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When to Change Teat Size: Is Your Baby Ready?

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Wondering when to change teat size? Not sure if your baby is ready? There are a few key signs baby needs a faster flow teat. Find out more about our experience in changing Dexter’s teat size and the signs that showed us he was ready.

Changing the teat size

Dexter was around six months old when I changed the teats in his bottle from size 2 to size 3. I had previously attempted to change him to the bigger teats around a month before, but had failed spectacularly. Milk had spilled everywhere, he had choked, gagged, spat out the milk and finally started clamping his mouth shut.

After this experience, I decided after reading online that many babies don’t need to increase the teat size that he must be ones of those babies, but then, not long later, Dexter started displaying a few key signs that he was indeed ready to move up to a faster flowing teat.

At first, I put many of these signs down to him having a growth spurt, going through a leap or general baby -grumpiness, but after an epiphany one evening, I suddenly discovered that actually he would benefit from moving up to a bigger teat size! So, what are the signs baby needs a faster flow teat?

Signs baby needs a faster flow teat

The key signs baby needs a faster flow teats are:

  • Reduction in the amount baby is feeding at each feed
  • Wanting more bottles during the day
  • Going less time between feeds
  • Waking in the night
  • Making lots of noise during feeds

Let’s look at each in turn:

Reduction in the amount baby is feeding at each feed

Dexter reduced the amount he was feeding per session by 2-3oz. This started happening around the time I started weaning him and I presumed his little belly was full from the fruit purees he was eating. Now I realise he was probably getting sick of sucking on a teat that was too small for him.

Wanting more bottles during the day

Dexter started wanting six bottles instead of five per day. This is related to the first sign. He wasn’t getting enough milk during the day so he needed an extra bottle in the evening. We recently had a clock change and I thought it was down to the early nights as he had started to want to go to sleep earlier.

Going less time between feeds

Dexter started going less time between feeds. Again, all fits in the above. He went from having a bottle four hourly to wanting it three hourly.

Waking in the night

He started waking in the night. The poor kid was probably starving. I was trying to hold off on giving him the sixth bottle if I could help it so he started waking at 3am for the food he needed. I thought he was teething!

Making lots of noise during feeds

He began grunting during bottles I thought it was because he was windy, so I’d stop and burp him, but now I realise it’s because he was getting frustrated that his milk wasn’t coming fast enough.

When to change teat size

If you think your baby is ready for the next sized teat there’s no harm in trying it. Below I have listed some of the things to look out for:

teat size

What it should look like

  • Most of the milk is being swallowed perhaps with a little escaping here and there.
  • No choking or spluttering on the milk.
  • Baby finishes the whole bottle and in record time.

Signs it’s too soon

  • Coughs and chokes on the milk.
  • More milk ends up spilling out of the mouth than is swallowed.
  • Clamps mouth shut or pushes bottle away and refuses to feed.
  • Manages to finish the bottle but then projectile vomits everywhere.
Felix at Caerlaverock castle during leap 10

As soon as we replaced Dexter’s teats, we saw a huge change in him. He became generally more content, probably because he was not always on the edge of hunger and he started sleeping a lot better during the day as well. He began finishing all of his bottles, went back to drinking 8-9oz during each feed and was also back to feeding every four hours.

If you think I’ve missed any other obvious signs of when to change teat size, please comment below to help other Mums! I hope you found this useful.

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