Sein, tétine ou biberon, comment éviter la confusion ? - Élhée

Breast, pacifier or bottle, how to avoid confusion?


  • Breast-pacifier confusion: what are we talking about?
  • Sucking: an essential role in babies
  • Solutions, always solutions for your baby

Are you breastfeeding, are you going to breastfeed or have you breastfed? So you have probably already heard of the breast-pacifier confusion . It could occur in breast-fed babies to whom we also decide to give a bottle to drink or a pacifier to sleep . But, what do we know about breast-pacifier confusion? Does it really exist? Can babies really mistake a pacifier for their mother's breast? If so, where does this problem come from? How to identify it and what solutions to provide?

Breast-pacifier confusion: what are we talking about?

Over young parents of a breastfed infant, breast-pacifier confusion hovers like a legend. Accused of almost all ills, but above all of complicating and even putting an end to breastfeeding, it could occur with the introduction of the bottle and, more rarely, the pacifier. “Confused” babies would then refuse to continue suckling the maternal breast to only accept the bottle.

In reality, from a physiological point of view, The link between bottle feeding and breastfeeding disruption has never been established . The breast-pacifier confusion would rather find its origin in an infant's difficulty in taking the breast, which would push him to prefer the bottle. Thus, the word “confusion” is particularly unsuitable for the phenomenon.

How do I know if my baby has breast-pacifier confusion?

Identifying breast-pacifier confusion is not easy. Above all, it is about putting your finger on a Sucking disorder in infants , babies or very young children. In practice, what adults call “breast-pacifier confusion” manifests itself in children in different ways.

  • Baby gets angry when he is at the breast , cries, seems to refuse breastfeeding.
  • He is unable, or no longer able, to take the breast correctly , which he takes and releases, takes and releases, or pinches, which can be painful.

These reactions can also be a sign of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), infant colic, or hidden pain or discomfort. If observing your baby is not enough to put you on the right track, consult your general practitioner or pediatrician. If you don't know them yet, you can also meet the association of lactation consultants , who can support you.

What if it was all a question of milk flow?

Because drinking from a bottle and breastfeeding are two very different things, just as some babies prefer breast milk to formula, others could develop a preference for the faster flow of milk given from a bottle . This can, for example, occur in cases of moderate lactation. Baby — despite his efforts to suckle — receives less milk from the breast than from the bottle and may therefore prefer the latter.

Breast-pacifier confusion: where can it come from?

The origin of breast-pacifier confusion is specific to each baby, to their birth, to their history. However, it seems that the most common causes are not directly linked to the introduction of a pacifier, but rather to:

  • A lack of tongue mobility caused by a brake, particularly in the upper lip,
  • of the tensions established during pregnancy or at the time of childbirth , which cause stiffness in the tongue, mouth or even head,
  • A sucking and swallowing coordination disorder ,
  • there prematurity of the baby,
  • a reduction in breast milk production , etc.

Breast-pacifier confusion: what are the consequences?

The first consequence of breast-pacifier confusion is the progressive impoverishment of the rhythm and volume of feedings . Because the baby latches less often and less well, the mother sees her milk production decrease. Lactation can then simply end up stopping.
However, while waiting to find the most suitable solution, using a breast pump or breastfeeding pump helps to stimulate milk production . When baby is not latching on or less, this technique allows you to express your milk to give it differently, to store it, to unclog your breast and to continue to benefit from the milk flow.

Sucking: an essential role in babies

From archaic reflexes present from birth is suction. Acquired in utero, this capacity is used for feeding the infant, for relaxation and for many other things.

  • At each feeding, the suction mechanism changes the intracranial pressure, which allows the shape of the skull to be modulated babies, whose bones (temporal, sphenoid and ethmoid bones in particular) at birth, are not fused. THE palate, it also develops to allow the correct placement of the teeth and the evolution of the airways.
  • Sucking also accompanies development of the jaws and numerous facial muscles , of which it alone influences part of the physiognomy.
  • When baby feeds, he must breathe through his nose . This form of breathing is the most effective for oxygenating the brain and activating the vagal system linked to relaxation.

Solutions for your baby

Regarding breast-pacifier confusion, It's never too late to find the right solution . The sooner you act, the more patience you will have and the quicker the resolution will be.
confusion breast pacifier bottle

Getting back to the basics of breastfeeding

Once the source of the confusion has been identified, do not hesitate to start breastfeeding from scratch (or almost). Offer your child the breast often, day or night, but without insisting . You can also compress your chest a little to accentuate the expression of breast milk, and do this in a quiet place, one-on-one with your baby.

Imagining alternatives to the bottle

Little is known, but there are several ways to give a baby milk to drink. Depending on the age of the infant or child, they are more or less known and accessible.

  • THE Lactation Assistance Device (DAL) allows you to avoid the use of pacifiers.
  • There oral syringe Projects milk directly into baby's mouth, from the sides.
  • There soft cup, spoon or bottle cup , allows older babies to drink by sucking the milk. The need for sucking being unsatisfied, breastfeeding becomes easier.
  • THE glass or cup , in a sitting position from 6 months.

Renew the bottle/pacifier duo

At the same time, you can also get back on a good foundation when it comes to bottle feeding. Choose the most suitable position for giving the bottle and make yourself comfortable . Place your child in semi-recumbent position and introduce him to his baby bottle horizontally so that he can control the rhythm of his drink.
For breastfeeding mothers, parents who practice mixed breastfeeding, bib-breastfeeding, or bottle-feeding, Élhée has imagined a sensory bibROND developed to offer all families a experience as close as possible to that of breastfeeding . Round, soft and flexible body in 100% clean medical silicone and three-flow teat designed for to support the proper development of the oral cavity and the sucking rhythm of each baby , our round bottle is intended to be a perfect relay for the maternal breast wrapped in a bubble of softness.


Consult an osteopath

Gentle with the body and particularly attentive to the needs of babies, perinatal osteopathy is practiced from birth . GERD, infant colic or sucking difficulties , through slow and adapted manipulations, the therapist releases the accumulated energies and tensions to offer the infant better mobility.

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