A lot of mothers are going back to exclusively breastfeeding these days, which is a good thing. It is more nutritious and offers a host of other benefits for the baby especially and for the mother. But, how do you get through many months of breastfeeding exclusively every day? You are going to need to take a break at some point!
The best approach to this is putting your breast milk into a feeding bottle for your little one to drink. To help you with this, we have done some research to find some of the best bottles for breastfed babies. The difference between these products and other ones is mostly the shape, flow, and texture of the teats. We took all that into consideration as well as other factors to bring you all the necessary information and options you will need to make the best choice of bottle for you and your baby.
How Did We Pick the Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies?
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Why It is Better?
- Why Do You Need a Bottle for a Breastfed Baby?
- How to Pick the Right Bottles for Breastfed Babies
- Top 5 Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies
- 1. Comotomo Baby Bottle
- 2. Medela Breast Milk Storage Bottles
- 3. Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle
- 4. Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Baby Bottle
- 5. Dr. Brown’s Options+ Baby Bottle
- When and How to Introduce Bottles for Breastfed Babies
- Tips for Buying Bottles for Breastfed Babies
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do You Need a Bottle for a Breastfed Baby?
It is pretty obvious why you should use a bottle for breastfed babies. Like we already mentioned, even super moms need a break every now and then. Having this little item may be all they need to take some time off. Here are some points to back this up and illustrate why these bottles are better than you might expect.
- Mimics the natural shape of the breast: If you have seen a lot of bottles from different brands, you will notice that not all of them have the same design especially when it comes to the teat. A bottle with a teat shaped like the natural breast makes it easier to feed your little one without complications.
- Compatibility and extras: A good bottle should be compatible with a breast pump, which is the most fundamental extra you will need.
- Safe and close-to-natural material texture: The idea is to keep everything as natural as possible. If you can get a product that is safe with a texture that is close to natural, then that is a win for you.
- Resolve the nipple confusion issue: When you have a bottle designed in a way that mimics the texture and flow babies get during breastfeeding, then your baby is less likely to know the difference. This means the issues of nipple confusion will not arise in the first place. If your baby is already having the nipple confusion issue, one of the best bottles for breastfeeding can easily sort this out.
How to Pick the Right Bottles for Breastfed Babies
You may already know that there are a lot of bottles out there from different brands. A good number of them are great and unique in some respective ways, while some others are questionable and substandard. Talking about the good ones, many of them would not be a perfect fit for you and your baby. So, how do you know which of them to go for?
Before we move on to what you need to consider in order to make the right decision, you should understand that the aim here is to do both breastfeeding and bottle feeding at the same time without having your baby confused. In that case, here are some of the critical features you have to consider before making a purchase.
- Safety: This is the very first thing you should have at the front of your mind. A lot of these bottles have hidden harmful toxins in them, and you do not want to get something like that for your baby. Make sure you are getting something that is BPA-free and highly recommended by reliable sources. This is very important.
- Brands: There should not be a big deal about what brand you decide to go for as long as you are sure the product is safe for your baby. If, however, you are not so sure, maybe it is best for you to go for the popular brands. Some of the best brands to consider include Dr. Brown’s, Tommee Tippee, Medela, and Philips.
- Materials: What material you decide to go for is very important. A lot of people are fine with plastics as long as they are safe with no BPA or toxins. Plastics are the most common of all materials out there because they are cheaper, shatterproof, and lightweight. Glass, silicone, and steel are also great options.
- Comfort: The comfort of your baby should be the next thing on your mind after safety. You do not want to invest in a bottle that is leaky, too big, or too small for your baby.
- Nipple: The nipple flow should be the same or at least close to the natural flow of the breast. It is important to make sure the flow rate is such that your baby would have to work by suckling before gaining access to the content of the bottle. If you get the nipple right, then you are about 85% closer to getting the right bottle for your baby.
- Shape: When it comes to the shape of the bottle, we recommend the ergonomically shaped ones. Those are easier for your baby to grab.
- Ease of cleaning: Your baby bottle must be clean at all times. This means you must wash it after every single use and get it ready for the next. For the sake of convenience, make sure it says “dishwasher safe” on the bottom of it. This will save you a lot of time.
- Anti-colic: There are a number of reasons why babies get colic. A lot of them are not clear. One thing that is clear though is that when your baby swallows a lot of air, it results in colic. To avoid this, aim for bottles that have a particular feature in place for tackling this. It could be an extra piece or an angled structure.
- Venting: Suckling naturally creates a vacuum. When breastfeeding, it could be a great thing since the pressure keeps the breast flowing. However, when you are bottle feeding, the vacuum may suck up some air bubbles right back into the bottle, where the baby will most likely swallow them and suffer from gas or colic as a result. A bottle that vents properly allows the air to escape and creates a more natural milk flow.
- Size: If you get the best bottles for breastfeeding babies and the size is not right for your baby, then you probably wasted your time and money. This is why it is very important that you get a bottle that is the right size with a proportionate nipple to go with it. The four- to six-ounce bottles are usually great to start with. It can serve for a few months. After this, you can move on to the 8-ounce bottles.
