How to Get Baby off Nipple Shield

How to Get Baby off Nipple Shield: A Step-by-Step Guide

Using a nipple shield can be a helpful tool for breastfeeding mothers and babies facing challenges such as latch issues, flat or inverted nipples, or premature babies. However, it is often recommended to wean your baby off the nipple shield once any breastfeeding difficulties have been resolved. This article will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to get your baby off a nipple shield successfully.

1. Consult a Lactation Consultant: Before attempting to wean your baby off a nipple shield, it is essential to seek guidance from a lactation consultant or a breastfeeding specialist. They can assess your baby’s latch and provide you with personalized advice.

2. Start During a Calm Feeding: Choose a feeding session when your baby is calm and less likely to become frustrated. This will increase the chances of a successful transition.

3. Express Some Milk: Express a few drops of breast milk onto the nipple shield to make it more appealing and familiar to your baby.

4. Latch Without the Shield: Hold your baby in a comfortable breastfeeding position and attempt to latch without the nipple shield. Gently guide your baby’s mouth towards your breast.

5. Be Persistent and Patient: It may take several attempts before your baby latches without the shield. Be patient and continue trying at each feeding session.

6. Offer Support: Use your hand to support your breast and guide your baby’s mouth towards the nipple. This can help your baby to latch properly.

7. Try Skin-to-Skin Contact: Skin-to-skin contact can enhance the bond between you and your baby and promote breastfeeding. Undress your baby and hold them against your bare chest, allowing them to explore and find the breast.

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8. Seek Comfort Measures: If your baby becomes fussy or frustrated, try offering them comfort measures such as rocking, swaying, or gentle bouncing while attempting to latch.

9. Use Breast Compression: Gently compress your breast to encourage milk flow and make it easier for your baby to latch.

10. Gradual Transition: If your baby is struggling to latch without the nipple shield, try removing it once your baby has started nursing and is in a comfortable position. Gradually reduce the time your baby spends using the shield until they can latch without it.

11. Stay Positive: Maintain a positive attitude and create a calm and relaxed environment during feeding sessions. Babies can sense their mother’s emotions, so remaining calm and confident can help ease the transition.

12. Seek Support: If you find it challenging to wean your baby off the nipple shield or encounter any difficulties, don’t hesitate to reach out to a lactation consultant for further guidance and support.


1. How long does it take to wean off a nipple shield?
The weaning process can vary for each baby. It may take a few days to a few weeks to completely transition away from using a nipple shield.

2. Can I use any techniques to make my baby latch without the shield?
The techniques mentioned in this article, such as skin-to-skin contact, breast compression, and offering support, can be effective in helping your baby latch without the shield.

3. Can I use a nipple shield for every feeding?
While nipple shields can be helpful in certain situations, it is generally recommended to wean your baby off them once breastfeeding challenges are resolved.

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4. Will weaning off a nipple shield affect my milk supply?
Weaning off a nipple shield should not affect your milk supply. However, if you have concerns, consult a lactation consultant or breastfeeding specialist.

5. Can I use a nipple shield with a breast pump?
Nipple shields are not typically recommended for use with breast pumps. However, consult with a lactation consultant or breastfeeding specialist for personalized advice.

6. How can I ensure my baby is getting enough milk during the weaning process?
Pay attention to your baby’s feeding cues, monitor their diaper output, and consult a healthcare professional if you have concerns about your baby’s milk intake.

7. What if my baby still refuses to latch without the shield?
If your baby continues to struggle with latching without the shield, seek guidance from a lactation consultant or breastfeeding specialist for further support.

8. Can using a nipple shield cause nipple confusion?
While nipple confusion is possible, it is not common. Most babies can transition between breast and nipple shield without difficulty.

9. Can I wean off the nipple shield gradually?
Yes, gradual weaning can be a helpful approach. Start by removing the shield once your baby has started nursing and reduce the time they spend using it over time.

10. Should I clean the nipple shield after each use?
Yes, it is important to clean the nipple shield thoroughly after each use to maintain proper hygiene.

11. Can I use a nipple shield for bottle feeding?
Nipple shields are designed for breastfeeding and may not be suitable for bottle feeding. Consult with a healthcare professional for advice on bottle feeding if needed.

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12. Are there any alternatives to nipple shields?
If you are facing breastfeeding challenges, consider seeking guidance from a lactation consultant who can suggest alternative techniques or tools to support breastfeeding.