The Importance of Nipple Shape

By Nancy Cozine
The Importance of Nipple Shape

I’m not talking about pre-vs.-post baby body. I’m talking nipples on bottles and pacifiers. Have you noticed that there isn’t just one shape out there? Take a look at the bottles and pacifiers you have right now. What does the nipple look like? And better yet, if you have more than one brand, are they shaped the same? Does it matter? Did you ever think so many questions could come out of a nipple?

Let’s stick to the simple answer … yes, shape does matter.

So, what’s the best when it comes to nipples? I’m a huge fan of orthodontic nipples. Some of the details and differences may seem subtle, but they can have a big impact on little ones.

I am all about ANY way to avoid crankiness. A big source is gas and – oh don’t say it – the dreaded colic. And what happens when they get too much air while eating? Say it with me – gas. Look for a bottle with an orthodontic nipple that is vented. Baby can form a better seal around it and that means less air in her tummy!

And, what is one way to stop crankiness when it’s not time to eat? That magical invention — the pacifier. An orthodontic shape not only mimics the soothing part of breastfeeding but also fits that cute little mouth in all the right ways.

When I use a bottle instead of breastfeeding, I often wonder what my kids are thinking. In the beginning, I imagined them sometimes saying, “uh, Mom why are you trying to trick me? Please use a bottle that is shaped more like you.” Now I make sure the nipples are as similar as possible to my shape while breastfeeding. Plus, less confusion means less fussiness!

My number one reason for choosing orthodontic nipples, though, is overall oral development. A nipple shaped correctly is setting the stage for healthy oral development right from the start. Give those tiny teeth that haven’t even popped out a great foundation. (Your pediatric dentist just may thank you!)

What are my favorites featuring orthodontic nipples?

NUK® Bottles with Perfect Fit Nipples and NUK® Orthodontic Pacifiers – they both feature NUK®’s orthodontic nipple. And, not only do they feature the perfect shape, but they are super cute!