Trying to find reusable similac/enfamil nipples

Hello, I am the proud Mommy of a 32 weeker (38 weeks gestational age now) who has been home for one week today. In the NICU they used the Similac/Enfamil nipples. They sent me home with some but I've just about run out. I had bought some Avent bottles and nipples prior to his (early) arrival but he does terribly with those. I have two questions. One, where can I find reusable similac nipples? I bought some disposable nipples from their online site, but my gosh - we'll have to re-mortgage the house to keep him supplied! And two, which reusable bottles fit these nipples? Any suggestions would be very helpful and greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!!

Report post

11 replies. Join the discussion

I'm the father of two 31-weeker boys. We had our joys of trying to figure out what worked the boys. Before, my wife and I thought, "They'll use whatever nipple we give them!" Wrong, wrong! Turns out that experimentation has to be done to figure out what works.

You do not need to use what the hospital uses. The hospital uses those kinds of nipples because they must dispose of them at the end of each use. Did they sent you home with a large quantity of "nursette" bottles? If so, just pour them into a normal bottle and use it from there.

We had bad luck with the Evenflow Elan bottles (they leaked worse than a seive), and tried several other bottles.

The NICU uses Soothie pacifiers, and what do you know, our boys ended up doing best with Soothie nipples. We didn't like the soothie bottles, though (cheap plastic that was expensive), and thus use use the Soothie nipples with Playtex vent-aire bottles (which allegedly reduces bubbles in the formula, and we think it works, especially whe nwe can hear the vents letting air come through).

Of course, the Soothie nipples weren't designed to work with Playtex, but they are the exact same size, and we have a procedure of "loosely tighten, loosen a bit, tighten more, loosen a bit, re-tighten even more -- done" -- and that seems to prevent leaks from around the nipple.

The Playtex nipples were most similar to the disposable Enfamil nipples that we were sent home with. (We still have about 10 of them wrapped up). They are expensive because they intend for hospitals to buy them... but at our hospital, Enfamil gave them all the formula and bottle supplies (graduated cylinder-looking bottles) and glass 22-cal Enfacare for FREE. Free, free, free. Nurses were carrying home the bottles (and "formula check coupons") to sell on eBay. A quick check of eBay shows you how many free samples end up being sold for big bucks on there.

Have you tried washing the disposable nipples? We washed ours several times and got a lot of use out of them. Just chuck them out when they start to degrade.

By the way, you can take the nipple out of those disposable caps and replace it with a Soothie nipple. We've done that when feeding out of the last supply of nursette bottles from the hospital because our boys did better with the Soothies than with the "generic" disposable Enfamil nipples.

If you feel "attached" to the generic nipples, go to Walmart and look for the Parents Choice versions that they sell. You can even remove the plastic ring and place the rubbery part into the plastic ring that comes with the disposable nipples.

Make sure to start with stage 1 (Soothies) or the smallest stage for your start. We were sent home with a bunch of "larger" nipples (blue and white identified the "flow rate" for the disposable nipples) ... while at the NICU, we discovered that some nurses would use the highest-flow rate nipples just to get the feedings done more quickly. Make sure to get what works.

If you don't mind handing someone money for something they got for free in the first place, I'm sure you'll find some on eBay. But go with something permanent. Hope this helps!

Report post

Hi there...totally have had the same problem and feel your pain. First with my twins five years ago (26 weekers) and now with my daughter (34 weeks). At least this time, I knew better and took as many as I could from the hospital before we left the NICU. It paid off. I have a surplus. I completely reuse them. I wash them after each use and sterilize them once a day, the plastic rings as well. When they start to breakdown and the fluid runs out easily, I know it is time to get rid of it. I bought "NUBI" bottles to use with them and they work great. I now actually use the rings and caps from the NUBI with the NICU nipples. It is perfect. The reliability of the nipple with the convenience of a capped, ready to go bottle. I am still looking for a nipple she likes other than the disposables. But the good news is she is 6 months and starting cereal now. So, I am going to force her into using the Avent...eventually when I know her intake is sufficient. I am going to give you my email and if you want to contact me with your mailing address, I will send you all the sterile ones I have left if you like. (I must have at least 20 or more!) We spent a fortune trying out diferent bottles and felt like it was money down the drain. legalmuench(at) So I totally know how frustrating it can be. I am happy to help and it would be nice to know that I won't have to throw them away when someone else could so desperately use them. Hope this helps! ~Lori

