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What About a Pacifier

You may have strong feelings about whether or not you want your baby to have a pacifier.

The reason we are going to address the use of pacifiers under the category of breastfeeding is because of something called “nipple confusion”. This situation can occur when a newborn is working hard to learn how to suck appropriately to obtain nutrition at the breast and a pacifier or bottle is introduced. This is most often a problem when done within the first 2 weeks of life, therefore many hospitals do not have or offer pacifiers.

Once your baby is a couple weeks old and breastfeeding is well established, you should be ok to introduce a pacifier if your baby has what is called “non-nutritive sucking” needs. These babies search frequently for something to suck on even when not hungry. Sucking comforts them and often a pacifier will quiet and calm your baby.

Dr. Cheryl Sharp, Chief Content Officer
Cheryl is a midwife and women's health nurse practitioner who has been caring for women, newborns, and families more than 30 years. She views the opportunity to journey with women through their pregnancy and beyond as a sacred privilege.