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Baby Bottles: Which Ones Should You Choose?

Katlyn Joy |20, July 2014


Before baby arrives you might think, "I guess I'll need some baby bottles. I'll just pick some up and check that off my list." Then you see the range and choices of baby bottles in the store. It's not like when grandma's or great-grandma's had a simple choice: glass or nothing. Does it matter which bottle you choose? Maybe. It will depend on your baby's needs, any concerns you have and your needs as well. Here are some considerations you may want to take:

Bottles for expressed milk

Are you breastfeeding, and using bottles only to supplement with expressed milk? If so, you probably won't need as many bottles and you may want to consider going with a bottle system that uses plastic drop in bags.

Allergy risks

Are there a lot of allergies in your family? Skip the latex nipples and instead use silicone, as latex if a common culprit in contact allergies. Silicone is a great choice anyway, since it resists bacteria since it's less porous and it wears better than latex.

Are you concerned about chemicals?

Then you need to look for bottles that are phthalate-free, and marked with #1, 2 or 5 with the recycling arrow symbol. That way you'll avoid nasty chemicals such as polypropylene and polyethylene.

Baby Health Concerns

Do you have a baby with special health concerns, such as being very low birth weight, preemie or with cleft palate? Look for special nipples made with these health concerns in mind, to meet their special needs.

Should you use glass or plastic?

Glass bottles are unlikely to wear out, and are better for sterilization. All you need to do is drop them in boiling water. However, plastic is lightweight and won't shatter if you drop it on the kitchen floor in the middle of the night. Consider your needs when choose bottles.

Saving Money on Bottles

Forget the cute tiny bottles that only hold a few ounces. Your baby will outgrow these pretty quickly, and you can use the bigger ones for smaller feedings initially and then fill them when baby gets bigger, and hungrier.

Are you concerned about bottle shape?

It won't make much difference in terms of how much air baby ingests, no matter the shape. Just make sure you don't wait too long to feed baby. A very hungry baby is a greedy one that sucks and gasps maniacally.

Choosing nipples

Get a variety because baby may show a preference to one kind over another. Also, nipples are made to provide a slow stream or faster stream of milk, depending on baby's feeding needs.

Ask you friends

Be nosy and check out friends' bottles and ask why they chose those. Get some field-tested info that may help you decide on what you might prefer to use with your little one.

Have a great deal?

If you have a friend who just weaned her child, and offers you the bottles, take her up on it. Just buy new nipples as these are prone to wearing out much sooner than bottles. If you don't like them, you can always buy new, since you're not out any or much money.

Other Things You Should Know about Bottle-feeding

Be sure not to microwave your frozen or chilled milk, as it can create hot spots that may burn baby. Also, microwaving formula may destroy some of the good aspects of the formula or breastmilk, in addition to the possibility that chemicals may transfer into the formula. Instead, sterilize bottles by putting them in boiling water for two minutes.

Discard any nipples that show signs of wear, such as cracking, tearing or gummy.

If baby chokes on milk frequently, it may be due to too large of openings in the nipple or a fast-flowing nipple for a slow eating baby.

If baby seems frustrated and can't get the milk fast enough, you can purchase fast-flowing nipples to prevent this from happening.

Never use bottles that are cracked or broken anywhere.

Everything associated with bottle feeding needs cleaning, from nipples, to rings, to bottles, to caps. Wash bottles in hot soapy water, and rinse thoroughly. Let air dry. Or wash in the dishwasher, on the top shelf. You can also use a basket meant to work in the dishwasher to clean bottles.

Don't forget to only open formula cans with a clean can opener.

Be sure to wash your hands when handling your baby's bottles.

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