The information and opinions on this blog come from parents, and the blog is not associated with Primary Children´s Medical Center or any other institution.


This site is specifically for parents of kids with clefts being treated at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, but I hope that there will be information that is helpful to all parents of kids with clefts. If you are just starting to learn about clefts, I would suggest starting with the "General Information" topic and going from there. To find information on a specific doctor or topic, click on one of the links on the right. You can also search the blog using the box below the topic list. If you have information or experiences to share, please leave comments or contact me to do a guest post at Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Special Bottles

There are a variety of bottles/nipples that are made specifically to help babies with clefts to eat. There is a quick description of the available bottles with pictures at the Cleft Advocate site, though there are several that you probably won't be able to find locally.

At Primary's LeAnn generally recommends trying the Pigeon nipple attached to the Mead Johnson squeeze bottle or a Playtex VentAir bottle with drop-in liners. I'll add more tips about this configuration, and possibly some pictures, as I collect them. Some speech therapists recommend this nipple because it allows the baby to do all the work and control the flow of the milk. The Pigeon nipple runs between $4 and $6 each.

The Mead Johnson squeeze bottle also comes with an elongated nipple with an x-cut opening, and some parents find that this nipple works well when their baby isn't getting enough milk with the Pigeon nipple, since there is no valve and the caregiver can squeeze the bottle to increase the flow. This is also one of the cheapest configurations, since a box of 6 Mead Johnson bottles complete with nipples runs between $16-$18 (and you can often get them for free from the hospital during your stay there).

Others use the Mead Johnson bottle with Similac or Nuk orthodontic nipples (the kinds they use with premies that have low suction).

The Haberman is another type of bottle that allows the caregiver to squeeze milk into the baby's mouth. The main drawback for this bottle is that they are expensive; upwards of $30 for each bottle. If you find that this bottle works best for your baby, you may try asking your pediatrician or surgeon if they have any that they can give you, as some parents have received a few this way.

There are video tutorials on feeding your baby at CleftLine, here (thanks Jennifer!). There are specific tutorials showing how to use the Enfamil (Mead Johnson), Haberman, and Pigeon bottles, which are fabulous.

This post (and pretty much all posts on this blog) will be under construction as I collect more information and input from parents!

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