My son is refusing to suck on a pacifier.

Dana - posted on 10/21/2009 ( 39 moms have responded )

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Everyone around me is pushing me to help my son get used to the pacifier to suck on instead of needing to suck on the breast whenever he's not hungry. He's started to lick his hands as well and i'm worried he'll start to suck on his thumb soon... What do you think... and what should i do.. i've changed brands and it didn't help.

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Amy - posted on 03/07/2011

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The truth of it is..some children just don't like pacifiers. Both of my children (my first one was breast-fed) stopped using the pacifier months after it was introduced. Depending on his age, the licking of the hands is just a reaction to the fact that he "found" his hands. I wouldn't push the issue..that may cause tension and frustration that he may sense.

Cathy - posted on 10/23/2009

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Both my kids, now grown, would not take a pacifier either. They would spit it out. I thought well, if they don't want it that's fine. I'm glad I didn't because I feel it would be hard to wean them off. Alot of babies suck or lick on their hands, no problem. I saw a girl around 8 years old at the grocery store last week with a pacifier, WOW! If he starts sucking on his thumb, there are liquid drops you can buy to put on his fingers and it tastes really bad, that will keep him from sucking.

Eronne - posted on 10/22/2009

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One more tiny bit of advise in what is truly a huge issue (?)...do your research. I noticed some of your responses say that thumb sucking is worse for teeth. My research said that soothers were (Quote: "Pacifiers can actually have a greater effect than the thumb because it is a pliable object that will deform upon pressure and try to return to its natural shape. As a result, it's actually exerting an active force against the teeth so that distortion of the normal tooth position will often be greater than with a thumb habit. While there are some controversies surrounding the advisability of taking a pacifier away from a child, from a purely dental standpoint, it is clearly the appropriate thing to do.") Over a third of habitual thumbsuckers started with soothers. I also found ample research about how dirty soothers are as the ONLY way to really keep them clean is to sterilize them all the time. That's not practical. As to children having grubby hands, I'm sure that with H1N1 and other communicable disease so prevalent, you are all washing your little ones hands as often as possible.

Dulcie - posted on 10/21/2009

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I've had 3 children and none of them ever took to a pacifier. I found it to be actually easier because then I didn't have to go through the drama of taking it away later.

Kristen - posted on 10/21/2009

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I don't personally think it really makes much difference, if your son doesn't want a pacifier, then don't give him one, some children just don't like them. and if he ends up sucking his thumb that's okay, either way eventually you have to teach them that they don't need it. As far as which is cleaner or whatever, it's actually better not to worry about that too much, if a pacifier falls on the ground you may want to rinse it, but theres no need to sterilize it, and you wash your kids hands as normal, but your child immune system will be stronger when they get older if it comes in contact with more basic germs as young child when it's immune system is still developing.

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Carmel - posted on 03/07/2011

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I think it would not be a good idea to put sugar water on a pacifier (any sugary in fact) because it will cause rampant tooth decay.

Kate - posted on 10/26/2009

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try the first year soothie kind, they are most like you. my girls hate all the colors except teal, it for some reason is much softer than the rest. they wont take any other paci besides these. its worth a try if you havent yet!

[deleted account]

In my opinion, it's easier if they choose not to as it's one less thing you have to take off them at a later time. When my son wanted the breast I gave it to him. He is 2 years old. He is very healthy and not over weight.

Is he teething? My son started teething around 1 month old. When he started eating our food I would give a long piece of celery or frozen carrot and just watch to make sure a piece didn't come off to choke him. That would help with his need to have something in his mouth.

If it is hot weather he made just need a little extra liquid. So you can give him a little water in a bottle.

Nisreen - posted on 10/23/2009

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hi dandooooon :-) just on thing to add...they have growth spurts in specific days and would seem that he wants to breastfeed frequently..I used to think he's not having enough milk or he just wants to suck...so my advise is to try to breastfeed him whenever he wants to..and try to introduce the pacifier when u think he's really not hungry....Ayham accepted it only for a brief period and with difficulty..try gerber nuk orthodentic..also some babies suck slowly and need more time than others..ayham needed sometimes 40 min's and even more ! but this was only first 2 months...finally..GOOD LUCK

Aimee - posted on 10/22/2009

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I would say thank goodness. I hate binkies. Babies know what they need. If they are hungry then they need to be fed. I do believe the baby would know better then you if they are hungry or not. Just because he ate 2 hours ago doesn't mean he isn't hungry again. I have a 14 month old who never had a pacifier. If you start the habit then you will only have to break it later.

Hazel - posted on 10/22/2009

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my daughter would have liked to! (suck her finger as she walked down the aisle!) She insists there's nothing wrong with it and will let her daughter suck her fingers and thumb up til whenever she stops by herself!

