Monday, April 14, 2008


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I haven't used pacifiers with either of my children. I have viewed it as a sleep prop that the child can't control for a long time, so I don't do it.

You of course can use one if you want to. had a fabulous article on the topic a while ago. Here is a link to it:

This article discusses the use of a pacifier and strategies for dealing with the use of it if you choose to use it. As it states, "Also remember, using the pacifier is neither a right nor wrong issue; often it comes down to preference and what each parent is able to handle regarding the issue of baby’s cry."

I do want to offer a word of caution about pacifiers. Many moms find pacifiers become a disruption at some point in their young babies lives. They find themselves waking up often to reinsert the pacifier. They find naps are cut short and baby won't sleep without mom reinserting it. For some moms, this is fine. No problem. For others, this has caused them to reevaluate and then drop the use of a pacifier. Most babies can't reinsert the pacifier until he is around 8 months old (some younger, some older).

A few months ago, I did a survey about pacifier use to see what the effects were, if any. Through it, I learned a good strategy. Many moms who used the pacifier without negative effects wouldn't reinsert it over and over. They would do it once or twice, but no more. Then the baby did CIO. In that case, the baby was learning to self-soothe without the use of a pacifier.

If you use a pacifier and are experiencing sleep troubles, evaluate if it is the culprit. If it is, then decide what you want to do about it. Again, the article on is excellent. It will give you several good ideas. If you want to use a pacifier, by all means, do it. I link the article to help those experiencing troubles associated with the pacifier and also to help those using a pacifier to avoid troubles.

Here is my report on my survey:

An informal survey was taken on the effects of pacifier (paci) use and Babywise babies. Here are the results of that survey:

There were 26 responders
  • 17 (65%) do not currently use paci
  • 9 (35%) do currently use paci
Nap Problems
  • 14 (54%) of those surveyed have nap problems
  • 9 (53%) of those who do not use a paci have nap problems (note that since the survey, two of these yeses have changed to nos, so that changes the statistic to 7 (41%)
  • 5 (56%) of those who do use a paci have nap problems
Night Problems
  • 5 (19%) of those surveyed are experiencing night problems
  • 1 (.06%) of those who do not use a paci have night problems
  • 4 (44%) of those who do use a paci have night problems
Points of Interest
  • One baby who uses a pacifier with no sleep issues was mentioned to be 8 months old. This baby was able to reinsert paci herself without the help of mom, so it was not considered a problem.
  • Another baby who uses a pacifier with no nap issues was said to need reinsertion of paci during nap. While this mom considered this to not be a sleep issue, I would consider it to be. This same baby was said to have night issues, so I suspect the reinsertion is needed at night, also, and the mom finds this to be a problem.
  • A third baby who uses a pacifier with no sleep issues doesn’t get paci back during sleep. Mom said she doesn’t reinsert it. This could possibly be a factor in why baby doesn’t have sleep issues.
  • As mentioned above, two moms with babies who don’t use pacifiers with nap issues have had nap improvements since answering this study. It is unknown for sure how many others (from either side) could have had changes since answering.
A rough conclusion would be that whether or not a paci is use, about half of babies experience nap problems, though the numbers are lower in those who do not use pacis. With night time sleep, there is a significant difference between those who use pacis and those who do not. Less than one percent of non-paci users have night problems. Nearly half of pacis users have night issues.
It is my conclusion that pacifiers do interfere with sleep. I think nap issues will arise throughout the first year no matter what. That can be seen with the results of this survey. It is my conclusion that a “paci baby” will wake in search of a paci, and therefore experience nighttime difficulties. A nap can simply be short enough to not experience that problem.
There are several limitations to this study. The age of the baby was not taken into account at all. Also, there was no definition of sleep issues, that was left to the interpretation of the respondent. Another problem is that there were not even answers from each side (paci and no paci). There were more people (nearly twice as many) who don’t use paci as those who do. However, this can be a strength to the nighttime sleep conclusion. If you take it against total number of responses rather than number in their category, .04% of had night issues who don’t use a paci vs. .15% of responders who do, and there were twice as many who answered who don’t use it and therefore more opportunity to have problems. Finally (but not lastly), there are so many possible factors affecting sleep that is a fallacy to assume a pacifier is the only variable.


