Medium Flow Nipple?

Updated on January 29, 2015
J.H. asks from Croton, OH
7 answers

My son was born 2 months premature (31 wks). We have been using the Similac slow flow nipples that fit on to the ready to feed bottles since that is what the NICU used for him in the hospital. I am now trying to switch him to a medium flow nipple and new bottle (we have been using the Madela ones that came with my breast pump - I am no longer pumping). The Madela nipples are too fast for him and the bottle itself along with the nipple create a lot of bubbles in the bottle and nipple. However, he is able to drink more when using the faster flowing nipple (100 mL vs 70 mL with slow flow) in less time, so I feel like that is better for him since he is not getting tired out from working so hard. But it also ends up dribbling down his mouth a lot and once he threw up from too fast of a flow, even though I was trying to pace him. I have tried using the Playtex Ventair which is also too fast for him, IMO. He is having a lot of gas issues and I suspect that part of it is due to so many bubbles in the bottle. Anyone know of a nipple and/or bottle that is somewhere in the middle? I am new to this!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

This doesn't exactly answer your question - but I never changed the nipple size. And especially if your little one is having trouble with bubbles, gas, and has spit up after using a faster flow, I would recommend sticking with the slow flow and just taking your time.

Also, I know you said you think it's better to not make him work as hard. But a developmental speech therapist once told me that it's better to make them work a little harder at sucking as infants, because it helps them build up the muscles that they need for talking later.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I would just stick with the slow flow nipple. We never used any other flow with our oldest. Our youngest had specific medical issues that required a different nipple.

You don't necessarily have to use the nipple that came with the bottle. Most of the nipples out there can be used with other brand's bottles. Maybe you could just use the old nipples he started with in the new bottles.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

The fast flow was something I noticed when my kiddos were infants and we went through them all. They ended up choking on the formula. I personally (and my babies) prefer the Playtex Drop-ins. These have the disposable bags which is nice, but the best part is that you can squeeze the air out, so they won't get any from inside the bottle. The baby can choose how much to drink. I think that going faster is causing some of the gas and throwing up. Babies need to eat slower so that their tummies can handle it. I have always used a slow nipple, but as they get worn out, they start to flow faster, and then they wear out so you have to start over. I am curious, are the nipples you got from the hospital latex? These are softer than the silicone ones, and you might need to stay with a brand that does the latex. It is only what my kids would use, but, playtex quit making them for the dropins, which is a bummer in my opinion.

I hope this helps, slower is better as far as food goes for tummy problems. Good luck mama!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Wichita on

I second the Playtex Drop-Ins that Marla S mentioned. That's what we have used, as well.

The fast flow nipple has always worked for our babies, but they were also breastfed, and thus, used to a faster flow from let down. :)

Playtex DOES have a Medium Flow nipple (it is $7.88 for a double pack on right now). They also have a Tri-cut nipple that might work, as well.

As Gamma G said, you might just want to get several different types and try them all out to find which one works best for your child.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Breastfed babies never need more than slow flow. Try Breastflow or any brand that is designed to mimic the work they do with nursing. I have also heard that making them work for the milk is good for speech and such later. I also used Medela (my DD was easy) and other than switching to the wider nipples, I never went past slow, even when she was 1.



answers from Portland on

My daughter has 4 kids. She tried several brands. With the last baby she used Dr Brown's bottle exclusively. It has a tube that vents the air to the bottomof the bottle while baby gets the milk from the nipple without the air.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Sounds like he needs the slower one or he could choke. When he's gulping like that he's also sucking in air and over filling his tummy.

Just go to Walmart and buy a couple packages of regular baby bottle nipples, one of each flow and see how he does with each one.

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