Amanda - posted on 10/22/2009

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try some sugar water on the pasifier. i know when i was in the hospital and my daughter would not nurse on me the nurse put suger water on my nipple so give he a taste of some thing sweet and it worked after a while then she nursed. you can try it withthe pasifier and see if it works.

Anika - posted on 10/21/2009

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Girl i wish you luck.I had it ok, from day one my daugther didnot take the pacifier nor suck finger, but at three months round there she started sucking three and two fingers.i can not see to break it out.

Theresa - posted on 10/21/2009

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Just wanted to add, didnt see anyone mention it, but having a pacifier or not if they want to suck their thumb they are gonna. Pacifiers/thumbs serve a purpose for infants. I havent been to a wedding yet where the bride or groom was suckin their thumb nor pacifier. Don't fret the little stuff, enjoy that baby before he grows up on you.

Melissa - posted on 10/21/2009

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I don't see any reason why you need to force a pacifier on your son. My son never wanted one and I didn't see a point in getting him one. He did eventual start sucking his thumb but only at night with his blanket if I take the blanket away he doesn't suck his thumb so it will be pretty easy to break him of that habit. I would rather him suck his thumb a little at night then have a child walking around with the pacifier 24/7 like most kids do once they take to the pacifier... also there is NO evidence that thumb sucking can cause any dental problems as long as it is stopped before 4-5 years of age.

Laura - posted on 10/21/2009

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My nearly three year old was practically born with her fingers in her mouth. She still sucks her fingers when she is tierd and I see no harm in it. And as for causing problems with speech I can't disagree more. She speaks so much and so clearly there's definately no problem with her speech.

My 3 month old sucks his thumb and again I don't think there is anything wrong with it.

They will stop when they are ready and if they don't is it really the end of the world. There are much worse habits in the world!

[deleted account]

i found a website from the Hospital for Sick Kids that answers this very well. It basically says that thumbsucking is normal and not bad for them.
http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/HealthAZ/T...
I would also add that my sister sucked hers until she was 7 and has the most beautiful teeth i have ever seen (no dental work at all)

[deleted account]

My four month old is the same. She'd be on the breast every hour when she's awake if I'd let her. But, use a pacifier (or bottle nipple, for that matter)? Not a chance! She is also licking and sucking her hands but is not hungry, rather she is exploring her world and possibly has started teething. When she licks and sucks her thumb, I am encouraging her to try all her fingers and fist when she does find her thumb for any extended periods of time. I've even introduced a new friend, Sophie the Giraffe, for her to chew/suck on. That seems to interest her enough to get her thumb out of her mouth. Good luck to you!!

Emily - posted on 10/21/2009

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I never let my daughter use a pacifier because I breastfed and knew that it could cause her not to want to latch on anymore and instead want to use a bottle.... and now that she’s almost 4 and I never had to break her of using a pacifier and she was just fine sucking on her thumb while she was an infant and just grew out of it... which felt like the most natural thing that could have happened. I know I made the right decision. I am currently expecting and will not let anyone give my child a pacifier, in my opinion it’s just something that doesn’t do that much and causes them to be dependant on it later.

[deleted account]

I always worried about my kids discovering sucking the thumb because I had such a hard time with it as a child - I am oneof those parents who believes a dummy is preferable because its NOT attached and can be taken away easier.



How old is your bub? Lily also wouldnt take the dummy before 6 weeks. Then she got colic and the Health Nurse was due to visit for a standard checkup. We were a bit worried about what she would think of our baby screaming incessantly so Nick tried the dummy again for the first time in weeks and she took it straight away (our looks of relief must have seemed hysterical to the nurse!).



Give it time and try again it may just be they arent ready for it yet. But dont force it and if they find their thumb in the meantime then just go with it and worry about breaking the thumbsucking later when they are a bit older :)

Leah - posted on 10/21/2009

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pacifer bad neither of my boys used one and they were both breast-feed and i have not had a problem with thumb sucking and they are 7 and 8 now

Melissa - posted on 10/21/2009

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You might want to try different types of nipples ecspecially if the baby is breast feeding. However, some babies just dont like pacifiers. My daughter would not take one either. My son loved his. This is not uncommon.

Cindy - posted on 10/21/2009

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Don't stress over it. The pacifier is hard to get rid of when they get older so it's not a bad thing.

Theresa - posted on 10/21/2009

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So...don't give him a pacifier. Trust your instinct if you feel he needs to suckle then let him. He might suck his thumb, that isnt all bad either. You didnt say how old he is. God did a fantastic job of providing us mothers with a way to feed our infants. When an infant has a growth spurt they often will suckle more, it increases our milk, even if they arent truely hungry. Just don't let yourself get tired out. Eat well. Most importantly TRUST YOURSELF. To many well wishers in our lives cause doubt.

