When newborn babies are becoming accustomed to the world around them, even the smallest changes in sensation can be difficult to cope with. As parents, it’s our job to help little ones make these adjustments as smoothly as possible. For breastfeeding mothers, this might mean addressing nipple confusion. When a breastfed baby starts to nursing from a bottle, nipple confusion can occur when the unfamiliar sensation of the bottle nipple makes it hard for the baby to recognize its bottle as food. In a worst-case scenario, nipple confusion can even lead to outright baby bottle refusal, and this can mean sleepless nights, anxiety, and a costly trip to the store to purchase a new bottle.
Being a new parent can be stressful enough without experiencing the frustration and worry caused by a baby that isn’t feeding. Nipple confusion can make mealtimes difficult for new mothers and their babies, but luckily, this widespread issue is also easily treatable and preventable by selecting the best bottle nipple for your nursing baby. Here’s what to look for:
For a newborn, one of the most difficult aspects of transitioning from breastfeeding to a bottle can be the texture of the nipple. A baby that is used to the softness of the breast will likely experience nipple confusion if encouraged to nurse from a nipple that is too hard, potentially leading to baby bottle refusal. Therefore, one of the most important things to prioritize in a bottle that reduces nipple confusion is a soft and malleable nipple that mimics the natural texture of breastfeeding.
The width of the nipple is another crucial component to consider when baby-bottle shopping for your breastfed child. A woman’s natural breast has a wider nipple than many bottles on the market, so interacting with an unfamiliar narrow nipple can be another source of nipple confusion as a baby gets used to drinking from a bottle. To avoid the problem, look for wide-mouth bottles with wide nipples.
Flow is one of the most essential factors in the nursing experience of breastfed infants. When a baby nurses from its mother’s breast, milk does not necessarily flow quickly or easily out of the nipple. Rather, the baby uses suction to keep milk flowing at a slow and measured pace with frequent breaks in nursing. That’s why a slow flow nipple is crucial to mimicking the natural experience of breastfeeding for infants that are getting used to a bottle. These nipples require infants to use more suction, creating a slow and measured nursing experience. The familiar feeling of nursing from a slow-flow nipple may help reduce infant nipple confusion.
An air-venting system or anti-colic system is another essential feature to keep an eye out for as you as you are selecting the best nipple for your breastfed baby. Infants, especially infants three months old or younger, are prone to gassy bellies, a condition that can be instigated or worsened by baby bottles with poor ventilation. When a baby drinks from a bottle, it is more likely to ingest air bubbles that can lead to gas, and a gassy baby can mean crying, irritability, sleeplessness, and even colic. Therefore, it’s crucial to look for vented baby bottles designed to reduce air ingestion and promote overall infant digestive health.
Remember, Reducing Nipple Confusion is a Process of Trial and Error:
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when looking for the right bottle for your breastfed infant is that all babies are different. Just like grown-up people, the little humans in our lives have their own preferences, likes, and dislikes, creating different sources of nipple confusion that vary from infant to infant. What works for one baby might not work for your baby, so the best way to guarantee that you find the right nipple for preventing baby-bottle refusal is through a process of trial and error.
It’s likely that you will need to let your breastfed baby experiment with different sizes, textures, and styles of nipples until you find the product that your little one takes to the best. Patience and versatility are always key to working through the process of finding the right baby bottle nipple; you will probably need to test each option several times, slowly and gently, before you know whether or not your baby ultimately refuses that option.
Unfortunately, the process of gathering and testing a wide range of baby bottle nipples can be both time-consuming and costly, intensifying the stress of new mothers. If you are having trouble finding the right bottle to help your infant adapt to nipple confusion, know that you are not alone. This phenomenon is so common that mothers everywhere have been searching for a solution for years, and that’s where the makers of The Teatle are here to help.
The Teatle is an innovative new breakthrough in baby bottle nipple technology, designed to reduce nipple confusion by fostering a natural latch in nursing infants. The Teatle uses cutting edge REALATCH™ technology to create a nursing experience that is remarkably close to natural breastfeeding. The super-soft nipple material mimics almost exactly the texture and width of a mother’s breast and adjusts to the baby’s mouth as it nurses. This bespoke nursing technology cuts down on the waiting, anxiety, and shopping trips necessary to find a bottle that a breastfed baby will accept. The Teatle also uses slow flow technology and an optimized ventilation system to mimic the natural feeding process while reducing the potential for gas and colic.
Dealing with nipple confusion can be so tough, but it doesn’t have to be your permanent reality. By using REALATCH™ technology to encourage your baby to latch naturally, you can spend less time searching for nipple refusal solutions, and more time doing what matters most: snuggling, loving, and nurturing the newest member of your family.