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Weaning from nipple shield, but baby won't open wide

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I've created a monster!  My little guy used to open up wide, but wouldn't latch so we started using a nipple shield at 1 week at the suggestion of a lactation consultant.  He does great with it, but now he is almost 8 weeks and I'd like to wean him off the shield but he won't open wide enough.  He'll only open up a little.  I think he's used to the nipple shield being able to just slip in without him having to open up.  Any thoughts on how to get him to open wide?

post #2 of 7
Ugh nipple shields... I used them to transition baby from the bottle and they worked great but what a hassle! I would try to get him to open wide with the shield too so that the transition is easier. Here are a couple of things that worked for us a bit:
- tickle his chin with the nipple/nipple shield. A very light touch worked fairly well to get her to open then I waited a few seconds. Usually she would sort of strain or reach for it, which caused her to open wider.
- when that didn't work, I had the "boob sandwich" in one hand and pulled her chin down very very gently with a finger on my other hand to get a bigger opening. The boob sandwich was VERY helpful. It made my nipple stick out further and firmer and made it easier for her to latch on without the shield.

If he continues to have a shallow latch, I would see a lactation consultant to get things ironed out. They usually have lots of little tips and have seen it all before. I hope this helps and that you can ditch those annoying little shields for good!
post #3 of 7

I started trying to wean from the shield around eight weeks, it didn't happen until four months. I would try everything my lc told me to and he would get mad and I would get sensitive and feel rejected. I eventually got used to using it in all situations and carrying wipes to clean it when I was out. At four months I watched his latch and it was getting super awesome, I pulled the shield off and he was like a champ! I tried to use it a week ago for a cracked nipple (14months) and he laughed, tore it off and nursed. It'll happen!

post #4 of 7

with my second, we didnt use a shield but he would get lazy about opening. what i did was bring him up towards my squeezed boob, and kinda push down on his lower jaw and roll the top of my boob into his mouth to shove as much in there as possible, then check to make sure his lips were pooched out well. 

post #5 of 7

Show your baby a wide open mouth, before or after feeding. See if baby will mimic you. Do this very slowly, so baby can follow, they often will imitate at this age, but certainly by about 3 months. Do this with language, baby might do a wide mouth for you, in time. The previous suggestions were great.
 

post #6 of 7
I used a nipple shield with my son. At about 3 months I got him to latch on without it. It was night and he was sleepy. I had trying on occasion to get him to nurse without it, and that night he did. Nothing unusual was done. I think it was because he was relaxed. Just make sure your little one doesn't get upset by your attempts to go without it, or you could be doomed to using it permanently.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by skycheattraffic View Post

Ugh nipple shields... I used them to transition baby from the bottle and they worked great but what a hassle! I would try to get him to open wide with the shield too so that the transition is easier. Here are a couple of things that worked for us a bit:
- tickle his chin with the nipple/nipple shield. A very light touch worked fairly well to get her to open then I waited a few seconds. Usually she would sort of strain or reach for it, which caused her to open wider.
- when that didn't work, I had the "boob sandwich" in one hand and pulled her chin down very very gently with a finger on my other hand to get a bigger opening. The boob sandwich was VERY helpful. It made my nipple stick out further and firmer and made it easier for her to latch on without the shield.
If he continues to have a shallow latch, I would see a lactation consultant to get things ironed out. They usually have lots of little tips and have seen it all before. I hope this helps and that you can ditch those annoying little shields for good!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tessamami View Post

Show your baby a wide open mouth, before or after feeding. See if baby will mimic you. Do this very slowly, so baby can follow, they often will imitate at this age, but certainly by about 3 months. Do this with language, baby might do a wide mouth for you, in time. The previous suggestions were great.
 

Both of these suggestions worked for me when I was weaning DD off the shield at 8 weeks. The "nipple sandwich" worked perfectly. I'd also say to do lots of skin to skin, keeping baby close to you, maybe even take a warm bath together. Place baby on your bare chest between your breasts and let him root around for it.

 

My DD had a hard time coming off of it, she just wanted the plastic hard thing in her mouth and nothing else. We tried for two weeks to get her to latch and she just wasn't having it. So we went one whole weekend pumping and finger feeding her with the tube and syringe so she'd get used to flesh again. I went back to the lactation clinic the next monday (after going on friday) and she latched! We still had to do the boobie sandwich and get her to open wide, but it worked. We were able to do suck training with the finger feeds and I think that helped a lot. Hope that helps!!

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