How Do I Know When to Switch from Slow to Fast Nipples?

Updated on September 30, 2006
Y.H. asks from Chicago, IL
5 answers

Hi everyone -

This may be a silly question, but how do I know when my 3 month old is ready to switch to the "fast" nipple (for 3-6 months)? I've tried switching him and he dribbles everywhere so I switched back to the "slow" (for 0-3 months).


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answers from Chicago on


there is no need to switch.. actually the slow nipple is probably better as it does not deliver liquid faster than he can handle.

if it is not broken, don't fix it!

Pres. Lactation Support Group, Inc



answers from Chicago on

We switched some of her nipples at 3.5 months (we use Playtex Nursers). We found the silicone slow flows were making her frustrated. A 5 oz bottle took well over 30 minutes, and she spent half the time popping off and taking in air and hollering about it. We went to fast flow silicone NaturaLatch nipples and fast flow Natural Action nipples (these are our favorites). For the latex NaturaLatch nipples, we slightly enlarged the holes on the slow flows, because she was frustrated but the fast flow variety made her choke. She still dribbles occasionally, but we have so much less gas and spitting up now at 5 months. Every once in a while we accidentally use a slow flow, and she lets us know. Your little guy will let you know too. If he likes drinking from the slow flow, don't change it. But it is okay to change it when he's ready - fast flow isn't always bad, especially if he is happier with it!



answers from Chicago on

No reason to switch unless your baby is taking forever to finish a bottle. Also, if you're BFing and just bottle feeidng during the day, you may *never* want to switch him over to fast flow nipples (after all, your breasts don't change to "fast flow"). We were using Avent #2 nipples with my 4 month old but recently tried the #1's again (we got the #2s at around 2 monhts because he was taking forever to finish a bottle when my husband fed him). Anyway, he now finishes a 3 oz bottle in about 15 minutes with a #1, so I think we'll stick with those - I suspect his suck has just gotten that much stronger. (Also, I'd rather have him work for his food a little so that he continues to appreciate the breast!)



answers from Chicago on

I've been worried about that too. When it takes longer than 15 minutes to finish a bottle it's time to switch, my pediatrician told me. My daughter is ten months old and is still on the size 2 (Avent) nipple. If they don't complain, great! the baby can't read what it says on the box, and besides, I love that I haven't had to go buy a whole new set of nipples again!



answers from Tampa on

I believe your child will teel you, if he dribbles everywhere then try again in a couple weeks. I ended switching my little boy due to it was taking him 30+ minutes to eat a 4 to 5 oz bottle. I believe he was around 4 1/2 months when I switched over. I believe it's your call by what your child is telling you by his actions.

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