The short answer is “we don’t know”. There is so much information out there about nipple confusion. Some will tell you that if anything other than a breast *touches* your baby’s mouth, he’ll never want to breastfeed again. Others will regale you with stories about how their exclusively breastfed baby had bottles! cups! pacifiers! in the first few hours of life and had no problem switching back to breast. Each baby and situation is different. It’s never a given that your baby will, or will not, develop nipple confusion if he/she has a bottle before breastfeeding has been successfully established.
What tricks have worked for you when your breastfed baby refused a bottle?
Michelle La Plante: Bottle boot camp with daddy! I left the apartment for the day, leaving baby and daddy there with plenty of expressed breastmilk and a bottle. By the end of the day, they had figured it out. (Kudos to hubby for this – it was tough on him to see her cry and fuss…. But, then again, his breasts didn’t leak at the sound of the baby crying!)
Amanda Garfinkel Young: Early and often worked well with my second. With my first, the nanny had a good trick. She held him facing out, looking out the window and fed him with the bottle in the other hand. A little awkward, but it seemed to distract him from the fact that he wasn’t looking up at mama while eating.
Danielle Smith: Try lots of different bottles.
Stephanie Lorenzen: After trying a number of different bottles, we used a spoon and a shot glass. We then moved on to a straw cup after 4 months of age.
Julie Chapin: As a nanny, I went through this. Had to have mama away at first. Plus, baby had to be laying or sitting out of arms… could not resemble nursing at all. First successes were warm bottle given in a drowsy state as baby was waking in her bassinet. Windows and toys distracting baby at other times or in a bouncy chair. Had to use droppers and spoon feeding with a few babies leading up to the bottle.
Natalie Quebodeaux Cavender: Sippy cup! Turns out he hated the warmed milk and not the bottle. He likes mama’s milk cold when not from the tap!!! LOL!
Jennie Bever: My first one took a straw cup fine. Second one reverse cycled. Now that he’s older, he’ll also take breastmilk warm in a straw cup. He would also drink out of a regular cup, although it’s a bit messier!
Liz Anderson Weaver: At daycare, we have had to resort to using medicine droppers with two babies. Then we tried ERERy NIPPLE EVER until we found their perfect bottle combo. Both suck ‘em down like champs now!
Stacey Singh: I read that if you have the person who is feeding your baby wear the robe or another article of clothing you wear frequently, it can really help. I had my husband try it and my baby actually did take a little from a bottle. We’re still working on it though.
Sylvia Padilla Sullivan: We tried different bottles. Because he is older (4.5mos), one with a pretty fast, easy flow worked better than the ones we had been trying (like when he was tiny and still learning to suck.)
Article written by guest blogger, Misti Ryan
Whether exclusive pumping is a decision or a necessity due to surrounding circumstances, there are several things you can do to make your efforts more successful.
We know that the earlier after birth you begin expressing, milk production is set up for long-term success. Hand expression of colostrum is often more effective than pumping in the early days and can increase your milk supply even when you begin using a pump. You may not reach full production until around 10 days, so be patient as amounts in the early days may be very small. Here’s a fantastic video from Jane Morton at Stanford University, demonstrating Hand Expression