Do you have problems breastfeeding or is your baby always a bit brisk when drinking breast milk? A nursing cap can help and also prevent possible injuries. It is also suitable if your child cannot grasp the breast properly or it is already quite affected by the many breastfeeding sessions . For optimal breastfeeding, you should consider the material and shape of the nursing cap before buying.
We have listed additional things to consider in a checklist for you. You can then take a look at specific examples in our product recommendations.
- If you do not want to give up breastfeeding despite sore nipples, a too timid or too brash baby, nipple shields are a good alternative.
- The nipple shields form a protective layer between the nipple and the mouth and protect against further injuries.
- This can speed up healing and significantly reduce pain during breastfeeding.
- If you have problems latching on or your baby simply hasn’t developed the right technique for drinking yet, breastfeeding shields can help both of you.
- You and your baby do not have to miss out on close physical contact.
- Despite breastfeeding difficulties, your baby can enjoy the benefits of breast milk.
- Nursing caps are also helpful if the shape of your nipples makes it difficult or impossible to breastfeed naturally (for example, if you have flat or inverted nipples).
- If you have a nipple piercing that interferes with breastfeeding, a nipple shield can help without having to remove the piercing (depending on the shape and size of the piercing).
- The nursing cap is quickly and easily applied to the breast.
- Place the nursing cap on the areola so that your nipple protrudes into the bulge.
- Your baby will suck the breast milk out of the nipple through a small opening in the bulge.
- You can also use creams and ointments suitable for breastfeeding under the nursing cap.
- Silver caps are not for breastfeeding itself, but are applied to sore nipples between meals.
- The contained silver accelerates healing and cools.
- Nursing caps are made of skin-friendly, ultra-thin silicone.
- Oval or butterfly-shaped with recess for the nose for even more skin contact.
- Available in different sizes.
- Choose the right size / shape based on your nipples and your baby’s drinking behaviour.
- You can sterilize or boil nursing caps and store them in the appropriate container for the next time.
- Silver caps are made of silver.
- Pure silver is nickel-free.
- It is best to use running water and baking soda to clean the silver cones.
Table of contents
Recommended Nursing Caps
Here you can find the top 10 most popular nursing caps..
Tip: Here you can find the best nursing pillows for babies.
The Best Sellers Of Breastfeeding Caps
We have compiled the most popular nursing caps for you in this bestseller list.
Tip: For more comfort- Here you can learn more about the most popular nursing bras.
Current Offers For Nursing Caps
Here you will find a selection of offers that are currently available in the nursing cap section.
How to find the perfect nursing cap for you!
What can nursing caps do?
If you’re having breastfeeding problems, nursing covers can give you temporary relief. They make it easier for your baby to drink and can protect your nipples if they are sore. However, breastfeeding shields should not be used permanently and only if it is really necessary! For more information on when and why you should use breastfeeding shields, see Breastfeeding Shields Info.
When do I need a nursing cap?
Problems with latching on.
Nursing pads can be used for a wide variety of breastfeeding difficulties. For example, you may have problems with latching on. This may be due to the shape of your nipples. In the case of inverted or flat nipples, a nipple shield is necessary so that your baby can grasp the nipple
It may also be that your baby lacks the strength to suck. The nipple shield makes it easier for your baby to hold the nipple in its mouth and also makes sucking easier. Especially for newborns, nipple shields are a great help in learning to suck
The nursing cap surrounds your nipple and creates a protective layer between your baby’s mouth and the sore breast. If your nipple is already sore, you can continue breastfeeding without re-injuring yourself. This way you can support the healing process of your breast. It is important to use the nipple shields only as often and for as long as necessary, because the use of nipple shields increases the risk of infections if your nipples are already sore.
Which nursing cap is right for me?
Whether you want to have a nursing cap to make sucking easier for your baby or because you want to protect your irritated nipples – in both cases you have to make a quick purchase decision and with the selection of different models on the market this is not so easy.In any case, it is important to find the right size and if you notice that the nursing cap is too small, for example, because marks form, then you should definitely try a larger model.
I would like to support you in the decision, so that directly find the perfect nursing cap for you. You only had to answer one question. Do you want the nursing cap because of attachment problems or to protect your irritated nipples? In both cases, all nipple shields are suitable, but due to their different shape, they are better suited for one or the other problem.
