Mead Johns Cleft Palate Nurser: Again, no alteration needed – designed for cleft palate use. They are super-cheap but in my experience, a little difficult to work with because you need to squeeze the bottle and there isn’t much airflow. This is the type of bottle we were given in the hospital the first few days. I personally had a terrible time using them. They were hard to squeeze and didn’t work as well for bilateral cleft. Although, I have heard other mamas like them with a single cleft and no cleft palate.
Pigeon Feeder System: No alterations needed – designed for cleft lip & palate use. One of the bottles has a spoon on the end, and the other more-popular one looks more like a regular bottle but works with a special nipple and one-way valve like the Haberman. I used bottle with a spoon similar to this to feed her formula after surgeries.
Comotomo Bottle: No alternations needed again – parent can squeeze the drink into the child’s mouth with the soft silicone bottle.
Nosey Cup: A flexible drinking cup – great for during/after surgeries and recoveries. We used this and even paper cups after Aliah’s surgery. This worked best for us. She couldn’t bite down on a nipple.
TenderCare Feeder: For after-surgery feeding, if needed.
Nuby No Spill Sippy Cup: Cut the inside of the sippy spout to allow for faster flow. The child simply bites on the sippy spout and the drink flows through. These are great because they work for cleft-affected children (no sucking) but they are terribly messy and do wear out quickly. We had Aliah on a cup at 6 months old per the doctors request. After purchasing many different cups this is what we always went back too.
Nuby No Spill Sports Sipper: Cut the inside of the sippy spout to allow for faster flow. Again – the child bites on the spout and drink flows through. They are messy, but a bit less than the Nuby No-Spills. We used these regularly for awhile but needed to replace them every few months.
Avent Magic Trainer
Avent Magic Trainer: With the stopper removed. We used several cups with the stopper removed. It is an option.
Avent Natural Drinking Cup: No alterations needed – these are made to foster drinking out of regular cups. When the child’s top lip touches the center part of the cup, it pushes down and the drink is allowed to flow through the top. We used something similar to this when Aliah was over 12 months old. It worked well for after surgeries too.
Playtex Coolster Tumbler: With valve removed, child only needs to tilt head back to get the drink out. This is another great option for recovery of palate repair because there is no spout.
This is most definitely not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start. The big thing to remember is that many, many bottles and cups are alterable to work for cleft children – any alteration to stop the requirement of sucking will work! If you are reading this post and have successfully used other products for your cleft child, please comment or email me with a link to the product. I would love to include it! This is a great way to help other cleft parents, please don’t be shy! Thank you!
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