As a new mom, how do you choose the best baby bottle? It’s not as easy as it sounds. You can’t pick any bottle from the store as there are many factors that you should consider before you buy the best baby bottle. In our 2021 selection guide, we will talk about the factors that you need to consider before you shortlist a particular type of baby bottle.
Also Read: The Ten Best Baby Bottles
How To Choose The Best Baby Bottle
Size Of The bottle – The first thing that you must consider is the size of the bottle. Now, this is basically dependent on the age of the baby. Ideally, you can go ahead and buy a bottle with a capacity of 150 ml if your baby is between 0 to 3 months old. Once the baby crosses the 3-month mark, you would need to upsize the bottle to one that can hold up to 330 ml of fluid. Ensure that you do not buy a bottle for the baby which is bigger than it needs to be, as it would turn out to be too heavy for your baby to hold.
The Shape Of The Bottle – You can very much opt for a standard shape as it would not really make much of a difference. Just ensure that the shape of the bottle is so that it offers a good grip to the baby. In addition to this, to choose the best baby bottle shape, check that the bottle’s base is not very wide for the baby to hold the bottle properly.
The Bottle Material – There are generally three types of material available in the bottles. The first one is the most common one, which is the plastic material. The second one is the glass, and the third one is steel. If you wish to buy the plastic bottle, then ensure that the bottle is BPA free. The glass bottle is expensive, and they can be heavy. You can give it to the baby who is at least 2 months old, and lastly, you can consider the stainless steel bottles, which are lightweight and the safest option on the list. Also, the steel bottles may be a little expensive, but they are the best ones.
The Development Stage Of Baby – You also need to consider the development stage of the baby. This would not make a difference if your baby is in a normal development stage, but this could be a major differentiation point for a pre-mature baby. Since the baby born prematurely would have a poor reflex, it would be difficult for him to suck on the nipple with normal force. These specially designed bottles for premature babies require a limited force, and some of the better versions can help the baby switch from the feeding tubes to the bottles.
Silicone Or Latex Nipples – There is two basic material in which nipples are available. One of them is silicone, while the other one is latex. Until now, latex nipples had been popular, but the fact is that silicone nipples are much better than latex nipples. They are long-lasting, and they are much stronger as well. Apart from this, the silicone is bacteria resistant, which adds to the benefits of the silicone nipple. You would have to pay a premium for buying the silicone nipple buy again; you must go ahead with these.
Size & Shape of Nipple – Next factor to consider is the shape and size of the nipple. This also determines the flow. The shape and size of the nipple should be chosen as per the baby’s age, and to explain it better, we have listed the table below for your reference.
|Age of Baby||Shape||Size||Flow|
|< 1 Week||Regular or Cherry||Small||Slow|
|1 Week to 2 Week||Breast Mimicking||Wide||Slow|
|2 Week to 2 Months||Natural or Breast Mimicking||Wide||Slow|
|2 Months to 4 Months||Regular or Natural||Regular||Medium|
|4 Months to 6 Months||Regular or Natural||Regular||Fast|
|6 Months to 9 Months||Orthodontic||Regular||Very Fast|
Compatibility of Bottle and Nipple – Another factor that you must consider is the bottle’s compatibility with the nipples. Check if the bottle supports the wide base nipples or the narrow base nipples. Bottles that supports the vents to do away with vacuum build-up will only support silicone nipples. Consider this point before you are buying additional nipples for the bottle.
Ease of Cleaning and Sterilizing – Also, check the ease of cleaning the bottle. A bottle with many curves will be difficult to clean, and deposits may build up in such a case. While you are investing in a bottle, ensure that you also buy a good cleaning brush for your bottle.
These are all the factors that you need to consider while buying the bottle. Also, while you are purchasing the bottle, it would make a lot of sense to purchase extra nipples because you will find yourself in a situation where you are changing the nipples frequently. This would save you from taking trips to the market at a later stage.
Sterilization Of Baby Bottles
You must sterilize your baby’s bottle before each use. Check with the manufacturer as to what’s their recommendation. But essentially, you can use hot water and/or steam to kill off the harmful bacteria. You can try disinfectant solutions; the first thing you need to do is wash off the remains of all milk, brush it on the inside, and then soak it in a disinfectant and water solution.
