Choosing Baby Bottles and Nipples - Topic Overview
4 fl oz (120 mL) bottles are a
good size for newborns. As your
baby starts to take more formula during a feeding, you will likely want to have
bigger 8 fl oz (240 mL) bottles
Bottles are made of glass or plastic.
- Glass bottles can be cleaned by boiling them. Plastic cannot be cleaned this way.
- Wide-mouth bottles are easier to
- Some plastic bottles are made for single-use plastic liners.
Some people find these bottles clean, easy to use, and convenient.
Nipples have been designed to imitate a
mother's nipple. The human nipple is short and flexible, which makes it easy
for a baby to grasp and suckle. But some babies have difficulty with some
bottle nipples that are too short.
General guidelines for buying
- Buy more nipples than bottles. With repeated
use, nipples tend to crack and leak.
- Choose nipples that are made
of silicone or rubber. Silicone nipples cost more but are more flexible than
rubber nipples. Silicone nipples are not damaged by heat when they are
- The nipple hole should allow liquid to drip slowly. To test
the nipple drip, hold the bottle upside down without shaking it. Milk should
drip about 1 drop a second.
Nipple shapes include:
- Standard nipples, which have a long rounded tip
and are easy for the baby to use.
- Nubbin nipples, which have short,
flattened tips and are usually used with bottles that have disposable plastic
liners. The nubbin nipple is sometimes more difficult for the baby to grasp,
especially if the baby is also breast-fed.
nipples, which have a long, irregular shape that is designed to mimic the shape
of the mother's nipple when it is in the baby's mouth. Babies need to suck on
the wide flat part of this nipple, not the shorter tip.
nipples, which are longer than the standard nipple and most closely imitate the
mother's nipple. Their increased length releases milk farther back in the
baby's mouth, making it easier for the baby to swallow.
You may need to experiment with a few different types of
nipples until you find one that seems most natural for your baby.