Top 5 Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies
From a cross section of reviews, we discovered that mothers generally want the same things for their children’s bottles. The most important of those things includes safety, anti-colic features, material, budget, and ease of cleaning. These were some of the factors we considered seriously during our research before developing this list. So, what best bottles for breastfed babies are on our list?
1. Comotomo Baby Bottle Review
Easy to clean
Easy to use
We Don’t Like
At the top of our list is the Comotomo baby bottle. Just one look at it gives you a satisfying feeling that it can take care of your little one’s feeding needs without complications. That is to say that it is down-to-earth, functional, and aesthetically appealing at the same time. Some of the interesting features that made this product stand out from the rest include the two color options (green and pink) for you to choose from.
It is made with silicone material, which is one of the safest materials for baby bottles. This is also an expensive material, but it is worth it if your intention is to keep your baby’s delicate health as strong as possible. It is not long and slender like the common traditional bottles. Rather, it is shaped in an ergonomic manner to give your little one something to comfortably grab. The ultra-wide neck is a huge plus for two major reasons. It is compatible with a lot of breast pumps of various brands, and it is easy to clean.
2. Medela Breast Milk Storage Bottles Review
Easy to clean
Easy to use
We Don’t Like
Our second-best bottle for breastfed baby comes in a value pack that is quite affordable and functional. It is almost like the traditional slim and tall bottles except that it is wider and not as tall; it is a nice design generally. The selling point for this brand is the value you get in one pack. Each set comes with three bottles in it, and that is not all. Each of the bottles has two different covers. One is a screw-on lid cover for leak-proof storage, and the other is the normal cover with a teat and a teat cover. With this product, you can store contents and feed your baby from the same bottle.
Other interesting features include the two different size options (small and big), slow nipple-flow design, and BPA-free material. Cleaning and maintaining this product are simple enough because it is dishwasher safe. You can also put it in your microwave to warm up the bottle or just to sterilize it. Better still, you can use the bonus quick-clean micro-steam bag to disinfect it together with the accessories.
3. Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle Review
Easy to clean
Easy to use
We Don’t Like
If you know anything about the Philips brand, then you can attest to the fact that they are one of the best out there when it comes to baby products (and even more). Their Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle did not fall short of expectations. Plus, it is quite cost-effective. You get a set of one, two, or four in each pack for a great price. This brand has been around for a long time, so they factored in all the features that will make you and your baby enjoy a hitch-free feeding session with their bottle every single time.
It is made from safe plastic material. The nipple and the flow rate mimic the natural nipple, and the texture is great too. With this product, you can resolve any nipple confusion issues your baby may be having or avoid them completely. The bottle is clear and dishwasher safe and has a double anti-colic feature that increases your baby’s comfort while feeding and reduces the chances of your baby getting colic.
4. Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Baby Bottle Review
Easy to clean
Easy to use
We Don’t Like
The Tommee Tippee brand is another great brand that offers the best baby bottles at a reasonable rate. Their Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Baby Bottle is indeed closer to natural. The nipple size, texture, flow rate, wide neck, and easy-latch features make it quite functional. It is available in different sizes with the biggest being the 9-ounce bottle, which is uncommon in many other brands. You do not have to worry about your baby getting colic with this bottle because of the optimum anti-colic nipple valve feature.
The bottle is colorless and calibrated for you to easily measure the quantity of food you are feeding your baby. It has a beautiful ergonomically shaped body for grabbing while suckling. This easy-to-hold bottle can be held in three different ways from different positions for increased convenience. Another feature you cannot miss is the flex feature that allows the nipple to move around freely like the natural breast. It is made from easy-to-clean BPA-free plastic materials, so you do not have to worry about toxins.
5. Dr. Brown’s Options+ Baby Bottle Review
Easy to clean
Easy to use
We Don’t Like
Finally, on this list of best bottles for breastfed babies, we have the Dr. Brown’s baby bottles. It is a great brand with a standard product to meet your feeding bottle needs for your newborns and bigger babies. This product is available in three different sizes. There are two-, four-, and eight-ounce bottles for you to pick from. The body is slender, tall, and clear. It has a nipple with a natural flow rate.
This product works well and can compete with many others any time on any day especially with the clinically approved anti-colic vent system. This feature reduces the possibility of your baby getting gas, puking, or burping. If your little one is not susceptible to colic, you can choose not to feed her with the anti-colic valve. Simply detach it and use the bottle without it. This product is convenient, cost-effective, easy to clean, and made with safe food-grade plastic materials. It is compatible with most breast pumps, but it cannot be used for storage since it tends to leak when tilted.
When and How to Introduce Bottles for Breastfed Babies
While it is important to invest in a product that can help reduce nipple confusion for your baby, it is also essential to apply certain tips to help with the whole process of breastfeeding and bottle feeding at the same time.
