Frequently Asked Questions
Do you still have questions,
even after reading Our Advice?
You might find the the answers here ...
Do NUK latex teats really have no harmful effect on health?
What are the differences between latex and silicone teats?
Can NUK latex teats trigger allergies?
Where can I buy NUK teats in size 3?
The NUK valve teats have become sticky, why is this?
Are there only FIRST CHOICE bottles and teats from NUK?
Do the NUK FIRST CHOICE bottles fit into the NUK Baby Food Warmer and Vaporisator?
Are NUK bottles suitable for the dishwasher?
How should my child drink from the NUK Replacement Spout?
Can I give my baby a bottle and at the same time continue breastfeeding?
How can colic be avoided when bottle-feeding?
Why are the NUK soothers not designed symmetrically like other brand-name soothers?
How do I know if a soother is orthodontically suitable?
Round soother versus asymmetrical soother: Which is better?
Is it a problem if my baby sucks on the NUK soother incorrectly, i.e. upside down?
Can soothers counteract Sudden Infant Death?
What is the difference between a calming and a sleep-time soother?
Which soother is better: silicone or latex?
What should I be aware of when cleaning the soother?
There is water in the soother after boiling it!
The NUK soother is very flat after boiling!
When should soothers be replaced?
From what age can I give my baby a soother?
When and in what situations is it sensible to use a soother?
When should my child stop using a soother?
Are there any tips for breaking the habit of a soother?
What are Bisphenol A (BPA) and polycarbonate(PC)?
Are all the NUK baby bottles I can buy today BPA-free?
Can I continue using polycarbonate baby bottles?
What alternatives to products containing BPA does NUK offer?
Why is BPA being criticised and how should the EU ban be viewed?
How do the authorities assess the risks from BPA?
European Food safety Authority (EFSA):
Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR):
What symbols are there for different synthetic materials – how can I recognise synthetic materials that contain BPA?
Can soothers also have BPA in them?
Are all the NUK Soothers I can buy today, BPA-free?
- Do NUK latex teats really have no harmful effect on health?
We guarantee it! Our latex teats are regularly tested by various renowned independent institutes (e.g. Fresenius) and fulfil all statutory requirements far in excess of what is demanded. One example is the N-nitrobased substances which were declared to be carcinogenic by the media some time ago. Something which they often failed to mention: These substances are to be found in many foodstuffs and are only determined to be carcinogenic if a certain chemical reaction takes place. A portion of fish, for example, contains 10 mg of this substance. In order to ingest the same amount using a NUK latex teat, 20,000 teats would need to be sucked (a new teat each day) for around 55 years! This clearly shows the standard of safety provided by NUK teats and why they receive the rating "very good" in nearly all quality tests.
- What are the differences between latex and silicone teats?
NUK latex teats are made from rubber milk or latex, a high-quality natural material. Latex is particularly durable – it is very elastic and highly resistant to any pulling or tearing. However, because latex is a natural material, the fat contained in food can cause it to age. Direct sunlight will also cause it to age, quicker than normal in fact, which is why latex teats should be stored carefully. The general rule of thumb: A latex teat should be replaced every 1 to 2 months, at the latest when it starts to get sticky.
NUK silicone teats are made from a high-quality synthetic material. The clear silicone material is particularly resistant to temperature. Direct sunlight and fat also have no effect on the aging of the material. However, it can be more easily damaged. A silicone teat must be immediately replaced after the first bite marks or any other "faults" become apparent. For hygiene reasons, it is recommended you replace the teats every 1 to 2 months.
The material you decide to use depends on your individual requirements or preferences. And, of course, it is also possible to switch between the two materials. Should your baby refuse the new latex teat because of how it tastes, simply boil it for three minutes in milk first! However, while this will neutralise the taste, it will also age the teat quicker than usual due to the fat content in the milk.
- Can NUK latex teats trigger allergies?
NUK latex teats have been immunologically tested for years for their latex allergen content. The results show no measureable risk potential and confirm our positive experience from the last 60 years. There are actually no latex products that do not cause some sort of problem for those people allergic to it – even when the product contains less than 30 mg/kg of soluble proteins like the NUK latex teats do!
