The Pacifier Refusal

Ah, Sunday mornings. The last bit of reprieve before the ongoing commotion that is the work week.

Anyway, Liliana has been refusing the pacifier ever since I followed the advice of the feeding specialist present at Liliana’s barium swallow. The feeding specialist, seeing that Liliana sucked on the pacifier but not the bottle, suggested that I dip the pacifier in milk so that Liliana gets a taste and that she gets used to it. I thought, “Okay. That makes sense.”

The first time I did this, Liliana was perturbed. She stuck out her tongue to test out what I was giving her, tasted the milk on the pacifier, and then turned her head away. Repeatedly. The next time was a bit better but not by much. Liliana licked the pacifier again and again, but still did not take it into her mouth.

The pacifier was the only thing that consoled her even as she bawled in pain, evident when she had to get blood taken. Now, she doesn’t trust the pacifier at all and we have to offer her our fingers or our knuckles to slobber on. We sometimes take off her mittens so she can slather her saliva on her own fists, which she does with profound interest. Even when we don’t take off the mittens, she licks her cotton-covered hands.

In the past few weeks that we’ve given her the pacifier, she’s chewed on it. Last night though, she was making the loudest sucking noises in her sleep that it woke me up and she continued her sleep-sucking throughout the night. Sean, who did the 6 AM feeding for me, told me that he got her to suck on the pacifier for a long time while she was still asleep.

Maybe Liliana will find that the pacifier is safe again as long as we keep trying and she continues to have good sucking dreams. I hope when that is accomplished, that we are one step closer to getting her to drink from the bottle again.

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