Dana said...

Thanks for this post! I am a big advocate of the paci for my kids. I find it very helpful through the first year, especially. (Just my personality!) For the first 2 mo I'll reinsert the paci gladly (baby is usually sleeping in my room so it's not a big issue). After that I'll let them cio and learn to fall back asleep on their own. It may take a bit longer, but after a few days to a week it is no longer an issue. My son gave up his bink w/3 nights and 2 naps w/ 20 min of crying to fall asleep at 15 mo. We'll see how my daughter does! I do definitely agree, though that if you don't let them cio, and keep reinserting it every time they wake it will be an issue with naps and night sleep, b/c it really is a prop (just one I've chosen to deal with). :)

Carrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cristine said...

Thanks for this post! It helped me open my eyes a little bit to be more careful in reinserting the paci everytime. I'm going to try doing that less...I think it won't be hard since my baby doesn't seem to be too attached on it. Sometimes he'll sleep without it.

I have a doubt though...sometimes when he wakes and I take a while to go reinsert the paci, he will put his fingers in his mouth! Then I don't know what is worse...reinsert the paci, or leave him sucking his fingers.

David and Kate VY said...

Thanks for this post. I am currently struggling with the paci use. We seem to always be reinserting it during naptimes, althought this week we haven't had to. We do use it to extend our son (3 months old) through the night when he wakes up at 3 and sometimes at 5 in the morning (is this a bad habit??).

However, I have heard from many parents that they would rather use a paci (because it can be taken away) then have the child suck their fingers or thumb. Have you or anyone else found that those moms who don't use the paci are more likely to have children who suck their fingers or thumbs for several years?


Plowmanators said...


I saw you deleted your post, but wanted to say thanks for what you said. Some babies have troubles with pacifiers, and some don't. The AAP recommends pacfiers to reduce SIDS because they say the baby will both sleep lighter and wake up more often (which would by another reason sleeping on back helps prevent SIDS also). They also recommend sharing a room with your baby until he is 6 months old for the same reason. Thanks for pointing out that benefit.

Plowmanators said...


I do think one reason the pacifier can become a problem is simply because the parent controls it, and parents tend to over-use it :).

As for the fingers, you might find it to be no problem, especially since he doesns't seem to be much of a "sucker." My daughtere sucks on her fingers sometimes to sleep, but not during playtime. They use their hands to play, and most kids would rather play than suck on fingers. Also, you can remove the hands from the mouth during playtime and say "not right now" (after the child is 6 months). The only time my daughter puts her hands in her mouth during playtime is when she is both really tired and really nervous. She isn't a really big sucker. So you can definitely prevent finger sucking from becoming a problem if you take the right steps (these same steps are a good idea for preventing pacifier dependency also).

Plowmanators said...

Hi Kate,

My response to Cristine above should help you out in that. I haven't found it to be a problem, but your concern is a common one. The problem wit pacifiers (parental control and therefore overuse) can also be a benefit when it comes time to wean. If your child is trained to listen to you, it really shouldn't be a problem with consistency and diligence on your part :)

Cameron Clark said...

interesting blog. I read BW but chose not to inforce it.
My baby has put himself on BW today which is funny. Anyway, don't you think polls are not really statistically accurate unless you have a controlled sample of respondents and also a significant amount of voters.. I would not draw any conclusions without 100 or 500 votes. Just my thoughts :)

Plowmanators said...

This is in no way a scientific study. It was just an informal survey. Any study conducted where it is a survey can't draw complete conclusions, but it can give you a stepping stone and a general direction for problem solving. :)

kristin said...

I'd like to add a few things from the perspective of someone with an older child (23 months) using the pacifier. I've always limited pacifier use to only the crib when sleeping (nap and bedtime). I stopped reinserting the pacifier when Caden was 3 months, and he learned to fall back asleep fine. Then when he was older he figured out how to find it and put it back in mouth himself. I've never considered it a sleep prop.

Now, however, he is old enough to be walking, talking and having opinions - which I think was my mistake - and I can tell he won't be too excited about giving up the paci. Looking back I wish I had just gotten rid of it say around 1 year. Nevertheless, my husband and I have been praying about when to take it away now that he's almost 2 years old.

