No situation is too challenging. Leave your sleep problem in the comments. Let's all get a good night's sleep, finally.
Q. Should I get rid of the pacifier for sleep?
— Sucked In
Dear Sucked In,
That's a great question. The answer depends on how old your
baby is, and what happens when she falls asleep and throughout the night when
she wakes. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a pacifier when your
little baby is falling asleep—at bedtime and for naps—because doing so lowers
the risk of SIDS.
It's fine to use a pacifier, even if you're breastfeeding,
because research shows babies know the difference. Replacing breastfeeds with
bottle feeds without pumping to keep up the demand will eventually lead to a milk
supply problem, but pacifiers and breastfeeding are compatible.
Once your baby reaches the middle of the first year of life,
whether you use a pacifier for sleep or not depends on how it's going. If your
baby goes to sleep with a paci in her mouth and isn't disturbed by it falling
out in the night, or if all you do is replace it once or twice and she sleeps
well otherwise, sounds like the pacifier is working just fine.
If your baby
falls asleep with the pacifier in her mouth, can't find and re-insert it and
is waking up many times a night missing it, that's a case when getting rid of
paci's is called for.
First you could try putting multiples in the crib to make
it easier to reach one. But if every time she comes into a light sleep, she
wakes up fully, and you have to repeatedly go in and give it back to her—that's
disruptive to your sleep and hers.
If you do decide the pacifier is getting in the way of a
full night's sleep, don't be afraid to move on from it. Babies always get used
to not having the pacifier eventually—she will find something else to soothe
herself with, like rolling to her belly, rubbing her face or using a lovey to
get comfy and fall asleep.