We originally chose to use a pacifier because we figured it would be easier to break our son from a pacifier than from sucking his thumb. After all, you can take a pacifier away, but folks frown on the removal of a thumb, ya know?
The one thing that caused me to hesitate was when I learned in a breastfeeding class that pacifiers might cause nipple confusion. We used a pacifier from day one and I don’t know if it caused nipple confusion or not. What I do know is that, after my son was circumcised on day 2, he stopped nursing and could no longer latch on correctly (even though he latched the whole first day like a boss).
We ended up using a nipple shield to nurse (which, by the way, was a huge mistake that I think contributed to our problems with latching), and then pumping and bottle-feeding when the frustration mounted. This lasted for about 3ish months and I almost quit many times. Exclusively pumping is a lot of work! A lot. And the nipple shield was messy, frustrating for both of us, and effectively stamped out the convenience of breastfeeding.
Just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore and was close to throwing the effing pump in the effing garbage can, James randomly latched on one day and we never looked back.
My conclusion is, I don’t know if the pacifier, the early circumcision or the nipple shield was the cause of our problems. Hell, we may have had problems even without any of those things. But what I do know is, I’ll use a pacifier with the next baby. It has saved our butts on many occasions!
- Separating Fact From Fiction in the Not-So-Normal Newborn Nursery: Pacifiers and Nipple Confusion (sciencebasedmedicine.org)
- Lesson 11: To circumcise or not to circumcise? (cabernetandbreastmilk.com)
- Best Pacifiers For Baby (viewpoints.com)