I am not a fan of Pacifiers. With that said, I don’t know how I would have done the sleep training without a pacifier. I use a pacifier and then when my baby is 3 months old, I take it away.
I know tons of people think the pacifier is the best thing that happened to this world and I can see why they feel that way. But, just as with every baby related decision, you have to do what works for you and your baby. For me, pacifiers don’t work. (Disclaimer: I know many people that have extremely happy children who use pacifiers. This is a personal choice, and before I elaborate on it, a quick reminder that I am just a mom)
I didn’t want my children to use a pacifier because…
1) I did not want them to become addicted to it and then at age 2 or 3 whenever it would be, have to go through the process of taking them away.
2) I heard (horror) stories from friends (Shout out – Y) of waking up 10 – 15 times a night to put the pacifier back in the baby’s mouth because it fell out and they were crying.
3) And this is more of a vain reason – I don’t love how pacifiers look, especially when the baby becomes a toddler and is walking and talking with the pacifier in their mouth. (Again, a personal decision — I still think your kid is cute, just don’t like it on my own children)
As I said, I still use a pacifier for the first 3 months. I try not to give it all day, but I need to give it enough so that he likes it and will take it. I don’t like to use it at night in the bassinet/crib to fall asleep. Starting from day 1, I put my baby down to sleep awake, (or as often as a newborn is awake), and I try not to associate that time with a pacifier.
So when do I really use the pacifier? Three major times:
1) During Step One of the book – stretching the day feeds to every 4 hours. That pacifier helps me around 2 hours and 45 minutes in, when the baby starts to be ready to eat, as they have been eating that often for weeks. The pacifier is a lifesaver at those moments. Some other tricks are bouncing up and down in front of the sound of running water and the swing (that is another post, but the swing function on is also very helpful in that moment). I often found that once the baby makes it past that hurdle, they fall asleep and make it to 4 hours, or very close to 4 hours, no problem.
2) During Step Two of the book – when the baby naturally moves their nighttime feed later, and then they wake up earlier, I give the pacifier to help them fall back asleep in order to make it to the later nighttime feed. For example, if the baby was waking up around 2 am, but then on their own moved that feed to 4 am, if they wake up a few nights later at 2 am and it is now too early for them to eat — the pacifier helps us push them to the new feed time of 4 am.
3) The final time is also the time that I don’t know what we would have done without the pacifier. When the night feeds are reduced to zero, and the baby sleep through but the morning feed is 7 am and they wake up at 6:20 am. —> P.A.C.I.F.I.E.R. My husband and I take turns going and putting it back in, sometimes getting 15 minutes of quiet, sometimes a mere 5 minutes, but that is how we get from 6:20 — 7:00 am.
When my baby turns 12 weeks, I take away the pacifier. By that point they aren’t using it during the day anymore because they have no trouble waiting the 4 hours, and they aren’t using it during the night because they are done with their feeds. If they do wake up before the morning feed, they learn a different way to self soothe – whether it be sucking on their fingers as babies or singing their hearts out at 2 years old. Whatever they do, they are in their crib, and they are happy, and they don’t need me bringing them anything so therefore I am very happy 🙂
Just the other week my then 7 month old stumbled upon a pacifier and while he puts everything in his mouth, he didn’t put it in his mouth correctly – he just started biting on the outside. This amused me because I remember turning to my husband when he was 10 weeks freaking out that he LOVED the pacifier and how we’re never going to be able to take it away…
Hi! I love this blog as I tried to implement 12 x 12 but had some issues (swaddling and pacifiers) that the book did not address and therefore was not very successful. My LO is 4 months old and is weaned off of his night feedings, however is a very early waker. He goes to bed at 7:30pm and wakes up at 5:30 am. I try to use the pacifier to get him back to sleep in the morning, but that does not always work. My question is how do you train with the pacifier and then take it away? How long did it take for your sons to learn how to self-soothe after you took the pacifier away? Don’t they wake up and cry for the pacifier because that is what they are used to? How do they start sleeping longer if they aren’t waking out of hunger? Maybe this is for another post but if you could write about how you got your boys to sleep until 7am in the morning that would be very helpful! I know my son doesn’t need to eat, but he wakes after 10 hours of sleep and nothing I do can get him to sleep longer. Any suggestions or advice you have would be greatly appreciated!
Hi Stephanie! Thanks for your question!
Does he have a softie/lovie or whatever name you choose to call it? Both my kids LOVE the angel dear blankie http://www.amazon.com/Angel-Dear-1123-Blankie-Dalmatian/dp/B000WFM3B2/ref=pd_bxgy_75_img_z
If they wake up early, my boys love to rub it on their face and it helps them fall back asleep. When they are young we would go in and give it and leave right away. Once I feel ready and know they can pick it up off their face then I put them to sleep with it.
Another huge thing we would use is Music — Either through our monitor which has a music function, or through the sleep bunny that we have attached to the crib. I also feel like consistency is key, so we try and stay consistent with not taking out of the crib as close to 7 am. Does that help?
Thank you! I will definitely try that. In the past couple of days my LO went from waking up at 5:30, to 5am, and now this morning at 4:30am. I am hesitant to feed him since he has been sleeping through the night for the past month without any feeds. But I don’t want him to get used to waking up earlier and earlier and being put back to sleep. Maybe this is 4 month sleep regression? 12 x 12 talks about weaning off feeds to help sleep through the night, but what if you are already weaned off? It sounds like you were successful by using a pacifier to get your kids sleeping again. Did they stop waking up early and learn to sleep through or did this become a crutch? Thanks again for all of your help here. When I started to implement 12 x12 this is exactly what I needed – someone who was successful who could answer questions on how they did it. You are a rockstar!
Hi! so many questions (i’m using the 12by12 book).. but i’ll just start with this one. NAP TIMES: ive been working on putting my baby (11 weeks) into the crib for naps and she actually started being able to fall asleep in there (she screams, i put the pacifier in- finally even succeeded with barely any crying) but she ALWAYS wakes up after about a half hour. she is still definitely tired (althought sometimes will be smiley about 5 minnutes and then crying again) but i have in no way succeeded in being able to get her to fall asleep again after that. she screams and shrieks (not just wimpering or something like that) and eventually i take her out and she falls asleep in my arms usually. any advice??
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Hi Taki! Thanks for your question! It’s a crazy morning but I had the EXACT same thing with my son, I did a whole process and I will post about it as soon as possible – hopefully in a few hours! I hope my suggestions will work for you! Stay tuned
My LO does the exact same thing! After a month of this we have finally resorted to rocking him back to sleep and placing him back in the crib with two rolled up blankets on either side which seems to keep him asleep for some reason. Would love any advice on how to overcome the 30 minute naps!
Hope this helps! https://babyconciergesite.wordpress.com/2015/09/09/n-a-p-not-a-problem/
When you say he is waking up at 4, what does he do? Real cry or whining?
We used the pacifier but only until 12 weeks, and then we used music/softie etc to push it. But after some days of being given something to self soother or hearing the music, and not being picked up before 7, the waking up seemed to stop. There are days now where he will wake up let’s say 6:45, but he will make noises to himself and hang out. He does wakeup sometimes at 5 am with a little cry, but it doesn’t escalate and we don’t go in. We don’t go in unless there is a real cry that is not stopping.
Hope this helps https://babyconciergesite.wordpress.com/2015/09/09/n-a-p-not-a-problem/
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