Selecting the right bottle may seem like the most important thing you need to do when it comes to feeding your baby. There are so many on the market and just as many things to consider: Is it BPA free, easy to clean, dishwasher and microwave safe… and this are all legitimate concerns. After all, had you not done your research, you wouldn’t have settled for your Philips Avent bottle. They are anti-colic, right?
You’ve actually gone way ahead than most by picking a top brand. Now all you have to do is pick a few Avent nipple sizes and start feeding your baby. Right?
All Philips Avent bottles may be anti-colic but the truth is; it is not as simple as picking just any nipple size you like and using it. They may all look the same but on close inspection, you’ll find that they actually come in different sizes specifically for the flow they should produce. Therefore, not all available sizes will be a good match for your baby, especially if you breastfeed too. Furthermore, the size you use will eventually change several times as your baby grows.
Table of Contents
- A Quick Guide To Selecting Avent Nipple Sizes By Age
- Why Won’t Just Any Avent Nipple Sized Do?
- Avent Nipple Sizes: When to Change/Upgrade
- The Avent Bottle Nipples By Official Sizing
- Which Philips Avent Natural Nipple Size Is Right For My Baby?
- When Should I Simply Toss My Avent Bottle Nipple?
- Common FAQs about the Nipple Size
- Wrapping Up about Baby Feeding
A Quick Guide To Selecting Avent Nipple Sizes By Age
One of the easiest ways to select the right nipple size is by age. Use the Avent Nipple Size Chart below to quickly determine the right size for your baby.
|Avent Nipple||Approx. Baby Age||Who Should Use|
|0-1 Month||Preemies, Newborns (0-1 Month old)|
|Newborn Nipple||0-3 Months||Newborns (0-1 Month), Breastfed Babies (0-3 Months)|
|Slow Flow Nipple||1-3 Months||Newborns (1-3 Months), Breastfed Babies (3 Months and above)|
|Medium Flow Nipple||3-6 Months||Babies (3 Months and above)|
|Variable Flow Nipple||3+ Months||Babies Over 3 Months (Flow is adjustable)|
|Fast Flow Nipple||6+ Months||Babies (6 Months and above)|
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Why Won’t Just Any Avent Nipple Sized Do?
It’s a true but painful fact that most moms do not connect feeding discomforts to using the wrong nipple size unless they’ve been told. Now that you’re reading this do bear in mind (if you didn’t know before now) that feeding your baby with the wrong nipple size can result in a host of minor (but uncomfortable nonetheless) complications. Most babies will get extremely upset during feeding time because of this. One tell-tale sign is that they look furious rather than content during feeding.
It’s easy to think that manufacturers are just out to take your money with all the different sizes in the market but like you are already learning, size does indeed matter. Use a nipple size too small and you’ll get a flow that is too slow, a very upset baby sucking too hard, and a mom who’s at her wits end. Why this happens is quite simple, your baby is going to get his milk slower than he should. It’s like someone dangling an apple when you are very hungry and only letting you take tiny bites every 2 minutes.
The flow can also be too fast when you use a nipple size that is too big. Visualize trying to chuck down a gallon of milk without stop and you’ll understand what your baby has to endure. It’s easier to notice a fast flow from the milk overflow you’ll see.
Avent Nipple Sizes: When to Change/Upgrade
With all these reasons why you shouldn’t be using the wrong nipple size for your baby, it’s easy to freak out with endless worries. How will I know if I’m using the right size? How do I know when I need to change? And the list goes on. But, calm down already mama, it’s really not that difficult to know when you need to change or upgrade your baby’s bottle nipple size so don’t over-think this.
Look out for the signs we already went through above.
Does your baby look like he’s trying too hard to get the milk, you need to upgrade to a faster flow nipple, maybe a size up. If he’s totally comfortable, however, do nothing. Changing things up may work great in your relationship but it doesn’t do so well with babies, trust us; we know.
A fussy, gassy, or spitting up baby sometimes signals a flow that is too fast so if you begin to experience any of those, do not hesitate to use a smaller nipple size with a slower flow rate.
The Avent Bottle Nipples By Official Sizing
Avent nipples come in size numbers 0 – 4. If you look closely at the chart above, though, you’ll see that there are 6 avent baby bottle nipple sizes included. It is because we just couldn’t leave out our personal favorite, the Variable Flow Nipple. Like the Philips Avent bottle – which is BPA free, wide necked (easy to clean), and ergonomically designed. The Variable Flow Nipple is very innovative. This avent bottle nipple size gives you control over the flow rate just by turning the bottle which means you can use it for thicker feeds. It’s almost like having all sizes in one! But enough gushing about the variable flow nipple, here are the philips avent nipple size numbers available and their corresponding names just in case you have to purchase by size number instead of name.
Avent Nipple Size 0 – First Flow Nipple
Avent Nipple Size 1 – Newborn Nipple
Avent Nipple Size 2 – Slow Flow Nipple
Avent Nipple Size 3 – Medium Flow Nipple
Avent Nipple Size 4 – Fast Flow Nipple
Which Philips Avent Natural Nipple Size Is Right For My Baby?
