How to Figure Out When to Change Nipple Flow On Bottles?

4953

Being a new mom can be tough and confusing at times. There are so many decisions to make, and it feels like making the wrong decision could lead to disaster.

For instance, have you ever looked at a baby feeding system and wondered which size nipple to use?

There are usually several sizes of nipples included in the box, and you want to choose the right one.

After you have been feeding your baby for a while, you may wonder when to change nipple flow on bottles.

Here are some tips to help you figure out whether the nipple flow you are using is right for your baby and when it may be a good time to change the flow.

Nipple Flow Levels

While there is no standard nipple flow that works across different brands, you will likely see packaging with labels like slow, 0, 0m+, 1m+, 3m+, and 6m+.

Avent nipples flow rates photoIf you’re wondering when to change nipple flow on bottles, many pediatricians suggest trying a new nipple size every three months.

Just watch your baby carefully to make sure that they are adjusting well to the flow of the new nipple. It may take a few feedings for them to get used to the nipple.

Going back to the nipple flow that you were using before might be necessary if your baby hasn’t adjusted to the new flow after a couple of days.

On the other hand, many moms never change the flow of their baby’s nipple. If your baby is eating well, it may not be necessary to change the flow of their nipple at all.

Some babies always use slow flow nipples, while others get frustrated if the flow of milk is too slow when they are a couple of months old.

What works for one baby may not work for another, even if the babies are from the same family.

  • The general rule is that babies who are under 3 months old should use slow flow nipples.
  • Babies who are between three and six months old often need medium-flow nipples on their bottles.
  • Fast-flow nipples aren’t usually recommended for babies under six months, although they may be necessary if you are mixing the formula with cereal to help your baby’s reflux.

Tips for How and When to Change Nipple Flow On Bottles

First, watch this video of Dr. Natasha Burgert talking about when to transition to faster flow bottle nipples.

If you are an Avent bottle user and you need the right nipple flow for your baby, go and check this table, it gonna helps you understand which bottle nipple your baby needs!

When you’re choosing a nipple for your baby’s bottle, remember that a size one nipple in one brand may not be the same flow as a size one in another brand.

For example, Avent nipple flow will likely be different than the Dr. Brown nipple levels flow or any other brands.

Some moms avoid this issue by always using the same brand of nipple, while others may try several nipples until they find the right flow.

Don’t feel like you have to start with size one just because your baby is young. A nipple in size two may work better for your baby.

It’s good to remember that your baby should finish a bottle in around 15 minutes. This usually means that a nipple with a faster flow is needed when your baby starts drinking more ounces per bottle.

You may need to get a nipple with a slower flow if your baby is drinking their bottles too fast, especially if they often get fussy after eating.

Watch your baby while they are drinking their bottle to make sure that they are not sputtering, gagging, or leaking milk out of their mouth. These are signs that you should use a nipple with a slower flow of milk.

You want your baby to eat comfortably, but not drink too fast or swallow a lot of air while they are drinking.

Just as you’re likely to get frustrated if you’re having trouble getting your drink through your straw, your baby may get frustrated and upset if they are having trouble getting milk out of their bottle.

If your baby is getting bored or angry during feedings, that’s when to change nipple flow on bottles. Try a nipple with a faster flow so that it’s easier for your baby to get his or her milk out of the bottle efficiently.

It’s best to only go up one nipple flow at a time so that your baby isn’t overwhelmed by a big change in flow.

Other Tips for Bottle Feeding Your Baby

If your baby is losing interest in eating, the flow of milk from their bottle may not be to blame.

Try to limit distractions while you’re feeding the baby. Their eyesight is developing rapidly and the world is getting more exciting, so it may be best to feed your baby in a private room whenever possible.

A dark room is best for night feedings because it keeps distractions to a minimum and may help your baby fall asleep faster.

If your baby is having trouble latching and sucking from one type of nipple, it may be best to change the type of nipple, rather than the rate of milk flow.

