Bottle nipples, or bottle teat, is one of the most important feeding items during early infancy other than feeding bottles and formula.
Baby Bottle Nipple Material
Bottle nipples, or bottle teat, is one of the most important feeding items during early infancy other than feeding bottles and formula. Most baby bottle nipples are typically made from yellow rubber, latex or silicone. Bottle nipples made with the former tends to be softer and more flexible, while nipples made from the latter can hold their shape longer. Rubber and latex nipples can break or tear easily, making it the perfect spot for bacteria.
The most recommended type of baby bottle nipple is silicone nipple. Silicone is hypoallergenic and easy to sterilize. Bottle nipples made with silicone is durable, pliable, and contain no open pores that can possibly harbor bacteria and germs. Silicone bottle nipples are extremely temperature resistant; it’s microwavable, freezer friendly, and dishwasher friendly.
Baby Bottle Nipple Shapes and Sizes
Sucking style varies from baby to baby. It’s recommended to find the bottle nipple shape and size that can fit your child’s sucking style. Traditional feeding bottle nipples comes in a dome, round, or bell shape. There are also nipples that resemble a mother’s breast called flat-topped nipples and wide nipples.
Bottle nipples also have different flow and size. Ranging from slow to fast, newborns typically need the smallest nipple size or Stage 1 bottle nipple. Over time, you need to change the bottle nipple to accommodate the speed of the flow according to the baby’s sucking ability. Stage 2 to Stage 4 nipples have larger holes and are ideal for older babies. As the nipple size increase, the faster the flow will be. If your baby needs more feeding guidance, there are orthodontic nipples available to accommodate your baby’s gums and palate.
Cleaning Your Baby Bottle Nipples
Just like baby bottles, the nipples can easily harbor bacteria and harmful germs. That is why it’s critical that you wash the bottle nipples properly. After purchasing new nipples, always wash them with hot, soapy water to sterilize it. Better yet, place them in a pot of boiling water and dry them thoroughly. You can also store your bottle nipples inside the baby bottle sterilizer to keep them clean.
There are homemade solutions you can make if you’re iffy about using dishwashing soap to clean bottle nipples. Fill a large bowl with white vinegar and hot water. Submerge your bottle nipples and let it soak in the solution for twenty minutes or so. Afterwards, scrub it clean with a bristled bottle brush. You can also use this method to clean other feeding tools like sippy cups and baby bottles. Another solution is to mix a cup of water with a teaspoon of baking soda. This concoction is able to eliminate pungent smells, stains, and any bacteria from your baby’s bottle nipple.