how to calm baby when she wont take a pacifier..?

Danielle - posted on 12/31/2010 ( 26 moms have responded )

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my first daughter took to a pacifier so well and i guess we got spoiled that way bc she was never fussy! But now my 8 week old is breastfed mostly and she will NOT take a pacifier so im finding it really hard to know when she is hungry, tired, or just fussy! I was wondering what people do to calm down their babies when they dont take pacifiers?? I have to swaddle her and walk her all around the house for her to settle and then nod off to sleep. But my back is killing me and i want her to be able to comfort herself someday so she can get to sleep on her own, i just dont know how to go about that. Any advice?

oh and did anyone's baby not take a pacifier at first and then accept it? we are still trying her to take it even tho she is almost 2 months old.

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Nicole - posted on 01/04/2011

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Neither one of my babies would have anything to do with a pacifier. The rule of thumb that we used when they were that little was if they had a clean diaper and they were still fussy than they are still hungry. If you are breastfeeding and than going to lay your baby down and they are still fussing it might mean that they are not pulling enough milk out to satisy them. You could try feeding them a bit sooner than you usually do. Don't let them get too hungry for example don't let them start crying for food cause than when you go to breast feed them they are frustrated cause the milk comes out slowly and they want it now!!! Lol. Or at night when you are getting her ready to go down for the night feed her from a bottle. She will get the milk/formula faster and will be satisfied and sleep better. Another thing you could try is giving her a mixture of breastmilk and formula in the night feedings cause formula is a lot thicker she will be a lot more satisfied and you will notice a big difference in how well she sleeps. There is absolutly nothing wrong with doing that either. Both of our kids were formula fed because I stopped producing enough milk for them and they are very healthy and very happy. They both got the Colostrum from me and a bit of breastmilk. I feel that a happy mommy is so important and a happy mommy needs sleep!!! Good luck!!!

Vanessa - posted on 01/11/2011

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neither of my babies took a pacifier they both calmed easily with some back rubbing/patting while just snuggling with mommy or lying on their belly beside me..as they got a bit older they would calm by chewing/gumming my hand or a soft teether.. also singing really helped a lot of nights nad still does ;) not sure if anything there helps but it helped me. gl =)

Alison - posted on 01/03/2011

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Swaddling and movement will be your best friend. Sushing or white noise if the two alone do not work.

You might want to look into baby wearing. Find a good baby carrier (like a ring sling) that you can use to put her to sleep in and easily transition her to her crib.

Don't worry so much about her future sleeping habits. She is only 8 weeks old!

If you want to know when she is hungry, just put her on the breast. It will be obvious fairly quickly.

Nikki - posted on 01/08/2011

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You can try baby massage. Use baby oil and lay the baby on their back in your lap with feet toward you. Put som oil in your hand and start at the shoulders, use long strokes and work down the arms and then chest and belly. Use the same long strokes down the thighs and then grip their foot in your hand with your thumb and the bottom of the foot and rub in circles. This worked for mine and still works for my two year old whrn she doesn't feel well.

It is most importnat that you stay calm though because baby can feed off of your emotions too.

Felicia Neikolle - posted on 01/03/2011

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My oldest was BF and wouldn't accept a fake nipple of any sort. I was his pacifier & it hurt and made me miserable. I know how you're feeling. This is the advice I was told recently (when expressing gratitude that my youngest does take a bink): express some of your milk onto the bink. She may only take it a few seconds or maybe longer but she should accept it easier (especially if you allow her cheek to feel skin the first few times) & gradually become accustomed to it. I agree that babies do need to cry but most certainly don't agree with the "cry-it-out" method. That being said, even if you do believe in it ... it's expressed that the method isn't intended for infants younger than 6 months. At 8 weeks there's a specific reason to her cry and you just gotta keep working at it to figure it all out. My now 4 month old has gastrointestinal sensitivity ... I know how hard it is to be unsure of the reason for the cries.

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Lisa - posted on 01/26/2011

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Have you heard of P.U.R.P.L.E. crying? Maybe it is that.. or maybe your baby is colicky. try holding her face down so her belly is resting on your arm.. the pressure from your arm will help relieve any discomfort in the belly... and then just stroke her back, and if it isnt gas, this holding position is still comforting so she might stop fussing and she may relax.