- Where can I buy NUK teats in size 3?
NUK teats are only manufactured in 2 sizes: Size 1 for children from 0 to 6 months; size 2 for children age 6 months and upwards. Silicone teats should only be used up until 18 months as the first teeth may damage the material. And by this time anyway, most children are ready and able to drink by themselves – and here we recommend the NUK Replacement Spouts.
The ages specified here are only recommendations. Generally, your child will know well enough which teat size she prefers. Please take note, however, that a bottle should by no means be seen as a replacement for a soother. The constant sucking on a bottle which contains drinks, feed or acidic fruit/vegetable juices can cause tooth decay.
- The NUK valve teats have become sticky, why is this?
NUK latex teats are made from rubber milk (natural rubber latex) which is a natural raw material susceptible to aging. The rubber part getting sticky and swelling are typical signs of aging that may appear after approx. 4 weeks of use.
The durability of a teat depends on the most varied of circumstances. The diet and the saliva composition of the baby play an important role here. The fat content of the food also accelerates the aging process, as do external influences such as strong direct light or heat. Our tip: Store the teat in a protected environment.
Boiling the teat for too long or using a pressure cooker to disinfect the teat may lead to premature aging. Pre-cleaned teats should be sterilised in a vaporisator or boiled in a normal cooking pot for 3 minutes. It is important that you place the teat in water that is already boiling, taking it out after the specified time and leaving it somewhere to dry.
All NUK teats undergo strict testing procedures on a regular basis. Because our products are supplied all over the world, you can rest assured that the highest of international quality standards have been met.
- Are there only FIRST CHOICE bottles and teats from NUK?
Our current generation of bottles, NUK FIRST CHOICE, is an expansion on our bottle range which has been recommended by experts (midwives, paediatricians) and tested by mothers. Our "classic" range of bottles and valve teats is still available on the market.
- Do the NUK FIRST CHOICE bottles fit into the NUK Baby Food Warmer and Vaporisator?
The NUK FIRST CHOICE bottles fit into the NUK Baby Food Warmer. We have redesigned the 6-bottle, steam-function NUK Vaporisator by making changes to the basket. Both the classic NUK and the NUK FIRST CHOICE bottles now fit into the machine.
- Are NUK bottles suitable for the dishwasher?
Our NUK PP bottles (NUK synthetic bottles made from polypropylene) should generally not be used in a dishwasher. The material is suitable for boiling and can withstand temperatures of up to 97°C, a temperature which will not be reached in a dishwasher.
Most of the dishwasher detergents are also very aggressive and damage both the decoration and the material. This causes the material to wear prematurely and can lead to the bottle breaking.
- How should my child drink from the NUK Replacement Spout?
The correct use of the replacement spout is difficult to explain but we'll give it a go: When drinking, the rounded side of the spout should point upwards in the direction of the child's nose and the square side downwards in the direction of the chin so that the NUK print is back to front.
- Can I give my baby a bottle and at the same time continue breastfeeding?
The NUK FIRST CHOICE bottle and teat ranges have been developed according to the latest medical expertise in order to support you when breastfeeding. They facilitate a safe combination of breastfeeding and bottle-feeding as the teats have been designed based on the mother's breast. Detailed information regarding this topic can be found in the Q&A Video Session with the NUK Expert Team.
- How can colic be avoided when bottle-feeding?
When preparing the formula, the water and dry milk should be measured accurately – according to the manufacturer's instructions. Allow the milk foam to subside in the bottle after shaking. It is also important that the correct teat size and hole are used. The teat should be completely filled with milk when feeding. When feeding time is over, a small burp afterwards is important as it allows swallowed air to come up and escape. Take breaks to burp the child during feeding time. The valve on the NUK Anti-Colic AIR SYSTEM also prevents the creation of any vacuum in the bottle. Meaning the baby can continue drinking without swallowing air.
