Buying Guide for Baby Bottles
Why buy baby bottles?
The most basic reason to buy baby bottles is that you have a baby that needs to be fed. Whether you’re a new parent, a seasoned parent, or a caregiver, it’s important to have the right baby bottles on hand. With such a wide range of baby bottles to choose from, it can seem daunting to choose the right one. They all boast different results. There are colic-reducing, spit-up-reducing, nipple-confusion-reducing, slanted, glass, and plastic bottles. And the list goes on. So how do you know which one will be best for your baby?
Honestly, you won’t be able to pick the perfect bottle until your baby tries and approves it: ask any parent who’s been there. For new parents, the best thing to do is ask your pediatrician for suggestions, ask other new parents for suggestions, and buy a few different individual bottles to try in those first few months to be sure you’ll have something your baby will love.
What should you consider in baby bottles?
- Shape and Size: Wide-necked bottles will be easier to clean, and bottles with a slant or curve to their shape often help ease colic. When it comes to size, opt to purchase larger bottles. Babies increase their milk intake pretty quickly and may outgrow a smaller bottle just after you’ve started using it.
- Venting: If your baby seems to have a lot of trouble with gas, finding bottles with venting technology can help ease this by reducing their air intake.
- Measurements: A bottle that already has measurements (oz, mL) preprinted on the side will mean no guessing when mixing formula or trying to determine how much your baby is eating.
- Bottle Warmer Compatibility: If you have a bottle warmer or are preparing to purchase one, ensure the bottle you choose fits inside.
What is the best way to clean baby bottles?
You’ll need to wash them by hand with a gentle detergent and a bottle brush for the best possible clean. Then, you can either sanitize your bottles by placing them in a pot of gently boiling water for a few minutes or with a baby bottle sanitizer. Then, you’ll need to dry your baby bottles thoroughly on a bottle-drying rack.
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Our Picks for the Best Baby Bottles
Tommee Tippee Advanced Anti-Colic Newborn Baby Bottle Feeding Gift Set
This set of baby bottles is made to reduce colic and feels like a natural nipple to your hungry baby.
Pros: These stylish bottles have a natural-shaped nipple that mimics the feel, flex, and movement of breastfeeding, making them awesome for switching between bottle and breastfeeding. The natural shape of the nipple makes it easy and comfortable for your baby to latch onto. In addition to that, there is an anti-colic valve on the nipple for less air intake while your baby is feeding, which helps prevent gas and discomfort. Also, the pink heat-sensing strip will warn you if the milk is too hot, so you can ease your worries. And these bottles are also BPA- and phthalate-free, so you can feel good knowing they are safe for your baby.
Cons: Occasionally, the nipple may collapse if your baby is eating aggressively.
Bottom Line: This set comes with a travel bottle warmer, five bottles, a brush for cleaning, slow and medium-flow nipples, milk powder dispensers, removable bottle handles, and a couple of newborn pacifiers. It makes a superb gift for new parents.
Dr. Brown's Anti-Colic Options+ Baby Bottles
These name-brand baby bottles known for reducing colic and gas can promote a more comfortable feeding experience for your baby.
Pros: The vent system in the Dr. Brown bottles is unlike any other. It eliminates airflow in the milk, making your baby less likely to spit up or have gas or colic. You can use them with or without the inserted vent system. These bottles have also been shown to better preserve nutrients in breastmilk and formula and aid in digestion to help with a good night’s sleep for everyone. The nipple on these bottles is engineered for a consistent flow, and the soft silicone makes latching easy.
Cons: You may want to have a burp cloth handy because these bottles tend to leak.
Bottom Line: These bottles have a venting system that helps reduce gas, reflux, and colic for bottle-fed babies. They’re also designed to grow with your baby, saving you money over time. And these bottles are a great choice if you’re supplementing because they’re designed to help avoid nipple confusion.
