Nipple confusion.....true or a crock?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/28/2011 ( 46 moms have responded )

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I was discussing this very thing with another mother today. It is really suggested if you are going to BF to NOT give a bottle or a pacifier until at least 3 months of age to avoid "nipple confusion". I personally had to give my son a bottle of breast milk starting at 1 1/2 months, and he still BF beautifully. My daughter, i waited until 3 months, and she absolutely refused to EVER take a bottle....no matter how I tried. I am not buying the nipple confusion theory. It might be true for the first month, but if you are EVER going to want to introduce a bottle, don't wait IMHO!

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Jodi - posted on 09/28/2011

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Really Sherri? They don't ask parents permission about the pacifier? That's a bit rude!

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♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/29/2011

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OMG Rebecca! Supermom!

I think the nipple confusion thing is BS. I started mixing bottle and breast when my baby was 4 days old. She's always latched very well (she'll be 7 months next week) and does good with a bottle. My issue is she will not take a dummy to go to sleep.

[deleted account]

Rebecca, you are my new hero. I think I would've DIED if my son was twins.... and there's 6 years between the girls and him!

Krista - posted on 09/29/2011

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Oh my lord, Rebecca -- how are you even coherent???

/fires up sewing machine to make Rebecca a superhero cape.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/29/2011

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Ok then...WHOLLY CRAP! I just don't know how you would do ANYTHING! I can barely handle the 2 I have, and one is 5 the other 17 months. I am not cut out for more.

[deleted account]

Yes, Marina -- I have two sets of twins. Twin boys who are 3 1/2 and a boy/girl set who just turned 5 months.

[deleted account]

Yeah, nursing twins sucks. Literally. If you aren't careful, you will be feeding 24/7. Nursing on demand doesn't really work too well with two. It's more like nursing based on the demands of both -- when one eats, feed the other at the same time. It was much easier the second time around because I learned to lower my expectations.

Stifler's - posted on 09/29/2011

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I didn't give either of mine a dummy until I stopped trying to breastfeed.

[deleted account]

First would never take the breast but devoured a bottle in one go.
Second took the breast like a hungry hippo lol..i then gave a bottle twice as i was so sore and tired etc she began to not want the breast then when i cut out the bottle and just offered breast.
I do believe for many babys its true about nipple confusion.
Its funny because my second wanted the breast for comfort and i had to give her a dummy and she used it for comfort 3times a day to 5mths.

Kate CP - posted on 09/28/2011

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I have to say that I think nipple confusion is a crock and I *do* like pacifiers. When I had my daughter they just popped one in her mouth at the hospital while I was sleeping and recovering. I had high blood pressure after I gave birth (really weird, since I never had it during pregnancy or in the following weeks/months/years) and I guess they didn't want to wake me. She nursed just fine.

When my son was born I was more of a Momma Bear with him. They wanted to whisk him away to the nursery right after I pushed him out because I had GD (they're telling me this AS I'm pushing, BTW). I said absolutely not, he needs to nurse first. He latched on beautifully and nursed for a good half hour before I let them take him to be weighed and measured. Only after I had seen he had a good latch was when I told them he could have a pacifier and absolutely NO sugar water or formula. So far the boy seems to be doing good.

Charlie - posted on 09/28/2011

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I remember asking the midwife if I should give him a Dummy and she said we could if we wanted but we would have to buy one and the hospital strongly discourages it.

Minnie - posted on 09/28/2011

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Yup, only -some- babies need help with the sucking reflex. Neither of mine did, that's for sure. Aside from all the crappy things that happened to me at that hospital I'm thankful they didn't give a pacifier without my permission and they suggested bedsharing for us.

Jodi - posted on 09/28/2011

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Our hospitals don't have them - I had to send hubby out to get one when they suggested we should consider giving her one to help her sucking reflex.

Sherri, most babies don't need help with the sucking reflex, it is really only necessary for premmies or small babies who are born with a weak reflex. Not that I have a problem with someone choosing to give their infant a pacifier, heck I did, but I don't think it is right for the hospital to make this decision for you!

