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how can i wean baby off nipple shields?

My DS is 10 weeks old and I have used nipple shields since his birth. I'd like to wean him off of those shields now to bf without them. I just tried it for the first time and he seemed to be doing ok, but he did not latch on the way he was supposed to and he seemed to be exhausted after 5 min and fell asleep. How can I get him to open his mouth right?Should I just stop feeding with the shield or slowly wean him off? Has anyone weaned their baby off? How long did it take? Will my milk supply suffer?Thanks

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Asked by januarymom81 at 10:21 AM on Mar. 17, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 2 (5 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • The Tear-off sheet titled NIPPLE SHIELDS, published by LLL, lists the following suggestions:

    “Follow your baby’s cues in discontinuing use of the nipple shield. A baby may use a nipple shield for a few days or a few months. Premature babies who use nipple shields are often observed to stop needing then around the time of their original due dates.

    During the time your baby is weaning from a nipple shield, keep a close watch on how many wet and dirty diapers he has to be sure he is getting as much milk without the shield as he was with the shield.

    You may encourage your baby to breastfeed without the nipple shield by providing more skin-on-skin contact in between feedings. At feeding times, let him nurse with the shield until his initial hunger is eased and then try to remove the shield and offer your bare breast.

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 11:24 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • One more tip form the LLL info: Are you using a pacifier? This just reinforces his familiarity with an artificial nipple, so you may want to eliminate the pacifier, at least temporarily. Let him suck on your finger to get him used to the feel and taste of skin, rather than latex or silicone.

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 11:24 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • I weaned my on at 6 weeks. I had so much pain using the shield because he developed a lazy latch that I "told" him that he nursed without it or I was quiting.
    With me I just took it away and never gave it back. It took about 3 days for him to really accept it... he would cry and fuss each feeding but he would eventually eat and did fine.
    In fact, he gained weight! I had been needing to supplement with formula while on the shield, I had no idea it was the cause! After he was weaned I didn't have any more supply issues and he gained 4 lbs in a month!!!

    I suggest if he will latch... then take it away. And give it a few days. It will take a little re-learning but he will get it after awhile.

    Answer by AmiJanell at 11:48 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • i had to use the nipple shield for about a month. i would just burp him during feedings and when i put him back on the breast i would have the shield off. it took a few days but he finally would take the breast from the beginning of the feeding with no shield, it was the best thing ever. i felt so accomplished when he finally could breastfeed on his own with no shield, now hes a champ at it haha. good luck.

    Answer by sweetjpea at 1:11 PM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • I had to use a nipple shield the entire time I nursed my son, until he was 6 months old. No one warned me that he could get to the point that he wouldn't nurse without it. I wish the nurse had warned me about it before I started using it. To wean your son, I would just try to nurse him without it. You might also try to start nursing him with it on, then take it off after a minute or 2. That worked for me a few times.

    Answer by Sillieguze at 2:07 PM on Mar. 17, 2009

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