Manda - posted on 10/21/2009

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Don't push the pacifier. Please. If he doesn't want it, just let him be. I wouldn't give mine pacifiers, it was just one more thing to break them of. Don't let anyone around you influence what you do with your child. It's not always best.

Janice - posted on 10/21/2009

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That;s a good thing, it will mess up his tooth as well/ There's nothing if he want to suck your breast. Now if he's 2 yrs old then yeah he's too big to be sucking on your breast.

Chantal - posted on 10/21/2009

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If he's putting his hands to his mouth, he could be just teething. Maybe if you put some breast milk on his dummy just before you give it to him may work. The best thing if you really want him to have the pacifier is persistance, but in the end he just may not want it.

[deleted account]

I think it is great that he won't use a pacifier. I hate the things. My siblings and I never had them, none of my nieces and nephews had them, my daughter never had one. Using fingers or thumbs is a natural alternative - and most babies grow out of it very quickly. My daughter used her hands for about 4 months. Even pacifier babies like to suck on their hands.
Also: studies over here have shown that pacifier babies are much more likely to suffer from ear infections from babyhood and throughout their lives than children who never used one.

Melissa - posted on 10/21/2009

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Quoting Brittany:

you said youve changed brands but my son was that way for a while not the breast but the bottle hungry or not... so we got the soothie pacifier that is shaped just like the nipple on a bottle and he eventually got used to other kinds.... as far as the binky or thumb issue both can be difficult to break if you wait to long but in the right time frame they are both ok.... i almost prefer a thumb over binky cause it was esier to break my oldest son from the thumb than it has been to break my middle one from the binky... almost three and i keep throwing them away but its like he has a never ending stash lol


hey just a quick idea for ya my nephew still had a dummy till he was about 3 then his grandma traded him all his dummys for a toy truck. its an idea. :)

LIAN - posted on 10/21/2009

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if your little one doesnt want a dummy dont force him to have one, but then if he is looking for something to suck on incourage his thumb there is nothing wrong with sucking your thumb. thumb sucking didnt do me any harm when i was younger.



your little one licking and sucking his hands may be that he is hungry but then he may just be exploring dont forget its a new world to him with different tastes and textures.##

good luck what ever to decide to do x

Melissa - posted on 10/21/2009

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Quoting Eronne:

I'm not sure why the thumb is always considered such a bad alternative. Most dental associations say it's not a problem till around 4 and if your little one is still sucking on anything at 4, there may be another problem. A thumb is usually cleaner than a pacifier and can't get lost. I certainly wouldn't try to force a pacifier to avoid a thumb.


Sonja - posted on 10/21/2009

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My first daughter also never wanted a pacifier, which i thought was great. Because you know they can cause problems with teeth later on! And i never pushed her..But my 2nd daughter, every time shes done eating i can tell that she'd like to stay on the breast so i just slip in the pacifier and shes good, also she sleeps for longer..
Your sun might be licking his hands because he might be teething or He's hungry and needs to eat more then breast milk, like rice cereal maybe.. I say don't force the pacifier..

Brittany - posted on 10/21/2009

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you said youve changed brands but my son was that way for a while not the breast but the bottle hungry or not... so we got the soothie pacifier that is shaped just like the nipple on a bottle and he eventually got used to other kinds.... as far as the binky or thumb issue both can be difficult to break if you wait to long but in the right time frame they are both ok.... i almost prefer a thumb over binky cause it was esier to break my oldest son from the thumb than it has been to break my middle one from the binky... almost three and i keep throwing them away but its like he has a never ending stash lol

Hanna - posted on 10/21/2009

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Well, thumb sucking can become a problem. it's fine in infants, but sometimes it does carry over past 1-2 yrs of age. my guess is the reason why your family pushes for a pacifier because at a certain age, a pacifier can be taken away while a thumb can't. so i guess they don't want to take the chance of him becoming a thumb-sucker

Eronne - posted on 10/21/2009

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I'm not sure why the thumb is always considered such a bad alternative. Most dental associations say it's not a problem till around 4 and if your little one is still sucking on anything at 4, there may be another problem. A thumb is usually cleaner than a pacifier and can't get lost. I certainly wouldn't try to force a pacifier to avoid a thumb.

Kalie - posted on 10/21/2009

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My son was colicky and I found a mean trick at works! He loved Grie water. So when I felt like I would go out of my mind I dipped the soother in gripe water and he sucked and sucked! lol

Christine - posted on 10/21/2009

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Alot of times they just wanna be near the breast for comfort reasons and just having him close helps you produce more milk for him. My children never sucked a pacifier or their thumbs but that is just my opinion.

Jennifer - posted on 10/21/2009

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you could try giving him a nipple off a bottle with a paper towel push in it. thats what i had to do with my son. he did not like any kind of pacifiers he rather suck on an empty bottle. so i suck a paper towel in it to try to avoid some of the air. it worked pretty good.

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