Thanks to the special orthodontic design of the NUK teats, the same lip, jaw and tongue muscles are used when feeding from a NUK bottle as those used when sucking at the breast. The natural motor activity is maintained. When sucking at the breast, salivation takes place to aid digestion. With the NUK FIRST CHOICE bottles, exactly this effect is achieved with the flexible hole on the upper side of the valve teat.
- Why are the NUK soothers not designed symmetrically like other brand-name soothers?
Because NUK has based the special design of its soothers on nature. More precisely on the mother's nipple when breastfeeding, where the baby can feed contentedly as nature intended.
The NUK teats and soothers are designed in such a way that sucking, to a large extent, demands the same sucking, chewing and feeding habits typical for breastfeeding. Thus training the lower jaw and face muscles.
The NUK design supports the natural, healthy orthodontic development of the child when used specifically to calm the child, avoid damaging thumb-sucking or to facilitate intensive orthodontic training in between meal times.
Read more about this in the NUK Form.
- Round soother versus asymmetrical soother: Which is better?
Many mothers think that symmetrical soothers correspond to the nipple the most because they look like they have the same shape. It should be noted here, however, that the nipple changes its shape during breastfeeding and adapts to the shape of the child's mouth, as well as the sucking and motor activity. The shape it takes has been scientifically proven to be orthodontically correct, unlike the round or cherry-shaped designs of many other soothers.
In the 1950s, the dentists Dr. med. dent. W. Balters and Prof. Dr. Dr. A. Müller looked for ways to prevent tooth displacement and jaw deformation in children. They discovered that these problems were seen much less often in children who had been breastfed. The dramatic change of the shape of the nipple during breastfeeding and thus its perfect adaption to the mouth of the child led the dentists to create the first anatomically pre-formed and thus orthodontically correct NUK teat and soother. Similar to what happens during breastfeeding, the flattened baglet of the teat supports the cavity of the lower jaw while the upper rounded side promotes the development of the palate perfectly. Meanwhile, the lip rest remains flat so that – almost like drinking at the breast – a firm closing of the lips is possible. The hole in the teat has been consciously placed further to the back and not directly at the peak. The food thus remains in the mouth of the child for longer, allowing for better salivation to take place, something which is very important for a healthy digestive system.
The teat with the typical NUK design optimally trains the lips, tongue and face muscles and is still recommended by orthodontists today.
- How do I know if a soother is orthodontically suitable?
Fundamentally, a soother should physiologically adapt to the jaw of the child and should allow the tongue enough room for movement. A flattened baglet, i.e. with an undersurface rounded slightly upwards, facilitates the natural position of the tongue and supports the development of both the lower and upper jaw. It is also important to ensure that the soother is soft and flexible. It is recommended that the teat neck (the area that connects the baglet to the mouth plate) is narrow enough to ensure there is as little pressure as possible on the jaws and the teeth. Further information can be found in the NUK Form.
- Is it a problem if my baby sucks on the NUK soother incorrectly, i.e. upside down?
The NUK teats and soothers are designed in such a way that sucking, to a large extent, demands the same sucking, chewing and feeding habits typical for breastfeeding. By using the NUK soother, your child is not only satisfying her natural sucking urges but is also intensively training his jaw.
Normally, the lip guard of the soother presses lightly against the mouth and chin of the child when sucking. The rubber part in the mouth of the child thus automatically returns to its correct position. Most children will turn around an incorrectly placed orthodontic soother themselves or spit it out if it is too small.
If the soother is simply being used to pacify the child or because it has become a habit, the original purpose of the soother has been lost: If anything, the child will no longer suck the soother but will regard it as a toy that can also be put into his mouth upside down. It may also be the case that your child has become accustomed to another, symmetrically designed soother that can be placed in the mouth in any position.
We would advise, however, that parents have patience when introducing soothers and show their child how the soother should be properly used.
There is no risk of jaw deformation or tooth displacement from the soother if the child occasionally turns it in his mouth. Because the NUK soother has such a flexible and soft baglet, there will be only very slight pressure on the child's mouth. Which is certainly not the case for thumb-sucking, on whose damaging effects all experts agree.
- Can soothers counteract Sudden Infant Death?
