Practical Dad

A Word About the Nipple

I'm talking about the one on the bottle, not the other one.

Now that I have your attention, pay the same attention to the bottle nipple as you pay to changing the oil in your car.  Because an overly-used nipple creates issues for Junior just like dirty oil does for the mini-van.

Why?

When the baby suckles from the bottle nipple, the milk flows through a tiny hole in the nipple into the baby's mouth.  And it's small size means that only a certain amount can enter at a time.  This is good for your child since it prevents too much into the mouth - and stomach - at one time.  But over time, the constant suckling and pressure of the milk flow increases the size of the hole so that more milk flows into the baby and creates the potential for a stomachache.  And if a baby drinks too much too quickly, more air will also flow into the stomach with all of the discomfort - and crying - that that entails.

What's a good indicator that the nipple is ready for replacement?  When you turn the bottle over to test whether the liquid is too warm, watch how it flows from the bottle.  The nipple should be fine if the milk comes out in drops.  But if it comes out in a small, constant flow, then it's time to replace the nipple.  Remember that for best results, the milk comes at a rate determined by the baby's suckling, not one akin to a beer can being punctured by a screwdriver.

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