Sometimes the days seem long, and so do the nights. When your baby is crying, and it is not much you can do to help your little one soothe, you often turn to everything you can think of. You have checked your baby’s diaper, and it is clean. There could be teeth emerging, but you don’t feel them yet. Your baby does not have gas, and your baby is not hungry.
What do you do when your baby hates the pacifier, and you need to help soothe whatever is making your little one cry? There are plenty of things that you can do that will help soothe your baby and a few explanations as to why your baby hates the pacifier.
1. Breastfed babies tend to get nipple confusion and dislike the feel of the pacifier
If you breastfeed and do not supplement with bottles at all, you may notice that your baby hates the pacifier. This is because of nipple confusion. Your little one is accustomed to one feel, and when you put a pacifier in his or her mouth, it feels completely foreign. Do not worry if your little one doesn’t want the pacifier. There are plenty of other ways to soothe that does not include using the pacifier. You can incorporate a soothing sound machine, lavender-scented baby lotion, and massage, as well as holding your little one and rocking until they fall asleep. Pacifiers are not always easy for breastfed babies to accept, and they often find other ways to soothe if they are agitated.
2. Babies that are stretching their vocal cords don’t want to be silenced
Your baby may not hate the pacifier; he or she may have a lot to say. When babies discover their voice, they often enjoy making cooing or screeching noises. This is a way for them to garner attention, and they do not want to be silenced. When they discover all of the noises they can make, they may go through a phase of spitting out the pacifier the instant it is put in their mouth.
3. Babies that are cutting teeth don’t always like the pacifier
When a baby begins teething, many things can soothe the aching and sore gums. Sometimes a cold pacifier is just what your little one needs, but sometimes the sucking motion had adverse reactions, and the baby does not like the pacifier. Instead of sucking on the pacifier, your little one may prefer a cool teething ring or a cold and wet wash rag to chew on. Pay attention to any gum tenderness and extra drooling. These are signs of incoming teeth. Have teething options on hand in addition to a nice variety of pacifiers.
4. Your baby may prefer self-soothing by sucking on their hand
Not all babies enjoy using pacifiers. Sometimes they prefer sucking on their hands, thumbs, or even teething toys. There is nothing wrong with not wanting a pacifier. Find whatever your baby likes and let him or her utilize that object to help calm. Your little one may not like using a pacifier. Try finding alternative things that will help soothe him or her whenever he or she becomes agitated.
5. Your baby may like pacifiers but dislike the one you are offering
Just as there are many types of bottles and sippy cups available in the baby aisle at the store, there is also a decent variety of pacifiers. The shapes of pacifiers vary from largemouth to smallmouth and narrow and flat. Sometimes it is simply a matter of finding the right type of pacifier for your little one. Stay away from buying bulk-sized value packs or even two-pack sets until you know what type of pacifier your baby likes. It is also good to know that tastes can change. A baby might start out liking a flat style pacifier and then later switch to one that resembles their bottle nipple instead. So if your baby typically takes a pacifier and suddenly acts as if he or she hates it, then try a different style or brand.
Keep in mind that a pacifier does not equal instant calm. In some cases, there can be underlying reasons why your baby is crying and unable to soothe. Always check for a dirty diaper and hunger first. If your little one is not hungry and has a clean diaper attempt burping them or giving them a light massage to work out any gas pains they may be experiencing. Check for any teeth that may be popping in and take note of their growth. If you are switching clothing sizes because the baby is growing, the growth spurt could be the root of the unease. If your baby is experiencing growing pains, the pacifier will most likely not help soothe him or her. Also, pay attention to any signs of a cold. Colds can cause discomfort and unease. A pacifier usually will not soothe a baby that catching a cold.
When purchasing pacifiers, pay attention to the age and size of each package, some pacifiers are recommended for newborn babies, some pacifiers are recommended for 0-3 months, others may be marketed for 3-6 months, and then there is another group for older babies reaching their first birthday. These pacifiers are designed to be the appropriate size for babies at their age. Once your baby has outgrown their pacifier move up to the next appropriate size/age.