International studies show that the use of soothers does have a positive effect against Sudden Infant Death. In order to examine this finding more closely, scientists from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) (2)analysed two internationally relevant studies from the years 1966 to 2004. They came to the conclusion that children who go to sleep with a soother are at a much lower risk of Sudden Infant Death. The reasons for this are not yet known
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that babies up to one year of age are given a soother whenever they are put down for sleep, both during the day and night. This covers the age when Sudden Infant Death occurs the most, as well as during the period when children have their greatest urges for sucking. Children should not be unnecessarily encouraged to use soothers and the soother should never be coated with something sweet. If the soother falls from the child's mouth after falling asleep, it should not be reinserted.(3)
The most effective way to protect your child is explained in the following basic rules:
Breastfeed your baby if possible. Your baby loves body contact – breastfeeding provides nourishment for both the body and soul. Breast milk will also protect your baby against allergies and infections.
- Place your baby only on her back for sleeping. This is the safest and best sleeping position for your child.
- Do not smoke while pregnant or after your baby is born. The risk of Sudden Infant Death rises with every cigarette!
- Ensure your child has a healthy sleeping environment: In your bedroom, in her own cot on a firm mattress and in a baby sleeping bag. Covers, pillows and large cuddly toys etc do not belong in the baby cot! Keep the room well ventilated and do not dress the child too warmly.
- Should you detect any signs of illness or if your child is not at ease, contact your paediatrician.(4)
(1) Source: Gemeinsame Elterninitiative Plötzlicher Säuglingstod (GEPS) Deutschland e.V. (German national SIDS organisation)
(2) Founded in 1930, the American Academy of Pediatrics has almost 60,000 members in the USA, Canada and Latin America, committed to the physical, psychological and social health of children and adolescents.
(3) Source: American Medical Journal "Pediatrics" (2005; 116 3716-e723)
(4) Recommendations from the brochure "How can my baby sleep safely?" from the Hamburgischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Gesundheitsförderung e.V. (Hamburg working group for the promotion of health) in cooperation with the Hamburger Behörde für Soziales, Familie, Gesundheit und Verbraucherschutz (Hamburg Authority for Social Affairs, Family, Health and Consumer Protection) and the Hamburg-Eppendorf Universitätsklinikum
- What is the difference between a calming and a sleep-time soother?
The calming soother has no button but a kind of ring-pull which protrudes slightly, making it easier for children to take the soother from their mouths themselves. In general, all soothers without this ring and those with a ring which fits flatly into the mouth plate are suitable for use as sleep-time soothers. Thanks to the flat mouth plate, pressure points on the face of the child are avoided.
The baglets of the sleep-time and calming soothers do not differ in their design, function or size. Which means a sleep-time soother can be used as a calming soother and vice versa. Where they differ is how they are used. If pressure points do appear while the baby is sleeping, the use of a sleep-time soother is recommended.
- Which soother is better: silicone or latex?
This generally comes down to personal taste as both materials have their own specific advantages. Of course, both soothers can be used interchangeably. Should your baby refuse a new latex teat because of how it tastes, simply boil it for three minutes in milk first. However, while this will neutralise the taste, it will also age the teat quicker than usual due to the fat content in the milk. A latex soother should be used as soon as your child's teeth start appearing as latex, in comparison to silicone, is bite-resistant.
How they differ:
NUK latex soothers are made from rubber milk or latex, a high-quality natural material. The finished latex material is extremely durable and elastic. Thanks to its high-resistance, latex is particularly suitable for babies who already have teeth. A disadvantage to latex is that is must be kept out of sunlight – UV rays cause this material to age quicker. There is, however, a positive side to its discolouration: This is a clear signal that the soother needs to be replaced (after approx. 1 to 2 months). Another advantage is that latex, as a natural material, can be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.
NUK silicone soothers are made from a high-quality synthetic material. The clear silicone material is particularly resistant to temperature. Direct sunlight and fat also have no effect on the aging of the material. However, silicone can be easily damaged. A silicone soother must be immediately replaced after the first bite marks or any other "faults" become apparent.
- What should I be aware of when cleaning the soother?
