In my earlier blog post “The Importance of Nipple Shape,” I talked about the benefits of choosing bottles and pacifiers with orthodontic nipples. I want to take it one step further and give you my three reasons why choosing orthodontic nipples is important.
If you are like me, you may not have even known there was a difference between an orthodontic nipple and a standard bottle nipple. A nipple is a nipple right? No – not at all. Read on….
1. Less confusion between breast and bottle
I wanted to breastfeed, but I also wanted my husband and other family members and friends to have a chance to bond with Delaney (and frankly give me a break from time to time). Having those beautiful blue eyes stare into your own while holding her close is just about one of the best pick me ups you can get when you’re tired or stressed. I can’t keep that all to myself. Plus, there are times I physically can’t be there to breastfeed – like when I’m at work or on the all important date night.
To help ease the transition between me and a bottle, an orthodontic nipple is essential. The difference is that they are shaped more like a natural breast. If you don’t already have a NUK® orthondontic nipple at home, take a look at one the next time you are in your favorite baby store. You can see the difference. The underside is flattened slightly and the hole is positioned on the top. Most other nipples have the hole at the tip. This different shape and positioning of the hole is super important because it’s closer to natural. Plus, the wide base nicely imitates the rounded shape of a breast.
2. Better for tummy
If Delaney – like a lot of babies – takes in too much air while drinking, her little tummy is not happy.
The NUK® Air System vent is specially designed to reduce the amount of air baby swallows. And here’s a tip: make sure the Air system symbol on the nipple is under her nose for proper positioning. Remember the placement of the hole that I just told you about – well here is where that comes into play. By having the hole positioned on the top of the baby’s mouth, rather than pointed back toward the throat (like other nipples) milk mixes with saliva before swallowing, which eases digestion.
3. Aids oral development
The most important reason – in my opinion – is overall oral development. Mom-to-Mom tip time: Asking your pediatrician and pediatric dentist lots of questions about your baby’s development will make your job so much easier. After Jack had been to the dentist for his second check-up (yes, if you remember, I did make it to his second and didn’t need to hold anyone’s hand), I asked the dentist what bottles she recommended for Delaney. She told me she didn’t have a preference, but to make sure that the nipple is an orthodontic shaped nipple. Why? Because they are better for oral development.
She explained that even before Delaney’s teeth started to come in, the bottles (and pacifiers) I chose affected her oral development. I am told – and I tend to believe it – that the brilliant shape of orthodontic nipples better fit Delaney’s cute little mouth and that promotes healthy teeth formation and even strengthens her jaw.
Being a Mom is the most rewarding job in the world, but it can also be the most nerve-wracking. I want to do what’s best for Jack and Delaney at every turn. I am so glad there are products that make it so simple to give them the best possible start.