Once you have done that, you can air-dry the bottle and reuse it. Or you can fill it with water and drop it in the microwave, especially if the bottle comes with a self-sterilizing feature. Like other bottles, use hot water to clean them, take them out, and wait for the bottle to cool. This should effectively take care of any bacteria. Additionally, you can also steam the bottles to sterilize them; it’s your call.
How To Bottle Feed Your Breastfed Baby
Babies are innocent, curious, and ready to learn new stuff. Whatever happens near to them, they learn. For a breastfeeding mom, teaching their baby about bottle feed seems like a big task, and it may require lots of effort.
However, if you choose a simple method by tricking babies, it becomes easy to feed your baby. Here are some basic steps that you can try out –
- Offering Bottle After Regular Feeding
The simple and easiest method to teach your baby about breastfeeding is by offering him/her the bottle and play with it. As you will feed your baby with breast in the evening, then offer him/her the bottle.
It will take time to catch the nipple, but you can correct and make sure that you give half an ounce of milk. This practice should be followed daily until the end of the week. After such a long time, the baby will get used to bottle feeding.
- Slow Flow Nipples are necessary for Smooth Flow.
Babies may not like the regular bottle nipples because they can fill the mouth in a quick time. Even the chances of getting flooded with milk are higher for babies. That’s why you must go with slow flow nipples.
These nipples require the baby to try harder, and then they can get milk out of it. Use the slow flow nipples for the first week, and then you can change with the better one for quick feeding.
- Do not Feed Yourself to Baby.
As the baby is used to the smell of your body and the baby knows who you are, feeding with the bottle is hard. Baby will deny and won’t listen to you. That’s why asking someone else to do the same work.
Ensure that you do not go closer when the baby is playing with the bottle and learning how to drink milk out of it. Once the baby starts loving the breastfeeding option then you can rely on it without a single issue. You can take help from your partner, friend, or nanny for quick time learning.
- Try Staying out of reach of the baby.
Babies know who their mommy is, and if mom is inside the house, baby can smell them from a distance. Staying out of the house or reach will make them try something new like a feeding bottle.
A good feeding bottle with proper shape and accurate size can help. If the flow is near yours, then the breastfeeding bottles are reliable, and they can kill this habit of feeding with breast. After a couple of months, you can try out offering formula milk.
By using these methods, it becomes easy to teach a baby about bottle feed. If the baby is stubborn and hates preferring bottles, you can keep him/her hungry for a few more minutes or half an hour.
As the baby will be hungry and want milk, then you can try offering a bottle by putting the nipple in their mouth. This may feel hard, but you can try out this basic and easy option.
Bottle Feeding Do’s & Don’ts
Bottle feeding is safe if you follow all the basic precautions. Most people forget to look at Do’s and Don’ts if they are facing issues. So, you should check these points out to avoid common mistakes.
- Do make sure that you boil the bottle and nipple for five minutes when using for the first time. After the use, keep both in hot soapy water for one minute before using it.
- Do wash your hands before preparing formula or pouring milk inside the baby bottle so that you can avoid any bacteria or germs.
- To sterilize the water before using and keep it hot. After that, let it cool and then prepare a formula for safe use.
- Do place the bottle in the baby’s mouth and make sure that you choose slow flow for better feeding.
The List of Don’ts
- Don’t – Don’t put the bottle in the microwave to heat milk inside it. You can buy baby bottle warmers, preserving the quality, and heat milk at an accurate temperature.
- Don’t – If the bay does not like formula milk and leaves in between, try out prepared baby formula milk to ensure that if the baby dislikes the formula or is not mixing properly.
- Don’t – Do not keep the empty bottle in the baby’s mouth to play with it because this will make the baby bite harder on the nipple to get milk. If you do not follow and try feeding with your own nipple, then the baby can bite.
After following these basic methods, you can ensure safe feeding to a baby. One last thing to keep in mind is to choose a reputed brand for quality rubber nipples.
Choosing poor quality can cause an issue like the baby will chew it and damage it in the future. So, try out preferring other reputed brands during the purchase. Also, do use a baby bottle warmer to heat the milk and sterilize the formula effectively for safe use.
In short, there are definitely tricks to choose the best baby bottle. Both bottle feeding and breastfeeding have pros and cons. It mainly depends upon the mother which one is possible, comfortable, and practical for her.