You are type A: attachment problems during breastfeeding
If you have problems with latching on, I recommend the breastfeeding cap from MAM, the one from Medela and the one from Lansinoh. All three models are made of silicone, have a comfortable fit and are available in different sizes. The nursing cap from Medela is even available in three different sizes, so that you are even more flexible when it comes to choosing the perfect nursing cap.
You are type B: Sore nipples
Of course, theoretically you can also choose one of my recommendations for type A, but the nursing cap from Philipps and the one from NUK are specially designed for your problem. Both models convince with their special shape, which protects your nipples and helps the healing process. The nursing cap from Philipps, at 7 euros, is a little cheaper than the one from NUK, but there is also only one standard size
Nursing Cap Info
What do nursing caps do?
The advantage of nipple shields is that they are longer, wider and harder than the mother’s nipples. They imitate the shape of the nipple and, due to their distinctive shape, encourage the baby to suckle. Nursing caps provide relief for newborns who need strong stimulation to drink, or for slippery and flat nipples that make breastfeeding difficult. With these nipple shapes, nipple shields can also reduce pain for the mother because the nipples are not subjected to as much strain.
Unlike the mother’s nipple, the nipple shape of the nipple shields remains intact even during pauses in suction. Even with low suction power, the baby can drink milk from the breast with the help of the nursing cap. This applies in particular to premature or sick babies who do not yet have sufficient strength to suck effectively without a nursing cap.
Babies who were previously bottle-fed are also sometimes more likely to accept the breast with a nursing cap than without. The nipple shape here is plastic, just like with the bottle, and the milk is also more readily available.
The use of nipple shields
Whether a woman needs a nursing cap or not often depends on what the specialists say. Nursing caps offer a quick and easy solution and are therefore often preferred by professionals who accompany a mother and her child for only a short time.
Freelance lactation consultants, who can devote more time to an individual family, often also find solutions to manage breastfeeding problems without the cone. As a result, nursing caps are used much less frequently in this area. If breastfeeding cannot be facilitated in any other way, breastfeeding shields are often used.
In birthing clinics, nursing cones are often handed out directly, even before the first attempts at attachment. But breastfeeding cones are an aid that you should only use if you really need them. Therefore, you should try to feed your child without a nursing cap for the time being.
Unfortunately, there are still nursing caps in the form of bottle teats on the market. However, the baby can only grasp the breast tissue superficially and it is not emptied effectively. You should therefore pay attention to the correct use of the nursing cap, to a suitable size and the correct application of the baby
Even when breastfeeding with a nipple shield, your baby must be able to open its mouth before latching on and grasp as much of the breast tissue as possible. In this case, the baby’s teeth are on the areola, on the edge of the nursing cap, and not on the shaft. If your baby slides back and forth on the silicone shaft or chokes, then the cap is too long or your baby is not latched on correctly.
Nursingcap models with a recess for the nose
, provide greater skin contact between mother and baby. The baby recognizes the characteristic smell of the nipple better. Caps with a larger recess also tend not to adhere as well to the breast.
To encourage the baby to drink
, you can fill the tip of the breastfeeding cap with milk by squeezing some milk into the cap or by pouring milk through the hole from the outside. This way, there is an immediate reward for the baby when it starts to suck. If milk appears in the cap after breastfeeding, this is an indication of effective sucking.
If the ultra-thin silicone nursing caps are used correctly, milk production can start just as well as without nursing caps. The predecessors of the silicone nursing caps were mostly made of thick rubber or latex and, in contrast to the modern nursing caps, tended to lead to a decrease in milk production
But also, if the nursing cap does not fit properly, or is not the right size, milk production can not start properly. It can also happen that milk production with a nursing cap works well at first and then declines again after some time. Therefore, it is recommended to pump milk in addition to the nursing cap and to freeze a supply. Regular and thorough emptying of the breast helps to stimulate milk production and maintain it despite the use of a nursing cap.
Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, but sometimes it unfortunately doesn’t work out as hoped. Many mothers then despair and wonder what they are doing wrong. My answer is quite clear: probably nothing. It is normal that you need a little practice at first. For most mothers, the problems with bonding subside by themselves after three days at the latest. Your baby will have recovered from the birth and the medication, and the milk will often flow better.
