July 02, 2015

Q: Is it okay to give my baby a pacifier to end very long breastfeeding sessions?

A: As long as breastfeeding is well established (i.e., after the first few weeks) it's fine to offer a pacifier. Many newborns try to replicate earlier life in the womb. Before birth, your baby was able to suck on his thumb, wrist, or fist for hours at a time because his arm was in a fixed position right next to his mouth. Now he doesn't have the coordination to easily bring his fist to his mouth, so instead he wants to suck on your breast. Look at your baby's hands for clues to when he's had enough to eat. At the start of a feeding, his hand is high and clenched in a fist. When he's satisfied, it should be limp by his side. When it's about time for the feeding to come to an end, try squeezing your breast, which will express the rich hindmilk quickly and provide a tasty end to the meal. Then let your baby suck on your finger or hold a pacifier in his mouth so he can continue mouthing on that. --Kate Kelly

Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.

Answered by Parents.com-Team

Comments (1)

December 1, 2018
My baby never slept well (especially through the night) until I started using the website www.SleepBaby.org - that website has been by far one of the best things I've ever got my hands on to get him to fall asleep quickly. Best time is 45 seconds from awake to asleep! Can’t imagine life without it! I heard about it through a kindergarten teacher who uses it to put to sleep a group of 30 children. Check it out! Best of luck to you and your family :)