There are so many infant bottles to choose from for feeding your baby. The massive number of options can be daunting. It can be a difficult decision to know how to choose the right bottle, especially if you’re choosing a bottle during pregnancy. It’s hard enough trying to figure out what bottle your baby might prefer, let alone before you’ve even met your baby! But we’ve got some tips for you to make the choice just a little easier!
When considering buying bottles for your baby we suggest buying one of a few different types for baby to try. Every baby is different. Once you find the bottle that works best for your baby you can buy more.
A Simple Guide to Buying Bottles
There are many different shapes and sizes of bottles. If you are breastfeeding and want to bottle feed because you’re going back to work or want to offer it as a supplement then you might want to choose a wider mouth bottle. They are shorter and wider than a traditional bottle but are said to be easier for baby to switch between bottle and breast as the bottle mimics the shape of the breast.
Traditional bottles are tall, narrow and straight or have a slight curve or angle. The curved and angled bottles are said to be more ergonomic and easier for the caregiver to hold. This design can be harder to clean because of the narrow bottle.
Plastic bottles are the most common bottles and very easy to find in normal stores. They are light and easy to clean. They are also cheaper than other options. But they can release chemicals when boiled. Be sure to choose a plastic bottle that is BPA, PVC and Phlalate free.
Glass bottles are also a more common choice. Glass does not release chemicals and is easy to clean. However glass bottles can break and chip. Careful inspection of the bottles is required between cleanings to ensure there are no chips. You can buy silicone sleeves to go over the bottle to make breaking less likely.
Stainless steel bottles are less common and not very easy to find. But they last significantly longer than plastic and glass and don’t break.
Silicone bottles are relatively new and also less common. There are some great positives to using silicone. No chemicals leach from silicone. They are heat resistant, easy to hold and some even mimic disposable sleeves like we’ll talk about later, reducing the amount of air that baby ingests. You will likely have to order these online as they are not easy to find in stores.
Bottles with disposable liners are very simple to use. You just drop in a liner and fill with formula or breastmilk. The design of the liner is said to be anti-colic. These are super easy for daycare and nanny use and for travel. They make cleaning a breeze! But they can get expensive as each liner can only be used once.
As mentioned above, if this type of bottle appeals to you, check out silicone bottles which mimic the action of a disposable liner but can be washed and reused.
Addressing Colic and Gas
If you have a colicky baby and are trying to buy a bottle system that will help relieve the symptoms, check out anti-colic bottles. Some have a straw like component while others have a vent system to reduce air bubbles. You may want to try a few to see if they work for your baby and then invest in the one that works best.
Nipples come in different shapes, sizes and materials.
The traditional nipple shape is tall and dome-shaped. You’ll see these with the tall, narrow and bent shaped bottles. Wider bottles have wider nipples which mimic the shape of the mother’s breast. This can make switching from breast to bottle easier. There is also an orthodontic nipple shape that is flat on the bottle and lays on baby’s tongue. The orthodontic shape encourages proper jaw position.
There are multiple flow levels for nipples. The lower the number, the slower the flow. You’ll want to start at one, the slowest flow, for a newborn and when beginning bottle feeding. If baby seems to be sucking hard, move to the next flow level. If baby seems to be sucking in too much at once, switch back to a slower flow. Make sure to regularly inspect the hole in the nipples to ensure the hole hasn’t expanded. This can cause baby to ingest too much milk and possibly air.
If choosing a bottle when you are still pregnant, choose the one that you think will work best for your baby and your lifestyle. Going back to work? Maybe a disposable liner system will work best for you. Planning to supplement with bottle feeding? Maybe the wider bottle system will be best.
If you are choosing after baby is born, take into account your baby’s feeding rhythms. Does he eat quickly and burp easily? Maybe he needs a faster flow nipple and a traditional bottle. Is she colicky and gassy? Maybe an anti-colic bottle would be best.
Remember not buy too many bottles in case they don’t work well for your baby. If you get a lot during your baby shower or find a really good deal, just don’t prep all of them in case you need to return them to the store.
We hope this guide to bottle buying has helped make this daunting decision just a little easier.