To answer the question of when to introduce bottles to your breastfed babies, experts suggest breastfeeding your little one exclusively for at least two to three weeks. This is to enable your milk supply to be fully up and pumping, which gives your baby an idea of consistency and knowing what to expect from every meal. After about two to six weeks, you can then go ahead and introduce the bottle to your little one.
- Hold the bottle upright: Try to hold your baby like you would when breastfeeding, and keep the bottle upright in a way that it is parallel to the floor. This creates a similar effect with the natural setting and encourages the baby to latch and suckle to get the contents of the bottle.
- Flow rate and paced feeding: When investing in a bottle for your breastfed baby, it is important to get one with a nipple that allows a slow flow rate that is somewhat similar to a natural one. When babies are breastfeeding, they stop momentarily from time to time, and breast milk stops flowing when they stop suckling. To mimic this same effect, it is important to pace their feeding in a similar manner so that they get used to suckling in order to drink the milk.
- Convenient timing: Introduce the bottle to your baby at a time that is convenient both for you and the baby. Avoid very early in the morning or very late at night. Also, avoid bottle feeding when the baby is too cranky or tired.
- Do not force it: If your baby is not totally open to the idea of bottle feeding, then put the bottle away and try again another time. On no account should you force your little one to bottle-feed. If she does not accept it after a while, try changing the bottle to another one and see if she will cooperate. Be patient through the whole process, it usually works out eventually, but you have to be patient.
- Consistency: You know how we just mentioned that you should be patient with your little one even if you have to keep changing bottles? You also have to be consistent. This will get her to understand that she has no option but to accept the bottle. Try it, maybe twice a day. Put it away each time she refuses, and do the same thing the very next day.
Tips for Buying Bottles for Breastfed Babies
By now, you should have some ideas about what to look out for when shopping for a bottle for a breastfed baby. But for the sake of emphasis and clarity, we have decided to dedicate this section to that subtopic. So, here goes.
- Similarity in nipple texture: If the bottle feels similar to a breast, your little one may not really know the difference. This will help them to go from breast to bottle and back to breast without any hitches. So, what makes a bottle nipple seem natural? First, it has to be made from a soft material like rubber or silicone. Rubber is softer but tends to wear out quicker, so you will have to replace it more often. Silicone, on the other hand, is not necessarily rigid, but it is not as soft as rubber. Plus, it is durable. Any of the two would do.
- Vents: Finding a bottle that has a suitable vent feature will help to reduce colic and avoid a vacuum inside the container, which can cause the teat to collapse inside the bottle. Make sure you always sterilize the bottle and the vent to clean any leftover content from the vent.
- Material: The most common material for baby bottles on the market is plastic, but not all of them are safe for your baby. If you must use plastic, make sure it is BPA-free. Otherwise, we recommend glass, silicone, or steel. Also, remember to check the manufacturer’s descriptions as listed on the package to make sure the material is dishwasher and microwave safe.
- Capacity: The most common bottle capacities out there are four and eight ounces, which are small and big. The small one can last your newborn for about one month or maybe two before your little one outgrows it. So, make sure you replace it at that point. Better still, you should skip the four-ounce bottles completely and start with the big one to save money.
- Budget: This is always a factor that must not be neglected. If you are on a budget, this is an even better reason you should be cautious when trying to purchase a bottle for your little one. Do not fall for the seemingly perfect products out there. Go for the recommended ones; check our list above for some of them. You can definitely get a safe and quality product for your little one without spending more than you can afford.
Frequently Asked Questions
While we have done our best to cover as much information as possible to help you make the best choice of a bottle for your breastfed baby, we are sure you might have some questions to ask. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about this topic.
Honestly, no one is sure! Your baby may be finicky and might give you a hard time before accepting one, but she will eventually settle for one. You can change bottles and seek professional help if your little one does not cooperate, but remember to be patient, gentle, and consistent.
Some bottles have two different lids. One is for covering it when you want to store food, and the other is for feeding your baby. If your bottle does not have such lids, it may leak if you put them in a tilted position in the fridge or your bag.
The most important feature is definitely the nipple. If the nipple is soft, naturally shaped, slow flow rate, vented, and the right texture, then you have practically eighty to a hundred percent of what you need to handle nipple confusion and colic.
It is best to start introducing your baby to a bottle from two weeks old. Take it gradually and one step at a time, starting with once or twice a week and then increasing the frequency over time. You can begin at week three, four, or five as well, but anything after five weeks cannot be guaranteed.
Cuddling your baby gently while you feed her is one of the best things in the world. It creates a great bond between the two of you and helps to improve your baby’s health with all the goodness found in breast milk. With a baby bottle for breastfed babies, the experience is even better. You get to take some time off and still have the chance to comfortably breastfeed your child.
If you want all that without a hitch, then we recommend picking any of the best-selling products on our list or any other one that meets the standards and requirements as stated in this article. All the brands we picked are top-notch with great features, quality, and affordability.
It is worth mentioning again that you must get the nipple right. It has to be shaped like a natural one with the right texture and soft enough for your little one to rarely notice the difference between being bottle-fed and breastfed.