Thursday, February 25, 2010

Are Babies Really Confused?

There's been a lot of talk on the idea of nipple confusion. I don't think babies are confused as much as have a developed preference. Bottle feeding is a lot less work for them, so really it just makes sense if you are breastfeeding to wait to introduce a bottle. Make sure your supply is up and breastfeeding is well established before offering a bottle. By the same token if you do want your baby to bottle feed once in a while, don't wait as long as I did with my second child. He was 5 months old and wouldn't take it. He only wanted the goods from the source. A panic for me who was getting ready to go back to work. Generally speaking, wait a good month or so, then give it a try. You certainly can pump and freeze your milk in the meantime to have some ready for when you are ready for an evening out sans baby.
One nurse that I met with with my first child had me so worked up over this idea of nipple confusion that I was panicked to offer him a pacifier. So you can imagine my surprise when my newest addition was offered a pacifier in the hospital by the nurses. What was this? What about the nipple confusion? She hasn't figured out breastfeeding yet! The answer? Non-nutritive sucking. Babies have a strong desire to suck. It is an important part of their development. Sucking on a pacifier helps build their jaw and muscle strength (making for better breastfeeding). And let's face it, they are going to figure out pretty fast that the pacifier does not supply them with food. They will spit it out and demand the real thing. And it may just do what it should, soothe them. (makes me wish I'd listened to my instincts with my first and just given him the soother when I knew he wasn't hungry, he just wanted to suck). I think that's the mistake that pacifier opponents are worried about, parents over using the soother. Giving it instead of the breast. Or, too early from feeding so that the baby doesn't really get a good feed with the hindmilk causing the baby not to gain weight. Like anything with parenting decisions, use common sense when it comes to pacifier use. The'll take it if they want it.

No comments:

Post a Comment



We'd love to hear from you. Email us with your feedback, suggestions and general blog love at