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Which Philips Avent Nipple Sizes Should I Be Using?

Medically Reviewed by Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN
Avent has six nipple sizes. Which should you choose?

Feeding your baby with the wrong Philips Avent nipple sizes can lead to an upset baby, an over-fed baby, or even increase the milk flow too much that it spills out your baby’s mouth. With six different nipple sizes, it can be confusing to know where to start.

When I was a new parent, I was naïve about the world of bottle nipples. I didn’t know they came in different flow sizes. I just figured they were all the same. But you need to get one that matches your baby’s stage of development. Since I’ve been there, I can help you find out which Philips Avent Nipple Sizes you should be using for your baby.

When you choose the right size, not only will your baby be happier and well-fed, but it will make weaning your baby off of breastmilk and onto bottles much easier since they will take to the Philips Avent nipple much easier.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right nipple size for Philips Avent bottles is crucial to ensure the baby is not upset, over-fed or has too much milk flow that spills out of their mouth. It is important to match the nipple size to the baby’s stage of development.
  • The table below recommends different nipple sizes for different age groups, from 0-1 month preemies to 6+ months babies, and explains the importance of the flow rate of the nipple.
  • If baby seems comfortable while feeding, don’t change sizes, but if baby seems frustrated and impatient during feedings, it’s time to experiment with a faster nipple flow.

Avent Nipple Sizes by Age

These are the Avent nipple sizes we recommend by each age group:

Avent Nipple Size Baby Age Ideal For
First Flow Nipple 0-1 Month Preemies & Newborns
Newborn Nipple 0-3 Months Newborns (0-1M) & Breastfed Babies (0-3M)
Slow Flow Nipple 1-3 Months Newborns (1-3M) & Breastfed Babies (3M+)
Medium Flow Nipple 3-6 Months Babies (3M+)
Variable Flow Nipple 3+ Months Different Flow Rates with the Same Nipple
Fast Flow Nipple 6+ Months Babies (6M+)

All age indications are approximate. “M” Refers to months. (1)

Can’t I Just Use One Size Nipple?

My son would get upset during his bottle time and I couldn’t figure out why. I knew he had to be hungry and I could see him sucking furiously on his bottle. But instead of being content, he just seemed mad.

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It was only when I told my problem to another mom that I learned about nipple sizes. It was an awakening experience to learn the truth about nipple sizes, and I’d like to share that knowledge with other parents.

What I learned was that companies aren’t selling different nipple sizes just to earn more money – size does matter.

If the flow from the nipple is too slow, your baby will be cranky and frustrated. If the flow from the nipple is too fast, it will feel like Niagara Falls to your baby and milk will be spilling out of her mouth. Plus, if your baby is feeding too quickly, she may begin spitting up more than before (2).

The Philips Avent bottle offers a nipple size to meet every baby’s needs. Avent also has several other great features: it’s BPA-free, has a wide neck for easier cleaning, and an ergonomic design that makes it comfortable for both babies and parents to hold.

What Size Nipple Should I Use?

Here are the general guidelines (3):

  • If your baby is both breastfed and bottle-fed, for the first month you should use the Newborn nipple that has one hole.
  • Babies who are 1 to 3 months old and are both breastfed and bottle-fed should use the Slow Flow nipple, which has two holes.
  • If your baby is 3 to 6 months, you should use the Medium Flow nipple that has three holes.
  • The Fast Flow nipple is best for when your baby is 6 months or older.

When Do I Change Nipple Sizes?

If your baby seems comfortable while feeding, then don’t change sizes.

However, if your baby seems frustrated and impatient during feedings, you might want to experiment with a faster nipple flow.

If your baby is gassy and fussy, experiment with a slower nipple size.

Lastly, consider a slower nipple flow if your baby starts spitting up more than before, especially if it’s right after moving up to the next nipple size.


Many mothers have questions about nipple sizes. Here are some common ones:

My Baby Is Doing Fine With Her Feeding, but Because of Her Age, Should Move Her Up to the Next Flow Size?

The age guidelines are only recommendations. If your child is using a certain nipple flow and seems happy with it, wait for a while before you move to the next flow size, especially if your baby also breastfeeds. You don’t want to make bottle feeding so easy for her that she loses interest in breastfeeding.

How Can I Tell if My Baby Is Having Problems With the Bigger Nipple Size?

Do you notice any milk leaking out of his mouth when he feeds? If not, track how long his next feeding time takes. If his feeding time is taking much longer than 15 minutes or is way shorter than 15 minutes, you might want to reevaluate the nipple size.

What Size Nipple Should I Use When I Start Mixing a Little Cereal Into the Bottle?

Avent offers variable flow nipples that provide an extra fast flow and can accommodate thicker liquids.

How Do I Know What Size Avent Nipple to Get?

Choosing the right size nipple for your baby’s feeding is important because it can affect their ability to feed comfortably and properly. The size of the nipple you end up going with will depend on your baby’s age, weight, and general feeding habits.

For the most part, newborn babies usually require a smaller nipple with a slower flow rate to control how much and how fast they feed, while older babies may need a larger size nipple with a faster flow rate.

What Do Numbers Mean on Philips Avent Nipples?

Philips Avent nipples are labeled with a number that tells you the flow rate of the nipple. Those numbers range from 0 to 4, with 0 being the slowest flow rate and 4 being the fastest. It’s a simple system.

The higher the number, the faster the flow rate, which is typically better suited for older babies who can handle a faster flow of milk.

What Age is a Number 2 Nipple Avent For?

A number 2 nipple from Philips Avent is highly recommended for babies that fall in the 1-3 months old range. It’s got a medium flow rate, which is faster than a number 1 nipple but slower than a number 3 nipple.

Just keep in mind that every baby is different, and some may need to switch to a larger size nipple earlier or later than others. Just get a few different sizes and see which one works best for your child.

When Should I Move Up My Nipple Size Philips Avent?

As your baby grows and develops, they might have to switch to a larger size nipple to accommodate their changing feeding needs.

Signs that your baby may need a larger nipple size:

  • Becoming easily frustrated during feedings.
  • Taking longer than usual to finish a bottle.
  • Pulling away from the bottle frequently.

For the most part, it’s recommended to move up to the next size nipple when your baby is consistently finishing their bottles within 20 minutes or less, and they’re no longer showing signs of frustration during feedings.

The Bottom Line

By paying attention to your baby’s feeding times and using a quality bottle that controls milk flow, you will easily be able to spot any issues your baby is having with nipple sizes.

We know nipple sizes can seem like one more thing to worry about, but enjoy your precious snuggling and feeding time with your baby. It won’t be long before they’re drinking out of sippy cups and you’ll miss these bottle days!

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Headshot of Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN

Medically Reviewed by

Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN

Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN is an oncology nurse navigator and freelance medical writer. Mary has 4 years of experience as an officer in the Navy Nurse Corps. including emergency/trauma, post-anesthesia, and deployment medicine.