Babies have a natural sucking reflex as soon as they are born, with very strong suction. This is inborn to maximise the chances of survival. Being able to drink is life and death.
A baby's suction
Strong suction is especially necessary when a baby is drinking direct from the breast. It stimulates the "let-down" reflex in the mother that is needed to release the milk.
For drinking from a feeding bottle less suction is necessary. A baby does not know this and will, at least to start with, suck harder than necessary on a bottle teat. The baby will also often find it difficult to control the flow of the drink, which leads to disturbed feeding.
We as adults do not have to think consciously about breathing, swallowing and controlling the flow all at the same time while we drink. A new-born baby does need to do so. This is why you can see many small babies who start off by choking while they are drinking, letting go of the teat frequently or fumbling a lot.
Premature and/or have problems feeding?
If your child was born prematurely, or has problems feeding, then your child may find the technique of drinking from a bottle more difficult to learn. The normal Small size teats might still flow too quickly for him or her. Designed for babies for whom the Small size teats still flow too quickly to start with, Difrax has developed the XS Flow control teat to help them.
This teat is actually not only for premature babies or those who have problems feeding. If you find for any reason that the standard Small teats flow too quickly, try using XS Flow control teats to resolve the issue.
XS Flow control teats; for the smallest of the small
The XS Flow control teat has three settings, and has been specially developed for the smallest of the small. The special feature of these teats are the three slow flow speeds. This means that there are three slow flow settings, XXS, XS and Small, that are specifically designed for the smallest of the small.
With the help of the three settings, the parent or carer can set the speed of drinking to match the child's needs.
Setting I = XXS
Setting II = XS
Setting III = S.
Features of the XS Flow control teats
- Can be used from < 0 months
- Only suitable for liquid feeds such as mother's milk or bottle feeding formula
- Made from extra soft silicones
- Soft coating for extra grip while drinking
- The XS Flow control teat has an S-shaped slit
- Available in a Natural variant (suitable for the 170 ml/250 ml S-bottle)
- Supplied with the Difrax positioning ring as standard
The Dental teat is also suitable for children who drink more calmly from the bottle. The Dental teat is flat on both sides, which makes it easier to keep the tongue below the teat. This is needed to be able to control the flow. In addition to this, the drink hole is not at the top of the teat, as it is in the Natural teats, but on the top, facing the palate. When a child sucks, the food does not shoot out directly into the throat, but lands on the palate, with the result that the food spreads more throughout the mouth. This prevents choking and a shock reaction, and means your child is better able to control the flow of food.
Should I pick the XS Flow Control teat or the Dental teat?
The XS Flow control teat and the Dental teat can both help with problems when first starting bottle feeding.
The Dental teat has a flat side, which means the food is spread across the mouth better. This prevents choking, and helps your child control the flow of food better. Because of its flattened shape, it is easier for children to keep their tongue below the teat. The position of the tongue under a teat is important for learning how to control the volume while drinking. Sometimes infants react to the odd feel of a teat in their mouth and move their tongue round the side of a round teat, or even try to push it out of their mouth. A flat Dental teat can help with this.
The Dental teat is only available in Small size. It is not possible to set a drinking speed for these teats. The flow is likely to be slower because of the location of the drinking hole on the upper side of the teat.
The XS Flow control teats have a round cherry shape, like the regular Difrax teats. If you notice that your infant sucks well on the teat but perhaps fumbles a lot and/or chokes frequently, then the XS Flow control teat may help. This allows you to adjust the drinking speed so that you can set the speed of feeding to suit the needs of your child.
Useful to know! An average feeding time, for children of all ages, is between 15 and 20 minutes. Of course every child is different and has their own approach to drinking. The above feeding times are purely indicative. Keep trying different things. There are alternatives if your teat does not get the right result.
When do I stop using this teat?
If your child has been feeding well for a while using this teat, then you can try out a normal S (small) teat now and again. Did that go OK? Then you can swap back to using regular small teats. Still some problems during the feed? Then keep on feeding them using the XS Flow control teat or the Dental teat. Try again a while later to see if you can change the teat.
Which teat suits my child best? We are happy to help you!