Weaning Baby From Nipple Sheild

7 Replies
Heather F - June 1

I have inverted flat nipples and my baby was a month early, which didnt help because her sucking reflex wasnt strong and she was a sleepy newborn uninterested in nursing - br___t feeding was impossible without nipple sheilds which we have been successfully using for 10 weeks...I would now like to try to phase the nipple sheild out but don' t know how...has anyone done this before?


Susan W - June 1

I had to also use a shield. What I did was start leaving it off when DS was hungry and started with the b___st he preferred anyway in hopes that he would be hungry enough to latch on without it. Sometimes that worked, but if he pulled off, I would put it on and just nurse. If it didn't work, I took it off partway through feeding, usually when the first letdown had eased and the baby wouldn't get totally flooded with milk. Gradually, I started taking it off earlier and earlier so he could learn to deal with my firehose letdown. It did take a few weeks, but we got there. You can do it. I'm glad you are nursing despite the obstacles you had to overcome!! Good for you!!


Heather F - June 1

Susan - thanks for the words of encouragement and praise - BFing was extremely important to me for the health benefits and I am so happy with how it is going I would just prefer to get rid of the b___st sheld for convience - it would be much easier to feed her in public without it and I am so affraid I am going to forget it one day and be unable to feed her! When I try it without now she will sometimes latch on but she is the type of baby that will latch on and off and when she tries to latch back on and the nipple sheld isnt there she acts like she is looking for it and she gets frustrated so I put it back on, I suppose it will just take time.


Susan W - June 2

Hang in there. . . I remember that fear too, that I would lose the thing and not be able to nurse in public! But you are headed on the right path since you say she will sometimes latch on without it. Just give yourself some time. It did take a few weeks for us. I know there are some others here who also had to use a shield, so perhaps someone else will have a trick that worked for them. And nursing is worth it :) I've been nursing now for 21 months, and I'm glad I stuck with it. Good for you!!


spritz - June 2

I hope I can help. My DD is two now and she was very uninterested in nursing. I fianlly went with the nipple shield. She nursed very well with that. I still felt like it was a crutch b/c if I forgot it I was panicing. After 3 weeks she just switched from shield to b___st. I offered her the b___st one day and she just kinda got it. Well that said I had another DD 12 weeks early. So I can relate to the early stuff. She was fed through tubes and bottles for 90 days in the NICU. I would put her to b___st and nothing. So the LC gave me a shield and she did very well. Once I got her home she was still only allowed to nurse 4 times a day and get bottles the other times b/c of her low birth weight. So every feed I would offer the b___st. She would sometimes pop on pop off or not take it at all or sometimes nurse one side without and then need it for the next side. So I just continued to offer at each feed and about 4-5 weeks of doing that she latched and we never went back to the sheild again. She still nurses 2 times a day and gets specialized formula bottles the other times. Stick with it. Your baby will come of the shield with a little work! Hope that helps:)


C - June 9

I used the shield until he was 3 months. One day I held him to my b___st and he latched on without any a__sistance from me. I say to attempt latching on each time without it. If you or the baby start to get frustrated, put the shield on. Another option is to latch with the shield on and after a minute take the shield away and this way your nipple will be pulled out and easier to latch. I stopped b___stfeeding 3 weeks ago and my nipples have not gone back to being flat yet. I hope they don't so I can attempt to nurse without the shield for baby #2.


Susan W - June 10

C, from what I understand, now that we have nursed, our nipples will be normal and easier for a subsequent baby to latch to. The adhesions causing flat/inverted nipples have broken down. I'm planning to nurse without the shield this time around :) from day one!!


emmasmom - June 18

my baby is 8 months old and sad to say we still use a nipple shield. She is such a baby of routine. I lost my window of opportunity to wean her off of it. But, it has not hurt her, it is just a pain for me to have to put it on all of the time. SO wean off the shield when you can ladies! I am stuck with mine until we are weaned all together.



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