As a new parent, you’ve finally completed the process of buying most of the initial baby gear that you need for your child. Maybe you’ve even bought an Avent baby bottle – but have you checked the Avent nipple size on it?
Parenting has a lot of intricacies tied to it. One such intricacy is the fact that baby bottle nipples aren’t all the same and that there are, in fact, 6 different ones that vary in flow speed.
Why? Because, over time, people have figured out that babies have different preferences – some babies like a fast flow of milk while some are happier with a slower flow.
Some may even like to alternate.
These little tidbits are things parents have to uncover through a lot of trial and error. In fact, that’s what parenting ends up being – jumping through hoops until both they and their little one are happy.
It would be a lot easier if the baby could talk as soon as he came out of the womb, but reality isn’t that blissful.
I myself was one of these people who thought parenting would be easy. For some parents it might be, for me, it…it took a bit of time until I got the hang of it.
One key factor is definitely the size of the silicone nipple.
Not only does getting the right nipple help prevent nipple confusion, but the right flow of the nipple helps prevent colic, trains your child’s feeding pace, and helps reduce spit ups or gas buildup.
Once I was introduced to the world of nipple sizes and realized it wasn’t just some gimmick for a sales pitch, but rather something that was actually relevant to my child’s comfort, I was all over the topic.
I did my research and found out just what these 6 specific silicone nipple sizes were.
The ones I looked up were the Philips Avent nipple sizes because that’s the baby bottle I got for my first child, so keep that in mind as sizes may differ in different brands.
Avent Nipple Sizes In Order
1. Philips Avent Natural First Flow Nipple
Recommended Age: First 3 Weeks
The first Avent nipple size of the six is the first flow nipple, intended for use with preemies and newborn babies.
They have the slowest flow out of all the nipple sizes on the list because kids at this stage can’t stomach much and minimizing the flow turns out to be a lot better for them than flooding their mouths with breast milk.
While normally I wouldn’t suggest going for an artificial nipple with newborns, there’s always an exception to the rule – for example, if you or your child are unable to breastfeed for whatever reason.
But, thankfully, the Avent first flow nipple does a great job at mimicking the mother’s breast through its soft silicone construction, which is free of BPA, phthalates or any odd chemical smells or aftertastes.
The nipple is completely sterilized and made in a modern, spiral design with comfort petals on the edges to make for a pleasant feeding experience for your precious little bundle of joy and to prevent nipple collapse from occurring.
The artificial nipple was intentionally made wide because the people at Philips Avent wanted to make sure it came as close to the real thing as possible, in order to make transitioning back to breastfeeding a lot easier.
And, not only that, they also use their patented Airflex vent technology, known for its anti-colic and anti-fuss properties that help divert the airflow away from your little one’s gut.
It sounds strange, but it works. Many of the newer moms in my area had nothing but praise for the first flow nipple.
The nipple is fully dishwasher safe so you can put it in without worry.
Or, if you happen to have a Philips Avent steam sterilizer, that may be a quicker and overall the more optimal option of the two, but both are fine.
2. Philips Avent Classic Newborn Flow Nipple
Recommended Age: 0-3+ Months
Next up is the Philips Avent Natural nipple, suitable for newborns after they’re a few weeks old. Avent like to refer to this as the classic+ Avent nipple size.
The unique bit here is that this soft silicone nipple flexes with suction to always create a vacuum inside the bottle and prevent any air passing through to your baby’s tummy.
This way, the design helps reduce the chances of fussing and colic in your little one. It also helps the baby control the pace of his feeding by only providing a single hole in which to feed through.
This design also helps avoid nipple confusion and is ideal for breastfed babies. That said, nobody is barring bottle-fed babies from enjoying themselves either, are they?
If he’s not applying any suction, it’ll just be a slow flow, which gradually increases with added effort.
These nipples use the same construction material as the first flow nipples, the soft and flexible silicone that’s free of any BPAs and phthalates as well as any nasty chemical odors or tastes.
And, as with any good silicone nipple, especially the Avent artificial nipple, it’s completely dishwasher and Avent steam sterilizer safe.
3. Philips AVENT BPA Free Natural Slow Flow Nipples
Recommended Age: 1-3+ Months
Number three might seem familiar at first as it appears to be a modified version of the first flow nipple, but don’t let that fool you. The slow flow nipples are meant as an alternative to the newborn nipple.
This nipple is more for babies who like a consistent slow flow rather than fooling around with the suction themselves.
It’s for those who like to feed themselves in peace and just relax.
