No two moms are the same, and neither are their babies. We all have different needs when it comes to feeding our little ones, but wherever you are, there’s a bottle to make your life easier.
Whether you plan to breastfeed, stick to formula, or use a combination of both, baby bottles are sure to become an essential part of your everyday life — and there’s a whole world of choice out there!
Will you go with glass, plastic, silicone, or even stainless steel? What nipple size will work best for your baby’s stage of development? How can you clean and store baby bottles properly?
If these questions feel overwhelming, I get it. We’ll answer all these and more, plus show you the best baby bottles we could find to keep your little one happy, healthy, and strong.
- Mimic breast shape and feel
- Super easy to clean
- Dual vents prevent colic & gas
- Warms up to two times faster
- Stackable thus saves space
- Easy to clean
- Perfect size for preemies
- Anti-colic features
- Slow nipple speed
- Clinically proven to reduce colic
- Preserve essential vitamins
- Fits most breast pumps
- Mixes formula within a minute
- Anti-leak lid
- BPA-free plastic materials
- Simple liner system
- Mimics breastfeeding experience
- Anti-colic and anti-gas
- Comes with six bottles
- Bigger bottles available (8oz)
- Safe, eco-friendly, easy to wash
- Lasts for years
- Compatible with other leading brand
- Tempered glass
- Ergonomic twist
- Molded measurement markers
- Holds up to 10 ounces
- Fun disney design
- Our Top Picks
- Do I Need Baby Bottles?
- Types of Baby Bottles
- How to Choose the Best Baby Bottles
- The Best Baby Bottle Reviews of 2020
- Finding the Perfect Nipple Size
- When Will My Baby Need a Bottle?
- How to Transition to a Bottle
- Do I Need a Baby Bottle Warmer?
- How Do I Store Baby Bottles?
- How Do I Clean Baby Bottles?
- Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Bottles
- The Bottom Line
Do I Need Baby Bottles?
At first glance, it may seem like you only need to be concerned about baby bottles if you don’t plan on breastfeeding.
However, we think all moms should be prepared to use bottles for a number of reasons:
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60% of mothers aren’t able to breastfeed for as long as they intend to (1). There are unexpected reasons you might need to supplement your baby’s diet with formula, or due to unforeseen issues pumped bottles maybe the best way to give your baby breast milk.
- One survey found a third of women feel embarrassed to breastfeed in public (2). No matter how you feel about breastfeeding while you’re out and about, being able to store your milk in a bottle to use during feedings can be a quick fix in rushed situations.
- While insufficient milk production is the most well-known breastfeeding problem, women can also suffer from engorgement, or the overproduction of milk that causes the breast to swell (3). Baby bottles can be lifesavers for storing excess milk and helping relieve engorged breasts.
Proper early nutrition is a top priority for every mom. Get the most from your baby bottles by doing a little research to find which type is best for you and your baby.
Types of Baby Bottles
As a mom, you won’t be surprised to find out there are many different types of bottles available on the market.
Of the following ten types, some will probably be familiar to you. Others, not so much. However, all were designed with some specific benefit in mind.
- Plastic Baby Bottles: Plastic is one of the most common baby bottle materials and they are a great option for moms looking for something durable. Overall, plastic baby bottles are inexpensive and widely available, and they typically BPA free.
- Glass Baby Bottles: Glass is one of the safest materials to use and also some of the easiest to clean.
- Stainless Steel Baby Bottles: Easy to clean and can’t shatter or break.
- Breastfeeding Bottles: Breastmilk bottles are specifically created to mimic the natural nursing process as closely as possible.
- Anti-Colic Bottles: Designed to prevent air bubbles from passing through the milk to your baby.
- Preemie Bottles: Premature babies have some special needs due to their size and development.
- Exclusive Pumping Bottles: Have millimeter markers to let you know exactly how much you’ve pumped and also act as storage containers.
- Cereal Baby Bottles: Help your baby become accustomed to spoon-feeding while also having a nipple with a large enough opening to allow baby cereal to flow through.
