Premature babies who arrived between the 20th to the 37th week of gestation require small clothes, extra care, and different feeding bottles. Finding appropriate sizes for such tiny babies can be a challenge.
Preemie bottles come in sizes suiting a baby’s tiny portions. You may also need to find one with a special nipple and a slower flow.
We’ve reviewed the five best bottles for preemies, so you don’t need to do a painstaking search to find the right one.
- Naturally shaped nipple
- Minimal nipple collapse mid-feed
- Anti-colic technology
- Less air intake
- Better latching
- Dishwasher safe
- Easy latch-on nipple
- Two anti-colic vents
- Easy to clean
- Excellent starter set
- Optimal nipple shape
- Comfortable to hold
- Ventaire technology
- Angled bottle
- Two nipples included
Why Use a Preemie Bottle?
Babies born before the 34th week of gestation might have a hard time breastfeeding. Most are admitted into the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where they’re likely to receive nutrition through an IV (1). For this reason, exclusively breastfeeding isn’t always an option.
Premature babies may have a hard time latching onto the breast. They can get their nutrition, though, from breast milk that has been placed in a bottle with a slow-flow nipple.
How to Choose a Preemie Bottle
- Slow-flow nipple: A slow-flow nipple is essential. Your little one needs some help feeding, and if the milk comes out too fast, they can choke.
- Anti-colic technology: Anti-colic technology comes in different variants. Some manufacturers use air vents in the nipple. While others, such as Playtex, utilize ventilated discs that sit at the bottom of the bottle.
- Small quantities: Preemies only need a small bottle that can hold between 2 to 5 ounces. Preemies eat less, more frequently, so a bigger bottle is unnecessary.
The Best Bottles for Preemies of 2022
Here are five great bottles for preemies. Let’s have a look.
1. Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle
Best Nipple Size
If you’re planning to both bottle and breastfeed your little one, then a natural-shaped nipple is ideal. The Avent bottle from Philips has received outstanding reviews for its nipple. It has a distinctive design, mimicking the real deal, that well deserves the praise.
Philips optimized everything for use with tiny babies. The nipple will help your little one latch on in a natural way while reducing air going into the stomach. Many mothers praise how it enabled them to combine breast and bottle feeds so their preemie could gain weight.
The bottle is comfortable to hold in the hand, and it has a slow flow, suitable for newborns.
Naturally Shaped Nipple
The Avent’s nipple simulates a mother’s breast. It has a wide shape, promoting a natural latch-on, which closely resembles that of a real nipple.
The bottle’s nipple is also ultra-soft. Although it’s made of BPA-free plastic, the texture mimics the real thing. Your little one will take comfort in the similarity, and it makes it easier for you to combine breast and bottle feeds.
Minimal Nipple Collapse Mid-Feed
To prevent the nipple from collapsing mid-feed, Philips constructed it using a spiral design. It’s fully flexible, capable of bending accordingly as your baby feeds, without closing off the supply. This also makes it suckle more naturally.
On the nipple is an anti-colic vent. Philips Airflex technology works by venting out air, keeping it away from your little one’s stomach. This reduces the chance of tummy discomfort and colic.
Ergonomic Shape and Newborn-Friendly Size
The bottle is designed with a distinctive, ergonomic shape to ensure comfort for the parent. It’s easy to get a good grip from any direction. The bottle’s size is optimized for a preemie’s small portions — it can hold up to 4 ounces.
May Leak If Not Aligned Properly
Not many reviewers complained about leaks. Those parents who found the nipples leaking later discovered that you must align them properly with the bottle. Philips includes a manual for assembly.
|Nipple flow||Newborn flow|
|How many bottles included||Two|
2. Boon Nursh Silicone Pouch Bottle
Best for Reducing Air Intake
Reducing the amount of air your preemie ingests during feeding is vital to prevent colic and painful gas. The Nursh bottle from Boon will do just that using a small, collapsible pouch.
It’s a specialized bottle, different from the others on today’s list. It’s made of 100 percent, baby-safe silicone, which is effortless to keep clean.
