My baby is using me as a dummy! (comfort nursing)

My baby is using me as a dummy! (comfort nursing)

Many breastfeeding mothers mention to me that they worry that their baby is using them as a dummy or pacifier, and coming to the breast, just hanging out, and not actively swallowing at times. A lot of women feel that people are looking at them and almost making them feel as if they shouldn’t do that with their babies – and of course, many of us when we have been breastfeeding, we want to bring the baby to the breast for many many different reasons.

I understand that it’s really easy to feel overwhelmed if your baby is needing to be near you all the time at the breast, but it is normal in biology. Babies have an instinct for sucking, and they suck for comfort as well as for food, and it’s good to know that your baby will actually be coming to the breast for warmth and security, and for assurance, as well as just for nutrition.

Lots of recent studies are pointing to the fact that breastfeeding itself is actually a dynamic situation between you and your baby, building a relationship really, and helping to enable your baby to form really good solid relationships for the future, in fact, so there are loads of good reasons to bring your baby to the breast, for comfort, for warmth, just to chill out, but also for nutrition as well!

So remember you can bring your baby to the breast for lots of different reasons. It might be that you literally just want to sit down and chill out with your baby, or if he is a bit unsettled, or it might just be that you are a little bit uncomfortably full, and you need to have your baby close. It is a two way thing, a two way relationship, so you can really bring your baby to the breast for all of those reasons.

Please remember that you cannot spoil your baby by bringing him to the breast as often and as frequently as he wants. All of this is normal in biology, and responding to your babies needs now helps to build assurance and confidence, and studies are showing this quite dramatically, even forming their relationships in the future in a positive way, because of the early breastfeeding.

So contrary to a lot of very old school ideas, where all of this was very regimented, and we had to keep babies at arm’s length almost, bringing your baby and responding to his needs now is a very positive thing.

Review dates, references & further resources

Review Dates

Version 1.1 published in March 2019. Next review date: Jan 2022


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