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Pacifier and bottle use while breastfeeding

Pacifier use

There are times that babies want the comfort that comes from sucking but aren’t hungry. If your baby is sucking for comfort, his sucking pattern will be different. There is sucking but rarely any swallowing. The rate may start out rapid and then slows as your baby feels comforted.

Tip

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that it is best to delay offering a pacifier until your baby is one month old when breastfeeding is well-established.

It’s OK to offer your breast or finger or your baby’s hand for comfort. It is best to delay offering a pacifier until your baby is about three to four weeks old.

The more time your newborn spends nursing in the first weeks of life, the more milk you will make. Regular pacifier use in the early weeks may affect milk supply and slow weight gain.

Bottle use (for breastmilk)

In general, it is best to wait to use a bottle until breastfeeding is well-established (typically in four weeks).

If your baby cannot latch-on or eat due to medical reasons, you can still express breastmilk and feed your baby from a dropper, spoon, cup or bottle. If you use a bottle, use a nipple that is slow flow.

Before you start using a bottle, please call your lactation resource.


 

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition

To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."

First published: 02/01/2010
Last updated: 01/01/2014

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic