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When to change bottle nipple size?

When to change bottle nipple size?

📄 Table of Contents

As a mother, I understand the challenges and questions that pop up in your mind when having a baby. One important aspect of feeding is knowing when to change bottle nipple size. This was one big question for me too. In this blog, I will shed light on my experiences and valuable insights on this topic so you can relate and follow. Join me as we explore the different nipple sizes, signs indicating a change is needed, and the importance of choosing the right size for your little one’s comfort and development.

When to change bottle nipple size?

Let’s talk about one of the most frequently asked question and issue most new mommies face in the initial phases of parenthood. Parenting is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious and sacred jobs in the universe, but it does come with many challenges, transformations, and happy and cranky moments. Let’s work on fixing one issue you face about the nipple sizes for your munchkin.

0-3 Months

This is the initial period when your baby is an infant and knows nothing. Feeding, burping, sleeping, and repeating is their favorite job. Babies of this age are completely dependent on mother feed. During the early months, your baby’s sucking reflex is still developing. It’s best to start with a slow-flow nipple that mimics breastfeeding, allowing them to control the milk flow easily.

3-6 Months

This period comes within a blink of an eye, you just blank, and boom, your baby is growing fast. As your baby grows, their sucking strength increases. You may notice that they start getting frustrated or agitated while feeding. This could signal to switch to a medium-flow nipple, which provides a slightly faster milk flow.

6 Months +

This is when your baby starts sitting alone or crawling and discovering the house. Their response rate is increasing fast, and they giggle right after seeing their mommy and daddy. Around six months, many babies begin solid food introduction. At this stage, you can transition to a fast-flow nipple to accommodate their increased intake and prevent frustration during bottle feeding.

9 Months +

Now your baby has turned 9 months already within a short span. They try to climb their cribs and call you when you are not around. By this age, your little one is more skilled at feeding and may benefit from a variant flow nipple. These nipples have adjustable flow settings, allowing you to customize the flow rate based on your baby’s preferences and developmental stage.

12 Months

You might think that you have done nothing for your baby despite all the efforts, and your baby is turning one already. As your baby approaches their first birthday, it might be ready to transition from a bottle to a sippy cup. It’s a good time to start introducing a cup with a spout or straw instead of changing the nipple size.

What are the different sizes

You would want to know about the different nipple sizes by now. Following are some sizes that you can pick accordingly:

Slow Flow

Designed for newborns and young infants, slow-flow nipples have a small hole that allows milk to flow slowly. They closely resemble the natural flow of breast milk, ensuring a comfortable feeding experience. These nipples are also used by mothers transitioning their babies from breast to bottle feed.

Medium Flow

Medium-flow nipples have a slightly larger hole, suitable for babies around three to six months old. They provide a faster flow to match the growing strength of your baby’s sucking. These babies are already going for bottle-feeding breast milk due to their increased appetite.

Fast Flow

Fast-flow nipples have a larger hole, suitable for babies six months or older. They allow for a quicker milk flow, accommodating their increased feeding needs. You can also feed thick serials to your babies with this nipple.

Variant Flow

Variant flow nipples are heavy flow nipples that you can use to feed your baby liquid meals, juices, and other liquid foods.

Nipple Shape Options

Do you know that there are various nipple shape options available for your baby? It means if your bay is not accepting one shape, they might like the other. Let’s explore these shapes:

Standard/Traditional Nipples

Standard nipples are a good option for most babies. They are symmetrical and provide a comfortable feeding experience.

Orthodontic Nipples

Orthodontic nipples have a dual shape that some babies prefer. They are designed to support the natural development of your baby’s palate and jaw.

Wide-Neck Nipples

Wide-neck nipples mimic the shape of the mother’s breast, offering a more familiar feel during feeding. They are particularly helpful for breastfed babies transitioning to bottle feeding.

Vented Nipples

Vented nipples have special features that prevent the baby from gulping in too much air while feeding. They help reduce the chances of discomfort caused by gas or colic.

Stick with a Slow-Flow Nipple with a Wide Base

For newborns and young infants, it’s generally recommended to choose a slow-flow nipple with a wide base. This combination promotes a proper latch and minimizes the risk of nipple confusion.

5 Signs your baby needs to go up the level of bottle nipple

  1. Your baby is taking longer to finish a bottle that does not contain much quantity of milk.
  2. They seem cranky or agitated during feeding.
  3. They are frequently pulling away from the bottle or showing signs of exhaustion.
  4. Milk is consistently dripping from their mouth while feeding.
  5. They are showing the least interest in latching onto the nipple despite being hungry.

5 Signs your baby needs to go down a level with the bottle nipple

  1. Note if your baby is choking or gagging during feeding.
  2. They are coughing or sputtering frequently while drinking from the bottle.
  3. Milk is flowing too quickly, causing them to gulp or struggle to keep up.
  4. They are experiencing excessive spit-up or reflux after feeding.
  5. They show signs of discomfort, such as excessive gas or colic-like symptoms.


  • Observe your baby’s feeding patterns and behavior to determine if a nipple size change is needed.
  • Regularly inspect the nipples for wear and tear, replacing them as necessary.
  • Consider your baby’s developmental stage and adjust the nipple size accordingly.
  • Experiment with different nipple shapes to find the one your baby prefers.
  • Introduce a sippy cup or alternative feeding method as your baby reaches the appropriate age.


  • Avoid introducing a bottle nipple that is too large for your baby’s age and development, as it can lead to choking or overfeeding.
  • Always supervise your baby during feeding to ensure their safety.
  • Do not force your baby to transition to a different nipple size if they are not ready. Each baby develops at their own pace.

Why proper nipple sizes are important?

Choosing the right nipple size for your baby is crucial for their comfort, feeding efficiency, and oral development. Using the wrong nipple size can result in frustration, feeding difficulties, and discomfort. Proper nipple sizes ensure a balanced milk flow, prevent nipple confusion, and support your baby’s natural feeding instincts.

Philips AVENT Anti-Colic Baby Bottle
BrandPhilips Avent
ModelPhilips AVENT Anti-Colic Baby Bottle
MAM Easy Start Anti-Colic Bottle
ModelMAM Easy Start Anti-Colic Bottle
Comotomo Baby Bottle
ModelComotomo Baby Bottle
Dr. Brown's Natural Flow® Anti-Colic Bottle
BrandDr. Brown
ModelNatural Flow® Anti-Colic Bottle

Summing up…

Remember that your baby is different and special to you; hence it’s essential to consider your baby’s needs and preferences when determining the right nipple size. Keep an eye on the signs your baby shows while feeding. Trust your instincts as a parent and seek guidance from healthcare professionals whenever necessary.Happy feeding!

Parents Also Ask

How do I know which nipple size I have?

Most nipple packages indicate the recommended age range or flow rate. You can consult with your pediatrician or refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Do nipple sizes prevent “Nipple Confusion”?

A slow-flow nipple with a wide base can minimize the risk of nipple confusion, especially for breastfed babies. However, each baby is unique, so it’s essential to observe their feeding behavior and consult a healthcare professional if you have concerns.

How do nipple sizes affect bottle refusal?

Using the appropriate nipple size can prevent frustration and bottle refusal. A nipple that matches your baby’s developmental stage and feeding needs can help them establish a positive feeding experience.

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