Finding the Right Bottles for Your Baby
Whether you formula feed from the start or are planning to pump your breast milk to bottle feed, you're probably going to need some quality bottles for your baby. There are a plethora of different bottles out there, and it can be a little frustrating trying to find the one that works the best for you and your little one. Here are some pros and cons of different types of bottles so that you can make an informed decision.
One of the first things you'll consider is size. Four- to six-ounce bottles are perfect for newborns, who only eat two to four ounces per feeding. You'll want a little extra room at the top of the bottle if you're shaking up formula. Eight- or nine-ounce bottles are great for when your baby starts taking in larger meals. And the smaller bottles still come in handy for between-meal snacks.
Amongst the vast variety of bottles, you can pretty much break down bottles into three groups: glass, plastic, and disposable. Glass bottles are getting harder to find, as plastic is lighter and possibly more durable. However, if you are interested in glass bottles because you are concerned with toxins or other reasons, you may want to check out the glass bottles made by the well respected brand, EvenFlo.
If you're going for plastic, your number one concern should be to make sure the bottle you choose is BPA-free. What is BPA? It stands for Bisphenol A, and it is a harmful toxin found in some plastics. Check the packaging of potential bottles to make sure they are BPA-free.
Disposable bottles are bottles that require a liner. Many people prefer this method for two reasons: one, it's fairly easy to clean. You just chuck the liner after you're done, and then give the nipple a good scrub and a onceover on the bottle part. Two, you can push the air out of the liner so that the baby isn't sucking in excess air. Excess air equals gassy, fussy babies. Of course, you need to ensure your supply of liners is always stocked; most of those bottles do not have bottoms, so if you run out, you could be in trouble. When babies are hungry, they are hungry NOW.
Other plastic bottles also have features that are thought to reduce the amount of air being sucked in. For example, Playtex VentAire bottles have a curved neck, which keeps the nipple full of fluid at all times. VentAires also have an air-flow system that creates less air in the bottle. Other brands that offer air-flow solutions are Avent, Dr. Brown, and MilkBank baby bottles.
Here are a few other features that can make life a little easier: bottles that come apart easily for quick cleaning, wide nipples that simulate the breast, and bottles that come with attachments so you can hook them up directly to your breast pump.
However, even after all the research and decision making, the best way to tell if a bottle is right for you and your baby is to try it out. Every baby is different and prefers different things. So, buy what you think you will prefer, but be flexible and open-minded if it doesn't work out for your little one. Once you find the perfect fit, feeding time will be a smooth, sweet, worry-free time between you and your baby.