Babies love sucking! Some babies exhibit this inborn reflex in-utero while others might acquire it soon after birth. Newborns eat by sucking so it’s perfectly normal if you find your darling trying to suck on any kind of object that she’s able to put into her mouth.
Sucking on to a thumb, nipple or pacifier starts from birth and can extend up to preschool. Don’t be surprised if your baby still wants to suck after a stomach-full meal. Such non-nutritive sucking helps to calm down and soothe your baby. She also uses this tool to comfort herself when anxious, bored or tired.
If your baby clamours and fusses due to a need to suck, you can calm her down by following any of these simple ways
1. Pacifier Support
Whenever your baby fusses you can gently insert a pacifier into her mouth. Hold it till she manages to grasp it on her own and starts sucking. Ensure that you don’t insert the pacifier in a hurried or rough manner. Pacifiers come in several attractive colours, and variants. You can look in for options here.
2. Thumb Sucking
You can also guide your baby’s fist to her mouth when cranky to allow him to suck on to his thumb or fist as per her choice. Initially your baby would not be able to make out which is what and where, but soon she’ll discover the joys of sucking her 24*7 available thumb.
3. Offer Your Breast
Even if your baby is well-fed you can offer your breast to calm her down. This will comfort her without putting too much pressure on her already full stomach as breast milk has an inbuilt regulatory system which produces low calorie milk in case your baby is suckling for comfort and not hunger.
4. Mummy’s Finger
You can offer your own fingertip to suck. Your baby might reject it or actively lock her mouth on it. However, hygiene is of utmost importance hence ensure that your nails are trimmed and your hands are washed.
All said and done, go slow on use of pacifier till you and your baby have established breastfeeding habits. Once on pacifiers, take adequate precaution that your baby’s pacifier is clean and replace it regularly as per company instructions. As your baby grows older it’s advisable to wean her off from such sucking habits for a set of well-formed teeth. Till then your baby can suck to his heart’s content!