As moms, we quickly learn our babies use us for everything. The list goes beyond food supplier, comforter, stress reliever, and the person, your baby, relies on to care for their every need. Moms are beginning to discover their nursing babies are not only using nursing as a way of getting fed. Even more so, babies often comfort nurse or suck if they are upset or tired, not just if they are hungry.
The question many parents are asking is, why is my baby using me as a pacifier? I thought the boob was only asked for when he or she is hungry? The reality is simple-Us moms are used for more than we thought, as we also become our babies’ human pacifier. In assurance, the tendency is considered entirely reasonable for a variety of reasons.
The Breast Was Their First Pacifier
From the first hour of life, the breast is automatically introduced or sought after. The natural inclination is something we ought not to forget. It is easy for us as parents to forget where it all started. Therefore, it should almost be expected our babies will seek the first thing they were introduced to in life.
When you find yourself wondering why your baby is using you as a pacifier, remember. Human nature always will show itself as your child grows. Maybe if the pacifier were the first to be introduced, it would be foremost desired. Nevertheless, your baby is seeking the first comfort they have ever had, which is everything but unnatural.
Comfort Nursing is Typical for a Babies Stage of Development
Babies are constantly changing as their natural process of development continues to progress. Typically, between six and nine months, babies usually will start cutting back on their feedings and seeking the breast. Before this stage, however, the breast is their number one sought out food and comfort source. It is both expected and natural.
Comfort is going to be something your child seeks no matter their age. At the young baby stage of development, infants become self-soothers. Babies use their thumbs, a pacifier, or security object when they feel vulnerable (tired, fussy, sick, or hurt).
As the baby hits milestones, seeking the breast as a pacifier may be eliminated. Luckily, it is guaranteed; eventually, it will no longer be their most important asset in life! Until your baby reaches the next stage in development, the habit is a natural occurrence. Once your baby does not “need” to breastfeed because of hunger, he or she will begin losing interest in nursing. The loss of interest will also mean your infant will start finding other forms of food (such as the introduction of solids). Additionally, as the breast becomes less appealing, your baby will seek additional ways of comfort, such as a real pacifier.
They See the Nipple Differently Than You Do
Let’s face it. Most of us consider the nipple there only to feed our babies. While they’re important, we often do not find them more than being there for the supply and demand cycle. But it is essential to look at the idea in your baby’s perspective for a moment, rather than your own. Babies do not have wants; they have needs.
Remember when your baby was just born, and you were urged to bond and provide comfort with skin to skin? Furthermore, when your baby showed signs of distress, you held them close and began nursing? From their first moments, they prove to us they see the nipple (and their mother in general) as their lifeline.
So, thinking you are being used as a pacifier is not the entire story. Our babies are comforted by our smell, warmth, and our constant supply of food. Nothing else can calm a baby like nursing can. On the bright side, it also is generally a good sign because it stimulates milk production.
The nipple is more than just the nipple for your baby. They see it as comfort whether they are sick, tired, teething, stressed, scared, or sleepy.
Mom Provides Comfort Nothing Else Quite Can
It is natural for a baby to rely on their mother; after all, the reliance began far before their birth!
In a 2009 study published by a lactation consultant, Fleur Bickford revealed the statement accurately. Measures were taken to reduce the baby’s pain after a heel prick. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, showed breastfeeding was more effective than any other intervention for comfort. Other interventions tried were being held, sucking a pacifier, oral glucose solution, or formula. Mom’s comforting measures was the only method that calmed the baby.
“Babies go to the breast for many reasons – they’re hungry or thirsty, they’re tired, they’re scared or hurt, they’re feeling overwhelmed. All of these are equally valid reasons for a baby to nurse,” says Bickford.
You are more to your infant than just a person in their life. Skin-to-skin contact, your smell, voice, and heartbeat are all more significant to your baby than you may think. Likewise, providing the breast is far more to them as food; the breast is comfort on many levels.
Your Infant Knows You Are Always There
Here is reality may be obvious, but shocking if you do not think of it in depth. Why would we wonder so much why our infants rely on us as comfort, such as a personal human pacifier? They are already learning about relationships. When a baby is in the womb, science reveals they learn their mother’s voice, movements, and some of her likes and dislikes. In the womb, they go on to feel what you feel, and they feed off of your energy.
Fast-forwarding to the first moments after birth, you are his or her first experience of closeness. Following the moment, you are the face he sees first and lasts every single day. As a small baby, the “everything in the mouth” stage is all he knows, which is why it is so comforting to them!
Looking at it in this light, we still do not know the depth of satisfaction babies have while nursing. Even while not hungry, knowing you are always there, your baby relies heavily on you for comfort. It is no secret; children grow up extremely fast. The stage you are in now will not last very long. So, during the times you feel like a constant human pacifier for your baby, remember the bonding experience. Never again will you be in the exact stage you both are in. It is something to cherish, even if it may be tiring or confusing at times.