Best Baby Bottle for High Palate – How to Choose the Right One

Balint Horvath, PhD

Writer, parent, and veteran of baby feeding battles.

Updated:

If you’re looking for a quick recommendation, the best baby bottle for a high palate is Dr. Brown’s Speciality Feeding System.

Are you struggling to bottle-feed your baby with a high-arched palate and therefore you’re looking for baby bottles for a high palate? Babies with such a condition battle to get proper suction with the nipple, making breastfeeding and bottle-feeding difficult for them. Here are the five baby bottles that work well for solving the issue of improper latching.

The best baby bottles for high palate feeding are special feeders designed to accommodate this condition. Dr. Brown and Medela offer specialized feeding systems. Soft bottles and shorter or flatter teats with valves are other features that help with high-arched palate feeding. 

Best bottles for babies with a high palate

  1. Top Choice – Dr. Brown’s Speciality Feeding System 
  2. Second Choice – Medela SpecialNeeds Feeder
  3. Best Value – Pigeon Baby Nursing Bottle for Cleft Lip and Palate
  4. Best for Breastfed Babies – Minbie Breastfeeding Baby Bottle
  5. Best for Infant Reflux – Comotomo Baby Bottle

Comparing the bottles

FeatureBottle Brand
Specifically designed for high palate feedingDr. Brown’s Speciality Feeding System 
Medela SpecialNeeds Feeder
Prevents colic and infant refluxDr. Brown’s Speciality Feeding System 
Medela SpecialNeeds Feeder
Pigeon Baby Nursing Bottle for Cleft Lip and Palate
Minbie Breastfeeding Baby Bottle
Comotomo Baby Bottle
Soft and squeezable bottlesPigeon Baby Nursing Bottle for Cleft Lip and Palate
Shorter nipplesComotomo Baby Bottle
Flatter nipplesMinbie Breastfeeding Baby Bottle
Controlled milk flow/pace feedingDr. Brown’s Speciality Feeding System
Medela SpecialNeeds Feeder
Pigeon Baby Nursing Bottle for Cleft Lip and Palate
Minbie Breastfeeding Baby Bottle

Review of each bottle

1. Dr. Brown’s Speciality Feeding System

Dr. Brown's Options+ Bottle Specialty Feeding Set, 8oz/240mL, 2-Pack, 0m+

Dr. Brown’s Speciality Feeding System is specifically designed to accommodate babies struggling with the following conditions:

  • Cleft lip and palate
  • High-arched palate
  • Ankyloglossia
  • Oro-neuromotor dysfunction
  • Craniofacial abnormalities

Dr. Brown’s feeding experts collaborated with medical professionals to come up with a feeding system that makes it easier to bottle-feed babies with these conditions. The unique system includes a combination of the Natural Flow bottle, nipple, and valve which allows your baby to express fluid bolus while sucking without requiring manual support. 

The Infant Paced Feeding Valve is inserted into a standard silicone teat to create a “compression nipple.” This allows your little one to self-regulate while bottle-feeding using tongue and jaw movements. 

The system ensures the milk enters their mouth without ingesting air, allowing for safe and comfortable swallowing. The system allows for vacuum-free feeding which minimizes the risk of your baby developing colic or infant reflux symptoms. Dr. Brown’s Speciality Feeding System is also one of the best bottle choices for me tongue-tied babies

2. Medela SpecialNeeds Feeder

Medela SpecialneedsTM Feeder 150ml

Medela’s SpecialNeeds Feeder works well for babies who can’t get a vacuum while feeding as a result of certain conditions such as cleft lip and high-arched palates. This feeding system can be used with two different nipple sizes. It works by allowing the baby to create a compression when they’re not able to suck properly for an adequate vacuum. 

Through compression feeding, your baby can express formula or breastmilk from the bottle comfortably. Special features of the feeder include:

  • Line marks on the teat help you to find the right position.
  • A one-way valve restricts air from coming into the teat.
  • The slit valve is sensitive to special needs feeding style and closes completely when your baby stops sucking.

The SpecialNeeds Feeder comes in a standard size but you can replace the teat with a smaller size if it fits better for your baby’s oral cavity. Take note! This feeder was originally known as the Haberman Feeder and is recommended by the Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) for babies who can’t feed from standard bottles and teats.

3. Pigeon Baby Nursing Bottle for Cleft Lip and Palate

Pigeon Baby Nursing Bottle for Cleft Lip / Palate Baby

Designed for babies with cleft palates, this bottle includes features that could make it easier for infants battling with high-arched palates to feed. The bottle is oval-shaped and made with soft, polypropylene material. The shape and material type makes it easier for you to hold the bottle while squeezing it gently to regulate the milk flow.

The specialized teat is longer making it easier for some babies to latch and create a suction for feeding. The other unique feature of the nipple is that the silicone is thicker on one side while thinner on the other half. This makes it simpler for your baby to use their tongue and jaw movements to regulate their feeding

The 240ml bottle is designed with a milk flow regulator that keeps the milk flowing in one direction, preventing it from reversing while your baby drinks. The teats come in two different sizes – small and regular. 

4. Minbie Breastfeeding Baby Bottle

Minbie 3 Month+ Breastfeeding Baby Bottle, BPA-Free Kit

This 7-ounce baby bottle with medium-flow nipples was designed for breastfeeding moms who wanted to avoid nipple confusion when switching to bottle-feeding. Some babies with high palates might take to this type of nipple because it’s flatter on one side. The teat is also softer, made with hypoallergenic, top-quality silicone. 

