Why did we decide to start using the dummy

[ 0 ] 12/11/2013 |

mam pacifierDuring the 1st month, I followed the experts recommendations for breastfed babies and didn’t give a dummy to Erik. That was to avoid nipple confusion and to avoid any intervention that could affect the establishment of a good milk supply. This meant of course that Erik was most of the time latched on the breast, for food and comfort.

When we were approaching the end of the 1st month, Erik started doing what’s termed as projectile vomiting. It was scary to see such a big amount of milk coming out in an explosive way from the mouth of my little baby. Luckily he didn’t seem to suffer. He was rather relieved and happy when that happened. But it scared the hell out of me.

When the midwife came to see me for the the 3rd and last home visit at the end of the 1st month, I talked to her about this. She said that he seems healthy, he was gaining lots of weight, that there was nothing to worry about, and most probably he was just over-eating.

But I was of course worried. What goes in should be coming out from the other way and not from the mouth, right? And my body was also suffering from the over-stimulation and an over-supply, with breasts feeling like stones. That was the 1st time that I reluctantly gave him the dummy for the first time but since he seemed to be choking on it and he just spit it out, I didn’t insist.

I thought that since there were no signs of worry I should accept it and he will eventually grow out of it. But he kept being desperate to suck. And he kept on vomiting. So I started writing down the times that I put him on the breast, and I realized that there was a pattern. If he would latch on earlier than 1 1/2 to 2 hours from the previous meal he would end up vomiting. If not, everything was fine most of the times and he would just spit up a little bit every now and then. So most probably it wasn’t a case of reflux (click here for a good article on reflux and projectile vomiting) but of getting in more milk than he needed.

I still wasn’t sure if it was a good or a bad idea to use the dummy after all that I had been reading about the pros and cons of pacifier vs thumb sucking. But I had to do something. And at this point, the pacifier seemed like the only solution. I reasoned that there are good, BPA free and orthodentic pacifiers in the market, and that I’d rather give him one than seeing him puke every other day. Plus, it will be easier in the future to wean him from a dummy than from his thumb, and thumb sucking for several years seems to create more damage.

OK, perfect. It had been decided that Erik should be introduced once more to the dummy. But how could I make him take it? Once I put it his mouth he was still spitting it out. Same thing like the first time. The main issue here is not that the baby doesn’t want it. It’s just he doesn’t know what to do with it. The pacifier requires a different sucking movement than the one on the breast and this is something to be learned. I tried to give it to him quite a few times with no success and I tried with two different brands.

Eventually, just for once, I saw some light when he was around 1 1/2 months. He managed to find the right way to use the soother, just for a few seconds, before spitting it out and cry. But that was enough. If he did it once, then he could do it again. And he did! Mind you, every time that we gave it to him during that first week, he didn’t remember what to do with it. He was mimicking the technique that he used on the breast. And it took a while and some effort each time before he got it right. After that, he could distinguish that nipple and dummy are to be used in different ways. And for different purposes. We had been lucky!

Now he no longer asks for the breast for comfort. Breast is for food and for comfort we have the dummy. Projectile vomiting disappeared for us with the use of the dummy. And my milk supply is normal. Plus, the dummy does help him “sleep like a baby” especially during the day cause that’s when it has always been the hardest to settle him down.

Click here for the most helpful Pacifier buying guide I’ve found on the web. It contains tons of useful info!

These are my favourite pacifiers, BPA free and orthodontic, from Amazon.co.uk:

  1. MAM Start Soothers for 0 Months + with Sterilisable Travel Case (Green/White)
  2. MAM Start Soothers for 0 Months + with Sterilisable Travel Case (Pink)
  3. MAM Pack of 2 Style Soothers 0+ Months (Available in Pink or Blue)
  4. Pack of 2 MAM Original Baby Dummies 0+ months Green
  5. Philips AVENT SCF180/23 BPA-Free Contemporary Freeflow Soothers (0-6 Months) 2 Pack
  6. MAM Perfect Soother for 6 Months + with Sterilisable Travel Case (Green)
  7. Philips AVENT SCF182/34 BPA-Free Animal Soothers (6-18 Months) (Set of 2) Designs May Vary
  8. NUBY,6-18m Natural FlexTM Orthodontic Soothers X2 -Blue&Green(2 in a box)
  9. MAM Perfect 12+ Month Soother (BLUE)
  10. MAM Night Soother (Pack of 2)


Philips avent


Category: Erik and me, Shopping

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