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6 Week Old Pacifying at the Breast

I am breast feeding my son. He is 6 weeks old. However, he seems to spend a lot of time on the breast and is just pacifying (incidentally, he doesn't take a pacifier).  Is this okay? How long should he spend there?

As you’ve seen on my website I am pro-pacifier. Early in my career, I was uncertain about pacifier use as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) was not in favor of their use. Pacifiers reportedly interfered with breast feeding. When our first born began to use my wife as a pacifier, we found pacifiers to be helpful tools. Today, the AAP encourages pacifiers as they have been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.

The time required for breast feeding varies for every mother and child. Lactation experts often talk about the first ten minutes as the most critical. In general, nursing should take much less time than immediately after birth. The key missing fact is your son’s weight. If he is struggling to gain weight he may need every minute. If you are uncertain about his growth, it is best to get him evaluated.

I suspect you are right and he is pacifying on you. While it is not wrong to let him nurse for prolonged periods, it’s impractical. If you choose to try a pacifier it will take some persistence on your part. see pacifiers

Written January 2011 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician


 is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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