Breastfeeding is not just about providing food to your baby but is also a beautiful way of connecting with your newborn. However, breastfeeding is not possible for all mothers due to medical reasons or lifestyle. Bottle-feeding infant formula is an alternative to breastfeeding although health experts recommend the latter more. For those who choose infant formula feeding, we are going to guide you through choosing the correct bottle and nipples for your precious one.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE SIZE OF THE NIPPLES FOR YOUR BABY
The nipple size for the baby depends on how old the baby is and his suckling style. To find the correct size of the nipples for your baby, you might have to experiment. The flow of the milk not only depends on the size of the nipple but also on the nipple-hole size hence it’s important to check the capacity/speed your baby is suckling. As the baby grows more, you might have to change the size of the baby feeding bottle and nipples. Some brands may already suggest the nipple sizes according to the baby’s age. If you don’t want to rely on the brands’ suggestion, let’s get into further details for getting the correct baby bottle nipples size for your baby.
WHAT NIPPLE SIZE SHOULD MY BABY USE?
As mentioned above, it’s important to consider the age of your baby to find the right size for your newborn baby bottle nipples. Bottle nipples for breastfed babies are mostly categorized into 3-sizes:
- Size-one nipples with a smaller hole are for babies from birth to 6months.
- Bigger-sized nipples ranging from 2-4 with a slightly larger hole are for older babies.
- Special nipples are also available for preemie babies.
In some cases, the generalized categorization can be subjective as some babies may have a better pace at suckling the milk even before 6months and may need to use sized-up nipples.
You may instinctively acknowledge or can observe your baby’s behaviour or signs while making the right choice for the correct nipple size. Here are some signs from your baby that should be under the supervision and pay attention to:
- A newborn or preemie may not tolerate a faster flow rate of milk and show signs of gulping, difficulty in swallowing, choking, milk dripping from the mouth, etc. For them, start with the initial level or special bottle nipples where the flow is very mild and slow.
- Cues to pick for sizing up the bottle nipples-your baby may find difficulty in suckling and act fussy. He may start suckling hard to get more quantities or may even fall asleep while feeding. That’s when you should start considering larger or higher-level bottle nipples.
WHY CHOOSE THE CORRECT NIPPLE SIZE FOR THE BABY’S FEEDING BOTTLE?
The whole purpose of considering the correct nipple size for the baby’s feeding bottle is to provide a good feeding experience for both the baby and the feeder. Choosing the correct size should be a priority to make sure your baby is properly and well-fed for healthy growth. As mentioned earlier, you would not want your baby to struggle in swallowing or get choked while suckling. These signs may even pose a threat to the health of your baby.
You may also consider the shapes of the nipples. A standard nipple shape is dome-shaped and taller which is very close to the shape of the mothers. There are orthodontic ones that are shaped in a specific way to fit the baby’s mouth. Y-cut nipples are also available for thicker infant formula and cereal. You can also check out the best bottle nipples for breastfed babies at Rabitat.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF BABY BOTTLES?
The types of baby bottles can be categorized material-wise, latex and silicone ones. Latex bottles are softer material but retain the odour of the milk and tend to wear out faster. Whereas silicone feeding bottles are firmer, easier to clean, and can last up to a year. The best you can buy is the silicone bottles that mimic the breast of a mother and are squeezable for the feel of natural feeding. Also, opt for baby bottles with non-leaking dual air vents to prevent colic in babies. Bottles with changeable nipples will be ideal for long-term investment as you can change the size of the nipple as the baby grows. Now that you have all the info, it’s time you get the best baby food feeder bottle.