Interestingly enough, just the other day, he bit a hole in it. I figured this was an opportunity
(I didnt show him that we had extras in the drawer). I've read that when the suction is gone from a hole they dont enjoy it so much and it can facilitate the process of getting rid of it. Well, he said "Mommy broken!" but he still wanted it. After a few days, he chewed on the hole until a large piece of the silicone was hanging off it, so I cut half of the nipple off with scissors. He still asks for it at bedtime/naps. At this point he cannot really keep it comfortably in his mouth because its like sucking on a really short straw. I am hoping that he will find it tedious and just give it up real soon. If he isnt showing any willingness in the next week or two, we may just take it away. If anyone has suggestions/thoughts, feel free to let me know! Thanks!

On side note - my neice who is 22 months old is still taking a pacifier all the time - during the day, walking around, at the mall, at the park, any time she's not eating. Her parents give it to her constantly (which seems weird because she's not a child prone to fits or agitation or crying, so its not like she needs to be comforted). My main concern is that she isnt even close to speaking, even though my son says about 30+ words now. I have to wonder if the pacifier isnt hindering her speech development - how can she say anything if she has a paci in her mouth?

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Kristin! It is good to hear a seasoned "paci use" opinion. Be sure to see the link I listed in this post from growingkids about paci use. It has some tips for weaning.

I have a niece who was the same way as your niece. When she turned two, her parents decided to take it away since she wasn't talking at all. She quickly started to talk and is normal now at 3, but she had a period where she just wasn't talking and could have been.

kristin said...

Ok I'll add an update to my post from Tuesday - its now Thursday and yesterday my son used his teeth to completely pry the remaining part of the silicone nipple shaft OFF of the pacifier! He already new it was "broken" from when he bit the hole in it the other day, but now its clearly unusable - and I suppose this is exactly the kind of self-weaning we were expecting (he knows he broke it). We were planning on waiting until the weekend to take it completely away just in case he had trouble at bedtime, but oh well, now its really unusable.

So yesterday I explained to him that when we got home from mid-week church service, he would go to bed without the paci because it was broken. He seemed OK with the idea, saying "Binky broke" and "Bye bye binky". When we got home from church, he went to sleep without any problems. We heard him toss and turn a bit the first few hours and wimper once or twice, but he never cried or carried on.

This morning (since I work part-time) I warned my babysitter to be prepared that his 1-4 PM nap could be shorter than usual because of the pacifier adjustment. We'll see how it goes! I fully expect the transition to be complete by the end of this weekend.

Overall it became clear to me that as a parent, I enabled my son's somewhat-dependency on this thing, and with my next child I don't think I'll allow them to keep it too long - even if if its only allowed in the crib and they know how to reinsert it themselves.

Cameron Clark said...

I realize you were probably watching your son with this altered paci, but shouldn't we mention that it's a bit dangerous to cut the tip of a pacifier off and let your child have it? It seems your son was much older so perhaps he wouldn't eat it... ? I'm not trying to be flip at all, but I am just wondering how one would combat that safety issue?

kristin said...

That is a good point! The reason I figured this would all be OK is because I've read that a good way to accelerate the process is to prick a hole into the paci to break the suction, and I have also read to slowly cut the nipple down until there isnt much left to suck on. In my case, my son was the one who initiated this by chewing a small hole into the nipple. I figured he would lose interest at that point. As he continued to use it over the course of 1-2 days, I suspect he stopped sucking on it and started chewing. Because the whole got larger to the point where I was afraid he could bite the end completely off, so that's when I just cut it off. That is when my husband and I decided we would just take it away this weekend. But my son beat us to the punch when I found the paci on the floor of his room in two pieces on Wed (one piece was the plastic "frame", the other piece was the silicone "tube" that was originally the nipple - he obviously pulled it right out of the base with his teeth). Fortunately he mustve just spit it out. He is old enough to know not to swallow something that isnt food - although you can never be too cautious! That is when I knew enough was enough. Safety should always be first.

Plowmanators said...


Thanks for keeping us posted. It is good to get the perspective on this from a mom with experience and the added "hindsight" :). Your story has good lessons for parents, no matter what form of sucking their child might have. I agree, one year seems to be a time they really start to LOVE that sucking.

