Breastfeeding Chronicles: Defeating Nipple Confusion

For the mother who asked me how I overcame my baby’s nipple confusion on Tiktok, I want you to know two things: 1. You are not alone 2. You are not a bad mom.

Be kind to yourself. Breastfeeding, like motherhood is hard. It’s okay if you’re struggling. Breastfeeding is something that you learn, it doesn’t come natural.

What is nipple confusion?

The phrase nipple confusion or nipple preference, refers to babies who cry when they’re offered the breast when switching from bottles to breasts or pacifiers to breast.

Here’s a very helpful article by Parents magazine that defines the phrases with more details.

What causes this issue?

This problem arises when an infant is introduced to a bottle or pacifier that isn’t designed for breastfed babies before the infant is used to breastfeeding.

My Experience With Nipple Confusion

As mentioned in a different post, my second born Kason developed nipple confusion at the hospital. Though he breastfed like a champ right after birth, he quickly developed a preference for the Avent pacifier that the hospital gave him.

I was devastated. To be honest, I felt like a failure. I blamed myself for his struggles. I was really hard on myself because of how easy my experience breastfeeding my first son was. Apart from cracked & bleeding nipples, I didn’t have an issues feeding Jameson.

I was also tired. I didn’t sleep for 48 hours after I had Kason because of COVID protocols. My husband was at home with our toddler & I was alone with a newborn in a hospital that was having security problems-or so I was told. I’ll share that story soon & link it here.

Any who, because I was exhausted, I didn’t make time to research solutions. Instead, I solved our problem on my own.

My solution for a nipple confused baby

To help my baby overcome his confusion/preference, I would interchange my nipple for his pacifier during his feedings.

Each session would begin with his pacifier in his mouth. Once he looked comfortable, I’d remove the pacifier & replace it with my nipple as smoothly as possible. Every time he unlatched I gave him the pacifier. I would end the feeding session once he started crying when offered my nipple.

Overtime, he unlatched less often & his feeding sessions became longer as he became more comfortable with breastfeeding.

I replaced his Avent pacifier with breastfeeding pacifiers from Tommee Tippee & haven’t had any problems since.

Dream Feeding

I also really focused on dream feeding-which was convenient for me because I co-sleep and literally always hold him during nap time.

Dream feeding refers to the method that many nursing mothers use to prolong their baby’s sleep. While your baby is sleeping, try to slip your nipple into your baby’s mouth. If your baby doesn’t take it, slightly wake up your baby until they latch on. This approach was much easier than switching out my nipple for the pacifier because he was asleep, so he fed longer without getting upset or wanting the pacifier.

These are the steps that I took to strengthen my breastfeeding relationship with my second born. Let me know if you try these methods by dropping a comment below.

Closing

Thank you so much for being here! I appreciate your presence more than you’ll ever know.

If you’re reading this, it’s most likely because you’re stressing over breastfeeding. I’ve been there momma.

I’m not going to tell you that it will get easier because honestly, it might not. But I can tell you that you’ll become stronger.

Im here if you need me.

xoxox

Katlan

The Viral Video That Inspired This Post

Keep up with me on social media 🙂

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