April - posted on 01/11/2011

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I don't mean any harm, and to each his own, but I would definitely not want my child sucking their thumb instead of a pacifier. A pacifier can be taken away, a thumb can't. And I have known kids who sucked their thumbs well into elementary school. Both can cause problems with the palate (particularly sucking very hard on a thumb all day long) that will eventually lead to misalignment of their permanent teeth. Braces anyone? Orthodontist bills anyone? Luckily, my son stopped taking a pacifier at 6 months, and we just weaned our soon-to-be 2 year old daughter from hers. I would just keep trying different pacifiers to see if it's the "type" of pacifier that she's not fond of. Some take to the hospital ones, some take to the rounded ones, and some take to the ones that have a flat side/rounded side. I agree with the others too, that a cradle swing, bouncer or music/white noise might help. Both of our kids use the "rain" setting on their sound machines during sleep time. Good luck!

Laura - posted on 01/10/2011

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Breastfeeding and taking a pacifier use completely different mouth shapes and sucking actions and so may take a while for baby to learn one when she is used to another. If you want to use a pacifier just persevere with it, she'll catch on eventually. I know a lot of people choose not to use them for various reasons but it's down to personal choice. Every decision a parent makes is out of love. My daughter uses one from time to time and I would personally rather that than her suck her thumb as I can take the pacifier away and break the habit. I know of people who continue to suck their thumbs as adults. Some friends of mine who choose not to use a pacifier let their baby suck their (the parents) little finger and this seems to work. Also when my daughter was little white noise calmed her down so I would sometimes leave the vacuum running or leave a radio between stations.

Joanna - posted on 01/07/2011

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what about the car though? I take LO to my parents house often which is about 45 minutes away and if she doesn't sleep shes screaming and i have to pull over and calm her down by BFing (even if I've already fed her, just before we left) Any suggestions for the car rides?

Di - posted on 01/06/2011

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try after swaddling swooshing loudly in the ear it calms them down somehow it seems to be the same noise they hear in the womb swaddle her, you sit down long shoo-shes and jiglle her very slightly

Sarah - posted on 01/05/2011

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Is she fussing at a regulat time after each feed? or the same time in the evenings? with my son it was 1hr after feeding and from 5-7pm in the evenings it was mainly colic. Sometimes a pacifier worked, other times we just had to hold him and try different positions eg, put them on their tummy and rub their back, on your shoulder and rub the back, We didn't try crying out until 8 months when I was confortable that he wasn't crying due to hunger. I remember how tough those first few months were. Hang in there. it is all worth it and it does get easier. As I guess you know this being your second :-)

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Hang in there! My daughter was colicky and cried SO much during her first 4 months of life. We bounced her on the exercise ball (held her in our arms while bouncing) which worked wonders, white noise machine, swaddling, BF'ing on demand (she would often refuse feedings - arch her back and scream because she was uncomfortable and not hungry). I got a sling that I wore her in - after feedings I would put her in it, sit on the yoga ball and bounce, bounce, bounce until she fell asleep. Got some great exercise out of it, too! She would sleep 2-3 hours in the sling (vs 1 hour if I transferred her out of it to her crib). The extra sleep time was worth the inconvenience of having her in the sling! The swing also worked well when she was 2 or 3 months old. It played music that would calm her down and put her to sleep. She took a paci the first few days she was born, then refused for 6 weeks, took it again for about 4 weeks, then refused it and never went back.

14 months old now - sleeps 12 hours at night and takes great naps during the day. She is VERY particular about her routine though, and doesn't like change. Maybe the first few months of crying were all about the change from womb to the outside world? Who knows! Just glad it's over! :)

I couldn't handle letting her cry it out until she was a bit older - personal preference and based on all the info I'd read (and what her ped recommended). We did sleep training later (Ferber technique) when she was about 8 months old to get her to sleep longer stretches at night and cut out night feedings. Good luck!!

Sarh - posted on 01/03/2011

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Laura, I as well did something similar to the cry-it-out method. I didn't allow either of my 2 children to scream their heads off for more then at the most 20mins (I cave after about 20-30mins). They are both fine as well.

Laura - posted on 01/03/2011

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Each to their own in my opinion, that method has worked for me with both of my daughters (neither of which the 'cry-it-out' method did any harm) I am now expecting my 3rd child in the summer and will be using this method again, as i find it very useful, especially when you have more than one child. Hope you work it out :)

Sarh - posted on 01/03/2011

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I agree with Laura, sometimes bub just needs to cry a bit, it is good for their lungs (multiple pediatricians have told me this).
Is she maybe being over stimulated? When she cries next time take her into a dark quiet room and just cuddle with her. When bubby gets crabby or is crying and wants nothing else that is what I do. Or he often preferred to just be on the ground on his play gym/mat (which we started laying him on at about 4-6wks and he had excellent hand eye coordination early). He's not a big hold me baby unless he is sick. Maybe your baby girl is the same?