The slow flow nipple features a wide design with a rounded nipple, mimicking the real deal as best as it can to help encourage a natural latch and to help combat nipple confusion in newborns.
This nipple size borrows from the first flow design with the comfort petals as well as keeping the air circulating around the baby’s mouth to help prevent any sort of irritation.
As was the case with the sizes prior to this one, the nipple is constructed out of a soft and flexible silicone that is BPA, odor and taste free and is fully safe to use with either a regular dishwasher or in an Avent steam sterilizer.
And, of course, this Avent nipple size has its own special anti-colic system, with twin valves keeping the air away from the baby’s stomach as much as possible.
Not a foolproof method, but one of the most efficient ones nonetheless.
Plus, it’ll keep your baby safer and more content than when he wasn’t using an Avent artificial nipple.
4. Philips Avent Natural Medium Flow Nipple
Recommended Age: 3-6+ Months
After the slow one comes the medium flow nipple.
This one is intended for the more advanced and ‘grown up’ babies, those who are around 3-4 months of age and have started collecting some coherent thoughts together.
Now, this one is essentially the same as the first flow nipple as far as the construction goes – 95% the same I’d say, give or take a few percent.
From the flexible, soft and BPA-free silicone, the spiral nipple design and the wider base all the way to the comfort petals on the bottom and the Airflex anti-colic system for pulling the air away from the child’s stomach.
It all sounds so vividly alike, except one thing: the hole at the top that sports a different design, allowing for a faster flow of liquid compared to the fixed slow drip of the first flow Avent nipple size.
That said, even if they aren’t completely alike, it doesn’t mean that they’re any worse for it.
It’s still the same company and I can assure you that they care about the health and safety of kids and moms alike.
This baby bottle nipple is fully compatible with most Philips Avent Natural bottles, so there shouldn’t be any problems during your purchases.
5. Philips Avent Natural Variable Flow Nipple
Recommended Age: 4-6+ Months
The next one up in the list of Avent nipple sizes is the variable flow nipple. This, at least for my kids, was the ideal nipple once they were a bit older, around 4 months or so.
The beauty of this one is all the different flow rates you can adjust it to thanks to the slot holes that the variable flow nipple has.
This allows you to adjust to the one your child prefers at the time on the fly with little to no issue during bottle feeding whatsoever.
The holes are neatly marked with a I, II and III in order of flow speed, so keep that in mind when turning the feeding bottle toward your baby’s mouth – you want it to be at the right setting when you start.
Much like the other Avent nipples, it’s constructed out of a properly tested, soft and flexible silicone in a one-piece construction, is fully BPA-free and is dishwasher safe.
Lets not forget the added compatibility with many Philips Avent Natural baby bottles and the patented Avent anti-colic valve – dubbed the Airflex – that helps keep that pesky air away from your kids’ intestines.
No more gas here thankfully.
6. Philips Avent Natural Fast Flow Nipple
Recommended Age: 6+ Months
And last, but definitely not the least of the Avent nipple sizes, is the fast flow nipple.
This one is intended to be used by babies who are at least 6-7 months of age because they’re able to stomach a lot more than a newborn.
The extra fast flow of the fast flow nipple won’t be too much of a bother to them.
As for the construction, I’ll cut the long story short and tell you now that it too is constructed out of the same BPA-free silicone that’s both soft and flexible much like the others.
It has the same anti-colic and anti-fussing system in place with the Airflex technology.
Plus, the shape has been optimized to serve as a replacement for mom’s nipple. It even has the same comfort petal arrangement as the others do.
The one and only different thing is the hole at the top that allows for the faster flow in the first place – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
If one design works, there is no reason to move away from it any more than necessary.
The nipple is a single piece construction and is fully dishwasher safe.
It also fits most, if not all Philips Avent bottles so you don’t have to worry about getting a specific one ready.
When it comes to Avent nipple sizes, they are quite similar in the way they’re built, but each offers something unique in the form of a difference in liquid flow between their holes.
While there are recommended age groups for each and every nipple, not all babies are picky.
While the ideal purchase would probably be the variable flow nipple, sometimes you might only need the medium flow one and can stick to it for as long as your baby needs to be bottle fed for.
You’ll manage to find the right one through a bit of trial and error, just make sure to start off slow and work your way up to the nipple sizes with more intense flows.
That’s because if they’re incompatible with your child’s speed and routine of feeding, then their once helpful properties are going to start turning into great detriments.
That about covers it.
I’m glad you took the time to read up on the importance of nipple sizes and I’d be more than welcome to hear your opinion on the matter.
Until next time, mammas!
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