Choosing The Best Newborn Baby Bottles: Top 5 Considerations
As the weeks progress through your pregnancy, you’ll need to think about new baby essentials and what you really need for your newborn. Choosing the best newborn baby bottles is important, whether breastfeeding or formula feeding. A reliable baby bottle that your child accepts is helpful for both baby feeding methods. However, deciding which newborn baby bottle to buy can be overwhelming with such a choice on the market. As usual, we’ve pulled together the top five considerations to help you choose the best newborn baby bottle.
Which bottle is best for newborns?
There are lots of newborn baby bottles on the market, but generally, the smaller, the better for a tiny baby. A newborn can drink up to 4 ounces of milk in a single feed, so you must find the right teat and bottle for the early days. Most parents start with a small bottle and a stage 1 teat for premature and newborn babies and change them as the baby grows.
Remember, breastfeeding babies can still use baby bottles to store expressed milk or allow someone else to help with some of the feeds.
Material and safety for newborn essentials
The first and foremost consideration when choosing a newborn baby bottle is to look at the material it's made of. Opt for bottles free from harmful chemicals like BPA (Bisphenol-A) and phthalates, as these can leach into the milk and are thought to affect your baby's health adversely. Most manufacturers advertise their materials, so look for bottles made of BPA-free plastic, glass, or stainless steel.
- Glass bottles are sturdy and do not contain any harmful chemicals, so are a safe option. They can be heavy, though, particularly if you need to take multiple out with you.
- Plastic bottles are lightweight and durable, but always choose one labelled as BPA-free.
- Stainless steel bottles are a more eco-friendly choice, and their thermal properties help keep liquids warm or cold for extended periods. Again though, these might be heavier to pack.
Teat type, size and flow
The bottle teat makes a big difference to how well a newborn baby accepts a bottle. It is important for the bottle to be a comfortable feeding experience for your newborn. After all, a mother’s nipples come in various shapes and flow rates to cater for babies’ needs and age. We recommend slow-flow teats for newborns as they mimic the natural flow of breast milk. They tend to be the first size or explicitly labelled for newborns. As your baby grows and their hunger changes, you can switch to medium or fast-flow teats accordingly.
Silicone and latex are the two most common materials used for baby bottle teats. Silicone is firmer and easy to clean, while latex nipples are softer and more flexible but should be replaced more frequently.
A baby with colic can cause distress for both babies and parents as the baby may cry inconsolably for no reason at the same time of day for up to 3-4 months. It is not really known why some babies get colic, but it is a very common condition which affects 1 in 5 babies, regardless of whether they're breast or formula-fed. Medical professionals think it's a type of stomach cramp, although it may simply be because babies find it harder to digest food until their digestive systems have continued to develop.
To reduce the risk of colic, consider newborn bottles with anti-colic features. Anti-colic baby bottles are designed to minimise the air your baby ingests while feeding, helping prevent gas and discomfort when feeding.
Ease of cleaning and sterilising
Newborn babies feed more regularly as their digestive systems continue to develop. So if you use bottles, they must be easy to clean and assemble. Baby bottles need to be fully cleaned and sterilised before each use. Wash them thoroughly and use a microwave steriliser or steriliser tablets to kill any bacteria - particularly essential with formula milk. You can even choose self-sterilising baby bottles. Baby bottles with wide necks are generally easier to clean since you can reach all corners with a bottle brush, and the fewer parts, the better.
To save time, look for dishwasher-safe bottles. However, some bottles will take on the colour of food, so always ensure all parts of the bottle can be safely washed in the dishwasher.
Extending the life of a baby bottle
Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines to ensure your baby bottles remain in good condition. Manufacturers can provide specific recommendations based on the bottle's design and material.
You can also look for bottle brands with accessories and attachments to suit you and the baby’s lifestyle at all changes. Think about whether you buy separate larger teats or add attachments to compliment the newborn bottle. For example, you might be able to buy toddler lids or handles for newborn baby bottles can to help the child handle them as their motor skills develop.
Choosing the best newborn baby bottle requires thoughtful consideration. By doing your research and considering these factors, you can aim for a better feeding experience with your baby. What works best for one might not be ideal for another. Be prepared to have to replace bottles as babies have a preference or their needs change. If you’d like any assistance in creating a newborn wish list, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.