And thanks for the safety warning Cameron.

kristin said...

Valerie, I love your blog, and BTW great article today on GrowingKids re: Mom, Not Baby Decides. I encourage my hubby to read your articles (and others on that site) so we are always on the same page with GFI parenting concepts.

Final update on the paci situation: I'm blessed to report that my son took a GREAT nap yesterday (his usual 3 hours) and had another seamless night of sleep without the pacifier. He did mention it again at bedtime and when we said "Yes, your binky is broken" he responded "Yeah, binky broke!" and that was it!

Hubby and I are amazed and so thankful that what we thought would be a rough transition ended up being a total non-issue. We wonder if its because he is old enough to understand the situation? Or because it wasnt really a sleep prop? Anyhow, we've given him big praise each morning and after nap for being a big boy without the paci (showing self-control and no whining). Im sure that the BW concepts we've employed since he was born have surely contributed to this pleasant transition.

Plowmanators said...


Good idea about hubby reading the stuff...I still have to encourage my DH to do that. He prefers I just tell him. :)

That is great about the paci. It seems he wasn't as dependent as you thought he was after all :) I am glad things went so smoothly. Thanks for sharing your experience with it all. I will be sure to add it to the post.

Gung Ho Babywise Promoter said...

Babywise said if you use a pacifier it's best to take it away around 6 months. I'm trying to do that now and it's like teaching him to sleep all over again. He cries and cries - only he doesn't finally quit because of exhaustion. A 6 month old has way more stamina! Has anyone out there dealt with this? How long does it take for them to learn how to sleep without a prop when they are 6 months? I wish I hadn't done the paci but I didn't want him to suck his thumb like my daughter. She's two and is really attached to that thumb...can't take that away, I can only tell her not to in the day time which is what I've been doing. Any insights?

Rachel Stellaaa said...

Gung Ho
One of my nieces (now 4) sucked her thumb and my sister got her to stop sucking it by first, having her not suck it during the day and second, rewarding her with stickers etc if she didn't suck it while she slept. Sometimes she still sucks her thumb when she sleeps even though she doesn't think she does, which I talked to a pediatrican friend of mine about. He said it can be a bit of a reflex sometimes (so she really didn't know she was sucking it) and should go away as she gets older. Also, my neighbor is a dentist and he said that teeth problems don't usually occur from sucking your thumb until permanent teeth come in or around 8 years of age. Hope this helps!

Cameron Clark Photography said...

My parents tried EVERY thing to get me to stop sucking my fingers (1st & second fingers) but I never quit. Every dentists told me I'd have buck teeth, it was traumatic for everyone. Turns out,I have perfectly straight teeth, never had braces, sucked my fingers for comfort until I was 18. I finally gave it up for good when I went to college. Obviously, I did it discreetly as I got older (watching movies, before bed, alone, etc), but it always helped me get to sleep. Mostly it was a comfort habit. Just a few months ago, I found myself: a sleep deprived new mom, sucking my fingers involuntarily at 2AM to get back to sleep after nursing. I hadn't done it in years. I'm 30 and it STILL made me feel comfy cozy but of course, I laughed and pulled my fingers out of my mouth and pondered this topic again. Kids will give it up when they are ready, maybe it isn't the worst thing in the world?

Plowmanators said...

Gung Ho,

I would keep in mind that as he gets older, he will have even more stamina. I haven't ever taken this away. I think you should first eliminate it from playtime (if you use it during playtime). Once he is good with that, consider the sleeping. It will take time, patience, and consistency. Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Thanks for your thoughts Rachel!

Plowmanators said...

That is a great story Cameron Clark. I have to admit, I feel a bit jealous that you have something to turn to as a nursing a newborn mother. I have the hardest time sleeping at that stage! lol

LEM said...

What are your thoughts on using a pacifier to go back to sleep after waking up crying? My 8-week old son does not need it to fall asleep but sometimes will need to to get back to sleep if he wakes up crying. I have noticed as time goes on he wakes up less during his naps. We just started using it at night to help get rid of the middle of the night feeding. So when he wakes before the start of his day I give him the pacifier to help to help him get back to sleep. What are your thoughts? Do you think I'm creating a dependency this way? I was thinking he would eventually sleep through like he seems to be getting better at with his naps.

