Finding the right bottle for your infant is important since, aside from nursing, a bottle is her primary means of obtaining food. You may be surprised at the vast array of bottles on the market and may not know where to begin. A good approach is being open to experimentation.
- Try different brands. Babies have their own preferences when it comes to feeding. Buy single bottles of different brands to try them out with your baby. She may end up being OK with any brand but will usually develop a preference from the start.
- Stock up. Once you find a bottle that makes your little one happy, stock up. Buy at least six bottles to start. If you find that you are constantly cleaning bottles, get a few more. It's better to have enough clean bottles on-hand rather than trying to clean one when your baby is on the verge of hunger.
- Plastic versus glass. There are pros and cons to both. Plastic bottles are unbreakable, less expensive and more readily available, yet they have a limited life-span. Glass bottles last longer if they don't get chipped or crack. It's both a matter of your personal preference and what baby needs.
- Buy larger bottles. Small bottles usually hold about four ounces, whereas the larger bottles hold nine or more ounces. You can still feed your baby smaller amounts from the larger bottles, which will then remain useful as your baby's needs grow.
- Select the nipples. Most bottles will come with nipples, but you need to check if the flow is appropriate for your baby. There are slow, medium and fast flowing nipples, which let the milk flow at different rates. Know the difference between latex and silicone nipples. Latex nipples are softer but less durable. Silicone nipples are firmer and tend to last longer.
- Convenience factor. Try disposable bottles or bottles that allow attaching disposable bags. This is convenient when you are an on-the-go family or are traveling. It also comes in handy if you would rather eliminate the need to clean and sterilize your bottles after each use.
- Do you pump? Find bottles that connect well to your pump. You may not feed your baby from the same bottle, but it is good to have extras on-hand for when you need to express your milk. You can then pour the milk into bags for storage, then into the appropriate bottle for feeding. If you can feed your baby with the same bottles used to express your milk, then you have an added bonus!
- Accessorize. There are many items available to make bottles easier to use. There are sterilizers, drying racks, cleaning brushes and insulated carrying totes. All of which provide added convenience for bottle-feeding.