A Guide to Selecting a Baby Bottle for Breastfed Babies
Mother’s milk is undoubtedly better for your baby than any formula. Your baby absorbs the nutrients in mother’s milk more effectively, and breastmilk has factors that help develop your baby’s immune system as well. If possible, you should try to nurse your baby for the first six months of its development. But, if you’re not always available to nurse, you (or your husband) might need to feed your infant by means of a bottle. There are special baby bottles for babies that are breastfeeding, so as to ease the transition from nursing to drinking out of a bottle.
We’ll see baby bottles that use a specially constructed nipple or bottle, to allow your baby to latch on and drink more efficiently. Sometimes they use a special shape, to duplicate the form of the breast. Others will employ a certain construction to aid the milk flow so that your baby won’t ingest a lot of air when they drink. (Besides giving them a false sense of being full, it can give them gas pains later on.) And there are bottles that are particularly wide to make them easier to clean properly.
We’ll go through some of the items in the Best Reviews Guide list of the best baby bottles for breastfeeding babies. They may be a bit more expensive than typical baby bottles. But for these important, formative months in your infant’s life, they’re worth it!
What’s special about a baby bottle for babies that are being breastfed?
Bottles for breastfed babies are specifically designed to mimic the suck-swallow-breathe action that happens when breastfeeding. They’re constructed to stop the flow of milk when your baby isn’t actively sucking. This helps reduce nipple confusion when your child has to alternate between breastfeeding and a bottle. These bottles will also have a special design to prevent colic, by avoiding forcing your baby to swallow air that can cause discomfort later.
Does the design of the bottle influence the nutritional value of the milk?
It sounds surprising, but there was a study that demonstrated that the way air enters the baby’s bottle can affect the breakdown of Vitamins A, C, and E. It seems that air bubbles traveling through the milk first cause Vitamin C to break down. Vitamin C prevents food spoilage. Once there is less Vitamin C, there is also less Vitamins A and E as well. So, a vented bottle designed to reduce exposure of the milk to air will retain more vitamins.
What is a vented nipple?
You probably have noticed that if you make a single small hole in a can, any liquid in the can will drain out slowly. You need to make a second hole to let air into the can and push the contents out. Similarly, a baby bottle with a traditional-style nipple can create a vacuum when the baby drinks. Your baby has to put in more effort to drink from such a bottle. A vented nipple, on the other hand, will allow air into the bottle, to help push down on the formula. This will make it easier for your baby to drink.
Types of Baby Bottles For Breastfed Babies
You’ll notice a few variations among baby bottles, both in terms of the material of the bottle and nipple type:
Plastic bottles: The majority of baby bottles are made from plastic. The Lansinoh Baby Bottles for Breastfeeding Babies are made from plastic that is free of BPS and BPA.
Lansinoh Baby Bottles for Breastfeeding Babies
Silicone bottles: The Comotomo Baby Bottle doesn’t only have a nipple that tries to mimic a mother’s breast. The bottle itself is made from soft, flexible silicone that has a skin-like feel.
Comotomo Baby Bottle
Glass bottles: You’ll see that some manufacturers still make their bottles out of glass! Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Baby Bottles are made from shock-resistant glass that is also heat-resistant. They can withstand gradual temperature changes from cold to hot and are dishwasher safe.
Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Glass Baby Bottles
Vented Nipple: The Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Anti-Colic Options narrow Glass baby bottles have a special insert that contains air vents. These air vents allow air into the bottle while your baby is drinking. It’s one method to ensure that milk flows out of the bottle only when the baby tries to drink. Also, your baby will swallow less air this way. It reduces the chances of colic, spitting up, burping, and gas.
Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Vented Nipple
Orthodontic nipple: The Lansinoh Momma Breastmilk Feeding Bottle has a “Natural Wave nipple”, with a form that allows the baby to use the same feeding actions when drinking from a bottle as when he is being nursed. This reduces “nipple confusion” so that your baby can switch easily from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding. The nipple also has a textured surface to allow your baby to grip it properly.
Lansinoh “Natural Wave” Nipple
Flexible nipple: Munchkin makes a Latch Anti-Colic Baby Bottle, with a nipple that tries to imitate the flexibility of a mother’s breast. It is fashioned so as to stretch, pump, and move to the side as the baby moves his head. It also has an “anti-colic” valve at the bottom. It is designed to prevent air from flowing through the milk as the baby is drinking.
Latch Anti-Colic Baby Bottle
What reviewers say
Here are some customers’ impressions about the baby bottle that they bought:
Help if you don’t produce enough milk: One customer whose baby sucks very aggressively found that she wasn’t able to produce enough milk for her baby’s demands. She saw that the Avent Stage 3 nipple was just what her son needed, in terms of the flow rate.
Glass vs. plastic: One customer preferred using a glass bottle to a plastic one because it is easier to clean and sterilize glass. In their experience, a plastic bottle tends to retain the smell of previous uses, even if you try to sterilize it. On the other hand, a customer who bought 8 glass bottles said that eventually, all 8 broke. A plastic bottle is less prone to break when dropped.
Here are some tips from the manufacturers and users of the most popular baby bottles for breastfed babies:
Match the age level: The Philips Avent Natural Bottle allows you to change the nipple as your child grows. They have 5 levels of flow rates, suited for newborn infants up to infants over 6 months of age. If you notice that your baby plays, gets frustrated, or falls asleep instead of feeding, try a nipple with a higher flow rate. If you see that your baby gulps his milk or if milk leaks from his mouth, then try a nipple with a lower flow rate. One customer suggested using a Level 3 nipple when your baby is 1-2 months old. The smaller levels will give a very slow flow rate.
Easy to clean bottle: Some baby bottles are made particularly wide so that they will be easier to clean. One example is the Comotomo Baby Bottle. The mouth of the bottle is 3” in diameter. This allows you access to all parts of the bottle to clean it, even without a bottle brush!
First steps with a new bottle: Before your first use of a bottle, it’s recommended to sanitize the bottle by boiling all of the parts in water for 5 minutes. Remove the parts from the boiling water with special tongs, and dry them on a towel until they cool off. Subsequently, you may be able to wash your bottle on the top rack of your dishwasher, if the manufacturer says that the bottle is dishwasher safe.
Compatible with a breast pump: Many manufacturers make their bottles to fit their breast pump. For example, Lansinoh’s bottle has attachments that are compatible with their Lansinoh Smartpump double electric breast pump, their Signature Pro double electric breast pump, and their manual pump. You can also find compatible storage bottles and bags for breast milk.
We went through some of the best baby bottles for babies who are being breastfed. A number of mothers tried a variety of bottles and nipples until they found what was best for their infant. If necessary, consult a nursing expert. With enough knowhow and persistence, you should be able to find the right match for your baby!