Part 1 When to use pacifiers and bottles
When I hear nipple confusion I think that the baby is confused about what is happening when offered the breast and artificial nipples. More accurately a baby develops a preference to a certain type of nipple for various reasons. It is commonly advised to avoid any nipple other than your breast for the first 2 weeks until breastfeeding gets well established.
If you haven’t already introduced a bottle or a pacifier ask these questions first.
Am I using the bottle or pacifier because I am in pain?
Call for Help, and after getting the appointment for help ask if you can use these tools short term ‘til you get the help
Am I using the bottle or pacifier because I don’t know how to soothe my baby?
This is so hard especially for new parents. Try everything else. Also when breastfeeding, “When in doubt, Whip it out.”
Am I using the bottle or pacifier because of pressure from others, not my own wishes?
You are the parent(s). You make decisions about your baby’s care. Blame it on me or the pediatrician if they won’t take your word for it.
Am I eager to start having others help out with feeding and comforting my baby because I am going back to work or I just am ready for a break?
Each family has unique challenges for them. Taking a break is a perfectly good reason to explore pacifiers and bottles. Depending on when your return to work date is, will depend on optimal timing for offering other nipples.
Am I using bottles or pacifiers because I am uncomfortable nursing in public?
This is also a valid reason. Feeding your baby should feel comfortable. Chances are the more experienced with breastfeeding you are, than the less uncomfortable you will feel doing it in front of others. This is not always true. Your comfort is important.
These are all things to take into consideration. If you are questioning whether or not using pacifiers and bottles is causing issues.
Remember your nipples are the original pacifier and bottle.
See Part 2 I think my baby has nipple preference now what.