While this is pretty much based on your baby’s unique stage among other factors, there are general guidelines you could follow to easily choose the most suitable avent natural nipple size for your baby:
- For preemies, the most suitable nipple is the First flow nipple (size 0). Having just one small hole makes it the perfect avent preemie nipple.
- Babies who are breastfed sometimes refuse to take a bottle because the nipple feels too artificial. Thankfully, all avent nipples have the natural feel of mom’s nipple but to make things even easier, it’s best to use the avent newborn nipples (size 1) with one hole for breastfed babies 3 months or younger.
- The avent slow flow nipple (size 2) has two holes and is generally perfect for babies who are between 1 and 3 months old. If your baby is both breastfed and bottlefed, however, you may have to use the newborn nipple (size 1) instead depending on the strength of his suction.
- For babies 3 to 6 months old, the avent medium flow nipple (size 3) with three holes should be just right.
- And when your little one is older (6 months and above) and can handle a lot more milk, The Fast Flow nipple (size 4) is the way to go.
When Should I Simply Toss My Avent Bottle Nipple?
Like everything else, bottle nipples do wear out. It is much expected with all the sucking, gnawing and biting they have to endure. Inspect for the following signs as often as every two months, three at most to make sure they aren’t worn out.
- Streaming milk instead of dripping. If your baby bottle nipples begin to pour out milk in a flow, it means that the hole has become too big. Milk should always drip steadily from the nipple hole else you may need a replacement.
- Discoloration. One common sign of nipple deterioration is discoloration. If the color of the nipple begins to change, this is sign that you should order a replacement.
- Thinning. In the early stages of weakening, the nipple usually starts to thin. This is what makes it easier for the nipple to tear. A good test for nipple strength is to pull strongly on it, if it doesn’t rebound to its normal shape, it should be discarded and replaced.
- Swelling. Another tale-tell sign of deterioration, distortions such as swelling also make it easier for the material to tear.
- Sticking. When the nipple begins to stick it only means one thing, throw it away and get a new one.
- Cracks. Once a nipple sustains a tear, crack or break, you should immediately get rid of it as it poses a serious choking hazard. This is the one time when you shouldn’t try to manage it till you go “to the store next week”, there’s no telling when bits can come off and be swallowed by your baby.
Common FAQs about the Nipple Size
These are the common questions we have found most mothers have as regards nipple sizes…
Q: My little one isn’t having any feeding problems but the nipple size he’s using isn’t the one recommended for his age. Should I use the next size?
A: The key word here is “recommended”, that’s what the guidelines are, recommendations. That means that if your baby is doing okay with a particular nipple size (no crankiness, or overflow) you shouldn’t worry about changing it just yet. This is especially true for breastfed babies who have a stronger latch than babies who are bottlefed only. If you make feeding from her bottle too easy she may begin breastfeeding less frequently.
Q: Can I reuse my avent bottle nipples for my second baby?
A: It may seem smart to try to save money here, after all who doesn’t want to save a few bucks. However, it’s wise to not re-use bottles and especially teats for another baby. The reason is that having been used before, they must have degraded overtime so that makes it easier to tear off and becoming a choking hazard. They aren’t nearly as effective anymore anyway.
Q: How will I know if the new bigger size nipple we just got is causing problems for my baby?
A: If a nipple size is too big for your baby, milk will most likely leak out of the corner of her mouth during feeds. Another good way to know is to note how long each feed takes, if she doesn’t spend up to 15 minutes at a time, there’s a good chance you are using a nipple size too big.
Q: Which nipple size is best for starting out with cereal?
A: This one is probably my favorite of all commonly asked questions. The absolute best choice in this scenario is the Variable Flow Nipples. You can adjust the flow as you like and use it for much thicker liquids.
Q: How does the variable flow nipple work?
A: The variable flow nipple is able to handle different thicknesses at different flow rates because it works with a slot instead of a hole. When you turn the bottle, the rate of flow changes in accordance with the markings (I, II or III) on the teat. The marking to read is the one that aligns with your baby’s nose.
Q: How often should I sterilize my Philips Avent Baby Bottle Nipples?
A: You should sterilize your baby bottle nipples after every use. Before you do so, always thoroughly clean them with mild soap and a soft brush. You should separate the nipple from the bottle, place it in water that has been previously brought to boil then allow it to boil for another 5 minutes with the nipples insides. Avoid letting the nipple touch pan during sterilization as this could damage it. Doing this after every feed can greatly increase the life span of your nipples and bottles.
Wrapping Up about Baby Feeding
It’s really not as difficult as it seems at first, just a little practice and you’ll see how great you are at this. After all, you are the mother of your precious baby because only you can mother him best. Simply pay attention when your baby feeds and you’ll quickly detect any problems your baby may be struggling with. Then, you can go on to choose the more suitable option whether it’s a smaller or a bigger teat.
Giving your baby all the love you can starts with his feeding so rest assured that you are a great mom for even thinking twice about this but you’ll never get it all right at first. Enjoy the moment, it doesn’t last forever.