The commonality of nipples and rubber bands

I knew this day was coming.  I had hoped maybe I’d be spared this time around but no, Sugarbaby is following in the suckling footsteps of her 5 big sisters.  Rubber band nipple.  If you are unfamiliar with this phenomenon, picture this: a sweet baby with a strong sucking action at their mother’s breast as they eat when suddenly, *twinkle* *bam* *tiniest-sound-ever* super sonic bat-ears baby hears something and simply must look whipping their head in a 180 turn to examine the source all while never releasing the vacuum hold they have on their mother’s nipple.  If this idea makes you gasp and criss-cross your arms across your chest then you get the idea.  I must say, this does encourage me to appreciate not only those days of focused breastfeeding moments but also the incredible durability of my nipples.

Forteen years ago, when expecting my first baby, I never, ever would imagine what I would come to appreciate, not the least of which would be the incredible durability of my nipples.  Becoming a parent does strange things to a person.

As I marveled over these incredibly durable nipples of mine, I started to wonder how nipples and rubber bands do actually compare.  At first glance it may seem like there is little in common and therefor one would wonder why babies attempt to treat them so much a like but a closer look reveals there are some real similarities.  There are also some very distinct incomparability.

Nipples and rubber bands are soft and pliable, fiddling with them is fun for the person fiddling.  The nipple and the rubber band?  Maybe not so much.

Unlike rubber bands, nipples are attached to a person that may have an opinion on this.


Nipples and rubber bands are stretchy, to a finite point, they can stretch significantly beyond their resting form and then springing back upon release.  Again, more fun for the person doing the stretching than for the nipple and rubber band.

Unlike rubber bands, nipples have nerve endings.  While a rubber band will break when stretched too far, they will not experience excruciating pain and tears when they tear apart from themselves.  Nipples, on the other hand…


Nipples and rubber bands come in a wide array of colors, all pleasing to the eye.  Whether peachy cream or dark and bold, there is a unique variety.

Unlike rubber bands though, red, orange, blue, green, teal, purple, and several other colors really don’t look good on nipples and should be cause for concern.


Nipples and rubber bands can be used in therapies, providing a distraction or focusing opportunity when needed.

Unlike rubber bands, nipples aren’t used therapeutically to inflict a snapping sensation.  Squeezing nipples when frustrated or anxious is also discouraged probably most importantly by the person they belong to.


Nipples and rubber bands are functional.  Far more than decoration, there are some very specific purposes for both of them.

Unlike rubber bands, nipples function to sustain life, arguably more important that bundling objects together or even shooting obnoxious friends and family.


Nipples and rubber bands can bring great satisfaction, they are fun, soothing, and functional.

Unlike rubber bands, nipples have the ultimate trump card: they have milk.


It is highly doubtful that my nursling is going to understand or give a rip about the distinctions between nipples and rubber bands.  Alas, I shall be left to ponder these differences on my own through our feedings.  For now, I’ll just have to keep a child-safe nursing necklace handy (see buttons on the side to find some necklaces of your own) to keep her focused on something that doesn’t require stretching my nipple like a rubber band.  Thankfully this stage is short lived.  Even better?  I have incredibly durable nipples for which I never knew I would be so grateful.





  1. This made me laugh, and sad that I never made it to this point in nursing. Maybe the next time I will remember this post and laugh at how rubber band like my nipples are!

  2. LOVE IT! All 4 of my nurslings have thought my nipples are made of rubber and thought they could keep feeding while turning their heads and got a loud OUCH in return.

    Nipples are so much more useful than rubber bands.

  3. My nursling (almost 3 months) has started PULLING away while still attached…I thought that was bad. I’m super scared for the whiplash “What was that noise” stretching! Can he just stay 3 months old forever?!

  4. Michelle Hall says

    Ok this was AWESOME. It made me giggle all the way through. I’ve tried to explain this to people (the rubber band effect) but you put it so perfectly. Both my kids have done this. Crazy kids, I’m not sure they realize they are attached sometimes. One comment on the following entry:

    “Unlike rubber bands, nipples function to sustain life, arguably more important that bundling objects together or even shooting obnoxious friends and family.” -It is fun to shoot friends and family with nipples too (or at least with the milk from them) 😀

  5. “Unlike rubber bands, nipples function to sustain life, arguably more important that bundling objects together or even shooting obnoxious friends and family.”

    Hey…nipples can shoot obnoxious friends and family too!

  6. I would like to add that nipples are amazingly resilient. After nursing twins for 16 months I never thought I would have sensation in them like I did before babies. But give it some time and the bounce right back.

  7. Niplash!

  8. This made me laugh and cringe! My nursing days are long over… and they do bounce right back!

  9. This is totally weird, but my sweet one year old has spared me from this experience. I think maybe it happened once and I screamed and jumped and this startled her. She cried and cried and cried. Never again.