Some are pretty flat, while others have more of an angle. There are also many types of air vents in the bottles and the nipples.

It may take several tries with different nipples and/or different bottles before you find the right combination that allows you to feed your baby efficiently, without them getting overly gassy or gagging from drinking too fast.

You know your baby best, so keep trying until it feels right.

Read more about Avent Nipple Sizes & The Avent Nipple Flow Chart here



12 COMMENTS

  1. My daughter is 4 wks old. I use the anti colic bottles. With the size 1 it’s as if she can’t get the formula out. With the size 2 it leaks all out the sides of her mouth. She is strictly formula fed and is currently on the added rice formula for spit up.

  2. My baby is making a clicking noise when feeding from bottle and milk leaks from the side of mouth. We are using newborn flow nipples and and tried several all doing the same. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Michelle,
      Does baby also breastfeed? If so, does s/he click while doing so? The sound is indicative of baby not being able to handle the flow of milk – therefore using tongue to control it. Use the “paced feeding” technique for bottles and see if it helps.

    • The clicking noise might indicate that your baby is tongue tied, ask your pediatrician to confirm. If so it’s a simple procedure to fix and will solve your feeding issues.

  3. My baby is 9 weeks old and had bad reflux takes forever to drink 3 oz from dr browns’s bottle with level1 nipple. OT recommended to go to level 2 nipple which helped in finishing bottle in 15-20 mins but has been very gassy despite burping a lot after feeding.

  4. Have you been able to fix this for your baby? I am having the same issue with my little, she takes forever to finish 3ozs from a Dr Brown bottle. Would love to see if you found something that worked for you!

  5. My baby is 12 weeks old. We have been using the slow flow Playtex nipples with the Ventaire bottles. It takes him 45 minutes to drink 6 ounces. I tried using a medium flow nipple about a week ago and it was like he was drowning…I could hear him gulping air, then gagging, so I changed back to the slow flow after a couple ounces. Is it normal for him to take so long to eat? He falls asleep about halfway through the bottle, then wakes up after about 10 minutes and drinks the rest. If we feed anything less, he flips out!

    • Hi Mary
      First, try feeding him when he isn’t so sleepy.. babies aren’t supposed to fall asleep eating.
      It may suck that it takes forever, but you’ll know a baby is ready do go to the next nipple size when they start to get frustrated or upset while feeding. If they’re not upset, I’d leave it be and just budget the time in.

    • One thing I did for my daughter to transition to faster flow was use a paper clip to make the hole in the bottle nipple just a tad bigger on the slow flow nipple. I only did it on one so I didn’t ruin all of them…but that helped us transition to faster flow!

  6. My baby is 5 months and 3 months corrected age. She arches back, gets really fussy and cranky after 20 to 40 ml of milk intake, using level 1 nipple. We have to wait until she’s sleepy to give her the rest, sometimes takes up to one hour to finish 80 to 120ml. We tried to switch to level two dr brown, she choked a few times when she’s sleepy, not as fussy, but she also vomited both times when we try th level 2. What should I do? Thank you.

    • Hi Meisi
      There really is no right or wrong time to change your baby’s nipple level. Every baby is different; some babies will be perfectly content using level one throughout their bottle feeding days, while others are more aggressive eaters and need to advance to the next level. Your baby will let you know if and when the time comes to change levels. Below are some signs to look for from your baby, when you notice any of these signs, it usually means that the baby is not getting a fast enough flow and it is time to move up a level. Please remember, if these signs never occur then there is no need to change anything.

      1. Baby is taking longer to finish eating
      2. Baby becomes fussy or irritated while eating
      3. Baby falls asleep during the feeding

      It is generally recommended that baby be in an upright position to feed and that the bottle be at a 45 degree angle. I do not recommend shaking the bottles due to the fact that baby can re-ingest those tiny bubble which will lead to further spit-up, burping and gas.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here