- Toddler Bottles: These bottles are designed for older children as their diet gradually evolves.
- Travel Bottles: Designed specifically for families who are on-the-go.
Can’t decide which one is for you? One of the great things about baby bottles is that you can get a whole selection for a variety of situations.
How to Choose the Best Baby Bottles
Regardless of what bottles you’re thinking of purchasing, you want to make sure they meet a few basic requirements first. If the one you’re looking at meets some or all of these five criteria, you can be pretty confident it’s a quality pick.
BPA stands for bisphenol A, an industrial chemical used to make plastic. Research has found some of the chemicals can leach into your food or drinks if they are in containers made out of BPA (4).
If you choose plastic baby bottles, make sure they are BPA free to prevent any chemicals from getting into your baby’s milk. All BPA free bottles should say so on the packaging or in the product description.
Easy to Wash
Newborn babies need a lot of sustenance to support their growing bodies. On average, babies need anywhere between 8 to 12 feedings a day (5). This can lead to a lot of dirty bottles!
So, make sure you look for bottles that are easy to connect and clean. Ideally, they should have a simple design without too many nooks and crannies for milk to dry in and mold. We also love bottles that can be put into the dishwasher.
Nothing is as miserable as a baby with gas or colic! The air they swallow gets trapped in their digestive tracts, making them very uncomfortable (6). And we all know that if a baby is uncomfortable, mom will be too.
One of the primary culprits of gas is a baby bottle that aerates milk and fills your baby’s belly with millions of tiny bubbles. That’s why you want one with a venting system to prevent air from getting trapped inside the milk, helping you avoid painful gas and colic.
Nursing and feeding your child can feel like a science sometimes, especially if your baby is facing any health issues. Accurately track how much milk you produce and how much milk your baby drinks with a bottle that has measurement marks.
Be careful though! Recent studies have shown a good percentage of baby bottles with measurement marks are inaccurate (7). Make sure to read the reviews on a product first to see what other moms say about the measurement accuracy.
More than 80% of moms begin by breastfeeding (8). However, it can be emotionally and physically demanding, and at some point, you may want a break. It’s convenient to pump directly into a bottle and go out for the evening or even just errands solo (it can feel like a mini-vacation!) Whether this means the bottle can attach directly to the pump or is simply designed to make storing breast milk easier.
The Best Baby Bottle Reviews of 2020
Finding the best baby bottles is essential. Here are our favorites.
1. Comotomo Baby Natural Feel Baby Bottle
Comotomo’s Natural Feel bottles are specifically designed to mimic the natural nursing process. The nipples are shaped like a woman’s breast with a wide mound your baby can easily latch onto. You can choose from multiple flow options, but the standard “slow flow” nipple has a single hole to help your baby learn how to suck and swallow.
One of the features we love for breastfed babies is the silicone material. It’s designed to be soft and squeezy so your baby can hold it comfortably and feel like they’re still close to mom. If they have a hard time getting the milk out, a little squeeze from you will help it flow again.
The silicone is 100% free from risky plastics including BPA, PVC, and phthalate.
If you have exclusively breastfed your baby or have had a difficult time transitioning to a bottle, the soft, natural feel of this bottle may be just the thing you need.
This bottle also comes with dual anti-colic vents, an extra wide neck for easy cleaning, and an anti-leak locking system. All of the materials are dishwasher safe and can even be put in boiling water for extra sterilization.
The standard bottle holds 5 ounces of liquid and comes with a cap. You can also get an 8-ounce bottle, but it will come with a “medium flow” nipple with two holes instead of one.
- Nipple has wide base to mimic the shape and feel of your breast.
- Silicone bottle can be squeezed and feels soft like your skin.
- Wide neck makes bottle super easy to wash.
- Dual vents prevent colic and gas.
- No measurement markings to keep track of milk flow and consumption.
- Anti-leak lids need to be on extra tight or leaking may occur.