Before using the soother for the first time, wash it thoroughly using a gentle washing-up liquid (e.g. the NUK Rinsing Agent) and then boil it for approx. 5 minutes. Press out any remaining fluids from the baglet or simply leave it to dry. Never clean the teat in the dishwasher as this may damage the material. Adults should never lick the soother clean. Caries bacteria can be passed on to the child in this way. The same goes for spoons and teats. If the soother is dirty, it should be thoroughly rinsed under running water. Soother chains or ribbons which can be attached to the clothing of the child can prevent soothers from getting lost or falling on the ground.
- There is water in the soother after boiling it!
All NUK soothers have an AIR SYSTEM. A valve ensures that air can escape from the rubber part when it is pressed together by the palate. The soother thus optimally adapts to the child's mouth at all times. Due to the valve opening, water can sometimes enter the rubber part when the soother is boiled.
Our tip: Press out the remaining water from the soother directly after boiling it.
- The NUK soother is very flat after boiling!
If a vacuum builds up in the soother, there is a simple trick that nearly always works: Pull sharply on the rubber part of the soother! You will not break the soother; the rubber part and the mouth plate are durable enough to withstand this.
Such a vacuum can occur if (e.g. after boiling) the AIR SYSTEM is blocked. This is because a valve ensures that air can escape from the rubber part when it is pressed together by the palate. The soother thus optimally adapts to the child's mouth at all times. Should you be unable to release the vacuum using the aforementioned trick, simply send us your soother and we will provide you with a replacement free of charge.
- When should soothers be replaced?
The general rule of thumb is: A latex teat should be replaced every 1 to 2 months like a toothbrush, or at the latest when it starts to get sticky. A silicone soother must be immediately replaced after the first bite marks or any other "faults" become apparent. It is recommended that soothers are replaced at an earlier date if your child contracts a cold or throat infection in order to avoid repeat contamination.
- From what age can I give my baby a soother?
From the time he is born. Babies have natural urges to suck and a soother allows them to do this. This is par for the course when breastfeeding.
- When and in what situations is it sensible to use a soother?
A soother is primarily there to be sucked, encouraging, comforting and calming the baby. If it just hangs loosely in the baby's mouth, it should be taken away.
- When should my child stop using a soother?
It is slowly time to part from the soother by the time the child reaches the age of three.
- Are there any tips for breaking the habit of a soother?
Talk to your child: Explain to him why it is time to stop using the soother – for example, because the child is too big for a soother or the soother is now too old.
It won't happen overnight: Saying goodbye to the soother in stages is often easier. Agree with your child that she only uses the soother in the house from now on and keep to this new rule until the child stops using it completely.
Give the soother away as a gift: Explain to your child that there are other children, for example a friend's baby, who need the soother urgently. Give plenty of praise to your child when the soother is given away.
Use your imagination: A special "soother fairy", like the Easter bunny or Santa Claus, can help ease the final transition. The child gives up his soother and receives a treat in return. In some parts of the world, there are "soother trees" which the soothers are tied to when children stop using them.
- What are Bisphenol A (BPA) and polycarbonate(PC)?
The abbreviation, BPA, stands for Bisphenol A. BPA is a raw material in the manufacture of polycarbonate (PC), a synthetic material. BPA is “embedded” in the material and is firmly bound in it.
PC is a very versatile type of material. It is durable, heat-resistant, unshatterable and transparent. This is why PC is used to make countless items in everyday use.
BPA is a starting material for polycarbonate, which is found in many products which we use daily: for example, in plastic bags or milk cartons, food packaging, but also in mobile phones, CDs as well as sunglasses, adhesives or nail polish.
- Are all the NUK baby bottles I can buy today BPA-free?
Yes. NUK switched the complete production of baby bottles to BPA-free materials at an early stage and only offers bottles from a range of BPA-free alternative materials today. To make identification as easy as possible for parents when shopping, BPA-free baby bottles from NUK are clearly marked as “BPA free”. In addition, effective June 1st, 2011, the European ban on the use of materials containing BPA for the production of baby bottles will extend to the sale of such products. So bottles containing BPA may no longer be offered for sale by the trade in general.
