When do you change the type of bottle nipple your baby uses? I accidentally got a medium flow nipple once and noticed it was coming out too fast for her, that was when my girl was 2-3 weeks old. She's 5 weeks now, and she's moving up to the 8 oz bottles (only 5-6 ounces max, whenever she stops) and it takes her much longer to eat. I'm plenty patient enough to wait, but I just don't know how the different types of nipples work. Is it an as they grow thing, a you can tell thing, an every baby is different thing, or a combination of these options?
I believe this is a case where every baby is different. Consumer Reports says,
Nipples come in three standard flow variations with different-size holes appropriate for the baby's age: newborn or slow flow (for newborn to 3 months), medium flow (for newborn to 12 months), and fast flow (for babies over 3 months). A nipple should offer some resistance, but not so much that your baby has to struggle to get milk. Generally, younger babies prefer a slower flow; older babies, a faster one (although that's not always the case).
If you are bottle feeding in combination with breastfeeding, this article (pdf) says,
Use a slow-flow nipple. Regular-flow nipples flow very easily, even when the bottle is held in a horizontal position. A slow-flow nipple requires the baby to put forth effort very similar to breast-feeding to get milk from the bottle. Low-tone babies may not have the stamina necessary to finish a feeding with a slow-flow nipple. For these babies, I recommend using a medium-flow nipple (a few brands available in my area offer this option) until they have developed the strength and stamina to use the slow-flow nipple. I explain to mothers that ideally, a bottle-feeding should require about 20 minutes, which is approximately similar to the time spent breastfeeding when all is going well: 10 minutes per breast.
Some other thoughts:
answered 25 May '10, 02:03