Saturday, February 1, 2014

Myth Busted: You're Baby is NOT Confused about Nipples #BUSTED

Don't be scared of pacifiers!
It always seems that in some sort of weird way people love to scare pregnant moms about birth and breastfeeding.  Is it any wonder why we are terrified of both experiences?  The world is FULL of mis-information and conflicting tidbits of advice.  One such tidbit, turned myth, is the notion of “nipple confusion.”

I am here to go on record to tell you I think “nipple confusion” simply does not exist.  The notion that if a baby sucks on a pacifier he or she will not nurse correctly is scaring many mothers into allowing prolonged suckling at the breast and therefore a higher likelihood of painful nipples! Let the pacifier do its job, and let your breast take a rest.

The truth is babies are very smart. Take preemies for example. I worked in some of the toughest neonatal units in New Jersey and these little guys never got nipple confusion. In fact, a typical plan of care for a preemie is to start them on tube-feedings where a tube goes into their mouth or nose and down into their belly.  Formula or breast milk flows through the tube and voila full belly.  We always give those babies pacifiers so they will associate sucking with full bellies, otherwise they would loose that association.  I personally have never seen that process become an issue once we can start to feed a baby by mouth. No nipple confusion.

Some babies develop a preference, however, but more often than not that preference is for Mommy first! Bottom line: as long as the milk is flowing the baby is happy!

The Calm Baby RN


  1. Excellent advice Alisa! So much information out there scares new moms about this issue.

  2. Excellent advice Alisa! So much information out there to "scare" new moms about this issue.