Just to recap, before Pman was born, I went to three classes.
1. Baby care I- birth to three months
2. Baby careII- three months to a year
(Note I did not take a Lamaze class as I have mentioned, I believe babies were born well before these classes were introduced and therefore did not see the purpose in going. I figured the end result would be fairly similar class or no class. While I am at it, I also never read a single book about being pregnant or giving birth. Nor have I read any on the first year of life, although I have read bits of pieces of the latter of the three mentioned. Again, I figure people raised babies well before there were books, and who makes the authors of those books think they are so great? If every baby is different as these experts tout, how could a book possibly be written about the care of said unique baby?)
Anyway, back to the point...(I seem to say that a lot lately, curious.)
In two of the three classes I was told of this horrible thing called nipple confusion. The third class negated everything I had been warned about regarding nipple confusion. (See this is why classes and books suck, they all negated each other eventually.)
Anyway, back to the point (SEE!)
Apparently the believers in nipple confusion profess that if you are a breastfeeding mama you should not introduce a bottle or pacifier until the baby is at least any where from 6 weeks to 3 months old. Upon hearing this in my first two classes, Baby Care I and Nursing, like a good soon-to-be mommy, I vowed to wait until Parker was a couple months into nursing before introducing any sort of forgien nipple-like object.
Now, some of you may have gotten this far in the entry and are still scratching your heads and saying, "Huh?" Me too.
They never really said if this nipple confusion is a product of the baby not being able to tell the difference between the two nipples that give food (boob and bottle) verse the one that does not (pacifier) creating a situation like a lab rat in a cage.
Lab Rat Group #1: Every time they push a leaver they get food.
Lab Rat Group #2: No matter how much they push the leaver, they never get anything to eat.
Lab Rat Group #3: This group gets a treat randomly when they press the leaver, meaning sometimes there is food and sometimes, not. Leaving these poor lab rat to be OBSESSED with pressing the leaver in an attempt to find food. (P.S. Hell must be coming back to life as a lab rat.)
In this scenario, does nipple confusion mean that our babies who get breastfed, bottle fed and are introduced to pacifiers at the same time will become nipple obsessed, attempting to suckle anything looking like a nipple in an effort to get a snack or fill their bellies? Are we about to have a generation of adults with suckle seeking behavior? If so, ew.
Also, my boobs may be different than they once were, but they do not resemble pacifiers and therefore again, I do not see where the confusion would come into play. Actually, I think I may be offended at the suggestion that the two were so similar.
Are the babies going to be confused by the word nipple itself? Which, I have to say, is a terrible word and if I have to clear up Parker's confusion with some sort of explanation for the word nipple, I may just pop in a copy of Meet the Parents, bring up the dinner table scene for Parker to observe and call it a day. I have a friend, a fellow blogger and college English teacher, who has two boys. One is slightly younger than Parker and the other is 2. It seems the two year old calls nipples, belly buttons. Any why not? I'm just as confused about why we all have nipple as I am about why we all have belly buttons.
In the end I think it is all a bunch of hooey.
Since, as you know, Pfunk did not come directly home after birth, I really had little to do with how he was fed and comforted when I was not around. This being said, I think he is a good case study baby for debunking this mysterious nipple confusion. When he was finally taken off the breathing and feeding tubes he was given a bottle because I was not there and so neither were my boobs. My milk was and that is what they gave him in the bottle and he took it. He also latched on whenever I was there and nursed him. I also even came into the NICU at times and they had put a pacifier in his mouth. Fearing he would not eat now, I voiced my concerned. Behind stifled laughter, the NICU nurses basically said the nipple confusion crap, was in fact, crap.
Although, I will say he does not seem to be, nor was he ever really into the pacifier. Now it is more like a toy to him. I will also say that I have friends who waited the "recommended" 3 months before introducing a bottle and it backfired and they had to feel their babies with eye droppers (I'm not making this up) in order to get them to eat.
Talk about confusion!
I think all we can do as mothers is do what feels right and not make one another feel guilty for taking a different path to achieve the same goal of happy, healthy kids.
I do think a bit of confusion comes into Parker's life every time Josh has to change a poopy diaper though. This past Sunday, as I am putting away groceries AND making lunch for Josh and I when I hear Josh call me from the living room to tell me Parker has pooped.
"So change him...."
The next thing I see is Parker in the Pack n Play- naked but still diapered. He is kicking his legs and seemingly giggling.
Josh (or someone I believe to be Josh) is standing over Parker. A towel or blanket is wrapped around Josh's face with only his eyes showing. In each of his hands are hot dog tongs and he is reaching or jabbing in the general direction of Pfunk's diaper.
Since I am able to change Parker's diapers without this get-up, imagine his confusion when this Arabian Night's/ Edward Scissorhands minus the scissors and plus the tongs is coming at him.