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How to Buy Nipples?

 

Nipples generally come in either latex or silicone varieties. Latex nipples are softer and more flexible, but they don't last as long and some babies are allergic to them. Silicone nipples are firmer and hold their shape longer.

Nipple shape: Traditional nipples are shaped like a bell or dome. Orthodontic nipples, designed to accommodate your child's palate and gums, have a bulb that's flat on the side and rests on your child's tongue. Flat-topped nipples and wide nipples (used with wide bottles) are said to feel more like Mom's breast and may be a good bet if you plan to switch between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding.

Size and flow: Nipples come in a range of sizes and flow speeds, from slow to fast. Preemies and newborns usually need the smallest size (often called "stage 1"), which has the slowest flow. Babies graduate to larger sizes and a faster flow as they get older, can suck more effectively, and drink more breast milk or formula.

Nipples are marked with the size and a suggested age range. Don't be concerned if your baby doesn't follow these guidelines exactly. You may have to try a few different nipple sizes to find one that works best for your baby. Watch to make sure your baby isn't having a hard time getting milk or getting so much that he's choking or spitting up. And, of course, discuss any feeding concerns with your baby's doctor.

Disposables: Disposable nipples can come in handy when you're traveling or on the go. These are sold prepackaged and sterilized, so they're convenient to pop on a bottle. But they have to be tossed after one use.

Breast milk or formula should drip steadily out of the nipple, not pour out in a stream. This can happen if the flow is too fast for your baby, or if you've been using a nipple for a while and the hole has cracked and gotten larger. Find out more signs it's time to replace nipples and bottles.

Concerns about chemicals in plastic baby bottles – particularly the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) – have driven a renewed interest in glass bottles, as well as sales of alternative materials like silicone and stainless steel. In 2012 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned BPA in the manufacture of all baby bottles.

 

Though research on BPA continues, the American Academy of Pediatricians recommends parents take precautionary methods to reduce BPA exposure:

 

Avoid clear-plastic baby bottles or containers with the recycling number 7 and the letters “PC” imprinted on them. Many contain BPA.

Consider using certified or identified BPA-free plastic bottles.

Use bottles made of opaque plastic. These bottles (made of polyethylene or polypropylene) do not contain BPA. You can also look for the recycle symbols with the number 2 or 5 in them.

Because heat may cause the release of BPA from plastic, do not boil polycarbonate bottles, heat them in the microwave, or wash them in the dishwasher.

Inspect bottles regularly to make sure they’re free of cracks that can harbor bacteria. Sticky or discolored nipples can be a sign of deterioration, while cracked nipples can be bitten or chewed off to become a choking hazard.

Baby-bottle recalls are infrequent but do occur. Use BabyCenter’s Product Recall Finder to see if your bottles have been the subject of a recall.