I am excited to share my personal experience about nipple confusion. For me, this is very frightening because I want to exclusively breastfeed my babies until they reach 6 months old. When I say exclusive breastfeeding, I mean that there are no other liquids or solids given, not even water. So, this is my ultimate goal for my babies. But there are times where I have to go out and do some errands and I must leave them at home. So while I am away, I bottle feed them with my breast milk. This is very crucial for me because they might get used to the firm shape of the bottle teat and to the rapid flow it provides. Hence, the tendency might be they will struggle to suck back on my breast which is known as nipple confusion.

What is Nipple Confusion?

Nipple Confusion

As the term connotes, nipple confusion happens when a breastfed baby experiences trouble in latching and breastfeeding effectively after being fed with a bottle. It usually happens if you started feeding your baby in a bottle at an early stage where they haven’t yet perfect the art of sucking at your breast.

How to Prevent Nipple Confusion?

I have to learn on giving my breastfed babies an occasional bottle because sometimes I really need a break. My ultimate goal is to turn my babies into an expert switch hitter where in they will have no problem switching from breast to bottle and vice versa. And luckily, I hit my goal!

Here are the ways I followed to successfully make my babies an expert switch hitter;

·         I waited for about a month until my newborn babies gets the hang of breastfeeding before I introduced them to bottle feeding. Hey Momma! We must be very patient on this aspect because if our newborn have not yet perfect his breastfeeding skill there is a huge possibility that he will give up breastfeeding by the time he experienced bottle feeding. This is because our babies will realize that they do not need to suck more on a bottle feeding due to rapid flow of milk. Unlike on our breast, our baby needs more hard work to get milk. Hence, it is obvious that he would prefer the bottle. It’s quicker and easier to satisfy his hunger.

·         If your baby already learned his breastfeeding skill, make a proper schedule and time span to train your baby to switch feeding from your breast to bottle and vice versa. Actually, I trained my baby for a week until he gets the hang of it. Every after he takes a bath in the morning, I offer him a bottle of my breast milk. I do this for about 15 minutes. Then after that, I feed him again with my breast. In this way, he will not forget on how to latch on my breast. After a week, I noticed that he already got used to this kind of feeding. Hence, I tried leaving the house and by the time I got back, he really finished my breast milk in the bottle. Then when I tried latching him back on my breast, he still latched properly and sucked longer.

So, try practicing the steps I have shared. But don’t get frustrated if you have not perfect it immediately. Always bear in mind; it takes time and effort to successfully turn our bambinos into a switch hitter. Never ever give up, because we need to perfect it! Remember, if anyone ever deserved to have a break, it is us, the nursing moms!

 Related Articles: