While breastfeeding is best, some moms do opt to bottle feed for various reasons. Whether you’ll be pumping your own breast milk or feeding your baby formula, a bottle will be a must-have item.
But, before you hit the shops to stock up on bottles, the experts at Philips Avent have this advice to help you choose a bottle for your baby.
Choosing a baby bottle
- Glass vs Plastic? Glass bottles work well because they are chemical-free and last longer. But the downside is that they can break (making them dangerous) and they are expensive. Plastic bottles don’t break, but you do need to replace them often as they deteriorate (always keep an eye out for chipped or cracked bottles. If you’re going with plastic, look for bottles that are BPA Free.
- What size? In the beginning, smaller bottles are better because newborn don’t eat as much. You can start with a 125ml bottle and move to a 260ml one as your baby’s appetite increases.
- Buy bottles with broader necks as they are easier to clean.
- It might be a good idea to invest in a bottle that reduces colic, in case your baby is colicky.
Choosing the bottle nipples
Latex or silicon?
Latex nipples resemble your breasts more closely as they are softer and more flexible. Silicon nipples on the other hand last longer and they’re easier to maintain because they can go in the dishwasher.
Size of the nipple
It’s important to get a teat with the right sized hole for your baby. You can choose slow, medium or fast flow teats. If you’re buying bottles before your baby’s birth, it might be worth buying one of each to see which teat he prefers.
- If your baby seems to take a long time to finish a bottle or gives up in the middle, the hole may be too small – try changing to a medium-flow teat.
- If your baby is spluttering as they feed, the hole in the teat may be too big.
- You may also like to try variable-flow teats that can give slow, medium or fast flow using just the one teat.
Bottle feeding positions
As with breastfeeding, there are certain positions that will suit your baby better when you bottle feed.
Holding the baby and the bottle
- Hold your baby close to you on your lap in a semi-upright position so you can make eye contact. If necessary, put a pillow on your lap to raise your baby up.
- Tilt the bottle so that the neck and teat fill up with milk, before you carefully place the teat in your baby’s mouth – this avoids swallowing any air bubbles, which could cause gas.
- If your baby seems unsettled during the feed, the cause may be wind – try gently rubbing your baby’s back to encourage burping.
- Try to get into the habit of burping about halfway through the feed and after feeding – this can help to prevent spitting up.