Switching nipples can be confusing, and knowing when do you switch to size 2 nipples is one of the most important steps of baby feeding.
It is no secret that everyone wants to feel calm and relaxed when eating, and babies are no exception.
A nipple that delivers milk either too slowly or too quickly can make it hard for the baby to feed comfortably and efficiently.
The size of the nipple opening on the feeding bottle determines the rate at which the milk flows out of the infants feeding bottle.
Every baby goes through a series of stages when growing up, and their feeding needs and preferences may slightly change depending on their age, level of development, and physical capabilities.
Types of Nipples
Nipples may fall into one of the three general flow categories:
- Slow – A slow feeding nipple has a tiny opening and allows the passage of a very low volume of milk Into the infant’s mouth
- Medium – Medium flow nipples have a large opening that allows the baby to drink a little bit more milk compared to the slow flow nipple
- Fast – Fast flow nipples have the largest opening available and allow the baby to drink a lot of milk at quite a fast rate
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When Do You Switch To Size 2 Nipples
In most cases, slow flow nipples are for babies under the age of three months, medium flow nipples (size 2 nipples) are for babies between six months, and fast flow nipples for babies above the age of six months.
The suggested age ranges can provide a helpful guideline on the choice of feeding bottle.
However, you should not cast aside the baby’s development level, preferences, and feeding routine, either.
One of the most common signs of a too slow flow will be the length of time the baby needs to finish their bottle.
Commonly, babies are capable of finishing a bottle in less than 30 minutes of feeding.
If the baby suddenly starts taking longer than half an hour, this may prove that it’s time for a switch.
The need to change the nipple level from 1 to 2 may vary from one baby to another simply because there is no right time to change the nipple level.
While some babies are comfortable using level 1 nipples throughout their feeding days, some aggressive eaters may advance to level 2 nipples sooner than expected.
When the baby is ready to switch from a level one nipple to level 2, they can show signs that the flow Is not fast enough.
These signs will help the parent understand that it’s time to move up a level.
Typical signs among babies will include
- Taking longer to finish eating
- Becoming fussy or irritated while eating
- Taking several sucks before swallowing
- Baby looking frustrated and may slap or hit the bottle
- Frequently unlatching and re-latching
- Forcefully sucking the nipple until it flattens
- Failure to finish the bottle but still show signs of hunger shortly after feeding • Biting and pulling the nipple
In some cases, babies may accept early solid foods. This may also serve as a sign that it’s time to use a size two nipple.
The pediatrician may at a point recommend thickening of the infant’s milk.
This will also serve as a sign that it’s time to change the nipple size.
Problems You Might Encounter
Switching to size 2 nipples are not all that bliss. Most parents encounter problems before the baby can fully adjust.
Although a faster milk flow may serve as a solution to the child’s feeding issues, it may also cause some challenges.
The parent should be careful and consider going back to size one nipples if the problem persists.
You might not be an exception to this, so here are some of the issue you might come across when you finally make that switch:
If the milk flow is too fast, the baby may struggle to swallow the increased milk volume safely.
The child may become unable to notice their natural fullness cues and end up taking more than they can handle.
With an overfull stomach, the baby becomes restless and uncomfortable.
Discomfort from gas or indigestion
When the baby swallows milk more quickly, they may also swallow more air.
When this air is trapped in the digestive tract, it can lead to stomach upsets and uncomfortable gas.
Understanding your baby and knowing to read any signs or changes in their feeding can be a great clue to when do you switch to size 2 nipples.
By the time the baby is over 3 months old to about 6 months, they could be ready for a nipple change from size 1 to size 2.
However, the exact age differs between children. Ensure you are aware of all the problems that arise from the change for the baby’s maximum safety.
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Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She’s an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.