Why a Bottle Nipple Collapses

By: Amy Peterson, BS, IBCLC of BreastandBottlefeeding.com Monday, 01 February 2021 02:44 PM Why Nipples on Baby Bottles Collapse

Seeing a bottle nipple collapse (or squash flat) during a feeding doesn’t happen very often. But if it does, it is certain to cause alarm. Your baby clearly won’t be getting much milk out of a flat bottle nipple!

When a bottle nipple collapses, it means there is a problem with how the bottle is venting. Thankfully, there are only a handful of causes, each of which has a super-quick fix.

If your baby’s bottle nipple is collapsing, use this handy checklist so you can get back to feeding your baby.

  1. Make sure you are using the same brand of nipple and cap ring. Using brand A nipple with brand B cap ring can cause venting problems and lead to nipple collapse.
  2. Integrated Vent Silicone Nipple
    Vents that are integrated into the silicone nipple, such as the Balance +, can self-seal over time. With your fingers, pinch the vent to ensure it is open before putting the nipple into the cap ring.
  3. Inspect Nipple
    Put the nipple into the cap ring and then turn it over to inspect it. The underside of the bottle nipple (lip) should be laying flat against the ring cap. If it pinches or bunches, it will impact venting and lead to nipple collapse.
  4. Do Not Overtighten Baby Bottle
    Do not overtighten the nipple and ring cap when you screw it onto the bottle. It should be screwed on just enough to where the bottle does not leak when you tip it on its side. Overtightening the bottle prevents venting and leads to nipple collapse.
  5. If all the solutions above have been ruled out, it might be time to move up in flow rate. Even if your baby is young, the flow rate of the nipple you are using may be too slow. Nipples come in a variety of flow rates, and what is “slow” for one baby might be “too slow” for another. Use the flow rate that works best for your baby.
  6. Some other brands of bottle nipples on the market have a super soft texture. If the texture of the nipple your baby is using is squishy and your baby smashes the during feeding, you may need to move to a different brand of nipple that has a firmer texture, like Evenflo.

Now you are in-the-know about what causes bottle nipples to collapse while a baby is sucking. If this is something you have experienced, we would love to know which tip above solved your problem!

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