Report post

Hi we had twin 26weekers and had the avent bottles also but they would not take them . the bottle that we found worked best was the old fashion gerber bottles that are not the easiest to find. We found them at target and they are really cheap. We bought the slow flow silcone nipples to replaces the ones that come with the bottles. I think the bottles are called clear view. You can use the nipples with the rings from the simalac and enfimal nipples . Good luck I hope this helps.

Report post

we were given a ton of these when we left the hospital but Rowen does fine with Dr. Brown's bottles. so i have the similac orthodontic ones. you want um you can have um. ill mail them to you for free.
email me...i think you can do that through this site right? (im new here)

Report post

I had the same prob and what ended up working for me were the Dr. Brown's bottles with the "gold" nipple. It is faster flow so they don't have to work as hard. I also did a minor surgery on it to make it even easier. I do know that the Playtex Ventair bottle fit the nipples from Similac that they used in the NICU. Hope this helps!!

Report post

My son was born at 32 weeks and while still in the NICU we brought in the playtex ventair bottles to try and get him used to them before we left, but we had no luck with them. Like you were were sent hom with the bottles he liked in the NICU but when we ran out I found that the regular Gerber bottles with the medium flow nipples with the 3 hole design worked the best. He had a hard time learning to take a bottle in the hospital, and if he had to work too hard he would fall asleep. So the medium flow worked best for him. Hope you find one that works for your baby.

Report post

If you don't get some more nipples from people that can send them to you from this site I would be happy to have my friend check to see if she can get them for you from the company. My friend's husband works for Ross Labs, the maker of Similac, and he gets us our formula at cost, so I'm sure he could get the nipples if he asked. Let me know if you want me to check into it. I have no problem sending them to you if I can get them. My e-mail is: I feel for you-once you find something that works you don't want to mess with it!

Report post

Hi. I know you posted your discussion a couple of weeks ago now and hopefully you have already found something that works!
I work in an NICU in Canada and deal with our babies with feeding problems. So far I find the Gerber type nipples to be most like the Enfamil ones used in the hospital. I think that the "slow flow" ones are a little slower than the enfamil ones...the "medium flow" ones a tiny bit faster...
Be careful with faster flowing nipples because if your baby isnt able to handle the flow by swallowing the amount that comes out quickly, they could choke more easily. It is also important that your baby sucks to draw the milk out of the nipple to build the muscles in the mouth...and later speech development....
The Enfamil nipples also fit on the Gerber bottles and vice versa.
I have heard good things about Dr. Browns but havent tried it myself yet.
Good luck.

Report post

I really had a hard time coming up with the nipple that would work with our 32 weeker, so what i did . . (as silly as it sounds) . . . I went to a 2nd hand store, and bought a gallon zip lock bag size of nipples/pacifiers/rings etc etc. It cost me about $5. It was the *BEST* investment I ever made!!! I got to expirement with a variety of nipples at a low cost. I went through, and steralized them all before I started, and then checked for deteriation, or unsafe issues (like an extra large hole). Anyhow . .. I sorted them out. I figured out of the group which ones he would take . . then I went to the store, and found ones that looked the same.

In the long run, I ended up using the old bag Platex nurser with a silicone ortho nipple. BUT on the days I forgot to pack the bottle or etc. . . I had a child who I could switch to another bottle, because I had "tested" so many on him. (but then again that was 6 yrs ago. . and those could be found.)

Blessings, and Good Luck

Report post

I emailed you, but was curious -- what does Similac charge for at-cost formula? Enfamil charges $8.29 for an "at-cost" can of Enfacare. Just curious how the two companies are head-to-head.

Report post

I am in need of either the SImilac or Enfamil preemie bottles and nipples. Do you still have some of these? If so, please let me know if they are still available. Thanks!

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Discussion topics

Preemie links and resources

Narratives from the NICU -- Read the special report

Community leaders