Choosing The Right Bottle For Your Breastfed Baby
As a parent, you want what’s best for your children. Breastfeeding is one of those things that many mothers do to support the healthy growth and development of their baby. Sometimes (or a lot of times) parents decide to supplement breastfeeding with bottle feeding. It is important to choose the best bottle for breastfed babies for many reasons. Some of them include:
Possible “nipple confusion”
Baby might not adjust to certain bottle nipples well and then could either not want to breastfeed anymore or might not take the bottle well.
Breastfeeding and caring for your infant in general promotes a positive sense of emotional security and attachment in your little one, so selecting the right bottle to supplement breastfeeding is important to maintain a healthy sense of comfort in your baby.
Risk of ending breastfeeding before you would like to
This relates to nipple confusion, but additionally, when selecting the best bottle for your breastfed baby, feeding times can go smoother which will make it more likely that you will continue to both breastfeed and bottle feed. Having the wrong bottle could create more stress which could lead to not breastfeeding anymore since it is natural to want to reduce stress when we are overwhelmed (Breastfeeding takes commitment and energy).
Included in the matrix are 4 columns:
- Bottle pictures, brand and name/model – (click to view more details or to purchase).
- Available discount at Amazon.com – (if available)
- Price – These are approximate prices on Amazon.com. These can change based on availability, special promotions, and more. The scale refers to: $ = under $10, $$ = $11 to $19, $$$ = $20 to $29, $$$$ = $30+
- Rating – The average user rating on Amazon.com. This can be very helpful as it can give you a general idea of the level of satisfation of other mothers with their purchase.
Investing in the right bottle
Consider More Than Just the Cost
Investing in the right bottle for a breastfed baby is important, but how do you select what bottle you should use? Many people understandably consider the cost of the products they buy. This is okay; Times are tough, financially, for many of us. But, when it comes to the right bottle for your baby, you might want to consider spending the few extra dollars on a worthwhile item or at least don’t let the cost be your only criteria for selecting what bottles to buy.
When investing in something, you hope for a good return. This is the same for the baby bottle you choose; when investing in the right bottle, you hope for a bottle that will work for you and your baby.
Factor To Consider when buying a bottle for a breastfed baby?
In order to buy the best bottle for breastfed babies, you should consider:
Good Nipple Design
The right flow for the baby
Typically slower is better since breast milk does not come out that fast.
The right shape/size
As similar to the breast as possible so baby doesn’t experience nipple confusion.
Not too many parts
You don’t want to have to stress about getting too many little parts cleaned and sanitized.
Reasonable price for a quality product
I mentioned not too let cost be the only criteria that you use to select a bottle, but it can be one of them. Compare prices but also compare quality.
The Best Bottle For Breastfed Babies
Following is a list of different baby bottles that are great for a breastfed baby. These bottles all have a lot of support for being reliable and for making the breastfeeding/bottle-feeding method a success!
#1. Dr. Brown’s Bottles Designed For Breastfeeding Mamas
This is a very popular bottle by many parents. The nipple design supports breastfeeding. It has a vacuum-free flow created by a vent system inside the bottle. This design mimics the natural flow of milk from breastfeeding, because babies don’t have to deal with air bubbles, gassiness, or difficulty with the flow of the milk that occurs in some other types of bottles.
The wide nipple base is designed to have a similar shape as the breast. This bottle is also designed to reduce colic, spit up, and gas. Dr. Brown’s bottles are simple to assemble, making it easier for Mom or Dad to clean and sanitize products, leaving more time and energy to play and care for the baby. These bottles are a quality product very suitable for the breastfed baby.
#2. Avent Naturals
The Avent Naturals bottles are another great bottle for breastfed babies. The design of the nipple is created to be similar to the form of a breast and is somewhat softer than other bottle nipples which makes it easier for baby to adjust to using a bottle. The baby doesn’t have to adjust his eating technique too much. This bottle has a very wide base to the nipple.
The nipple also has small grooves, somewhat mimicking the surface of the breast. There are some complaints about this bottle, though. For example, some people have said that this bottle leaks. This can be pretty upsetting for breastfeeding moms since the breast milk that is pumped for use in a bottle takes so much time and effort to express. It’s terrible when it gets wasted.
Also, some moms had the complaint that the nipple that came with the bottle was too fast-flowing, but this issue might be able to be solved by purchasing a preemie nipple as that would have a slower flow.
#3. MAM Anti-Colic Bottles
The MAM Anti-Colic bottles, as they say in their name, are designed to reduce or eliminate colic and gas in babies. They have the venting system that makes it so babies don’t have to take in air bubbles and don’t have to experience the sometimes inconsistent flow of milk (which happens with some other bottles that don’t have a venting system).
This bottle has extra parts to clean, though, mainly because of the venting system, so it can be a little more time-consuming to keep cleaned and sanitized, but, other than that, it is a great bottle and works well for the breastfed baby.
#4. The Breastflow by The First Years
This bottle is interesting, because it is different than almost all other bottle designs. The Breastflow by The First Years is a bottle that has two nipples (one placed inside the other). The purpose of this design is to mimic breastfeeding as closely as possible.
While breastfeeding, a baby can control the flow, how fast and how constant, the milk comes out of the breast. The two nipples in this bottle are designed to do just that. The baby has control over the flow of the milk by using both suction and compression with both nipples to create a flow similar to breastfeeding.
This greatly reduces the chance of nipple confusion, but the extra cleaning of parts for this bottle is one down side. Also, some babies may find it difficult to learn to use this bottle but others might take to this bottle extremely well.
#5. Medela Calma
The Medela Brand is a popular breastfeeding products supplier including pumps and milk storage supplies. The Medela Calma bottle is designed in support of breastfeeding, as well. The nipple has similarities to the breast in its shape and wide base. The baby has to suck in a similar motion as she or he does when breastfeeding, so nipple confusion is not that likely.
The nipple is also interchangeable with other bottles which is helpful for those times when you (or baby’s caregiver) can’t find the right top to go with the right bottom for a bottle (which happens to the best of us). This brand can be pricey compared to the other products mentioned and some moms don’t care for this particular bottle, but it has worked for others, so compare and consider if it would be right for you.
So, now that you have learned more about the importance of selecting the best bottle for breastfed babies and about different styles and brands of bottles, you can use what you know about bottle-feeding a breastfed baby and what you know about your own baby and your own personal preferences to decide which bottle to try out.
A Few Tips
If your baby is particularly sensitive, colicky, gassy, or spits up a lot, you might want to consider a bottle that focus on an anti-colic design. This could be the MAM Anti-Colic bottles or a bottle with a ventilation system.
If your baby breastfeeds frequently and is hard too soothe by other means, you might want to select a bottle that is most representative of the natural design of the breast, so that your baby has an easier time adjusting to a new way of feeding. This could be the Breastflow by the First Years.
If you personally prefer something easy to clean, something that doesn’t have many parts, and something affordable, then consider these traits in the bottle that you select. This might be the Avent Naturals or Medela Calma.
You know your baby best. And if you haven’t had your baby yet or not long enough to get a sense of what he or she is really like, then make your decision based on your own preferences and see how it works. Just don’t stock up until you know whether a certain brand will work well or not. Good luck and enjoy the moments you have with your little one!
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