Bottle nipple size and when to switch

Watch Video: Bottle nipple size and when to switch by Suzanne Barston, CLC, ...
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Bottle nipple size and when to switch

You may notice if you're standing in the bottle aisle that nipples are marked by 0 - 3 or stage 1, stage 2, stage 3 and so forth. And I think there's a misconception among parents that you have to stick to whatever age range your child is in. For newborns, you always want to start with the slowest flow nipple. And that's what these labels mean. Stage 1 or stage newborn or 0 - 3 is going to be a slower flow than a stage 3 nipple which is going to be the fastest flow. But you don't have to ever switch. If your baby is doing fine with a newborn flow, you can stay on a newborn flow. The reason to switch is if your baby starts doing things like acting frustrated that the flow isn't coming fast enough; you'll tell by them pulling away and yelling at you during feedings, hitting the bottle, just acting irritated. The other thing is the reverse can happen where if you have switched too soon, let's say you are following the age ranges and you switch to a faster nipple before your baby's ready for it, they might start dribbling milk out of the sides of their mouth or gagging or choking; these are signs that the milk is flowing too fast. So just go back to the next lowest nipple. And just keep in mind too that some babies don't ever really move on. My son stayed on the stage 2 nipples throughout his bottle feeding career and never went up and he's perfectly healthy and normal. So they don't need to switch if you don't want them to.

Watch Video: Bottle nipple size and when to switch by Suzanne Barston, CLC, ...


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Suzanne Barston, CLC

Blogger & Author of Bottled Up

Suzanne Barston, CLC is the former Editor-in-Chief of Los Angeles Family Magazine, a Certified Lactation Counselor, and a freelance writer specializing in parenting, women’s interest, and science/health topics. She is the author of Bottled Up: How the Way We Feed Babies Has Come to Define Motherhood, and Why It Shouldn’t and blogs as her alter ego, the "Fearless Formula Feeder". "FFF", as it’s known to an international fan base representing over 40 countries, supports parents dealing with issues of guilt, fear, conflict and uncertainty regarding infant feeding difficulties and choices through critical assessments of research, pithy commentary, practical advice, and a weekly series allowing parents to share stories in a cathartic way. She is also the co-creator of the #ISupportYou movement. 

Barston was raised outside of Boston and earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University in 2000. After living and working in Chicago and London, she now resides in Los Angeles with her husband, the photographer Steven Barston, and their two obnoxiously cute children. She and her husband were featured on two award-winning online reality series for, A Parent is Born and Welcome to Parenthood, about their pregnancy and first years as parents. Suzanne's writing and her work with FFF and Bottled Up have been featured in the New York Times, the Huffington Post,,, Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine, Parenting, Babytalk, OhBaby!, Fit Pregnancy, The Observer, Yahoo Shine!, Australia's Good Weekend magazine, and on a variety of radio programs including KPCC's "Take Two", numerous NPR affiliates, "Parenting Unplugged", "Positive Parenting", "Mom Enough", "For Crying Out Loud", "Voice of Russia", and more. Suzanne was honored to be one of the keynote Voices of the Year in 2012 for the annual BlogHer conference.

She currently works both as a writer and as an Infant Feeding Counselor. 


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