But if you have problems with latching on, there are usually other reasons behind it. Medical interventions and medications can have a very strong influence on newborns and their natural reflexes. Traumatic births or premature births can also be a reason for latch-on problems, because the child is physically or psychologically not yet able to take the nipple into its mouth and suck out the milk.
Other reasons can be anatomical. For example, if your child has a frenulum that is too short or if your nipples are particularly flat
In all these cases, it is worthwhile to use breastfeeding caps, because they make it much easier for your baby to suckle. Many mothers start pumping their milk and giving it to their babies in bottles. With nursing caps, this effort is not necessary at all and so mother and child can build a very special bond with each other
Experts are divided on the use of nipple shields for sore nipples. This is because the use of nipple shields increases the risk of wound infections. Personally, I would recommend that you talk to your midwife and your doctor about this. From my own experience, I can say that nipple shields can be a great relief for irritated nipples and protect the nipple so that it can heal more quickly. However, you should not use them more often than necessary.
With premature babies, breastfeeding caps are often used without even trying out whether the baby might not be able to suckle on mummy’s breast. The use of the bottle is also very popular in these cases. In the case of a premature birth, it is best to first offer your baby a lot of skin contact and to give him time to learn to drink at the breast, because once he has become accustomed to the breast caps or bottles, it is very difficult for him to get used to them again.
You should also pay attention to this!
When using nursing caps, there is a risk that the breast will not be emptied sufficiently, which means that less milk will be produced in the long run. Therefore, it can be useful to additionally pump
It can also help to check your baby’s weight and secretions in particular to see if he or she is getting enough nourishment. This is also a useful measure when breastfeeding without a nursing cap, because mothers often do not notice when they have an insufficient amount of milk to offer their baby. In this case, substitute products should be used.
The application of the nursing cap
There are several ways to apply a nursing cap to the breast. Some lactation consultants use twisting movements when attaching. Others center the cap over the nipple with the edge folded up and then smooth the edge at the areola
Some lactation consultants almost completely unfold the cap before attachment, rotate it, center it on the nipple, and fold it back. The cap returns to its original shape, and the nipple is pulled into the socket as it does so. If you moisten the hats before use, they will also adhere better, because warm water makes them more malleable. Well-attached nursing caps, do not need to be held, they adhere by themselves.
Weaning off the nursing cap
Nursing caps are very practical and in certain cases also necessary. However, they should only be used as often and for as long as necessary. While some babies will quickly suckle at the breast if a nursing cap is no longer used, others need to be accustomed to the change slowly.
If your baby is not adjusting easily to the change, there are several methods that can help you both. As it is recommended right after birth, it can help to cuddle a lot skin to skin. In the long run, babies will start to look for the breast and suck on it all by themselves. Under no circumstances should you try to push the baby’s head towards the breast or urge your baby to suck too often, as this can lead to rejection.
Another method is to breastfeed with a nipple shield at first, and when your baby is sucking, remove the nipple shield. Many babies don’t even notice the change after the short break in sucking and just continue to suck contentedly. It is also possible to encourage the baby to suckle first with finger feeding and then to put it to the breast.
Under no circumstances should you cut off the breastfeeding cap piece by piece at the front, as recommended on some Internet sites. The edges of the cut could be sharp and injure your baby. Try different methods and be patient.
What should I look for when buying?
When buying a nursing cap, you should pay attention to the right size, so that the nursing cap fits properly to your breast. In addition, there are also different materials that you can choose from.
The right size
The size is a crucial point in the application of nursing caps. The size should fit both the mother’s nipple and the baby’s mouth. So if you have larger nipples, you will need a larger nursing cap. Babies with small mouths need smaller nursing caps to fit their mouths. If the shaft of the nursing cap is too long, then the gag reflex is triggered in the baby and a defensive reaction is triggered.
The length of the nursing cap shaft should not exceed the length of the mouth from the lip closure to the transition of the hard palate to the soft palate. The distance can be measured by placing fingers in the child’s mouth to the beginning of the soft palate and making a mark on the finger just behind the lip closure. According to one study, the length in newborns is between 1.9 and 3.2 cm. Most of the time, a woman’s two nipples are different sizes. Therefore, it is often necessary to buy two sizes to get the perfect fit.
The diameter of the nipple can serve asa first orientation
. The nursing cap should be as small as possible and as large as necessary. The shaft must be long enough to allow the nipple to elongate to its full extension during the sucking process. Nursing caps usually have a shaft length of 2.5 cm (sizes M and L). In size S, the shaft is slightly shorter at 2.1 cm. If the woman has pain or the holes of the cap stand out on the nipple after breastfeeding, the cap is too small.
