Dealing with Nipple Confusion (Flow Preference)

The term "nipple confusion" is a bit of a misnomer. The baby who exhibits the behavior often called nipple confusion is really not confused at all! He knows exactly what he wants - the nipple that produced the most milk with the least effort - and, therefore, this behavior should more accurately be called "flow preference". No matter what it's called, though, it can be extremely frustrating for the mother-baby dyad who are trying to successfully combine breastfeeding and bottle-feeding (of her expressed breastmilk or artificial baby milk).

This is a list I've compiled from my own experiences and from e-mail from other breastfeeding moms over the past few years. If you have other suggestions to offer for dealing with nipple confusion, please e-mail me at

Breastfeeding and the Working Mother
Parenting Resources

© 1998 Cecilia Mitchell Miller, unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved.