Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Let me start by saying we're not really "pacifier people". I don't really have anything against them (for babies, that is) and, in fact, I know numerous studies have shown that they can be beneficial, particularly in reducing the risk of SIDS. Nonetheless, when our son was born, he didn't seem one bit interested in a pacifier. And we didn't push it. Quite frankly, I was happy to not have to "wean" him from it later in life.
Fast forward to the birth of our daughter. Born four months early, she couldn't manage the "suck, swallow, breathe" routine without signs of micro-aspiration. As a result, they sent us home on a feeding tube. In order for her to maintain a strong sucking reflex when that wasn't how she was fed, we needed to rely on a pacifier. While her milk went directly into her stomach through a tube threaded through her nose, C. would suck on a pacifier. This helped establish the "suck/eat" connection.
For our daughter, it was important to be consistent about the type of pacifier we used. Once we knew what kind she liked, we invested in several. We felt very lucky that she enjoyed her pacifier since it helped keep that sucking reflex strong.
Once she passed her swallow study and was able to be fed thickened milk from a bottle, C. refused the pacifier in much the same way her brother had. Once she knew that sucking should yield food, she had no interest in that little tool anymore. And so, weaning her from the pacifier was a non-issue. At six months, she was done with it.
I'm very happy to have never had a toddler on a pacifier. But our pacifiers were tools we were fortunate to have when our preemie was tiny!
For more tools that make a Mom's life easier, check out Toolin' Up Tuesday, hosted at Life as MOM.