You are here:

Pediatrics/How can I get my baby to sleep without a pacifier?


QUESTION: My baby won't sleep without his pacifier, and wakes up every hour crying because it's fallen out of her mouth. I have to get up and put it back in. Note that he refuses bottle or any kind of method of feeding and we have to feed him through medicine dropper. And he only feeds through dropper while pacifier in his mouth. We take it out and drop milk in his mouth each time. So I cannot completely take the pacifier out of his life. I read your article how to make an infant sleep independently. I find it very helpful. Still it cannot work without weaning him from pacifier. Can you please suggest me some solution?


ANSWER: Hi, Hemangi,

How old is he and why does he not take a bottle.  This is not normal feeding.  What does your doctor say about this?  Is this some type of oral aversion to feeding?  More info will help me help you.

Thanks, Dr. Olson

[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the quick reply Doctor,

My baby is 9.5 months old. When he was two months old after his first vaccination he suddenly stopped feeding from bottle. I was left clueless as he used to feed from bottle most of the time from the very beginning as I could not breast feed him. When I approached his doctor, I was told that there are other kids also who do the same thing and there is no reason for this kind of behavior. All I have to do is to keep on feeding him like I've been. On the other hand, I strongly believe the vaccination is the reason behind it, although it is not scientifically proven. I think it messes up with babies's brain. The reason I believe in it is when he again started drinking milk from bottle (happily) when he was 7.5 months old for a short span of time (two weeks approx). But then again after his 9 month vaccination which we had to give him on his completion of 8th month, he started refusing bottle completely. Whenever I discuss this with his dr., she would say the same thing repetitively. I have been feeding him with dropper ever since now but my baby is completely a healthy baby. His weight is 24 approx and height is 27-28 inches.

I started giving him the pacifier only when he began to refuse bottle just to pacify him while he was hungry and crying. We had never introduced pacifier before.Then we started feeding him milk in his sleep. But again when he was awake and hungry we had to think about this dropper thing. He refuses that too and only drink milk when we entertain him and give pacifier in between. Pacifier has become his habit now. He is totally addictive to it while sleeping. This whole scenario is taking toll on us.

Please excuse the length of my text.


Hi, Hemangi,

Again, I strongly feel, if your baby is normal in all other respects, that this is a "feeding aversion" a common behavioral problem that can be solved by working with a skilled pediatric occupational therapist.  Brain problems due to vaccines can happen, but are exceedingly rare, and it is doubtful that a vaccine could cause such a targeted defect in feeding only and not be totally devastating to the baby.  

Good luck, Dr. Olson


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]