathed dummies but after being sucked red raw I decided to give it a go , it was a god send! Some babies just need to suck constantly! Can take some perseverance with the dummy but they are easy enough to phase out when u need to later

whereisshe Thu 03-Apr-14 07:22:00

She's too young for a dummy. They are fine at night for night comfort sucking (and reduce SIDS risk) but you need to wait until your supply is established before introducing one. The small night feeds at her age will be helping to get your supply up, not just for her comfort. By way of comparison, DD at that age was feeding 20 times a day in short sessions, which is completely within the range of normal according to the breast feeding consultant I spoke to.

Also, if you do decide to use a dummy it does take them a while to get used to it. She'll spit it out to start with. I don't use one for DD as I bed share with her when she's clingy but I have friends who swear by them for sleep with their older (3 month + babies). So see how you go. They're not actually the devil's work, unless you're using it 24/7 and it stops the baby from getting enough food and love.

Laucar Thu 03-Apr-14 07:35:15

I was in exactly your situation. Preservered for another two weeks but it never got any better. Breast feeding became exhausting and a chore, which I did not want. Eventually after observing dd feeding even my mum (who hates dummies more than I did) suggested using one. For us it worked wonders. She took to it immediately and it helps her sleep and soothes her. It has also stopped her sucking her thumb which she was tending towards. I am hoping to phase it out when she starts solid food...we shall see!

Laucar Thu 03-Apr-14 07:36:37

Persevered even

Yup agree I've had two babes. They both did this behaviour. It's something babies do.

On the other hand be glad that you will never have "what brand do you use?" Or "we got such a jolly dummy looking like teeth!" Or "how do I get dc off the fucking thing?!?!" Conversations ever.

Watch those that do use dummies. They ain't called mufflers for nothing you know. Designed to keep baby quiet.... Personally I hate them. Kids are kids and need to be heard.

badidea Thu 03-Apr-14 08:36:41

Babies do use the breast for comfort as well as food, that's part of the benefit and joy of it IMO - contrary to popular belief, it is not the end of the world if your baby suckles for comfort as well as for milk.

Your baby is so so small (still a newborn) I wouldn't even consider a dummy at this age, esp since you say you struggled to get bfeeding established, you'll probably want to wait a good few weeks/months until you know your supply is established before offering a dummy (if you decide to go down that road) as some womens milk supply is adversely affected if they introduce a dummy too soon.

And worrying about her become a thumb sucker at 4 months is nonsense - really, don't worry about that at all. All babies engage in non-nutritive suckling, whether it be breast, their own hand, a luvee or a dummy.

Babies who suck on their hands at 4 weeks doesn't mean they'll be thumb suckers at 4 months or 4 years, she's a tiny baby who has been sucking her thumb in your womb for months - it comforts her - do you really want to take that away? She's only been out in the open for 4 weeks, I think you need to be a bit understanding of her position. Yes, sleep deprivation sucks, but you know, babies don't come with a 'sleep guarantee' especially newborns.

In addition, you might think you're up a lot now, what if your baby becomes one of those infants who wake up whenever the dummy falls out their mouth - how often do you think you'd be up then?

It's hard, but the newborn phase doesn't last for long, hang in there and at least give your baby a chance to start going longer between feeds.

Wheresmysocks Thu 03-Apr-14 11:26:24

Lots of very judgemental & generalisation going on, on this thread.

Dummies are a very individual thing. I honestly believe whatever works. My dd hates the dummy, literally gags etc. The dummy can be an absolute god send.

But I also strongly feel whatever works! So if you've got a really sucky baby, baby is happier so mum is happier. Yes, the baby is newborn. Yes, it's normal newborn behaviour. There are no prizes for this parenting stuff, dummies, bf, ff whatever works for you, never mind what others think, it's your baby.

Best of luck.

MissRatty Thu 03-Apr-14 18:14:32

Actually there is very little evidence that introducing a dummy affects supply...this is a theoretical assumption made that because the baby is not suckling you, your supply is not being stimulated. However, when used appropriately (i.e. Short periods of time to get an infant over to sleep, pacify a crying infant etc.) they can be very useful.

I absolutely detest non-evidence-based statements being made without reference, as being a mother is difficult enough without people peddling old wives' tales! The WHO guidance on pacifier use dates from 1991 and is based largely on theory, however a significant number of controlled, randomised studies have been conducted since then which have not backed up this theory. The numerous studies conducted have never collectively been conclusive (for actual facts look at The Cochrane Library...wealth of info on any medical issue there).

It is accepted widely that four weeks would be an acceptable time to introduce one, as your supply is more established (but given that its not known to affect supply then this is a bit of a "finger in the air" thing that HCPs advise).

We gave LO a dummy at two weeks. Bloody hated it and was not to be fooled. Every baby is different. The number of people who boast about not giving their child a dummy, who will give them their finger to suck on... or crikey, once the baby discovers its hands...they are never out of the mouth.

Do what you feel you need to do. Noone has the right to judge your decision.

I will say that our LO sounded similar to yours, and he did have a lorra lorra wind! Winding him better before putting him down helped massively, as he was getting full of wind, then when he was laid down and it shifted, there was space in his tummy again for more food and he was hungry again! He had reflux as well though.

Maybe try winding more, or some infacol or similar wind stuff and see if it helps?

Hope you get some sleep! The first six weeks were the hardest EVER!

TheScience Thu 03-Apr-14 19:55:30

I started a thread a couple of weeks ago about breastfeeders who used dummies and it was much more positive.

DS1 had a dummy from 3 or 4 weeks, DS2 from a few days. Hasn't impacted breastfeeding at all. I find them great for times you can't comfort feed them - in the car, nappy changes, in the pram. Got rid of DS1's at just over a year with no issues.

I also didn't want to risk a thumbsucker - can't just chuck the thumb away!

Downside of a dummy with a little baby though is that they fall out a lot, so you might have to keep putting it back in. Sellotaping it into their mouth is frowned upon...

I found mine didn't like the fancy, flat orthodontic ones, they much prefer the cherry latex kind.

PeaceLillyDoge Thu 03-Apr-14 22:58:17

Thanks for your replies, apart from the judgy ones, they were less than helpful.

missratty your reply was particularly appreciated thank you. Always grateful for an evidence based view. I haven't read the cochrane review but I may well look it up.

From the sounds of it this seems like a very common phase. I think we'll wait it out a couple of weeks and see how we get on. I'm not averse to settling her with a dummy if it helps us all.

missknows Fri 04-Apr-14 16:06:02

OP I had this with my baby and due to her wanting to suck to sleep so much it increased my already huge supply which caused no end of problems. Huge boobs which were hard to latch onto, very fast letdown (literally sprays in 5 different directions so fast you can hear it!) which in turn caused reflux and all sorts.

It took about a week of offering for my baby to get use to the dummy but I believe if I didn't give it I wouldn't still be breastfeeding. And my baby does not use it any time other than to get to sleep. If I miss the clues and offer it when she isn't wanting to sleep it gets spat straight out.

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