Introduction: Medela SNS/LactAid Hack

This Instructable explains how to use LactAid tubing with a Medela SNS (Supplemental Nursing System) bottle.


The SNS uses a washable plastic bottle which hangs upside down and drips milk through 2 tubes into the baby's mouth. There are 3 sets of tubing in varying sizes to increase or decrease milk flow. LactAid uses disposable plastic bags which hang right-side-up. A tube comes out of the top so baby has to work against gravity to suck out the milk.

The SNS is great because it uses a plastic bottle which can be reused. It's sturdier so there's less risk of spilling milk if it's squeezed.
The LactAid is great for babies that need to develop a stronger suck. The fact that it works against gravity means less drips from the tubing. Since the bag is upright, it can be used while lying down.

The SNS tends to leak through the cap if screwed on too loosely or tightly. The tubes also need to be locked off when not in use to prevent gravity drip. Baby also does not need to work as hard since depending on how high you hold the bottle, some milk will drip into its mouth before they even begin sucking. (However, some babies do need this assistance, which is a reason many choose the SNS.)
LactAid bags are not reusable which can become pricey over time. They also require a system for filling which can not be done as quickly. If the bag is accidentally squeezed, it may "pop" and spill the milk.

This hack uses the washable plastic bottle from the SNS and the antigravity tubing from the LactAid to try to address the issues with both systems.

Step 1: Parts You Will Need

Medela SNS:
*Plastic bottle
*Yellow cap
*Clear flange
*Neck cord

*Tubing assembly

You may also want to have:
*LactAid bulb syringe, for cleaning.
*Funnel, for filling. (The one that comes with the LactAid kit has a filter for formula.)

Step 2: Seal Tubing With Flange

With LactAid tubing assembled, slide clear flange from SNS onto the wide end of LA tubing. This will create a seal to prevent leaks from the top of the bottle.

Step 3: Attach Cap to Tubing

Feed the narrow end of tubing up through the bottom of the yellow SNS cap.

Step 4: Attach Neck Cord

Loop the neck cord around the mouth of the bottle. Use the slider to tighten it up and lock into place.

Step 5: Fill Bottle and Screw on Cap

Fill SNS bottle using milk or formula. It may be helpful to use a funnel to avoid spilling. (Formula can be mixed directly in the bottle, but be careful when shaking to prevent spills from the top.)
Place wide end of tubing into the bottle and screw on cap.

Step 6: Feed Your Baby!

Keep bottle upright throughout the feed. Since the tubing was not made for this bottle, it is a bit too short to reach the last few drops in the bottom. When nearing the end of a feed, tilt the bottle sideways to ensure the tube picks up the milk. This will prevent baby from taking in air.