From bottles that help prevent colic, to different materials, flow speeds, capacities and shapes, the world of bottle feeding can seem like a confusing place. So whether you are planning to bottle feed your baby from birth, or are looking to pump and store your breast milk on occasion, getting the right bottle and nipple is crucial. Luckily here at Daisy Baby Shop we are here to guide you through the maze so you can choose the right bottle that your baby can use comfortably and calmly.
When looking at plastic bottles, that are typically seen as the most common, it is vital that you ensure that the bottle is BPA free. Studies have shown that long term exposure to BPA can cause health issues in your baby. To tell if a product is BPA free, look at the base of the bottle for the BPA free message or a similar symbol. When buying online, the description should include this as well. If you are ever unsure email the manufacturer or seller and ask.
Sterilising Equipment, Cleaning and Heating
Another thing to look out for in baby bottles is that you have the correct sterilising equipment. Baby bottles must be cleaned and sterilised after every use. Some bottles feature a self-sterilising function which makes the process much easier. If you have access to a microwave, then this may be the quickest option for you, but if you choose other designs, then other equipment may be needed. Take a look at our range of cleaning and sterilising equipment here.
You may also wish to look to have a bottle warmer, drying racks and baskets for storage to help keep you organised and make preparing the bottles easier.
If you are looking to express your milk into a baby bottle, then you will need to ensure that the bottle you purchase is compatible with your breast pump. Choosing the wrong bottle can cost time and money exchanging the product. Do your research and you will only have to purchase once.
Make Sure You Have Enough
As your baby grows the amount of milk that they will need in one sitting will increase. As this can happen at any time it is often wise to purchase a selection of sizes, for each period. If you are predominantly bottle feeding then you will need to have several bottles on hand, this will decrease the amount of time you spend cleaning and sterilising the bottles too. There are lots of starter kits available that offer a range of bottles if these different sizes, so you are prepared from the start.
Now that we have covered the baby bottle basics, lets take a look at the different types of baby bottles and teats that are available, and how they suit your baby's needs.
Size and Flow
As mentioned before, baby bottles come in a range of different sizes, shapes and materials. The most common shapes are straight, wide-necked and angled-necked and the main sizes are generally small (150ml/160ml), medium (250ml/ 260ml) or large (330ml). The smaller sizes are typically designed for newborns as they can hold enough milk for one sitting. As your baby's appetite increases, then you will move up sizes as your baby demands it.
The best baby bottle shape depends on your baby's needs. The angled-necked and small necked bottles help reduce the amount of air-flow your baby ingests as they drink, decreasing the symptoms of colic. However some choose the wide-necked bottles as they can be more ergonomic, allowing baby to hold it. If you are specifically looking for an anti-colic bottle, these typically use venting systems, contain valves or have a special teat that prevents baby from swallowing too much air causing wind. Although these can help with colic, they aren't always 100% guaranteed, so you may wish to see how your baby reacts to the bottle first, before investing in a range.
Getting The Right Flow
The teat of the bottle can determine whether baby feels comfortable whilst feeding or frustrated. The teat mainly controls the milk flow, basically meaning that the more holes in the teat the faster the flow. If your baby finds that the flow isn't fast enough then they will start to fuss, if the flow is too fast they may cough and choke slightly. Babies usually start with slow flow teats and once they start to fuss that the flow isn't fast enough, it is usually time to increase.
Shapes and Sizes
Teats like bottles come in a variety of different sizes, and as your baby gets older they will increase in size. They are also available in different shapes depending on what your child prefers. Traditional teats are usually bell or dome shaped, with orthodontic and flat-topped teats also being a popular choice. Orthodontic teats work with your baby's palate for a more comfortable feel and flat-topped teats are said to feel more like Mother's breast, a great way to help baby transfer from breast to bottle.
Baby bottle teats usually are available in silicone or latex. Silicone is often selected as a favourite as it is more robust and holds its shape easily. Latex is softer, but can cause an allergic reaction in some babies.
Anti-colic teats work by letting out the air that gathers in the end, preventing the baby from swallowing it. This reduces painful wind that is often common in some babies. Used with an anti-colic bottle, some parents have seen success, but as mentioned, this is not always 100%.
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