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NUK Nipples


In the nursery I now work there are a few nurses who insist on using NUK nipples for breastfeeding infants when they require bottle feedings.

Where I worked before we never used them unless the infant had a special need for them.

One reason I still don't use them like the other nurses where I work now do, is if the infant becomes used to them they are harder for parents to find outside the hospital and they are considerably more expensive.

I would like to hear what other nurses think and have been doing.

Thanks ahead of time. Linda


Specializes in NICU.

We rarely use NUK nipples in my unit. If the baby doesn't PO feed very well, we will sometimes try the NUK nipple on the notion that, heck, maybe he or she will take to this one better. All of our bottle feeding babies--BF or not-- are given the enfamil or similac standard or preemie (although we usually stay away from the preemie nipples too) nipples. And what the heck does NUK mean? Anyone know?

prmenrs, RN

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control. Has 42 years experience.

My theory is that the nipple the NURSE likes best will be the one the kid likes best--at least for that shift!!

For premies, we mostly use the regular yellow nipple, the red "premie" is the same size, but often gives the baby too much fluid @ one time, esp when they're just learning.

For term babies, NO NIPPLES! Finger, cup, syringe--whatever, just no nipples. Premies seem more flexible than term kids.

For babies who are problem feeders, the OT makes a plan (with the primary RN, ideally), and we try to follow it. Feeding plans and problems tend to be "fluid things", changing frequently.

NUK nipples are the original "orthodontic" nipple, and were thought to help prevent orthodontic problems later. I don't like them for premies--the hole is on the top of the bulb part, and they collapse more easily. More recent studies have not proven the original idea of the NUK nipple.

I didn't really intend to write a thesis on the subject...but here it is!!

NicuGal, MSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU. Has 30 years experience.

The only time we use Nuks is if the kid is reallllllly sloppy...for some reason most do better. We don't use red ones....comes out too fast.

The BF ladies like the nuks for some reason...I'm not sure why.

babynurselsa, RN

Specializes in ER, NICU, NSY and some other stuff. Has 12 years experience.

Our policy is nuks for BF kids though I personally don't care for them. Theory I've been told is that it is supposed to be more like breast in the mouth. I find if the baby has a strong suck they collapse too easily then lots of work with no results unless you screw them on so loosely you nearly drown the child. They also seem to flow more freely than a regular yellow anyway.

Just aa side not on the finger-feeding issue, when I first had that explained to me as a new grad in the NICU, I thought they were pulling my leg to see if I would fall for it.

When they go home I stock them with plenty of the nipples and tell them how to sterilize them. I like them too and some places do not use them. I know these companies that furnish free formula furnish nipples as well.

canoehead, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

I dislike Nuks, but I really detest Playtex. You could sit there all night waiting for a baby to get an ounce out of that nipple, and you can't tell where you are in the feed for burping, with that stinking collapsible bag.


And my pregnant sister plans on using Playtex, (along with BF) I'm hoping to convince her otherwise.

I personally use the Nuk nipples and send every baby out with both kinds and let the parents pick but that is just my prefrence b/c they look and feel softer than the generic hard straight nipples. Also, we had a baby with cleft lip/palate and he didn't do good with the long nipples and did really great with the Nuk......everybody does their own weird habits and this is mine!!!!:;)

I am a lactation consultant and do not really lke NUK - I find Avent nipples are best for BF kids - but they do not work in the hospital (do not fit on premade bottles)

Jolie, BSN

Specializes in Maternal - Child Health. Has 34 years experience.

Dear Canoehead,

I'm with you 100%! I hope you can gently persuade your sister to try something else. If she won't listen to you, I'm sure she won't be interested in the opinion of some unknown nurse and mom thousands of miles away, but I'm good at wasting my breath, so here goes:

IMHO, the Playtex Nurser is the WORST infant feeding product available today (followed by the disposable NUK nipples provided to hospitals), but I digress. The nipples are very firm, short and stubby, and are difficult for ANY baby to latch on to, let alone an infant who is used to nursing on mother's softer, longer and more pliable breast. Suggest to her that she breastfeed exclusively for 3 weeks or so to establish a good milk supply. Hopefully by then her baby will be so used to his mother's breast that he will reject the Playtex nipple. She can then try a standard nipple or a comercially available NUK.

Is she attracted to the Playtex system because of the ease of pumping, storing and bottle-feeding her milk? If so, there are other systems available that are just as convenient, and a lot more baby-friendly. Take her shopping!:)

Good luck, and happy birthing to your sister!

mother/babyRN, RN

Specializes in cardiac, diabetes, OB/GYN. Has 27 years experience.

I always used Nuk for my own kids once they weren't breast feeding, but our hospital would NEVER spring for the expense. Our regular cheapo ones do just as good a job and we are supposed to cup feed our breast babies....


Specializes in NICU.

Our lactation consultants recommend Nuk nipples for all breastfed babies, though I agree with most of you that I don't care for them either. I especially don't like them for small preemies who are lucky to be able to fit a regular sized nipple in their mouths let alone a wide Nuk

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