If you formula feed, you’re going to need a good set of baby bottles. But did you know that using a breast pump and bottles can actually enhance your breastfeeding experience and extend it as well?
- Having a good pump and some bottles on hand can provide a new mom with a much needed break. Even a short time away from baby can make it easier for moms to handle the intensity of full-time breastfeeding.
- Feeding baby can be an important bonding time for dads too! New dads can gain more confidence about being able to care for baby and can have more time to be closer with your new addition to the family.
- Supplementing in the beginning can take the pressure off a new mom who may have had a less than perfect birth, dealing with a premature baby or a baby with a tongue tie, etc. Too much pressure on new moms can easily discourage them, and sometimes a bottle or two can take the pressure off.
How many bottles will I need?
If you are formula feeding, plan on starting with at least 6 of the 4-5 oz. size bottles and 12 nipples. Optimally you’ll have 10-12 bottles for full-time formula feeding. Plan to switch to the larger 8-9 oz. bottles at about 3-4 months, and you’ll need the same number of larger bottles as small.
If you’re breastfeeding, be sure to have at least 3 bottles and 6 nipples on hand as a minimum. Babies will only drink about 4-5 oz. of breastmilk at a time even after 4 months, so larger bottles will be necessary for only supplemental milks or formulas. If your baby is in daycare, you’ll need more bottles since they will drink less per feeding, but more often.
Pro tip: Leftover bottles of formula should be dumped, but leftover bottles of breast milk can be capped and refrigerated for later.
How do I decide which bottle is best for me and my baby?
Choice is a good thing, but can be overwhelming! In order to simplify, here is an overview of all the different materials that baby bottles are made out of:
Plastic bottles are lightweight, easy for baby to hold, and are easy to transport. Bonus: they won’t break when dropped. All of the plastic bottles found on Well.ca are BPA free.
Pro tip: If you have plastic bottles at home with a ‘7’ on them, they are not BPA-free.
Dr. Brown’s bottles come in both plastic and glass. A special internal vent system can reduce digestive problems: spit-up, excessive burping, gas, and colic. Plus, this bottle is designed so that air bypasses the milk, preserving all the nutrients in it. The silicone nipple and internal vent work together as a natural flow system so that baby is able to drink at his or her own pace.
Medela has designed a pumping and delivery system targeted to breastfeeding moms but formula feeding parents will also appreciate it enormously! Milk goes straight from breast to pump to bottle, and can be frozen or refrigerated and thawed in the same bottle. The Calma System offers seamless switching from breast to bottle, thus avoiding problems with nipple confusion.
Kiinde is a plastic bottle systems that feature disposable inserts. They are so easy to use and are ideal for outings and travel. Collapsible liners mean air-free milk delivery to baby – no gas or discomfort! And Kiinde liners can be filled directly from any of the major brands of breast pumps.
Glass bottles last a long time, can be cleaned easily and won’t retain odours. Glass is a more eco-friendly material than plastic as it can be recycled.
Although a bit heavier than plastic bottles, Life Factory glass bottles come with colourful silicone sheaths that make it easy for babies to grasp and hold on to, and will protect the bottle from breaking if it falls. They can be used directly with most major brands of breast pumps, and are easily converted to sippy cups.
Just like Life Factory bottles, Naturesutten bottles are made in France of borosilicate glass, which is dishwasher-safe and thermal shock-resistant. They can withstand extreme temperature changes like boiling or freezing. The nipple is natural rubber latex, whereas Life factory bottles come with silicone nipples.
Pro tip: Latex nipples are soft and stretchy, but should be checked and replaced regularly as they can crack and wear out. Silicone nipples will keep their shape longer and are suitable for babies with latex allergies. As long as your baby has no allergy to latex – try both!
Stainless steel bottles are another healthy and eco-friendly choice. They are super lightweight, impossible to break, and they’ll never wear out! They are also easy to clean and easy to heat.
Pura Kiki bottles are unique in that they are 100% plastic free. They come in fun, brightly coloured silicone sheaths and are made from anti-bacterial stainless steel. Although they are sold with medical grade silicone nipples, these bottles are compatible with many different brands of nipples. Pura Kiki bottles will also easily convert into sippy cups.
Klean Kanteen is another trusted brand of stainless steel bottles. They are hourglass shaped and so are easy for baby to grasp. They have wide mouths for easy filling and easy-to-read measuring marks on both the inside and the outside.
Silicone bottles are more eco-friendly than plastic, will last a long time, and can be boiled, sterilized and put in the dishwasher.
Como Tomo is a line of extraordinary silicone bottles that are designed to feel and function almost like breasts! They are extremely lightweight, soft and squishy. They have wide necks for easy filling and easy cleaning, and a large mound with a naturally shaped nipple to prevent nipple confusion. They are reported to be great for using with sleepy babies, as you can squeeze the bottle a bit to get baby to start sucking again. Many moms find these bottles mimic as closely as possible the breastfeeding experience for babies and so many babies that refuse other bottles will actually take the Como Tomo.
Pro tip: The best time to introduce bottles to a breastfeeding baby is at 4-6 weeks. If your baby will be attending daycare, be sure to introduce bottles at least a month before.
Whether you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding, the best way to know which bottle will suit you and your baby is to try a few different kinds.
Do you have a bottle preference? Let us know in the comments!