Recovering From Nipple Confusion in Three Simple Steps

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Recently, my dd (dear daughter) came down with a case of nipple confusion.  Below are the three simple steps I used to recover from nipple confusion.   It was very hard for her to breathe while nursing due to her having rsv, so I started to use bottles during the day. In the past, she had bottles before and easily transferred from bottle to breast.  However, after a week straight of only bottles during the day, she no longer wanted to nurse and clearly was suffering from nipple confusion.  She liked the fast flow of the bottle and did not want to nurse unless I caught her right as she was waking up from a nap.

Using nipple guards to imitate a bottle and give instant gratification.

Nipple guards can be used for multiple purposes. One of which is recovering from nipple confusion.Nipple guards are a very thin silicon nipple that sits right over the top of your nipple.  It has several holes at the tip and feels a bit like a bottle.  Because the milk pools at the end of the nipple guard, the baby gets an instant dose of milk as soon as she sucks which resembles a bottle.   First massage the breast and elicit a let down.  You can also achieve this by pumping until a let down starts. Then stick the nipple guard over your nipple and let the milk pool in the guard.  After this,  put baby to the breast and try to get her to latch. The first few times she might get fussy as soon as she has to work for some milk. Try to continue to massage the breast so that a continuous stream of milk is pulling into the guard.

* Tip: run nipple guard under hot water prior to use to help it adhere to breast. A bit of nipple cream on your breast will help keep the guard in place.

To read more about nipple guards and proper use of them, head over to She does a fantastic job of explaining use and weaning from use of nipple guards as they are meant to be temporary.

Filling a bottle with milk of your choice. 

I would use this method when she would not cooperate with the nipple guard and was too hungry to calm down. Fill a bottle (preferably one with a long skinny nipple) with either expressed breast milk or formula and begin to feed her. Once she starts to calm down, have your breast close to her face and have her in a nursing position. Slowly pull the bottle nipple away from her mouth and insert your nipple into her mouth.  If she starts to fuss because she is having to work for the milk, squeeze some milk from the bottle onto your nipple so it falls into her mouth as she is sucking. Keep doing this until a let down begins and she is happy.

Using the “sleepy method”.

This is what I call the sleepy method. My dd would nurse well if I caught her right as she was waking up or even if I woke her up to nurse. Don’t let her get too awake or she will realize that she would rather have the bottle. Once she wakes up, bring her into a quiet room and put her in the nursing position. Wake her just enough to get her to latch and actively suck.  If she begins to fall asleep while nursing, gently wake her again so she will actively nurse.

Patience is key

Lots and lots of patience. Breastfeeding is hard and even harder when your baby doesn’t want to cooperate.  But if you really want to breastfeed and get your baby back to nursing comfortably, keep at it. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that it will get better and you are not alone!

This is how I got my daughter over nipple confusion in three days. These methods are simple enough that I can always use them again when she starts to prefer the bottle over the breast. I hope this information can be of some help for you! Please comment below if you have any questions.

Please note: Information is for educational purposes only. Information found in posts should not be mistaken as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional on matters regarding your health or your baby’s health

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