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Nipple Confusion - Has anyone actually experienced this?

(9 Posts)
TransatlanticCityGirl Fri 05-Aug-11 22:45:20

I have heard a lot about nipple confusion, and the recommendation to avoid dummies and bottles completely in the first 4-6 weeks to ensure baby doesn't reject the breast.

I have polled a fair number of friends and family members on the subject (the parents of around 20 or so babies), and a significant number have used dummies and bottles from birth and never experienced nipple confusion.. and went on to successfully breastfeed for a number of months or longer.

The rest have never used a dummy or bottle (or delayed using them for a long time), so of course did not experience it either.

SO... my question to you is, has anyone on here directly experienced nipple confusion with their little ones? If yes, were you using a dummy, bottle, or both? From what age? At what point did you realise there was a problem? Did you manage to resolve it, or did you abandon breastfeeding entirely?

(also interested to hear from anyone who used a dummy / bottle before 4-6 weeks without problem!)

stigofthelump Fri 05-Aug-11 22:56:37

I have 3dc's and never suffered nipple confusion
DS1 never had dummy but took occasional bottle for expressed milk from 4 months, he breastfed without problem until 8 months
DS2 had dummy from birth to 3 months and had one bottle of formula a day from 4 months, he breastfed well until 6 months then I had to stop for work
DD1 is 5 months and has had dummy since birth and one bottle of formula every night from 3.5 months, she still bf's well and hopefully will continue for a while.

Hope that helps

TruthSweet Fri 05-Aug-11 23:32:20

I had nipple confusion with DD1 (amongst other huge issues though) and she had a dummy and mainly bottles but we got her back to bfing by 8 weeks old she gave up dummies shortly after (no milk so what's the point seemed to be her stance!).

She started on bottles on day 2 and dummies a few days after that (wasn't allowed to hold her when she was in bilibed so we gave dummy for comfort).

DD2 didn't really take a bottle though we tried at 2 weeks due to mis-informed/panicky me! She had a dummy for a bit (prob 4 weeks+) no latching problems past the early days.

DD3 didn't have a dummy and only had bottles when I was in hospital for a week at 6m & 9m (DH did try her on a bottle at ~4m but she wasn't interested so waited for me to come home) she's bfing at 21m so it didn't affect her.

I have, however, supported mums with nipple confusion following dummy/bottle use both RL/online. One I supported online (not this forum) gave just one bottle and had massive problems afterwards though this is the only person I have personally dealt with that was unlucky enough to have that happen.

squiggleywiggler Sat 06-Aug-11 09:49:04

I had it with DD. Introduced bottles for 'top up' around 5 weeks. By 10 weeks she was refusing the breast entirely. Took another 5 weeks of hell using supplemental nursing system to get her back on the breast. Still going strong at 18 months!

I know a few clients who'be experienced it as well - all somewhere in the first 8 weeks and always with a bottle. I did have one client who had problems after 1 bottle at 7 wks. All have been resolved though with lots of work involved.

GreyTS Sat 06-Aug-11 09:58:27

Remember reading in all the baby books not use dummies or bottles to a breastfed baby for the first 6 weeks to avoid this. However the v helpful hv I had after DD1 was born advised to use both before 6 weeks or risk baby never accepting bottle or dummy. I did this with both DD's and neither have had issues, bf'd DD1 for 6 months and DD2 is only 3 months and feeding happily. Both had/have dummies and a bottle of expressed milk for night feed.

peedieworky Sat 06-Aug-11 14:33:48

Both my niece and nephew had bottles in the first days and regularly in their first weeks and had no nipple confusion. Similar to GreyTS both my sister and I had heard horror stories of babies refusing bottle if left too late so were keen to avoid that. I gave DS a bottle very occasionally in first 2 weeks then more regularly from then on and had no nipple confusion either. My sister-in-law gave her wee boy a dummy at week 4 and there were no probs. My MW told me there tends to only be an issue if there are difficulties with BF - the baby may prefer a bottle if is easier for them - but that she had never seen "true" nipple confusion.

TadlowDogIncident Sat 06-Aug-11 18:50:12

I carefully didn't use either and ended up with a bottle refuser, which caused nightmares when I went back to work (and also meant that we couldn't use a dummy to soothe DS, which I suppose does have the advantage that we don't now have to wean him off it). Another time I'd mixed feed from the beginning: not being able to leave DS with anyone made me feel very trapped and panicky.

tiktok Sun 07-Aug-11 16:02:21

There is no good evidence for nipple confusion and no reason why a baby 'unlearns' how to suck at the breast....and no evidence that not intro'ing a bottle avoids bottle refusing later. Plenty of babies take the breast and the bottle and then decide they don't like the bottle and fight against it, preferring the breast only....although plenty continue with both with no problems, and plenty take a bottle never having had one before. No way of predicting what an individual baby will do!

However, babies do sometimes reject the breast after bottles, if the breast has not been comfortable or effective.

TruthSweet Sun 07-Aug-11 16:12:25

tiktok - I think that is what happened with the lady I was supporting - bfing was not going well so hen she gave a bottle it was like a revelation to the baby - easy, fast flowing milk - so that when she yried bfing again the baby wasn't interested. I think I should have used 'feeding preference' or similar smile

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