Plowmanators said...

LEM, It is something that can become a dependency, but it is also a tool that can help you get through it. I think that since you are mindful of the dependency problem, you can and will stop it if it really does become a problem. So it might be something that is great and helps you through it. If not, at least you are aware and on the lookout and you can stop it before it becomes a major issue. I think the biggest problem with pacifiers is that parents control it rather than the children, and parents often overuse it, where when children control the soothing method, it is used only when needed (at least as a young baby). So if you take the parenting flaws out of the equation, it should be fine.

Nina Vermeulen said...

Hi just want to thank you so much for your blog, it is so practical!

I have, after reading your and the growing kids article, decided to go cold turkey on the paci thing with our almost 5 month old daughter. She kept waking in the night for it (2-5 times). Yesterday was my first day and she actually slept till 5 40am, no paci, yay! Then fed her at 6 cause she just kept crying. With letting her CIO, I'm just wondering, our family is going on an overseas trip in two weeks and the very long plane trips might involve her crying - should I reintroduce the paci when she cries on the plane? Kind of keen to keep her off it, what did you do on plane trips?

I'm also going to try keep her on a three hour schedule till we come home when she'll be almost 6 months old and then perhaps try to drop the dream feed and move to a four hour, should I then also immediately introduce rice cereal in close succession? What would you suggest?

Thanks so much!

Monica and Adam said...

Hey! I have been doing Babywise with my 6 week old since he was about 2 weeks. Things are going great so far. He is on a 3 hour schedule and lately has been sleeping from his dreemfeed (about 10:30ish) to anywhere from 3-5 am each night. I then feed him and he sleeps until he wakes at 7:30ish or I wake him at 8.

Anyway, I've been working on CIO during the daytime for his naps. Nighttime doesn't seem to be a problem since he is so sleepy after he eats anyway.

For the most part, I have seen significant improvement! When we started he would cry off and on for an hour. Now, if he is drowsy, he will cry for maybe 10-15 minutes before falling asleep.

My dilemma is this: since we are on the go alot and will be for the summer, he has to nap in the car or at other places, and will only nap those places with a paci. AND for the next few weeks, we will have a lot of family in town and they simply can't handle hearing him cry it out right now.

So, while we are on the go, or when family is here we've been giving him a paci for naps which are usually in the bouncer or swing, and we have been reinserting it. (I know, we are crazy)But if we don't give him a paci, he'll just cry and cry in the carseat or swing, wherever he is, which is a problem when family is here.

My questions are: Are we creating problems by giving him a paci when he naps other places?

How do we handle teaching him to CIO when family comes and can't handle it?

I'm so confused! Any advice would be great!

kristin said...

Hi Monica and Adam,

A beautiful and important thing about Babywise is always considering the context of the situation before enforcing the rule. Your baby is pretty young and you have plenty of time ahead of you to worry about CIO with naps. Personally I would defer to the comfort of your family (and yourself!) and give your little one the paci when he/she needs it to be content. Then work on CIO without the paci after your time with visitors or special events is over. You will enjoy the season more, baby will and guests will too. Then let the principal of CIO work for you when the time is right. Thats my two cents - I've used pacifier successfully with two kids, and I dont think it became a problem/sleep prop with either of them. I bet it wont be for you as well.

Plowmanators said...

Nina, I would use the paci on the plane if she needs it. Remember the idea of context in BW (or Babywise book two?). It talks about planes and discusses that it is better to be respectful to others than to worry about feeding schedules or other things on a plane.

Brayden didn't use a pacifier, but when we went on a plane, I took it. It was helpful for take off and landing--but actual drinking is superior, so nursing or a sippy/bottle would work, too.

I would probably introduce cereal, drop the dreamfeed, then do 4 hour schedule once I got home. I don't think the order really matters a lot; just make sure you leave enough time between each activitiy so you don't do too much at once.

Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Monica and Adam,

Since you don't want to do CIO with family around (which is probably a good idea unless they are adept at CIO), I wouldn't do it AT ALL until all the craziness is over. It really isn't fair to him to do it some days and not others because it won't really be teaching him. So I would wait until you can give it some time to work.