Laura - posted on 01/03/2011

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If there is nothing wrong with her, leave her have a little cry. There is nothing wrong with that. Neither of my girls were breastfed nor did they ever have a dummy. Sometimes babies just need to be left. 5 mins to begin with, just sit out of sight. Maybe give her a little blanket/comforter. I have a star which projects pictures onto the ceiling & sings a lullaby for 10 mins, which both of my daughters have loved. This doesn't work for everyone, it's just an idea which has worked for me. :)

Elfrieda - posted on 01/01/2011

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My very fussy baby took a soother from about 3 1/2 months old until he was just over 4 months old. Those were some magical weeks! :) I'd say give the soother a try every week or so. You never know when she might take it. He also had a few weeks later on when he would take it when he was sleepy and it would put him right to sleep.

Vicki - posted on 01/01/2011

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Sorry for my short answer. Kristin the op mentioned breastfeeding. I wouldn't have suggested it if she had said bub was a bottle feeder.

My boy never wanted to be put down, I put him in a friend's vibrating bouncer once and he gave me a teenage baby look and started crying. The other thing I found worked was walking with him in the sling, and yep, skin to skin is always a great suggestion.

Kristin - posted on 01/01/2011

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breastfeeding, while great, cannot be done by everyone for certain reasons and there are plenty of other ways to soothe a child other than breastfeeding. you can rock the baby, do skin to skin contact, sing to the baby, play soft music in a dark room, cradle swing and vibrating seat are both good things. Pacifiers can help but they are not the only answer. Also walking or bringing the baby in the car are other options.

Joanna - posted on 01/01/2011

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Danielle, I know how you feel about what to do when you have a fussy baby. I BF my 6 week old exclusively and sometime bfing just doesn't work and if i try to boob over and over again she'll either spitup of push off me and continue to cry. I would try a bouncer. or a swing. sometimes i can get about ten minutes in each to calm her down.
My first took a paci too and so it's difficult (esp in the car) when #2 just won't calm down. I'm sure soon enough they'll figure out on their own what works for them. sometimes also just crying for a minute or two is good so they get tired enough that when you do put them back on the boob they fall right off to sleep. Hope you get some rest soon.

Sarh - posted on 12/31/2010

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Some people like the binkie and others don't. I always avoid them, but they do work for some and if you were about get your first daughter off the binkie easy then hopefully it will work the same for this one if she takes it. Sorry, I was just letting you know what I would do and do like you asked.

Lise - posted on 12/31/2010

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My daughter never took to a pacifier (except as a teether to chew on). I always calmed her/put her to sleep by breastfeeding. With my husband, she usually puts herself to sleep (same at daycare). If bfing doesn't work, which is rare, I bounce with her in my arms on an exercise ball.

Why not nurse her to sleep? It's so natural - there's a reason babies fall asleep when they do it!

Danielle - posted on 12/31/2010

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i hope that Lilli becomes a thumb sucker bc then she would be able to sooth herself. I dont think its wrong for her to be on a pacifier bc it worked so well with our first daughter and it wasn't hard at all to wean her off. And when i go through the check list of what is the matter with her and nothing is wrong and she just needs to be comforted, thats when i think a pacifier would come in handy. If she started to suck her thumb then that would be great but otherwise im trying to see if she would take the paci. She isn't always going to be breastfed either so its harder to just nurse her all the time. I dont know, our lifestyle is alittle different i guess. I am just wondering what people do to calm down their babies and see what will be best for my baby, im sure i will figure/work it out soon. :)

Sarh - posted on 12/31/2010

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Neither of my 2 take/took a binkie. Cade is 6months old and breastfed, I just offer him a feeding anytime he fusses. I feed on demand! If he doesn't want to nurse then I check everything else, like changing his diaper, if it sounds like a hurt cry I strip him down to his diaper and make sure there are no strings or hairs wrapped around his fingers or toes.

I have a question. Why are you try to force the binkie on her?! She doesn't want it and you should take advantage of it! Then you wont have to break her of that habit. My bubby is a thumb sucker and every once in a while he will take the binkie because my aunt think she should put it in his mouth when ever he makes noise... NO! Sorry, it is good for babies to make noise.
Anyways, stop tryna force the binkie on her and just offer her a feeding when she fusses. Babies cry for a reason not to just be shushed by a binkie. You know.
Cade started sucking his thumb at about 10-12wks old I believe. The is how he self soothes to sleep. Maybe if you stop with the binkie she will start to suck her thumb soon enough....?

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