Merry - posted on 09/28/2011

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They didn't just give it to him, they offered, I said no, then mid night I sent matt to go get one! If I had just bed shared it would have been unnecessary but hindsight ya know

Minnie - posted on 09/28/2011

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Huh, no one gave Evelyn a pacifier. I would have beat them for it, lol. We were in Nashua.

Merry - posted on 09/28/2011

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My hospital had them available for free but you had to ask. Or they would offer. We never bought Eric one, he used the hospital one for 3 months.
Fierna just likes the real nipple, no plastic substitutes will do the trick for her!

Merry - posted on 09/28/2011

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Yeah twins used to appeal to me but now that I've had miss Fierna I'm thinking, please God no!

[deleted account]

My girls would've probably loved for me to be a human pacifier, but I probably would've quit breastfeeding if I had attempted that. After a couple of hours one night of one of them wanting to nurse for about 5 minutes every hour... that's when/why they got the pacifiers.

My son was a totally different story and I COULD do that. Especially since I wasn't good for much else at that point. lol

Charlie - posted on 09/28/2011

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Neither of my boys ever had nipple confusion and they had a mix of breast , pumped in bottle , and a pacifier.

[deleted account]

Thats why i didn't use a pacifier until she was a bit older, she never liked it though. I didn't want her to be tricked into thinking she was full and not ask to nurse.I don't think pacifiers will cause nipple confusion, but they can interfere with breastfeeding.

Minnie - posted on 09/28/2011

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Pacifiers become an issue when they are used to hold a baby off from nursing- mothers should realize that a newborn may need to nurse as often as a couple times an hour. Each mother has a different milk storage capacity- some mothers can maintain adequate milk production if they have enough storage capacity provided that their babies are able to take in a lot of milk- and don't have to nurse more often than every three hours. Some mothers need to have frequent nursing to maintain production.

The act of sucking actually releases hormones that tell a baby that it is full- and in a very young baby this can be dangerous as the baby may fall back to sleep without being fed because of the hormones circulating in the baby's body.

Minnie - posted on 09/28/2011

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Yes, milk will come in whether you nurse or not. And transition to mature milk. Prolactin begins being produced once the placenta detaches.

Minnie - posted on 09/28/2011

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It really depends on the baby. Many babies switch readily back and forth with no problem. Other babies prefer something firmer in their mouths and once introduced to a bottle have a difficult time switching to breastfeeding. But there may be a reason for that- these babies often have low muscle tone in their jaws, small mouths or receding chins- so they naturally prefer the firmer feeling of the artificial nipple.

Flow preference is a definite though. It happens quite often around seven to ten months when a mother decides that she's not making enough milk because her child never seems satisfied during a nursing session. Once she introduces the bottle an older baby quickly realizes that he or she can get a fast flow that way and not have to work at nursing, sitting there when baby could be off doing something else.

[deleted account]

I know several women who never breastfed and their milk still came in. Its a total waste of colostrum, thats the best first food. At least they still breastfed.

[deleted account]

I think it’s actually two separate issues. In terms of pacifiers, I think it's a crock of shit, IMHO. I've nursed four babies now and each of them had pacis from birth. None of them had any problems breastfeeding. Babies aren’t stupid – they know milk isn’t coming from a pacifier. Babies have a need to suck. Unless you are planning on wearing your baby 24/7 and acting like a human pacifer, your baby (and you) will be happier with a pacifer.

In terms of bottle vs. breast, I do think going back and forth between the bottle and the breast can be a little confusing for some babies, but if you are planning on doing both, I think you are better off starting with both. Babies are learning how to nurse and bottle feed in those first few days – if you wait too long, you can have major issues with giving bottles to a nursing baby. Three of my babies would go back and forth between bottle and breast with no problem. Geneva was a little more insistent on wanting the breast, but she would take a bottle from me as well. I think if I had only BF her from birth she NEVER would have taken a bottle (since she was already giving me a hard time about it at 4 weeks).

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/28/2011

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If milk is going to come in, it comes in regardless of a baby feeding. I would think it would help it along...but I have known at least 1 mom that never even tried to breastfeed, and she had a good milk supply. And yes, a waste of colostrum in my opinion...it is the most important part.