With an optimized nipple, it will be easy for you to switch between breast and bottle. It can hold up to 4 ounces of milk for a tiny tummy and offers a comfortable grip for the parent. Additionally, Boon gives you a package of three bottles in adorable, bright colors.
Less Air Intake
Boon’s Nursh baby bottle uses a different system of delivery than other brands. The bottle contains a silicone pouch for the milk. During feeding, it collapses as your baby drinks the contents.
Because it collapses, it minimizes the amount of air surrounding the milk. The reduction of air lowers the chance of stomach ache, colic, and reflux. The bottle doesn’t have vents or valves, so air doesn’t re-enter until you remove the cap.
Boon designed the nipple to resemble the natural shape of a mother’s breast. It gives your baby a comforting feeling and helps you transition between bottle and breastfeeding.
With an optimized length and wide base, getting your baby to latch on properly becomes a breeze, even for the smallest feeder. The shape assists your little one with proper tongue positioning. Many parents said it helped their tongue-tied babies.
You’ll love having this bottle in your hand. It’s textured and shaped to fit comfortably. We adore the color options, too — they’re vibrant and available for both girls and boys.
Our favorite feature is that everything is reusable and dishwasher safe. The silicone pouches reduce waste — after a feeding, you throw it into the dishwasher for next time. Boon sells bundles of additional bags in various sizes if needed.
The bottles are durable, too. Beside being dishwasher safe, you can boil, freeze, microwave, and sterilize them. They’re made of silicone that’s BPA and PVC-free.
The Nipple Is a Bit Hard
A few parents noted the nipple is harder than on other brands. It may take your little one some time to get used to it. Some reviewers said it got softer with use.
|Material||BPA- and PVC-free silicone|
|Nipple flow||Slow flow|
|How many bottles included||Three|
|Color||Pink, blue, clear, or multi-color|
3. Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle
Best for Transitioning Babies
If you’re planning on transitioning to breastfeeding later on, this bottle might be something to consider. Comotomo designed it to mimic a real breast, making transitions a breeze.
The bottle has a capacity of 5 ounces. It is made of soft silicone, providing a comforting skin-like feel when your baby touches it.
The bottle has a no-drip design, so you can accidentally knock it over without spilling all your milk, as long as you’ve tightened the lid properly.
Easy Latch-On Nipple
Comotomo designed the nipple to be as natural as possible. It’s made of baby-safe silicone and has a wide mound to help your little one transition between bottle and breast. The nipple is an ideal size for preemies with a slow flow, suitable for their feeding pace.
Two Anti-Colic Vents
The nipple features two vents to reduce your little one’s air intake during feeding. Air will channel out through the vents, allowing your baby to feed without getting a stomach ache.
Another benefit of the dual vents is how they help your little one drink. When air circulates out through the holes, it provides a consistent flow as the baby sucks. This is excellent for preemies who are still getting used to a bottle.
Easy to Clean
With its wide design, it’s a cinch to clean. Once you unscrew the cap, you can fit your whole hand inside to clean every crevice. If you prefer, the materials are also dishwasher safe — or you can boil it to sanitize.
A few parents complained the bottle kept leaking. However, others were quick to defend the product, saying it’s essential to tighten the lid properly.
|Material||BPA-, PVC-, and Phthalate-free silicone|
|Nipple flow||Slow flow|
|How many bottles included||One|
|Color||Pink or green|
4. Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottle
Best Starter Bundle
We love an all-inclusive set, making life with a newborn a little easier, and Tommee Tippee did not disappoint us. You’ll receive everything you need for bottle feeding your preemie, even extra nipples you can use once they can take a faster flow.
The Closer to Nature collection is fantastic in many ways. From the award-winning nipples to the baby-safe materials, we’re in love, and parents agree.
Frequent feedings become a breeze due to the shape of the bottles, and they’re easy to clean, too. The nipples included will help keep colic and gas at bay, and Tommee Tippee even has a helpful guide for when to upgrade to a faster flow.
Excellent Starter Set
Whether you’re a first-time parent or a seasoned expert, this starter set from Tommee Tippee will surely suffice. The bundle has everything you need for your little one. This consists of four bottles, extra slow-flow and slow-flow nipples, an extra nipple, removable handles, cleaning brush, and newborn pacifier.
Optimal Nipple Shape
The Tommee Tippee nipple is award-winning. It resembles a breast — it even feels like one. Your little one will feel soothed when feeding.
The nipple has an anti-colic valve, too. It works to vent air out during feedings, reducing the amount ingested by your baby, so there’s minimal risk of a gassy tummy.
Comfortable to Hold
The bottle is compact in shape, allowing you to get a comfortable grip while being closer to your baby. It enables you to hold it in three ways — cradled in the hand, similar to a wide-neck bottle, or from the base. It’s an excellent solution if more than one caregiver feeds the baby.
Safe Materials, Easy to Clean
They’re made of BPA-free materials, making them safe for use around your baby. Cleaning them is a breeze as well — they’re dishwasher and microwave safe.
The Nipples Can Drip
A few parents have had issues with the slow-flow nipples, saying they’re too fast for their newborns. Keep in mind the extra slow-flow nipple is only included with the smallest bottle. The others are suited with just the slow-flow.
|Material||BPA- and phthalate-free material|
|Nipple flow||Extra slow-flow and slow-flow|
|How many bottles included||Four|
5. Playtex Baby Ventaire Anti Colic Bottle
Best Anti-Colic Bottle
If your preemie is prone to colic and painful reflux, we recommend having a look at these bottles from Playtex. It’s a gift set, containing five bottles, three 6 ounce and two 9 ounce.
There’s two different types of nipples, slow and fast flow. All the bottles include Playtex’s Ventaire discs, and extra discs, nipples, and caps, should you need them.
All materials used are BPA-, PVC-, and phthalate-free — they’re entirely baby-safe. The bottles are comfortable to hold and promote the best position for feeding.
Ventaire technology is a fantastic tool to use with preemies and babies who tend to gulp as they eat. At the bottom of the bottle sits a cap fitted with small air holes. This channels the air present inside the bottle away from the milk and out through the holes.
Upright feeding has proven to reduce the chances of reflux (2). This isn’t always easy when bottle feeding, but Playtex’s bottle design resolves this. The bottle is angled toward the head, allowing you to keep your baby in an optimal position.
The milk flows naturally toward the nipple without you having to lay your baby down flat. Thanks to the ergonomic design, it’s easy to hold on to as well.
Two Nipples Included
In the bundle, you’ll receive two kinds of nipples — medium flow and slow flow. The latter is suitable for newborns and has an optimized shape for tiny mouths.
After 3 months of age, you can upgrade to the medium flow. You’ll get a total of five bottles, capable of growing with your baby.
Nipples Tear Easily
Some parents have had bad luck with the nipples, saying they began tearing after a month of use. Should this happen, replacements can be purchased separately.
|Nipple flow||Slow flow and medium flow|
|How many bottles included||Five|
|Product||Best||Material||Size||Nipple flow||No. of bottles included||Color|
|Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle||Nipple||BPA-free polypropylene||4 oz||Newborn flow||Two||Clear|
|Boon Nursh Silicone Pouch Bottle||Reducing Air Intake||BPA- and PVC-free silicone||4 oz||Slow flow||Three||Pink, blue, clear, or multi-color|
|Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle||Transitioning Babies||BPA-, PVC-, and Phthalate-free silicone||5 oz||Slow flow||One||Pink or green|
|Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature||Starter Bundle||BPA- and phthalate-free material||Multiple||Extra slow-flow and slow-flow||Four||Clear|
|Playtex Baby Ventaire Anti-Colic||Anti-Colic Bottle||BPA-free plastic||Multiple||Slow flow and medium flow||Five||Clear|
Premature babies born before the 37th week of pregnancy require some special care and help with nursing. Having a baby bottle that can help your little one ease into it is a good idea. The best bottles for preemies are small, have slow flow nipples, and reduce the intake of air during feedings.
Feeding a preemie can be intimidating, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly they grow.