6 Useful Tips To Help You Deal With Nipple Confusion

nipple confusion

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The very first thing that you should know is the fact that the word “confusion” actually creates all the confusion!

The time when your baby refuses to breast-feed and prefers to feed from the bottle is not due to any confusion on his or her part. It is more of a choice or preference. Sounds confusing aren’t it?

If you are a nursing mom or expecting a baby soon, then you should definitely learn all that you can about the term – Nipple confusion.

Defining Nipple Confusion:

A nursing mother is very much familiar with the term- nipple confusion. Breast feeding is the most basic method of feeding your infant. However, it can become quite a cumbersome process on your part.

  • This is because of the simple fact that your baby can get hungry at any hour of the day and breastfeeding at that point can be a bit tiring.
  • It is at these moments that you can use a feeding bottle to give yourself a break. A bottle of expressed milk can be really handy.

However, once you introduce the

feeding bottle, your baby might not want to breast feed again! This is what is called nipple confusion.

[ Read: How To Help Your Baby Latch On Breastfeeding ]

What Causes Nipple Confusion?

Breast feeding requires your baby to suck at your nipples. Usually, around 40 facial muscles are used by your baby to siphon milk from the breasts.

  • Your baby needs to latch on to the breast with his or her mouth and then use the tongue to suck out the milk. This requires a lot of work on the baby’s part.
  • In case of a feeding bottle, the hard nipples of the bottle make it easier for the baby to suck the milk. Your baby can use only his or her lips to get the milk. This process requires much lesser efforts.
  • Once your baby understands the fact that a feeding bottle means lesser work for a full tummy, he or she does not want to breast feed, causing the situation of nipple confusion.

Thus, you can clearly see that this problem is more of a preference on the part of the baby than any sort of confusion!

[ Read: Advantages Of Breastfeeding ]

Dealing With Nipple Confusion:

So, your baby is refusing to breast feed and prefers to the feeding bottle. What can you do to get him or her to start breast feeding again? Here are some useful tips:

1. Try not to introduce your baby to the feeding bottle in the first three weeks that you start breast feeding.

2. Make the process of breast feeding a bonding activity for your baby and you. Cuddle your infant as he or she breast feeds to give that feeling of comfort. This helps to motivate the child to breastfeed.

3. Make sure that your baby learns how to latch on to the breast properly. This is of utmost importance as without latching on properly, he or she won’t be able to feed properly.

[ Read: Eating Spicy Food While Breastfeeding ]

4. Once you start using the feeding bottle occasionally for your baby, make sure that you use the right kind of nipple on the bottle with the right amount of milk flowing from it. Turn the bottle upside down and check the flow. Ideally, it should be one drop of milk per second.

5. Seek the help of a breastfeeding specialist who would help you to teach your baby to latch on to the bottle in the same manner that he or she latches on to your breast.

6. Use a breast pump to get the milk to start flowing from your breast before you start breastfeeding, this will help your baby to suck out the milk after having gotten used to the bottle.

If the problem persists, seek your doctor’s help. Nipple confusion does not affect your baby’s appetite or health. So, it is nothing to be worried about. It all boils down to the habit and preferences of your baby.

We hope you find this article on baby nipple confusion helpful. You can add your suggestions and also tell us your experiences in the comment box below.

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