Once you have that time, it might be harder on him to CIO than it would now, but you will all still get through it.

While Kristin didn't have problems with pacifiers, some babies do. So you might end up with a problem and you might not. You really never know. Most moms who end up with no problems say they would give it intially but then wouldn't reinsert it if it fell out, but that wouldn't really work in your situation.

Something I would say is it would be best if you could have him sleep in his crib. It would be better for you to rock him to sleep and have him sleep in his crib than for him to sleep the entire nap in his swing. That way, when it comes time to sleep train, you will only be working with falling asleep on his own, not falling asleep on his own and learning to sleep motionless.

awolfort77 said...

Okay, so can a baby have paci dependence at 2 months? My LO is 8 weeks, previously sleeping 8 hours at night, waking once for paci. Over the past few nights, he has progressively woken up to 7 times, crying, and stops when paci is inserted. I wonder if he is hungry, but would he just settle with a paci? Not usually for him! He also wakes during naps, usually about 45 minutes into it...making me consider the 45 min intruder and that he is just waking during transition. We have him on prevacid to rule out reflux (questionable anyway because he is happy awake :)
I am considering letting him CIO but wonder about how young he is...does he really need a paci right he too young to CIO? I really need to decide and stick with 3 y/o son is suffering sleepwise from all of the noise! HELP! Any advice welcome!

Plowmanators said...

There is a developmental leap around that age; I suggest you see the "wonder weeks" blog label for more on that.

I do think a pacifier dependency can develop at that age.

You would have to feel comfortable with CIO before starting it. My opinion is that he is not too young, but your opinion is what matters for that.

In the meantime, try putting some white noise by your 3 YO to help muffle the baby sounds.

Holly and Scott Kristiansen said...

Our son is 10 weeks old and we have decided to go cold turkey on the pacifier. Recently he wakes up sometimes every hour, or even every half hour to have it put back in his mouth. He has been sleeping in our room since he was born. I decided to move him to his own room and let him CIO. I decided to do this because our 2 year old went through the same phase and I just want to cut the problem in the beginning instead of dealing with all the issues we did with Noah related to the pacifier. Noah LOVES his pacifier and although he gave his up a few weeks ago, he still always tries to steal the babies. The pacifier is his #1 topic of conversation throughout the day. It will be a relief just to have all the pacifiers out of the house and not to have to have it a constant issue. Also I am hoping to finally get more than 30 minutes of sleep at a time in the night without having to get up to give it to the baby.
This is our first night going cold turkey. It is the middle of the night now and I have been sitting here anxiously as my baby has been crying. He finally just stopped after 45 minutes. It felt like it would never end. I will let you know how things go for the next few days and how long it takes him to not cry anymore.

Holly and Scott Kristiansen said...

Last night was a terrible night. Daniel cried for 1.5 hours from 8 to 10:30pm, 1 hr 45 minutes starting at midnight and then an hour and a half starting at 5 am. He would stop crying if we walked over to the crib and would go crazy moving his head back and forth with his mouth open, waiting for his pacifier. It was such a long night, but we made it through. We were driving at bedtime which made him fall asleep, so it is hard to tell how he would have done at home. It is 1 am though, and I heard him squeak a little and go back to sleep, so hopefully tonight will be better.

Plowmanators said...

Keep us posted Holly! I am sure other moms who go through this would love to hear your experience!

Ang said...

I have been on board with bw since our son was born. I introduced the pacifier at three weeks because he seemed to need additional sucking; looking back, maybe I would not have introduced it and would have known he was still teaching himself to self sooth. My question is, we are still having trouble with him not sttn, he is 13 weeks in a couple days and usually goes to bed at 8, wakes to eat at 1, wakes at 4 and eats very little, then sleeps not so soundly until 630 or 7. Desired wake time is 7. I think I have made the mistake of reinserting the binki after the 4am wake too often and he is becoming dependent even for naps. Do I work on sttn first or removing the pacifier first? He is breastfed only and had not once sttn. But he does go back to sleep easily at night after feedings. When I have tried to sooth him back to sleep, he wakes up an hour later which makes me think he is truly hungry. He is on a combined 2.5 and three hour schedule. dreamfeed and cluster evening feeding doesn't seem to impact his wake times.

