U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A member asked:

What is nipple confusion?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Nipple confusion: Breastfeeding and bottle feeding are very different with respect to the way a baby needs to suck. Breastfeeding requires the baby to have a wide open mouth with the tongue down and curled under the nipple. Some babies can become "confused" if artificial nipples from pacifiers and or bottles are introduced early, before breastfeeding is well established.
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
Lactation terms: Many breast coaches will use this term to describe the idea that a baby will not work to start breast feeding if they are offered a pacifier or bottle. They say it promotes nipple confusion. In three decades of doing this I have found it works opposite. If kids never try a pacifier or bottle, mom's have a hard time getting them to wean or use one. I consider it bunk.
Last updated Oct 3, 2016


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.