By the way, the size of the nipple is not identical to the size of the breast. Even with large breasts, they can have small nipples and vice versa.
There are several models of nipple shields and several sizes to choose from. The millimeter specification of the manufacturer, refers to the inner diameter of the shaft at the base. For orientation, you can measure the diameter of the nipples at the base with a ruler
Very many women have nipples with a diameter of 13-17 mm in diameter and have a good selection of nursing caps. Also nipples under 10mm, or over 30mm sometimes occur. Especially with large nipples it is difficult to find the right cap. This is also mainly due to the fact that the two nipples of a woman are often different sizes.
You can get the best fit by trying out different sizes, shapes and brands. Start with the smallest nursing cap and then try larger and larger ones if the first ones are too small. Most nursing caps are tapered to prevent slipping. It is an advantage if the nursing cap has a recess where your baby’s nose is located, because this provides more skin contact and the smell of the Montgomery glands stimulates the sucking reflex.
The right material
Nursing caps are mainly made of silicone, latex, or rubber. Each material has its own properties and advantages.
ipple shields are particularly fine and delicate and are therefore able to adapt optimally to your breast. They are kind to the skin and are ideal for sensitive skin. But as soon as your baby starts teething, you should no longer use these caps, as small pieces can come off.
Latex nursing caps
are thicker but still comfortable. They can even be cut to fit your breast perfectly with scissors. However, this material is sensitive to heat, so you must clean the latex nursing caps frequently and replace them after some time.
Rubber nursing caps are also relatively thick, but are rarely offered anymore anyway. Nevertheless, it can be an advantage if, for example, you want to get your baby used to the breast again from the bottle.
FAQ about nursing caps
A nursing cap is used for breastfeeding problems. The attachment is longer and wider than the normal nipple and ensures that a stronger suction reflex takes place and you are protected from injury
A nursing cap is usually made of a soft material so that the attachment resembles the nipple. Therefore, they are usually made of silicone, latex, or rubber. These materials adapt well to the breast and are therefore well suited for breastfeeding. Silver caps also support and accelerate wound healing
The nursing cap is placed on the areola. The nipple should protrude into the small bulge. Now your baby can drink the breast milk relatively easily through this small opening
The nursing cap should be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria from accumulating in it. After each use, it is therefore important that you clean the nursing cap with hot water and rinse it with a little washing-up liquid. Sometimes it is also necessary to boil the cones. This is the case if your nipple has bled during breastfeeding. Many manufacturers offer specific containers in which you can optimally store the nursing cap
Nursing caps come in a wide range of sizes. Therefore, adjust the size to the size of your nipple and the mouth of your child. If, for example, the shaft of the cap is too long, your child’s gag reflex will be triggered. Basically, you can choose between the sizes S, M or L
A nursing cap can cost up to 40 euros. Cheaper ones, on the other hand, are available for as little as 5 euros
You can usually clean a nursing cap again and again and therefore use it for a longer period of time. However, if it becomes brittle or discolored, you should always replace it to prevent germs and injuries
If you have inverted nipples or inverted nipples, your baby cannot suckle properly on the nipple. This can be frustrating for both of you in the long run, which is why you should think about buying a nursing cap. It can also help the wound heal if your breast is badly damaged
You should wean your baby off the nursing cap in slow steps. At the beginning, you can place it on your nipple as usual, but take it off during breastfeeding. It is now important that your baby lies correctly on the breast. Observe your baby’s reactions and gradually remove the nursing cap. Cutting off the nursing cap, on the other hand, does not make much sense, as this creates sharp edges that your baby may injure itself on
You should not breastfeed with a nursing cap for longer than necessary and therefore only use it for a shorter period of time. It therefore makes sense to breastfeed your baby again without it after the breast has healed
However, there is always criticism of the nursing cap. For example, it is relatively awkward to put on the nursing cap. At night, the attachment can therefore be annoying. In addition, your baby may no longer suckle properly and therefore take in too little milk. This leads to the fact that your breast is no longer emptied properly and pain arises in the breast. Nevertheless, you can use the nursing cap with a clear conscience if breastfeeding does not work properly or your skin is very sore.
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