Bottles are one of those baby essentials that seem so simple – until you start shopping. Which baby bottles are the best? Let’s take a look.
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In this article: 📝
- How do I choose a baby bottle?
- What bottles should I buy for my newborn?
- The best bottles for breastfed babies
How do I choose a baby bottle?
When you’re picking out baby bottles, there are a few things to weigh up before you make your decision.
Most baby bottles hold either 4oz or 8oz (about 120ml or 250 ml).
Smaller bottles are for smaller babies.
To get an idea of when you might need to size up, you can check out the feeding chart in our essential formula feeding guide.
Traditional glass baby bottles are easy to clean, but they’re heavy, which can be tough on your wrist.
Plastic bottles are less expensive and easier to find, but it’s worth double-checking that the plastic is BPA-free.
(BPAs in cutlery and crockery are banned in the US because they’re responsible for some health scares).
Cleaning and sterilizing bottles is a big job when you have a new baby.
All the pieces of the bottle should come apart so that you can wash out the milk and make sure that there’s no moisture left inside when you’re done.
See if you can get an idea of how simple it’ll be to complete this baby bottle jigsaw before you commit to a brand.
Some brands (like NUK) let you keep the bottles and swap the newborn nipples for something more like a sippy cup or a sports bottle when your baby becomes a big kid.
If you’re pumping, it’s also worth finding out if you can attach the bottles to your breast pump and save yourself some washing up.
Medela has some of the best baby bottles for this.
For all you earth-mamas, there are more and more sustainably made baby bottles on the market.
You can even get stainless steel bottles, like these from ThinkBaby, to seriously reduce the amount of plastic you buy for your little one.
How it looks
Mama, even if you feel like you should be thinking about a hundred other things, you’re allowed to pick the bottles that you think are cute.
What bottles should I buy for my newborn?
Babies can be surprisingly particular when it comes to their bottles, so there’s no such thing as the perfect bottle.
But when you’re buying them, it’s good to look for bottles that are going to minimize the amount of air your baby can drink down along with their milk.
Bottles labeled ‘anti-colic’ can be the best bottles for newborns. The most common designs have either:
- A nipple designed so that air bubbles can’t form by your baby’s mouth,
- A valve that gets rid of the excess air, or
- A design that’s wider at the top
You’ll need somewhere between six and 12 bottles if you plan to formula-feed full time.
Even if you plan to breastfeed, some parents choose to buy a few bottles and a tub of formula just in case.
Sometimes life throws us a curveball, and if one of those is a bumpy start to your nursing journey, you’d probably rather avoid a midnight trip to the store to buy feeding supplies.
And speaking of breastfeeding…
The best bottles for breastfed babies
If your baby is used to breastfeeding, learning to drink from a bottle can take some perseverance.
But whether your goal is combination feeding, exclusive pumping, or just for someone else to have the chance to feed your baby and have that bonding experience, you can make it work.
The most important factor is the shape of the nipple on the bottle.
The most important factor is the speed of the nipple flow.
Breast-fed babies should typically use a slow flow nipple so that it is more like the breast.
But again, there’s no such thing as the perfect bottle for a breastfed baby.
In fact, when you do make a bottle-feeding breakthrough, it’ll probably have more to do with the time that you feed them (before they get too tired, or hangry) than the exact brand of bottle you choose.
🍼 More from The 411:
20 Breastfeeding Tips for New Mamas
Breast Milk Storage Tips
10 Foods to Increase Milk Supply
How Many Burp Cloths Do I Need?
How to Stop Breastfeeding (When You’re Ready)
Can You Overfeed a Newborn?
7 Breastfeeding Positions to Try
What is Cluster Feeding? The Ultimate Guide
Why I Chose to Formula Feed
What is Paced Bottle Feeding?
10 Best Baby Carriers: Tried & Tested by Real Moms