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  • Writer's pictureLeticia Lugo

When And How To Switch Baby Bottle Nipple Size

When it comes to switching bottle nipples, it's important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Generally speaking, you should switch to a larger bottle nipple size when your baby is consistently draining the bottle in five to 10 minutes and seems to be having trouble sucking and latching onto the nipple.

It's also important to pay attention to how your baby is sucking and how much they are taking with each feed. If they appear to be getting frustrated while feeding and the flow is too slow, you may want to switch to a larger nipple size. Make sure to always check with your baby's doctor or a lactation consultant to confirm that you're choosing the right bottle nipple size.

Faster nipple flow sizes are meant for older babies because they eat more at each feeding and can handle the flow of milk better. Most manufacturers follow this guideline:

Slow flow: 0-3 months

Medium flow: 3-6 months

Fast flow: 6-12 months

However, age isn’t always the best determinant of nipple size, as all babies are different. There are other signs besides age to indicate when your baby is ready to move up a size, such as:

  • Sucking hard.

  • Flattening the nipple.

  • Getting aggravated (squirming, kicking, pushing the bottle away, etc.).

  • Smacking at the bottle.

  • Taking a long time to feed (30 minutes or more).

  • Eating less at feedings but getting hungry again soon after.

If your baby isn’t showing any signs of frustration and isn’t taking long to empty their bottle, it is

unnecessary to move up a size. But if your baby is showing some of these signs, try the next size up.

If you do move up a size and your baby is gagging, coughing, choking, or dribbling milk while feeding, the nipple flow is too fast, and you will need to go back down a size. You may also need to move back down a size if your baby is exceptionally uncomfortable shortly after feedings, as the faster flow may be too much for their digestive tract.

Other Considerations

If your baby seems unhappy with their current nipple size but doesn’t respond positively to a faster-flow nipple, there may be other factors to consider. You may want to try switch your bottles or nipples to those of a different shape (such as an orthodontic or angled nipple), texture, length, or venting system.

The problem might not be with the equipment itself. Your baby may be going through a distracted phase, teething, having a medical issue, or they might be unhappy with the milk’s temperature. You may also have high lipase in your breast milk, which can bother some babies

Keep The Size Right

Knowing when to switch nipple flows will help make feedings faster, easier, and much more enjoyable for everyone. The best nipple size may depend on if your baby is formula-fed or breastfed, their age, and other readiness cues.

Just as babies are all different, so are their feeding needs. Assess your situation, and figure out what will work best for you and your baby. If everything is going smoothly with your current nipple size, there’s no need to switch.

1 comment

1 Comment

Mar 17, 2023

This was very informative! We love the articles on your page and gives useful information for our baby. thank you!

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