Help! My 14-week-old son sometimes prefers the pacifier to my breast.Infants are born with an intense need to suck, and sometimes they go through a stage where the sucking need intensifies. It can be even more frustrating when, for unexplained reasons, your baby prefers a pacifier to you.
To decrease your little one’s dependence on the pacifier and woo him back to the breast:
- Feed him more frequently. Sucking on a pacifier won’t meet your baby’s nutritional needs.
- Eliminate distractions during nursing. At this age, your infant ‘s more acute visual development makes him more easily distractible during nursing, so that he becomes Mr. Suck-a-Little-Look-a-Little. At feeding time, take him into a quiet room and get down to the business of nursing.
- Establish a routine. A daily nap-nursing routine has worked for our family. At least twice a day lie down with your baby and nap nurse – much like you did when he was a newborn. This peaceful reconnection in a quiet room is likely to bring him back to the breast.
- Offer your finger. Periodically, let your baby suck on your finger instead of the pacifier – even during the nap-nursing time – if he doesn’t want to feed.
- Try nursing on the move. When one of our babies went through a similar nursing quirk, Martha wore him around the house in a baby sling and nursed him frequently while she tended to other things.