Merry - posted on 09/28/2011

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:( poor waste of colostrum! Won't the milk not come in if you don't nurse through the colostrum?

[deleted account]

I had a nurse tell me she worked with a bunch of Mennonite women and they bottle fed until their milk came in. Then switched to breastfeeding. They had no problem with the transition.

Jodi - posted on 09/28/2011

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I was actually planning on not introducing one at all (because I'd had so much trouble getting my son to give his up), but in the end I was told it was best!!

Ez - posted on 09/28/2011

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Oh that's certainly true for prems or small babies. The dummy helps their sucking and to regulate their breathing. I've never understood why some people have such a hard on for dummies. They can be really good things!

I was just thinking about my own situation. If my 9.5pounder had been mucking around at the breast I may have waited before introducing the dummy.

Jodi - posted on 09/28/2011

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Actually, if you are struggling with latch because the baby has a weak sucking reflex a pacifier is recommended to help strengthen the reflex. That's what I had to do for Taylah. She still took my breast. However, she preferred the bottle. Not because of nipple confusion, but because she was such a small baby, and breastfeeding is super hard work so she tired easily. Babies find bottle feeding much less work. But she still took the breast when I offered it.

Stifler's - posted on 09/28/2011

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Logan had a good latch but would pull off and scream like he wasn't getting anything for his efforts. Renae never latched or fed properly for more than 30 seconds at a time for 5 days so I was scared she wasn't getting anything :(

Ez - posted on 09/28/2011

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It was never an issue with my daughter. She had the most perfect latch in the world. But I think if I was struggling to establish that good latch, I would hold off on the dummy or bottle.

Merry - posted on 09/28/2011

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I have o idea for anyone's baby except for mine, but in my babies nipple confusion never seemed to happen. Eric had a pacifier less then 24 hours old and his first feed was a bottle. He had a bottle a few times a week from 6 weeks to 7 months and yet he's still breastfeeding now at 2.5 years
Fierna had not had a pacifier for a few weeks, never took to it. Hasn't had a bottle yet. So who knows!

Maybe some babies have had this issue, especially like emmas kids where the breast flow was much slower and they understandably preferred more milk faster. So we could speculate that had they never had the bottle would they have accepted the breast fine? Or would they have grower slowly and not gotten enough nutrition?
Hard to say.
So I think it should be mentioned as a possibility, but not as a hard and fast rule to fear.

[deleted account]

My girls didn't care what was in their mouths as long as something was in there. ;) The hospital only cup fed them the formula, but they had a pacifier from day 2 (?) and a bottle w/in the first week or two.

My son never took anything but me... He DID take the pacifier a couple of times in the hospital though, but after that... he wasn't interested. I only tried a bottle once at 2 months, but he thought I was crazy for trying to give it to him. lol

Stifler's - posted on 09/28/2011

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Mine liked the bottle because it was easier for them to drink and lots more milk I think. I never really got a let down and my breasts never leaked so I think it frustrated them. So they didn't even want to breastfeed in the end.

Amanda - posted on 09/28/2011

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I think it depends on the baby. Some are happy to feed no matter how you give it to them, some are fussy about what they want.

My son hated the bottle. He refused it and would only breastfeed.

My daughter refused until she was about 8 months old then decided it wasn't so bad to have a bottle every now and then. The only time she refused a bottle was at bedtime when she prefered the breast

Iris - posted on 09/28/2011

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I heard the same thing and was warned, but I never experienced it with my two girls. I both breast fed and gave them breast milk from they took to both, and pacifiers.

Stifler's - posted on 09/28/2011

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I think it depends on the individual to tell the truth. Some people have no trouble combination feeding but I had serious trouble getting both my kids to latch and suck efficiently after they'd had a bottle. I can't really tell whether they would have been like that whether or not I had given them a comp feed.

JuLeah - posted on 09/28/2011

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My daughter took both, breast milk in a bottle and from the orginal source ... never was an issue for her, but then on the topic of food, she has never been confused

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