Plowmanators said...

Ang, if you want to get rid of the pacifier, I think I would go that route first before trying for STTN because if the pacifier is interfering with sleep, weaning him should solve both problems.

But I would think through possible sickness or pain first. Him sleeping not so soundly sounds to me more like gas or reflux pain than pacifier issues.

Jessica said...

I have a nap problem... and a pacifier problem... (well not me but my son! haha) He's been on a great routine pretty much since day 1, great sleeper and great napper. I had issues with nursing and finally after trying everything had to give him formula at 4 months. He started sleeping through the night. But at 3 months is when I started having napping problems. The 45 minute intruder, but like I read that it only lasts up to a few weeks, that's not the case with my son. It's like clockwork still. I feel like I've tried everything. That's when I started using the pacifier. Now it's totally a sleep prop and although I don't think it's the reason he doesn't go back to sleep every time, but I think its a factor on some occasions. A lot of times after his 45 min to an hour nap he's totally ready to play, should I be trying to make him sleep longer? I read on your blog to play with him and at the first sign try putting him back down. Which I will definitely try tomorrow. Lately when he wakes up I'll put him in the swing and he'll usually fall back asleep. But that's another sleep prop. He is such a GOOD baby, honestly the only time he cries is when I let him cry it out for these naps! If you have any advice or references I'd love to hear them. Thank you so much!!

Heather said...

My son is almost 11 weeks old and I wish we had never introduced him to the pacifier. I have been doing babywise since birth, and then at four weeks we decided to give him a pacifier because he was nursing for extra long times due to non-nutritive sucking.

He's been a great sleeper, and even from early on would go 5 hours during the night. However, now that we are doing night sleep training I can't get him to stop waking up for his pacifier! He's going 9 hours between his feedings, but starting at 2:30 AM he's up every 30-40 minutes crying for his pacifier.

We swaddle our son, and it seems to be really efficient as he's very active and from the very get-go would wake himself up by trying to chew on his hands.

We tried the CIO method with him, and he basically didn't sleep for 3 days straight. Finally we succumbed and gave him his pacifier.

I guess my question is, are there any suggestions for breaking the habit? The last time we tried CIO he would cry for his entire naptime, (sometimes almost 2 hours!) and nothing seemed to make it better. I didn't know if we were going to let him cry it out if we should also keep his hands unswaddled so he can suck on them if he wants to... but at the same time, I really don't want him to be a thumb sucker either!

I was dying to hear how Holly's experience went... and then she didn't follow up anymore! I'm feeling discouraged because we were doing so well and now I'm frustrated because we've allowed a helpful tool to become a sleep prop. Any advice is welcome!

Thank you for this blog! ITS SO HELPFUL!!

Kaley Beausoleil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristin said...

I have a similar problem as Heather. My son, 6mo, is still swaddled tight and I don't feel like I can effectively use the CIO method when he can't properly soothe himself. Anytime we try to let him sleep without swaddling, it's a nightmare! I am having the problem of him waking in the night for his pacifier about 2-3 times. Do you have any advice for weaning off swaddling so I can start CIO and less pacifier? Thanks!

Clare V said...

I would love some help, I am having the same issues as already mentioned above. However, the link no longer works to the article you recommended.
My daughter is almost 12 weeks old and a great sleeper with BW. However, there are some naps and some sleeps where she needs her dummy (Australian for pacifier!) reinserted to sleep. She loves rubbing her face and when she does it falls out, sometimes multiple times.
I'm worried that if I get rid of the dummy she won't sleep as well. But I'm also worried that if I do get rid of it she'll be a thumb-sucker. Any tips/advice for weaning?
P.S Your blog is a life-saver! xx

Valerie Plowman said...

Hi Clare!

It is a hard call. There is an excellent chance if you remove the pacifier, she will suck her thumb. So if you really don't want that, you will need to work with the pacifier.

I know parents who seem to use the pacifier without it causing sleep problems say that what works is not reinserting it once it falls out, or only reinserting once. That is basically a hybrid between CIO and using the pacifier.


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