Before your new family member comes to this world, one of the most important things that you as a mom should be equipped with are feeding bottles. No matter how much you may want to breastfeed your little one, sometimes that won’t be possible. For that very reason, choosing the right bottle is important. They come in a range of shapes, materials and sizes, which can make the buying process a bit confusing. Wondering what bottle is best for breastfed babies and how many bottles do you need for baby? Well, you’ll need at least six breastfeeding bottles and some other pieces of equipment such as sterilisers and teats.
Types of breastfeeding bottles
Basic bottles – These bottles for babies come in a variety of sizes. You can use them with conventional sterilisers, warmers and carriers. They are widely available and inexpensive and generally come with lids and teats. Make sure you choose a model that’s of high quality and is easy to hold.
Anti-colic bottles – They are designed to reduce the amount of air the baby intakes while feeding. You can choose a feeding bottle that has an air vent or features a collapsible milk bag. If your baby suffers from gas after eating, maybe it’s a good idea to invest in such a bottle as it might be able to reduce colic. However, these bottles are more expensive than the basic models and can be trickier to clean.
Steriliser bottles – The good side of these bottles for babies is that they can be sterilised in the microwave so you don’t need to spend money on additional equipment. They are convenient but more expensive than basic bottles. Also, they may become extremely hot so you should be very careful when handling them.
Disposable, sterilised bottles – They come with a teat and a lid and all you need to do is add expressed breast milk or formula milk and throw away the bottle after use. They are perfect for travelling or going out but they are an expensive choice. Plus, they are not environmentally friendly.
Glass feeding bottles – These baby feeding bottles are made from toughened, heat-resistant glass and are usually used by parents who worry about the chemicals in plastic bottles. They are free of chemicals, environmentally friendly and last longer than plastic options. However, they are a lot heavier and may shatter if dropped.
Types of sterilisers
There are four ways to sterilise the feeding equipment of your baby and kill germs: boiling, microwave sterilising, cold-water sterilising and steam sterilising. Regardless of which method you choose, make sure you wash the bottles and teats with warm water and soap before sterilising and after feeding. Use a bottle brush to rinse them well.
Boiling – Put everything in a pan of boiling water for about ten minutes. This is a convenient and cheap way to sterilise bottles and teats but it may cause unattractive limescale on the bottles. Also, teats won’t last long so you will need to change them often.
Cold-water sterilising – This method involves soaking everything in a non-toxic, special sterilising solution. For this, you will also need a deep and large container because all the equipment needs to be fully submerged. Sterilising tablets or fluid is convenient and inexpensive. This method takes about half an hour. Even though the solution is harmless, it may still have a strange smell or taste.
Steam sterilising – Electric steam sterilisers can hold up to six bottles and sterilise them in less than ten minutes. This method is convenient and fast. Depending on the model of the steriliser, some of them can even sterilise breast pumps and other accessories. However, these are more expensive to buy and not that easy to transport.
Microwave steam sterilisers – These are designed to fit into the microwave but first you should check whether the equipment is microwave-safe. This method is relatively cheap and simple and some models can be used for sterilising breast pumps and accessories too. Microwave sterilisers cannot hold as many bottles as conventional models and they can become extremely hot.
Different types of teats
Bottle teats come in different sizes, types and materials. They can be made either from latex or silicone. You can get a natural one in a standard shape which mimics the shape of a nipple or an anti-colic one that aims to reduce the amount of air your baby intakes while feeding. Silicone is less flexible compared to latex but it is more durable. You can also find disposable teats for one use which are perfect to use while out or travelling.