It’s easy to assume that only moms who formula feed and mix feed need to buy baby bottles. But even those who exclusively breastfeed buy baby bottles for a number of reasons. A lot of mothers need to go back to work and the easiest way to feed a baby with pumped breast milk (aside from cup feeding) is through a bottle.
One thing’s for sure, though, regardless if you’re formula feeding or mix feeding or exclusively breastfeeding: your baby deserves to use the best baby bottles. The only problem is narrowing down your choices because as you know, there are as many baby bottles to choose from as there are baby formula brands.
To help you choose the best baby bottles for your little one, we’ve prepared this handy guide so you can stock up on the ones that will best fit your baby’s needs.
Best baby bottles if you’re breastfeeding
If you’re exclusively breastfeeding or mix feeding, you want to choose bottles that have the same feel as a real nipple. This will help prevent nipple confusion so your baby can switch from bottle to boob and vice versa without any problems.
Some of the brands recommended for breastfed and mixed fed babies include:
- Comotomo – Described as soft and squeezy, Comotomo baby bottles are made of silicone. The bottles’ nipples are even shaped like a mom’s nipples, with a large base that comes into contact with a baby’s cheeks, nose tip and chin (much like an actual breast does during breastfeeding).
- Lansinoh mOmma – Also recommended for moms who exclusively pump, these bottles are compatible with the brand’s electric breast pump. The bottles come in two sizes: 5oz and 8oz and the nipples are designed to reduce nipple confusion.
- Medela Breastmilk Bottle Set – Medela is said to be one of the best breast pump brands. The set is compatible with any of the brand’s breast pumps and comes with either slow flow or medium flow nipples. Safe to store in the freezer or refrigerator and are dishwasher-safe.
Best anti-colic baby bottles
Do you know what causes colic? Experts say that the exact cause is unknown. It could be hormones, a growing digestive system, overstimulation, or gas.
Anti-colic bottles and teats are based on the idea that colic is caused by gas. They work by reducing the amount of air a baby ingests while feeding. Some anti-colic bottles have a vent system that removes air from milk, while others have anti-colic valves.
Here are three anti-colic baby bottles you may want to consider if your baby frequently suffers from gassiness and/or reflux.
- Philips Avent BPA Free Natural Polypropylene Bottles – These bottles have a twin valve design that releases air back into the bottle and prevents air from getting into baby’s tummy.
- MAM Anti-Colic – The patented, vented base of MAM Anti-Colic bottles not only controls the flow of milk but prevents air swallowing. By evenly controlling the flow, no bubbles or air pockets are formed, which means your baby is less likely to swallow air.
- Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature – Slow flow nipple combined with anti-colic valve ensures less air intake. Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottles are also great for breastfed and mixed fed babies.
Best glass baby bottles
There used to be a time when glass baby bottles are the norm. You can imagine how the shift to plastic came about, given that glass is heavy and a pain to clean if you or your baby drops it on the floor.
But plastic bottles are not necessarily superior to glass bottles. You may already know that the FDA banned BPA (bisphenol A) in the manufacture of baby bottles and sippy cups in 2012. This is because BPA has been linked to certain cancers, developmental changes in the brain and reproductive system, and early puberty.
While plastic bottles and sippy cups are now BPA-free, if you have concerns about safety and prefer to use glass bottles, you can check out these brands:
- Evenflo Feeding Classic Glass Twist Bottles – Evenflo glass bottles are easy to clean and come with slow flow silicone nipples. No need to worry about chemicals leaching into your baby’s milk.
- Lifefactory Glass Baby Bottles – Unlike old glass bottles, Lifefactory bottles have silicone sleeves (good for the occasional drop). Can be stored in the freezer and sterilized in boiling water as the bottles are made from thermal shock resistant borosilicate glass.
- JOOVY Boob Glass Bottles – These bottles also come with a silicone sleeve. Available in 5oz and 8oz sizes, JOOVY Boob glass bottles do not absorb odor, color, or taste compared to old plastic bottles.
Best baby bottles if you’re formula feeding
Take note that some of the options listed above can be used by moms who formula-feed. If you bought bottles that can be used with breast pumps, you can still use them or save them if you plan to breastfeed or mix feed your next baby.
Generally, the best baby bottles don’t leak, are easy to clean and use. But most, if not all baby bottle manufacturers claim that. Choosing the best baby bottles then is a matter of trial and error.
What works for your friend’s baby may not work for your little one. So before you stock up on one brand, make sure your baby is able to feed comfortably without swallowing air or getting reflux.
Consider these factors as well:
- Price: Some bottles are cheap and widely available but may not come with features that prevent colic.
- Material: Baby bottles can be plastic, glass, or steel. There are pros and cons with each type so understand your baby’s feeding habits and issues to chest the best one.
- Size: Is your baby a newborn? 4 months? 8 months? One study suggests that babies who drink from large bottles early in life may experience more weight gain by six months.
- Convenience: If you frequently travel with your baby, you may want to consider disposable baby bottles or bottles with sterilized liners. These may be an added expense but cleanup will be a breeze.
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