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How to Tell if the Nipple Flow Is Too Much

By Melissa Willets ; Updated September 26, 2017
Baby will offer you clues that the nipple flow is too much.

To ensure that bottle feeding your baby is a pleasant experience, the nipple flow should be just right. As HealthyChildren.org notes, too big a nipple hole will overwhelm your infant while a hole not big enough is bound to lead to frustration, both for you and your suckling sweetie.

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Start small. When you introduce your baby to the bottle, you will probably want to start out using a nipple with a slow flow rate. This means the nipple hole through which baby gets formula or breast milk is on the small side. A big nipple hole may cause a young baby to gag when milk comes out too quickly, according to KidsHealth.org. While shopping for bottle accessories, be sure to read the packaging carefully to determine the age of the baby the nipple is intended to feed.

Watch your wee one for signs of distress. As the AskDrSears.com website points out, too big a nipple hole may cause your cutie to get a big, sudden mouthful of breast milk or formula. Choking, sputtering, gagging, gulping and turning away from the bottle are signs the nipple flow is too strong.

Learn the tricks of the trade. Test baby's bottle to see if the milk is flowing at a comfortable rate for her. AskDrSears.com suggests turning the bottle over on your wrist or over a sink or burp cloth. If milk flows out rather than drips, switch to a nipple with a smaller hole. Ideally, the milk should drip one drop per second.

Stick with what works. Some babies will be happy with the nipple they start out with throughout their infancy, according to KidsHealth.org. So don't think you have to graduate to a nipple with a larger hole as your honey grows. If baby seems calm and happy during her feeding sessions, she is probably fine with the nipples she's already using.

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About the Author

Melissa Willets has been writing about parenting, pregnancy and "all things mom" since 2009. She has contributed to many websites, including Pampers.com and WhatToExpect.com.

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