I think one of the biggest issues cleft parents face is feeding. The hospital sent us home with Nuk nipples and squeezable bottles. We had to squeeze every bit of milk into his mouth. Then we got in touch with some nurse at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, FL and they advised us to use the Mead Johnson nipples. They have a cross-cut tip. They worked better and we could get more down him faster than the Nuks. The Nuks were taking anywhere from 45 min. to 2 hours to get 3-4 oz. down. The Mead Johnsons help us to only 20-30 minutes. There are a few more "cleft nipples", but these are the only ones we tried.
Finally, a friend showed us the Haberman nipples. We had heard about these and the Boston staff advised us to use them. We just didn't get any from the hosptial and hadn't ordered any yet. THEY ARE WONDERFUL!!! A HUGE LIFESAVER!! This website gives specifics on how to use it - http://www.medela.com/NewFiles/pdfs/Haberman_Inst.pdf
We used the longer nipple. Bauer didn't do well with the shorter. I've heard the smaller one is for smaller mouths. Don't really know.
It took us (mom,dad, and Bauer) a few times to figure out how to properly use them, but once we did it was great. He did a lot of it on his own and was still getting down at a normal rate.
With any of these we had to remember to BURP, BURP, BURP!! So much extra air getting in means lots of extra tummy bubbles coming out!! :)
We found another cleft mom's suggestion for leaking bottles. Occassionally, the teats (nipples) will leak if not put on properly. Somtimes they're on right and still leak a little bit.
"We discovered how to eliminate or minimize the leaking. If you notice there is a grove in the disc. This is where the leaking milk comes from. A simple way to fix this is to line that groove in the disc up with the flow line you use and the tab on the collar. This will keep the grove always on the top so milk doesn't drip out of it. I loved these bottles and hated them until I learned to put them together right. Also, not all store bought bottles will work with them. With some the teat will pop right off. What a wonderful thing to happen when you are trying desperately to feed a starving baby that has a hard enough time to eat. The Haberman shouldn't be boiled like you would your other bottles. Exposing them to hot water can ruin them and cause them to leak. Even warm milk can do damage. When I called Medela about this they said only serve room temperature milk in the Haberman." (cleft mom)