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Baby bottle nipples determine the flow of milk from the bottle to the baby’s mouth. It is important to understand the different bottle nipples, especially if you only want to get slow-flow options that are ideal for preemies and newborns.

Factors to consider when picking a bottle nipple type:

  • Pliability: A good bottle nipple should be made of silicone, which is a soft, pliable material. This will help the baby to latch on easily and prevent any chafing or discomfort.
  • Flexibility: A good nipple should also be flexible so that the baby can control the flow of milk.
  • Size: The size of the nipple should also be taken into account, as it should fit comfortably in the baby’s mouth.
  • Shape: The nipple can come in a variety of shapes, but the most important factor is that it is slightly flattened so that it stimulates the breast.
  • Flow rate: Bottle nipples also come with different flow rates, so it is important to select the right one for your baby.

 Types of baby bottle nipples:

  • Silicone
  • slow flow,
  • medium flow,
  • fast flow, and
  • variable flow.
  • Disposable
  • Orthodontic :

Silicone Nipples:

Silicone nipples are firmer than latex nipples and more resistant to becoming misshapen. They are also less likely to cause allergic reactions. Silicone nipples come in slow, medium, and fast flow rates and can be used with any type of bottle.

Latex Nipples:

Latex nipples are softer than silicone nipples and are distinguishable with their golden yellow color. Latex nipples are more likely to become misshapen and less resistant to bacteria than silicone nipples. Latex nipples also come in slow, medium, and fast flow rates but should not be used with glass or thermal bottles.

Traditional/regular nipples

Traditional nipples are the most common type of nipple. They are made of latex or silicone and come in a variety of flow rates but mostly slow-flow rate and are inexpensive. Traditional nipples can be used with any type of bottle but latex nipples should not be used with glass or thermal bottles.

Slow Flow Nipples

Slow flow nipples are best for newborns because they restrict the amount of milk that comes out of the bottle. This simulates breastfeeding and prevents the baby from swallowing too much air. According to a study, bottles advertised as having slow-flow nipples have a flow rate that can range from 5.6 ml per minute to 46.3 ml per minute.

Medium flow

nipples have a wider opening that allows more milk to flow through. This is ideal for babies who are a little older and can handle a faster flow. The flow rate for medium-flow nipples can range from 30 ml per minute to 78 ml per minute.

Fast Flow Nipples

Fast flow nipples have an even wider opening that allows milk to flow very quickly. This is ideal for older babies who are able to handle a high flow of milk. The flow rate for fast-flow nipples can range from 78 ml per minute to 156 ml per minute.

Variable Flow Nipples

Variable flow nipples have a hole in the middle that can be adjusted to control the flow of milk. This is ideal for babies who are not yet ready for fast-flow nipples. The flow rate for variable-flow nipples can range from 5.6 ml per minute to 156 ml per minute.

Disposable Nipples

Disposable nipples you get at hospitals such as Enfamil Standard Flow Soft Disposable (with blue ring) have more variation in flow rates when compared to commercial nipples.

The chart below shows the flow rates of different disposable nipples

Orthodontic nipples:

These nipples are designed to be more comfortable for babies who have dental problems or who are teething. They have a flat, disk-like shape that makes them easier to latch on to.

Easy Latch Nipple:

This nipple is designed to help babies who have difficulty latching on to traditional round nipples. It has a wide, flat shape that makes it easier for the baby to latch on.

Cross Cut Nipple:

This nipple has a cross-cut opening that allows milk to flow more slowly. This is ideal for babies who are teething

Brain Nipple Size Guide

Baby Bottle Nipples Guide

Nipple Flow Rate should increase with the growth of your baby

As your baby grows, you should get bottles with an increasing flow rate. Bottle nipples are not one-size-fits-all, so it is important to try different ones to see which works best for your baby.

Below is a diagram by Philips Avent with recommendations on the flow-rate rating for babies from month 0 to 6+ months

Vents in bottles:

Bottles with vents allow air to escape from the bottle as the baby drinks, which prevents the baby from swallowing too much air. This is a good feature to look for if your baby tends to swallow a lot of air when drinking from a bottle.

Vent is different from nipple flow rate as it does not determine how fast milk will come out of the nipple. A baby can drink from a ventilated bottle at any flow rate.

Nipple Material:

Nipples are made from either latex or silicone. Latex nipples are softer and have a more natural feel, but they can cause allergic reactions in some babies. Silicone nipples are less likely to cause allergies, but they can be more difficult to clean.

Latex nipples should not be used if your baby has a latex allergy.

Nipple Shape:

The shape of the nipple is important because it affects how the baby latches on to the bottle. Nipples come in a variety of shapes, including flat, round, and orthodontic.

The shape of the nipple should be comfortable for your baby to latch on to. If the nipple is too big or too small, it can be difficult for the baby to latch on correctly.

Nipple Size:

Nipples come in different sizes, so it is important to choose the right size for your baby. If the nipple is too big or too small, it can be difficult for the baby to latch on correctly.

Cleaning Nipples:

Nipples can be cleaned in a variety of ways, including using soap and water, a dishwasher, or a sterilizer.

FAQs

Q: My baby is having trouble latching on to the bottle. What can I do?

A: If your baby is having trouble latching on to the bottle, try a different nipple size or shape. You may also want to try a nipple with a faster flow rate.

Q: My baby is choking on the milk. What can I do?

A: If your baby is choking on the milk, try a nipple with a slower flow rate. You may also want to try a different nipple size or shape.

Q: My baby is spitting up a lot after feedings. What can I do?

A: If your baby is spitting up a lot after feedings, try a nipple with a slower flow rate. You may also want to try a ventilated bottle.

In conclusion, there are many different types of baby bottle nipples available on the market. It is important to try different ones to see which works best for your baby. Nipples come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flows to accommodate all babies. They can be cleaned in a variety of ways, so you can find the easiest method for you. Remember to switch up the nipple flow rate as your baby grows to ensure they are getting the milk at the correct speed.