Nursing is one of the first and most important steps after the baby is born. The baby has to learn to breastfeed and adapt to it. Breastfeeding will take the baby from the first few days of nourishment to the next few months when the mother slowly and gradually switches the baby to other foods to add to the baby’s growth. This is also a time when most breastfeeding mothers introduce bottles to their babies. So, it’s important to choose the best bottles for breastfed babies.
Challenge of Switching to the Bottle
The challenge moms can face is that some babies can have difficulty switching to a bottle. As the bottle and nipple method is completely new and babies have never learned to adapt before this, the move can be taxing for the mother as well as the baby. You can bypass this by using a nipple that best replicates the process of breastfeeding as far as possible.
Also, every baby is different, and so if there is a bottle that works for some babies, it may not work for yours. This is quite like an experiment in itself, where you have to try several different options before finding one that is accepted by your baby. It is also likely but not so common to come across babies that are alright with whatever bottle is offered.
Separation and Picking the Right Bottle
In every baby’s life comes the time when the mother has to go back to work, or another person has to take over the role of nurturing the baby while the mom is away. The caretaker who takes over the role can be a friend, family, partner, or someone else, and the baby has to able to readily adapt and take the bottle. As a result, a bottle has to be chosen that is acceptable to the breastfeeding baby at such times. Bottles are recommended to be introduced between 4-6 weeks after the baby is born. This time is necessary for the baby to get used to breastfeeding and the necessary milk supply to build up. All of this is a steep learning curve for all those involved. It can take time, effort, and lots of energy.
The chosen bottle has to be able to replicate the feeling, flow, and motion of the milk from the breast. And it’s only the baby and his mannerisms who are the best judge.
The typical characteristics a mother must look out for when selecting the right type of nipple are listed below. Read on to find out which characteristics makes best bottles for breastfed babies the best.
- Slow Flow: This nipple will tend to release the liquid contents slowly. It will make the baby suck the contents out, just like in the case of breastfeeding. All-natural breastfeeding patterns follow a natural Pause while the baby takes small breaks during the feeding.
- Wide Soft Nipple: Since the nipple has to replicate a real breast, a wide nipple is recommended as it is similar in shape to a woman’s natural breasts and areolas. This prevents the famous situation known as nipple confusion where the baby cannot differentiate. The nipple has to provide for a natural latch.
- Wide at the Base: The nipple should have a wide base so that the baby cannot insert the whole nipple in the mouth in the process of feeding. This may cause the baby to suffocate. A wide base prevents this situation and makes the feeding easier to handle for the baby. As earlier, the wide nipple base also follows the contours of a woman’s breast.
- Venting System: Unlike the breast, the bottle needs to have a venting system to keep it going and to let the liquid feed out when sucked by the baby. Choose a nipple having a good ventilation system that will prevent the baby from swallowing too much air when feeding. Situations like gas, pain, colic, and spitting up can result due to swallowing up air.
Review: Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies
Since we have now understood the basics, let’s review a few products. The best bottles for breastfed babies are listed below.
Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle
This is a squeezable bottle with a soft body. It also has silicone nipples that are slow-flow enabled and also naturally shaped like that of a breast. They, therefore, feel very natural for the babies to feed on. Nipples are the most important part of the bottle, and these nipples make the transition for the baby from the breast and bottle easier.
The silicone used in the bottle is certified phthalate-free, BPA-free, and PVC- free and is 100% safe medical-grade silicone. Mothers love the bottle’s wide neck, and the dual non-leakage anti-colic vents prevent colic and unwanted air intake. The bottle is safe for boiling water, microwave, sterilizers, and dishwasher. It’s available in sizes of 5- or 8-ounces. Due to the ultra-wide neck, cleaning and maintaining are very easy. The only negative thing about these bottles is that they have a very small base, and so they tend to tip over easy thereby spilling over and wasting precious milk.
Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Wide Neck Bottle
Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Bottles are some of the most popular products on the market that feature anti-colic. They have a specially engineered internal venting system capable of exactly mimicking natural breastfeeding and creating a vacuum-free experience.
The venting system is designed as a two-piece unit that managed to work by keeping the milk inside away from the air bubbles formed. This reduces colic, which can cause the baby to experience gas pain, become fussy, and spit-up. Over time as the baby progresses, this internal venting system can be removed to use the nipples venting system in this product which offers an experience like other nipple vented products. Like the earlier product, even this product features a wider nipple base, thereby mimicking the breast.
This helps the baby undergo a seamless, natural transition to the bottle. This product ships with four bottles which are both 5- and 9-ounce sizes. The overall flow rate supports breastfeeding while decreasing spit-up. This product is medically certified and is sterilizer safe, BPA Free, and dishwasher.
Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottle
One close look, and you will realize that the nipple of this 9-ounce bottle has been engineered to shape exactly like a breast for a naturally perfect latch for the baby. Also, the nipples are designed to be super sensitive so that they can flex like an actual nipple, and the feel is closer to natural.
That’s a good design attempt in itself. The soft, wide nipple mimics the movement, stretch, and feeling of a real breast. These 9-ounce baby bottles come with the Slow Flow nipples. The ergonomics of the bottles ensure that they are also very easy to hold. There is a venting anti-colic nipple valve system to reduce air intake while ensuring the least amount of baby discomfort.
This bottle ships in the size of 9 ounces. Like other products, it has been medically certified and is BPA-free and phthalate-free. The nipples are in slow, medium, and fast flow for babies aged 0+ months, 3+ months, and 6+ months respectively.
Playtex Baby Ventaire Bottle
The Playtex Baby Ventaire Bottle is another product that claims to be anti-colic for the baby by reducing air ingestion. It sports a unique venting system that, rather than be integrated into the nipple, is instead incorporated into the bottle’s bottom. How this works is simple to understand.
Instead of having the vents in the nipple, which mixes the air bubbles with the milk, the bottle lets in the air into the bottle without creating a vacuum as the baby feeds. Another main feature is the angled body which enables a semi-upright feeding posture. This posture helps the mother, as well as baby, ease their wrists while longer feeding sessions. This posture also helps prevent ear infections, as advised by pediatricians. The nipples are designed to be wide, which helps easy and natural latching for your baby. They’re easy to clean and maintain over the long run. One package comes with three bottles, each having a capacity of 6-ounce.
Kiinde Twist Natural Feeding Bottle
This product is an innovative option for breastfeeding. It enables mothers to pump breast milk directly into their Twist Pouches. This requires the use of a pump adapter which can be purchased separately. Essentially it eliminates the need to transfer milk from storage bags to the bottle. The breast milk can be stored, and when required, it can be warmed up and snapped, fit into the bottle, and ready for the baby’s feeding.
It offers a quick and reliable method. As expected, there are lesser components involved and fewer lesser parts to maintain and clean. As with baby products, the more the number of parts, the easier it is to lose them. The baby feeds directly from the milk pouches designed to be soft material and collapse as the milk empties. This simple mechanism indicates that no air in the pouch means the baby will not ingest any air. The pouches are leak-proof and freezer-proof as well.
The product grows with your baby, and as they grow, they can use the same twist pouches to have pureed food snacks. The pouches are good to use during the breast milk, formula, or pureed food stages of feeding. The product is designed with Active Latch nipples that help the baby effortlessly transition to bottle feeding — these bottles, sold in sets of two with 6 ounces per pouch.
Choose the Best One for Your Baby
We have seen many simple and unique products that mothers can use for their babies. A lot of products are well-engineered and designed to make the baby’s transition as comfortable as possible. All the products are medically tested and certified. They come with unique design characteristics, so parents have many choices at hand for choosing the best one for their baby. We hope this article helped you to realize what makes best bottles for breastfed babies the best!