In the moment when babies are born, they instinctively know how to suck, this way being able to survive. Nonetheless there are some cases when babies don’t like to be breast fed and they develop a preference for the bottle. This phenomenon is known as nipple preference or nipple confusion.
Drinking from the breast and drinking from the bottle represent two completely different movements. While breastfeeding, the baby uses his or her jaw and lips and this also helps with oral development. Naturally not every baby has problems with the changes regarding breast feeding and bottle feeding.
In case of breast feeding the baby is able to influence the amount of milk flowing from the breast, but in case of the bottle the milk flows faster. In case the little one has been exclusively bottle fed or partially bottle fed, it is possible that he or she will refuse to be breast fed. This is known as nipple strike.
In some cases the mother starts using an artificial breast too soon, and so the baby will refuse the breast because it is a lot easier to drink from the bottle. This is why it might be advisable to keep the baby breast fed for the first 6 weeks, before you introduce the bottle.
One of the signs of nipple confusion is that the baby twists his tongue upwards while he is sucking and he pushes the breast from his mouth.
Also the baby might not open his mouth wide enough and so he is only sucking on the tip of the nipple, causing pain to the mother. As it has been mentioned, the milk doesn’t flow from the breast as it does from the bottle, and this could cause frustration to the baby.
Another problem that could occur is that the milk of the mother decreases because the baby doesn’t latch on the nipple correctly. In order to make sure that you won’t have problems of this kind, avoid using the bottle in the first 6 weeks (as it has been mentioned before) and also avoid using the pacifier in this period. If you need to use an artificial nipple, choose one that flows slowly.
You shouldn’t force the baby to breastfeed, but encourage him and praise him in case of success. While being at the hospital make it clear to the doctors and the nurses that you don’t want the baby to be bottle fed. This will prevent getting the bad surprise of the nipple strike when you get home with the baby.
This is a guest post by NewbornBabyZone.com. The blog offers complete information on topics like baby development,baby shower ideas, baby products, feeding and nutrition. Visit the blog for anything and everything you want to know about keeping your little ones healthy and happy.
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