Like most issues related to parenting, you may have to experiment to find the best bottle nipples for breastfed babies and the one that your baby will actually use. All babies are different, so you may find that what worked for one child isn’t the best option for another.
It’s common for breastfed babies to use a slow flow or level one nipple regardless of age. These nipples are the closest match to the flow of milk from a natural breast, so they’re a good option if your baby feeds at the breast and with a bottle. Then again, breasts can flow at different speeds, and some babies prefer a faster flow when bottle feeding. Experimentation will help you determine what works best for your child.
These tips will give you some general guidelines for selecting bottle nipples according to your little one’s age, but you might want to buy several nipple sizes right from the start. This will give you the option of quickly moving to a new size if you find that your starting nipple doesn’t provide the nourishment and comfort that your baby needs.
Best Bottle Nipples for Breastfed Newborns
In the first three months of life, most babies use a level 1, slow flow, or newborn flow bottle nipple. These nipples offer a gentle flow of milk that isn’t likely to choke a small baby trying to learn how to feed. If you notice that your baby is frustrated by the slow flow, you should move up to a medium flow nipple. In some cases, a pediatrician or doctor may recommend a faster flow if a baby isn’t receiving the nutrients needed to thrive.
Some of the best newborn nipples for breastfed babies include:
- Philips AVENT Natural Newborn Flow Nipples – These nipples have a wide base that feels similar to a mother’s breast when the baby latches. They’re made from soft silicone that is easy for the little one to manipulate, and they have a ventilation system that should help prevent colic after feeding.
- Brown’s Original Nipple, Level 1 – If you find that the AVENT nipples don’t work for your baby, you might try these 100% silicone nipples even though they don’t feature the wider base. They do have a ventilation system that should reduce your baby’s risk of uncomfortable gas or colic, and they are one of the most popular level-one bottle nipples available today.
Best Bottle Nipples for Breastfed Babies 3-6 Months
After three months of breastfeeding and bottle feeding experience, many babies are ready for a medium flow or level two bottle nipple. It’s important to make this transition slowly because some babies will choke a little when trying to adjust to the faster flow. Other babies will take right to the new nipple with enthusiasm. If you find that your baby isn’t ready for a faster flow, you can always go back to the slow flow nipples.
Some of the best nipples for babies in this age range include:
- Playtex Natural Latch Nipple, Medium Flow – These nipples are designed to fit all Playtex bottles and have a wide base that should help your baby latch just as they would when breastfeeding. The nipple offers a textured surface designed to feel more like a mother’s nipple.
- NUK Perfect Fit Replacement Nipples, Medium Flow – You’ll notice that this nipple has a unique shape. It’s designed to look and feel more like a real woman’s nipple, which is important to help breastfed babies avoid nipple confusion. The sizes for this brand are a bit different than most other brands. Level one nipples area available in fast and medium flow, so you can choose the nipple size and flow that will work best for your baby.
Best Bottle Nipples for Breastfed Babies Over 6 Months
Once your baby hits the six-month mark, you might consider a level 3 or fast flow nipple. Some babies never need these nipples while others aren’t ready until they’re at least 12 months. This is where you should pay attention to how well your baby is feeding when determining whether they need a faster flow or not.
Some of the best fast flow nipples available today include:
- MAM Fast Flow Nipples, Level 3 – These nipples are recommended for babies at least four months of age, and they do have a unique design that mimics the size and shape of a woman’s breast with a flatter nipple than most bottles offer. These nipples are designed to reduce your baby’s chance of experiencing colic after feeding.
- Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Fast Flow Nipples – Tommee Tippee bottles are extremely popular with breastfeeding moms, so it makes sense that their bottle nipples are in high demand. These nipples were created by a group of moms and breastfeeding experts.
Remember, you should experiment to see what works best for your baby regardless of age. Since nipples are rather cheap now, try to buy a few options within each size to see which ones your baby prefers.
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