Getting off the Nipple Shield? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-12-2006, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS had trouble latching, to the point that he really could not get enough food even after my milk came in. The "lactation consultant" at the ped's office basically ordered me to supplement with formula, I cried. Luckily DS hated that and vomited every drop we tried to give him. So at first I expressed into a bottle and gave him that, it got his weight back up so the pediatrician was off our case and he had more energy. Then out of nowhere I got the idea to send DH out to the store for nipple shields. I had thought those were just for flat/inverted nipples so I have no idea how I thought to try it for our problem. Well it worked and Pherson is now eating great off the breast. But I don't want to be stuck with these forever, so does anyone have advice on how to make the switch to breastfeeding without them? I've tried taking it off halfway through the feeding but he won't get back on to eat without it. Maybe it will be easier in a couple weeks or something?
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Old 04-12-2006, 05:25 PM
 
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I had to use nipple shields and successfully weaned off them. Keep doing what you are doing, but also try to get him to latch at the beginning of every feeding without them. It will be easier if he is sleepy or not so hungry. At first, he probably won't latch without them, but if you keep trying at the beginning and during each feed, you should start to see some progress.

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Old 04-12-2006, 07:35 PM
 
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How old is babe?

Most babies get off the shield when ready..they are a hassle...but if its's working enjoy and just try everyday to latch. I had a mom in my group jiust wean off the shield her her baby is five months old...he is nursing like a pro. I say beween 6-12 weeks is fairly common.
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:59 PM
 
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It's good you found a solution all by yourself, no thanks to your doctor.

I'm wondering why he can't latch on well and yet is doing well with the nipple shield. Small mouth/big nipples mismatch?, high palate, tongue tie...

My dd had trouble latching cause of a high palate and basically once she'd grown out of that (i.e. her mouth got bigger so it wasn't such a problem), then I didn't need to supp with syringes, bottles etc. It took her about 4 mo but hers was a bit extreme. Most babies I've heard of grow out of these things sooner.

I used syringes, shield and bottles, although my dd never really took to the shield. She did get nipple preference though. When I was trying to get my dd off bottles and back to exclusive nursing, I'd try nursing at the times she was most alert, in a good mood, not too hungry etc. Pick a good time and try nursing. If he gets too frustrated, try walking around with him, or something to calm him down and try again. If he totally loses it, just let him have the shield. That kinda worked for my dd but finally to get her totally off the bottles, I just went cold turkey and ditched them. I waited til her weight gain was steady to do that and I rented a weight scale at home and monitored her weight gain. The first time I tried it at 6w it didn't work and the 2nd time I tried cold turkey at 16w it worked fine. Her weight gain slowed down a bit but was within acceptable limits, that was expected.

I know in the middle of these things, you wonder will you ever get rid of the thing, but nearly all babies seem to grow out of it.
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Old 04-13-2006, 12:25 AM
 
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Ds was off by 8 or 10 weeks.....I just started by each doing "naked nipple" time everyday although it was very painful, eventually he was only using it at night and only then mostly because I was too lazy to work on his latch in the dark and the ns goes in so smoothly! in the end the night ns time dissapeared....i tried to offer the boob with the ns on and he just thought i was nuts to offer it--> he wanted my nipple and my nipple ONLY.

make it a step by step process so that't gentle on you both., good luck mama, I 've been there!

Miles (December 2005) Pascual (March 2009). P's was my beautiful home waterbirth that healed me from my M's birth. natural birth, midwifery, postpartum depression, babywearing, breastfeeding.
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Old 04-13-2006, 12:35 AM
 
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Biggest advice, keep trying. I know I have posts on here about this, as I didn't start trying to wean off the shield until I woke from new mommy hibernation at about 3 or 4 weeks. I can't remember the exact timing, but I know it took a couple of months of trying over and over to wean from the shield. I think I started around 6 weeks and probably finished for good around the 12th week. Funny thing though, at 13 months I got horrible thrush and he refused the shield, as I tried to use it for a nipple break!

Don't give up and don't stress to much, baby is nursing getting good milk, I know it is a pain to always have to have to make sure you have the shield and it sure is tough to find in the bed in the middle of the night! )

Busy wife to dh for 5 years and mama to ds1 (11.09.04), ds2 (7.17.06) and ds3 coming Aug 09. :::
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Old 04-13-2006, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice and encouragement, ladies! The problem at first was that he just wouldn't open his mouth much for me, and even when he actually got on the breast he would suck for a few seconds then just stop and fall asleep. For some reason his rooting reflex kinda had to be learned I guess. With the shield he's learning to open up wide and suck properly, this morning I got him to have a brief feeding without the shield on at all. He's 11 days old now. I think with a little hard work and patience we'll be completely rid of it before 4 weeks.
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Old 04-13-2006, 07:24 PM
 
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It took us just a few weeks to wean off of the nipple shield. Just a little persistence was all it took, something we had to work on everyday. I think I did have luck taking the shield off halfway through the feeding, but dd was maybe about 6 weeks old by then?? He can definitely learn to nurse without it.
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Old 04-13-2006, 10:22 PM
 
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My DD was born exactly a week after Pherson, and we have been using a nipple shield because of her small size (she was three weeks early) and her sleepiness; in the beginning she just didn't have the energy to form my big ol' nipple in her little tiny mouth, and would fall asleep after 3-4 sucks.

We started working on weaning from the nipple shield once DD regained her birth weight, and we are still working on it (she is 5 weeks old today!)--most times she goes right on the right breast without the shield, although we are still working on it with the left breast . . . and I use the shield for almost all of the night nursings, because I don't want to sleep in a puddle (trying to get her on without the shield sometimes involves a LOT of milk dripping all over both of us!). I figure once she gets to 100% shieldless during the day, we will start working on the night nursings as well.

Basically, give yourself time and take it easy. Our naturopath/pediatrician told me it can take weeks to get completely weaned from the shield; I got the same advice from the midwives and from the La Leche League leader (whose son took 7 weeks to COMPLETELY wean from the shield). The most important thing is that baby is getting the nutrition he needs.
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Old 04-14-2006, 05:20 PM
 
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kellymom has some tips at http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...an-shield.html
I was able to wean DD in a few days. I just tried it and it worked most of the time. I kept using it at night until she would latch on without it. But then she started refusing to BF and I had to go back to the nipple shield after 2 weeks of bottle feeding. Now she is refusing again. I am thinking about trying the nipple shield again. I think she may have a major preference for silicone nipples. DD is 5 months old now. Some people can never wean and use it for the entire BFing relationship. It is a pain, though. Good luck!
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:13 PM
 
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nak

you've already received lots of good advice, but i just wanted to chime in with support--i could've written your post 5 months ago. we weaned off the shield after a few weeks by doing just what you are. it took some time and perserverence but we did it! at around 6 weeks DD just seemed to "get it" practically overnight. Hoping with time and dedication you'll get there too
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Old 04-15-2006, 05:06 PM
 
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We also were slaves to the clear boob sombrero! :P

What got us off it was really working hard on correcting latch and most importantly, POSITION. One of my LLL buds just helped me and boom! My daughter latched perfectly and we never used the sombrero again.
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Old 04-17-2006, 01:14 AM
 
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We just weaned off the shield a few weeks ago (ds is 10 weeks old now). At least once a day I would try to nurse him without the shield - at first he wouldn't do it at all, then he would do it sometimes, and finally one day he nursed just fine without it, and we have been shield-free (with a perfect latch) ever since.
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