Philips Avent Natural Glass Baby Bottle
If the idea of using plastic bottles doesn't work for you, try these premium-quality, shatterproof glass bottles instead.
Pros: Unlike most baby bottles on the market today, these are made from pharmaceutical-grade, BPA-free, heat-resistant, and shock-resistant borosilicate glass, so you can safely store them in your fridge and heat them. They’re also easy to sterilize and fit nipples of varying flow speeds. This purchase comes with four slow-flow nipples that have a wider shape for a natural latch. You can also feel good about the anti-colic venting technology in these bottles to minimize air intake during feeding. And parents love these bottles because they’re easy to clean and sanitize.
Cons: Although these bottles are made of strong glass, they’re still glass and can break or crack. Also, you need to be sure these are properly sealed when you close them, otherwise, they can leak. And because they’re made of glass, they’re a bit heavier, so your baby may not be able to hold them on their own.
Bottom Line: These bottles are made of premium-quality glass and are compatible with varying nipples to change with your growing baby. They’re a great substitute for plastic bottles and are better for the environment and easy to clean. They’re ergonomically designed to be comfortable to hold, so you can feed your baby easily with one hand.
Comotomo Baby Bottle
These bottles are specially designed to mimic the breast, so you can avoid the fuss and hassle associated with nipple confusion.
Pros: Made to mimic the feel of a breast, these silicone baby bottles help to alleviate nipple confusion. The bottle is wide and egg-shaped, and the nipple is soft to the touch. And the unique design also helps to increase airflow and avoid uncomfortable gas bubbles. Plus, these bottles can grow with your baby. They’re available with four types of nipples: slow flow (which comes with the 5-ounce bottles), medium flow (which comes with the 8-ounce bottles), fast flow, and variable flow. If you use these bottles correctly, they don’t leak, unlike many of the brand-name bottles. And another good thing is the see-through bottom, so parents can easily tell how much liquid is left during feeding.
Cons: The downside is that because these bottles are wider than traditional bottles, it makes storing them in your diaper bag or placing them in a smaller bottle warmer a little difficult. Also, silicone tends to pick up hair and debris.
Bottom Line: If your baby feeds on both bottles and the breast, these may be the best bottles for you. They’re easy to hold and easy for your baby to grip. And because they’re made of food-grade silicone instead of plastic, they’re some of the only bottles that are safe to clean in the dishwasher (though you should still sanitize them thoroughly).
PopYum 9 oz Anti-Colic Formula Baby Bottles
Easily store and mix your formula with one hand with these uniquely designed bottles.
Pros: These bottles were designed to be used with one hand only, so you can comfort your baby or multitask with your other hand. They store formula and water separately in the bottle. When hunger calls, simply press the button to release the formula, shake your bottle a few times to mix the formula, and you’re ready to feed. It’s also great for breastmilk since the milk is completely isolated in the bottom of the bottle and never touches the common bottle leak points of the tip of the nipple and anti-colic vent until you press the button to allow the breastmilk into the nipple area. The three 9-ounce baby bottles you receive with your order come with #2 medium flow anti-colic nipples and a funnel, which makes loading formula a breeze and stops formula from falling into the water chamber. They’re top-rack dishwasher safe since they’re made of medical-grade silicone and premium polypropylene. These bottles are also free of BPA, BPS, latex, lead, nitrosamines, PET, phthalates, PVC, and TPE.
Cons: These bottles take a while to dry. Also, they’re bulkier than standard bottles and take up more space in the cabinet or diaper bag.
Bottom Line: This brand thought of every detail to make a parent’s life easier. They can be used for formula or breast milk, so they can easily grow with your baby. And they’re leakproof, which is fantastic, especially for travel purposes.
Choosing the right baby bottle is essential for new parents. There are so many options out there whether your baby is bottle-fed or breastfed with the occasional bottle to supplement feed. We’ve gathered some of the best bottles you can buy for your little one’s mealtimes.