Parents only want nothing but the best for their baby’s bottles. But how exactly do you choose it? Here are some of the most popular baby bottles in the market and they have been tested to help you decide what bottle to buy.
But before anything – why do moms need to buy a bottle?
Why Buy A Bottle?
Babies need to eat, but since they can’t eat like how adults do, they eat using breasts, bottle, or a combination of the two. If you’re planning to use formula, a baby bottle would be appropriate but you still need to consider possible issues like nipple confusion or latching.
Provide mom with much-needed breaks —Baby bottles can provide you with the rest you need from breastfeeding and do other stuff and chores. First, establish a nursing routine for the baby, and by 3-6 weeks, when they’re already good at latching and thriving, you can introduce a bottle to them now.
Help dad and other caregivers bond with baby — Fathers can use feeding as an opportunity to bond with the baby as it enables them to cradle their little one and make eye contact, an action similar to what a breastfeeding mom does.
Convenience and transportability —there will come a time when the mom isn’t around to feed the baby, so a baby bottle can greatly help during this kind of situation or outings.
Provide skill-building time for the baby—Bottle feeding teaches your baby hand-eye coordination, grip strength, and independence because they would need to learn how to hold, tilt, and rotate the bottle.
Formula Feeding Only — There will be times when breastfeeding won’t work out so bottle-feeding would be necessary.
Trying to find the right bottle that would suit your baby might be more difficult than you think, as it isn’t as easy as getting one off the shelf and paying for it. When buying a bottle, consider these things:
Types of Bottles
The bottles in this list were reviewed according to their shape, nipple design, body material, vents, and valves.
Bottle Body Material
The Tommee Tippee bottle is plastic with a silicone nipple.
Plastic —This kind of bottle is lightweight, cheap, and portable. You can see the volume using the markings outside the body. They have silicone nipples. There are plastic bottles whose internal venting systems have plastic components. You have to make sure they’re BPA free.
Glass —This one is heavier than plastic but more fragile. It’s easier to clean this and more environmentally friendly, thus, can cost more than the plastic bottle. Your baby might have a difficult time holding this, though.
Stainless Steel — This one is an environmentally friendly, easier to clean, and durable option. They are definitely heavier than plastic but are lighter than glass. They also have silicone. However, you might have a difficult time seeing how much milk is left inside.
Silicone — Finding silicone bottles is rare, but there is one out there called the Comotomo. Silicone bottles are lightweight, pliable, easy to clean, and durable as it doesn’t break easily when dropped. It is also scratch resistant and safe for the baby.
There are many types of bottle body types. Some are shaped so that they’ll be easy to hold to the babies while some would have wide neck openings so that drinking the milk and cleaning would be easy.
There are two basic types of nipples, but the venting and valve systems of those nipples are similar in variety. While all are silicone, the difference lies in their shapes.
Narrow — Small nipples are often found on bottles with narrow necks, which make the bottle difficult to be cleaned. This kind of nipple makes it difficult for the baby to latch onto but allows easy transition from the nipple to the actual breast. Narrow nipples don’t have vents, unlike wide ones.
Breast-Like — A breast-like nipple has a wide base and is usually used on a wide neck bottle body. This kind of nipple makes it easier for the baby to latch onto as babies prefer this kind of nipple more. If your baby has previously shown difficulty in latching onto nipples, this would definitely be the right choice.
Vents and Valves
This feature of the baby bottle is used to prevent air ingestion and decrease colic, burping, and spit ups. There are also valves and vents that are created so complex like Dr. Brown’s that they could lead to leaking and would need you to buy special brushes to clean them properly.
Ideally, glass bottle bodies with a silicone sleeve, a wide neck, and simple parts would be the best. The vent and valve should also be without any plastic components, and the nipple should be something the baby can easily latch to.
How To Choose The Best Baby Bottle
Go at your own pace when finding the right bottle. Don’t get too influenced by other people’s recommendations as the needs of each baby are different.
- Choose Materials
This is your baby’s first time being exposed to possible chemicals, and the said chemicals might even leak to the milk. The order of the most preferred and safest materials would be glass, silicone, and plastic baby bottles.
The mentioned glass bottles earlier were thermal and shock material and environmentally friendly so your baby is safe from chemicals that might leach into their food. The Lifefactory glass bottles are lighter than that of Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Glass. They have silicone sleeves that the Philips AVENT Natural Glass bottles do not have. Additionally, they are not prone to leaking and are easier to hold for babies. A good silicone body bottle would be the Comotomo.
- Choose Nipple Style
You should pick the type of nipple next. Generally, nipples that mimic the breast would be the most appropriate, to avoid confusing the baby especially if you plan to switch the baby’s feeding between bottle-feeding and breastfeeding. This would help the baby retain and enhance their latching capabilities.
Don’t bottle feed your baby until you have set a nursing routine and your baby already knows how to latch. This usually happens between 3-6 weeks but postpone it if the baby is still having difficulty latching.
While narrow nipples don’t really cause trouble for babies, mound nipples are generally more preferred because it allows the baby to have a natural latch and feeding position. However, it differs from baby to baby, and it would still depend on which one your baby will like. If your baby is showing difficulty in liking any nipple style, start with larger ones first before moving to narrower ones. The Comotomo offers the design that imitates the breast the most. The Lifefactory, on the other hand, has more narrow nipples like other glass bottles. The AVENT is an exception as it has a larger nipple, but it leaks.
The accordion ridges along the bottom side of the Munchkin Latch makes feeding easier, but babies find difficulty with the angle, constantly rotating it. The Tommee Tippee, on the other hand, is generally well-liked and budget-friendly but its plastic bottle takes points off of its desirability.
- To Vent or not to Vent
The next thing to consider is the vent, and this could be the tiebreaker when measuring the bottle. For valves or vents, a simple one is better than a complicated one because, of course, they are easier to clean – that’s the initial reason. The complicated ones are made of plastic too and could have possible leaking. All the products seem to work the same.
There are now a lot of bottle designs available that makes choosing more difficult. There are also features you want to avoid while there are some you would want to get. In the end, it would depend on what your baby would really like to get used to – and that’s what you’ll need to pay attention to.
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