- Can I continue using polycarbonate baby bottles?
Basically, yes. However, as with all NUK products, it is generally recommended to clean them thoroughly before each use and check them for any damage. Damaged baby bottles should be replaced.
- What alternatives to products containing BPA does NUK offer?
For many years there have been baby bottles in the NUK range made out of other materials, such as glass, polypropylene (PP) or Polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), which, for easy identification, are marked as “BPA free”. As a matter of course, all the materials used by NUK are continuously subject to safety checks. We guarantee that we make absolutely no use of materials containing BPA in the manufacture of baby bottles at our production sites. We guarantee that we make absolutely no use of materials containing BPA in the manufacture of baby bottles at our production sites.
- Why is BPA being criticised and how should the EU ban be viewed?
There are numerous studies worldwide where the danger to health caused by the intake of Bisphenol A (BPA) is examined. The results of these studies are not conclusive and over the past months have been very inconsistently assessed by different institutes in various countries. The scientific controversy over a possible danger to health through the effect of BPA in the human organism led to an ever more critical public discussion and made parents feel extremely unsure.
As a precautionary, consumer protection measure and in the light of the complex information, the European Commission took the decision to adopt a directive, based on which, BPA may no longer be used in the production of baby bottles from 1 March 2011. In addition, effective June 1st, 2011, the sale of baby bottles containing BPA will be prohibited in the countries of the European Union.
NUK had already reacted to parents’ uncertainty at an earlier date and no longer produces any baby bottles with BPA. We can offer parents products made out of other materials such as polypropylene (PP) or glass, for example.
- How do the authorities assess the risks from BPA?
- What symbols are there for different synthetic materials – how can I recognise synthetic materials that contain BPA?
Synthetic materials are marked as follows for the consumer.
The abbreviation, PET, stands for the material, polyethylene terephthalate. It is used for soft drink bottles. There is no BPA in PET.
PE-HD means “High-Density Polyethylene” and is a material used in the production of all types of plastic bottles. There is no BPA in PE-HD.
PVC is not used in the manufacture of bottles; there is no BPA in PVC.
“Low-Density Polyethylene” is a synthetic material, which, for example, is processed into plastic tubes and contains no BPA.
Polypropylene is a milky synthetic material, which is used, for example, by NUK to produce BPA-free baby bottles.
“Polystyrene” (PS) is a synthetic material commonly found in the toy industry; it contains no BPA.
“All other plastics” are grouped under the 07 symbol – among them the synthetic material, polycarbonate that does contain BPA, but also other BPA-free synthetic materials such as Polyamide (PA). NUK has therefore given all its BPA-free baby bottles an extra, unambiguous logo, “BPA free”.
The logo, “BPA free”, identifies all NUK’s BPA-free baby bottles and help parents find their way around the shelf more easily.
Throughout its range, NUK also has other products which babies suck. All these are also made from BPA-free material: silicone and TPE (Thermoplastic elastomer) are BPA-free synthetic materials; natural rubber latex is a natural material, obtained from the latex milk of rubber trees.
- Some NUK baby bottles have the number 7 on them – can I buy these if I would like to have BPA-free baby bottles?
- Can soothers also have BPA in them?
There are various parts to a NUK soother. The baglet is always made out of silicone or natural rubber latex and, so, is BPA free. Polycarbonate (PC) was used before for the soother’s so-called “mouth plate” and ring.
NUK reacted early on to the uncertainty of the consumer however and switched their complete soother production to BPA-free materials, such as polypropylene (PP). All NUK soothers are therefore clearly marked as “BPA free”.
- Are all the NUK Soothers I can buy today, BPA-free?
NUK switched the complete production of soothers to BPA-free materials at an earlier date. It cannot be ruled out that NUK polycarbonate soothers can still be found in stores. In order to make identification as easy as possible for parents when shopping, BPA-free soothers from NUK can be found in store, clearly marked as “BPA free”.
- Can I continue to use polycarbonate soothers?
Basically, yes. However, it is generally recommended to clean all NUK products thoroughly before each use and check them for any damage. Damaged soothers should be replaced.