The medium-flow nipple encourages pace feeding, allowing your baby to regulate the flow of milk without the risk of choking or gagging. The teat also includes an anti-colic valve to reduce air ingestion which helps to prevent unpleasant colic symptoms. The bottle is recommended for babies older than three months.

5. Comotomo Baby Bottle

Comotomo Baby Bottle, Green, 8 oz (2 Count)

While not designed for babies with special feeding needs, the Comotomo baby bottle could be an option to explore. Some parents who have babies with cleft lip have found this bottle design useful but how can it be beneficial for infants with a high palate?

Comotomo bottles are made with soft, squeezable silicone with a shorter nipple on a wide base. The dual anti-colic vents reduce air ingestion, minimizing the risk of colic and infant reflux. 

The bottles are dishwasher-safe too, making them easier to clean. A quick tip – look for some dishwasher for baby bottles to protect the quality of your Comotomo bottles. 

It’s important to be trained by an infant feeding specialist or cleft nurse specialist when using soft bottles to squeeze milk during feeding. If you squeeze too much formula or breastmilk while bottle-feeding, the milk flow can become overwhelming and your little one could aspirate or choke. 

Can a high palate affect bottle feeding?

A high palate does affect bottle-feeding and breastfeeding as your baby struggles with poor or broken suction throughout the feed. Other problems associated with high-arched palates and bottle-feeding include:

  • Nasal congestion: Babies with high palates battle to clear gunk from their noses and this can also restrict how they drink from a bottle.
  • Breathing difficulties: Your baby may breathe through their mouth rather than their nose, making it harder for them to drink comfortably from a bottle or the breast. 
  • Swallowing difficulties: Babies with high-arched palates may struggle to protect their airways during feeding, resulting in choking or coughing when drinking. 
  • Sensitive gag reflexes: Touching the hard palate with the tongue controls the natural gag reflex. When the baby’s tongue can’t touch the hard palate, they battle with poor gag reflexes resulting in gagging while bottle- or breast-feeding. 

How do you feed a baby with a high palate?

If your baby cries when bottle feeding it could be because the bottle isn’t suitable for babies with high palates. Using special feeders like squeezable bottles, various techniques such as squeezing the bottle gently, and an upright feeding position are recommended for babies with high palates. Tilting the bottle slightly also helps for babies who battle to suck strongly. 

Are there specific bottles for babies with a high palate?

Dr. Brown’s Speciality Feeding System and Medela’s SpecialNeeds Feeder are specifically designed for babies with conditions such as high-arched palates. Other special bottles that rely on your baby’s tongue and jaw movement to regulate the milk flow could work for your baby with a high palate.

When choosing a bottle and teat for your baby with a high-arched palate it’s advisable to work with an infant feeding specialist. These specialists are skilled in dealing with special needs feeding techniques and using the right bottle. 

How to choose a bottle for a baby with a high palate

When choosing a bottle for a baby with a high palate, consider the following:

  • Special feeders: Opt for one of the bottles in this article which are specifically designed for babies with feeding challenges.
  • Softer teats: Silicone nipples are softer and gentler for babies who battle with suction. 
  • Flatter teats: MAM and NUK do make flat-headed teats with large bases to help babies with cleft palate feed better. This could help your baby with a high-arched palate but check with your pediatrician or cleft nurse specialist first before using them. 
  • Soft bottles: There is a wide range of soft bottles available on the market but they’re not specifically designed for babies with feeding problems. However, with careful feeding techniques and the right nipple, your baby could use one of these soft bottles. 

Which bottle for high palate feeding should you choose?

Choosing a special feeder is best for high palate feeding. These bottles are designed to accommodate your baby’s suction problems and prevent fast milk flow. Dr. Brown’s Speciality Feeding System is a popular choice being easily accessible from online stores and relatively affordable. 

The bottles are available in 4-oz and 8-oz sizes and are BPA-free and dishwasher-safe. Watch this video which demonstrates how to assemble the feeding system.

FAQs

Why do you use flat nipples for babies with high palates?

A flat nipple design can improve the compression and extraction of milk from the bottle. Babies with high-arched palates might find it easier to latch to a sloping, flatter nipple on a wide base compared to a longer teat. However, make sure the teat is made with silicone for a softer and more comfortable feel. 

What are the problems with high palate feeding?

The main problem with high palate feeding is your baby creating a suction with the nipple. Your baby may struggle to breathe properly while feeding because of nasal congestion or because they’re not used to breathing through their nose. 

Desensitized gag reflexes increase the risk of your baby gagging while drinking. Your baby may also battle to swallow properly if the milk flow is too fast. 

Are there other brands that make bottles for high palates?

There aren’t many brands that make bottles specifically for high palates. This makes it difficult for parents to find the right bottle for their baby battling with this condition. However, with the right feeding techniques and training with a cleft nurse specialist, it’s possible to use a standard soft bottle and nipple, especially with older babies. 

Wrap-up

If your baby clicks while bottle feeding they could be struggling with a high-arched palate and having a check-up with your pediatrician can confirm this. 

Dr. Brown’s Speciality Feeding System is my top pick for babies with high palates. However, Medela SpecialNeeds Feeder comes a close second so choosing either brand should help with high palate feeding.

Last update on 2024-03-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Author

I’m Balint, founder of this site and a father (and dad) to a baby-turned toddler. I found the world of babies so fascinating that I started a blog dedicated only to that topic. By the way, I studied physics, engineering (PhD, MSc), and therefore I do a thorough research when I write about something. Since it’s a blog, of course I also write about my personal experiences.

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