Is there such thing as nipple confusion?(5 Posts)
I read online that it was a myth doled out by HVs.
I bf DS for ten months and it was very tiring as he'd never take an expressed bottle. I think we started it too late - after six weeks as recommended.
This time I'll have a toddler to deal with as well as a newborn and so would like to get it established ASAP.
Anyone started before six weeks and all okay?
My sister. Big term baby nearly 10lb had a couple of bottles of formula in the first ten days. She had no problem with this. He's her fourth bf baby so she knew the score. Now he is fully breasted and twice over Xmas she got caught off guard in the supermarket queues so auntie had to run to the shops and buy ready made formula which he wolfed down. I guess it's down to the baby.
It's not a myth, it just doesn't happen to every baby. However, there's no way of telling which baby it will happen to and which baby will be just fine, which is why HVs etc warn mothers about it. Some people claim it doesn't exist because they haven't seen it. But it can happen. Your baby might be just fine, you have to weigh up whether or not you think the risk is worth the benefits.
There's also no magic window for introducing a bottle (some experts claim there is, but there's no evidence). The reason a lot of people recommend waiting 6 weeks is to make sure breastfeeding and your milk supply are properly established first. I'm sure there are mothers that introduced a bottle before 6 weeks and got along fine, but again the risk is there.
Some babies never take to bottles at all! Cup feeding is another option that works well for older babies.
It can be tough juggling a toddler and a newborn- would you be up for looking at other ways to manage? Bottle feeding comes with washing up and sterilising so not necessarily easier. Some mothers find learning to BF in a sling really helps.
My baby (now 7 weeks) was formula fed only for his first 5 days until his blood sugar stabilised and then I got him onto the breast. After a period of exclusively breast feeding I've gone to mixed feeding as he was losing weight, so now he has bottles and breast, and he switches between the two perfectly happily, no problems at all. BUT I think it depends on the baby. He's quite a flexible feeder in that he's happy with a variety of feeding positions and also sometimes has a nipple shield, so maybe he always would have been happy to try another method of feeding even if w hadn't had both breast and bottle very early.
I'm doing it now with my three week old - she was 10lb 8oz and I started giving her a bit of formula last thing at night from one week old and so far it seems to be working well. She's my third baby and with the other two I quit bf after about ten days but this time I'm really enjoying it and feel like I will continue.
A couple of nights ago she had fallen fast asleep at 10 so I didn't give her any formula - she was up every 2 hours. When she's been topped up she will go until about 3 or 4am and then has a quick bf and back to sleep.
Like others have said every baby is different and the nipple confusion issue is a risk - for me it was a risk worth taking to help me continue bf. I took the view that if she got confused then I'd deal with that issue then.
For what it's worth I've also been giving her a dummy at times too.
I did discuss it all with my midwife and she was very supportive of me doing what was right for me, being aware of the guidance but seeing it as just that - guidance rather than rules.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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