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Is it okay to breastfeed a baby/toddler for comfort instead of food?

Is it normal to keep breastfeeding a child when there is no more milk, meaning it's used as a pacifier. And even when the chid was drinking milk is it normal to give it to the child whenever she cries as a pacifier.

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:01 PM on Sep. 7, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Answers (12)
  • I had to use my breast as a pacifier for my DD. She hated paci's and the only thing that calmed her down was me. Which I was perfectly fine with, I loved having that time with her. The doctors all warned me that she might be getting too much, but I knew I was empty. From the beginning I had hardly enough milk and had to take Domperidone to try and increase my supply....she would drain me, then soothe. Do what you feel is right mama, but I know exactly what you mean!

    Answer by layawatling at 10:03 PM on Sep. 7, 2011

  • i would feed my son for comfort but there was milk, it hurts when the milk is gone if they keep trying to get more. Time to switch to the other. But warning, if you are feeding out of comfort its a hard habit to break, very hard habit

    Answer by DomoniqueWS at 10:04 PM on Sep. 7, 2011

  • I used other methods because he started doing it for comfort and I was weening him etc. so then I just did other things, sing, holding him close when rocking etc. everything else i did when I worked...Good luck to you!

    Answer by Jeda624 at 10:05 PM on Sep. 7, 2011

  • Yes. Generally speaking, if the child is at the breast, they are getting something out. And pacis are a substitute for the natural process of nursing for comfort. Would I want to do it for a 7 year old, no...but for my 3 month old yes. Actually, when I stopped nursing my last baby at 18 months, she wasn't really nursing to eat anymore, it was more like her routine at night time and in the morning, so pretty much for comfort. It does satisfy other needs, though, like the baby feeling protected and close to its mother.

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 10:45 PM on Sep. 7, 2011

  • yes! I believe that is part of being a mom!

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 11:19 PM on Sep. 7, 2011

  • If the mom and baby are comfortable with it who are we to judge? And always remember normal is relative.

    Answer by mamaclairbear at 2:04 AM on Sep. 8, 2011

  • I'm not sure I understand your use of okay & normal, but I will go ahead & say Yes.
    Does breastfeeding need justification such as, It's OK since it's for hunger?
    I don't think the distinctions are as clear as you suggest they are. Nursing itself is comforting to a child, even when it's primarily about hunger. And the suckling action stimulates the system in such a way that milk IS produced in the moment. It's not gulping quantities, but it's never a "nothing happening" situation. If you know about milk composition, then you know that the "hind milk" produced on-demand at those times is a denser, higher-fat content milk that can be more filling/satisfying & help promote weight gain as well as helping w/ emotional regulation.
    Pacifiers exist BECAUSE suckling "for comfort" is a primary need. Comforting at the breast isn't substituting for a pacifier; pacifiers mimic that comfort/suckling function of the breast. Normal & OK apply.

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:36 AM on Sep. 8, 2011

  • To a point, I think it is fine.

    My son nursed until he was 20 months old & then self-weaned. He used to rub my stomach while he was nursing. For years after he stopped bf-ing, when he was tired or upset, he would ask for "tummy" He did have a pacifier until he was about 2 1/2, so I think that substituted for nursing.


    Answer by sweetpotato418 at 11:47 AM on Sep. 8, 2011

  • I comfort nursed my daughter when she was a baby. I don't know if it's "acceptable" or not, but I did it.

    Answer by MeandMyBabes at 1:06 PM on Sep. 8, 2011

  • sure, why not?

    Answer by Roadfamily6now at 7:25 PM on Sep. 9, 2011

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