2. nanobebe Breastmilk Baby Bottles
Breastfed babies are used to the real thing when it comes to nipples, so you’ll want to look for a model that offers that same softness and shape. You’ll also want a bottle that takes real effort to suck milk out, and not a gravity-fed bottle.Typically a wide-mouthed bottle works best.
One of the latest rages in the bottle industry is to produce bottles for babies, like Nanobebe does, that look like a real breast. That solves a dilemma for moms who need to switch between breastfeeding and bottle feeding.
If a bottle looks more like a breast, your finicky baby won’t be likely to refuse it. And if they decide they prefer the bottle, they might not object if you try to switch back to the breast because the bottle will look and feel similar to your breast.
You’ll notice when you look at Nanobebe bottles that the shape is remarkably similar to a breast. The bottom of the bottle curves inward, making it comfortable for you to hold.
The design also helps with faster warming and cooling to preserve nutrients and prevent the growth of bacteria.
- This bottle warms up to two times faster than some other brands.
- It also cools up to two times faster when you put it in the refrigerator.
- Looks like a breast if you’re trying to trick your baby by visuals alone.
- The curved bottom design allows you to stack them, which saves you cabinet space.
- Easy to clean.
- Helps prevent nipple confusion.
- The design of the bottle makes it difficult to get all the milk out of the bottle with some creative positioning while holding your baby.
- There can be some leakage issues if you aren’t careful.
3. Philips Avent Newborn Bottle
Premature babies have some special needs to ensure they are getting the proper nutrition for normal development. One of these special needs includes the type of bottles they can use. Regular newborn bottles won’t work for many preemies because they are simply too big for their tiny mouths. If the nipple is too long, your little one may even start to gag. You’ll want to look for smaller bottles especially made with premature babies in mind. (The hospital will have bottles for preemies, so again not something you have to worry about until you are home).
The Philips Avent line is one of the leaders in the baby bottle industry, and one reason we love them is because of their specific bottle for newborns and preemies.
Each only holds two ounces, which is perfect for your preemie. You won’t end up throwing any milk away as you would if you had larger bottles that your preemie baby couldn’t finish in one feeding.
The bottle uses an anti-colic system built into the nipple and doesn’t contain extra parts that are hard to take apart or difficult to clean. This will be appreciated by moms worried their babies are taking in air when drinking, but who also don’t want any extra washing up to do.
However, the reason we love this preemie bottle is the unique nipple design. Not only does it resemble the breast, but it also has a shorter nipple and a very slow flow for controlled feedings, plus the “comfort petals” inside stop it from collapsing. Combined, these features ensure your small baby gets the milk they need without being overpowered.
These bottles are BPA-free and have a wide-neck opening that makes it easy to fill without spilling. They can go in the dishwasher and be sterilized.
- Perfect size for preemies.
- The anti-colic features reduce the amount of milk that gets spit up.
- The slow nipple speed won’t overwhelm your new baby.
- You can’t get the last little bit out of the bottle without holding it straight up.
4. Dr. Brown’s Original Bottle
Gassy babies don’t suffer in silence — they let everyone in the household know exactly how they’re feeling. If you want to cut back on the crying and screaming, look for bottles with anti-colic features to stop air getting into the baby’s milk and causing havoc.
Ask any mom who’s had a baby with colic and chances are she knows all about Dr. Brown’s bottles. A staple in many households, their patented venting system has been clinically proven to reduce colic, spit-up, burping, and gas (9). They also preserve the essential vitamins in your breast milk, which can deteriorate on exposure to air in conventional bottles.
How does it work? The internal vent system eliminates vacuum pressure and reduces oxidation caused by air bubbles. Air routes through the internal vent system to bypass the milk and give your baby a comfortable feeding experience.
The vent system is also designed to work with the silicone nipple, which has a slow flow for more controlled feedings.
Dr. Brown’s Original Bottles are made of BPA-free plastic and silicone. We love that the bottles attach directly to most of the best breast pumps without needing any extra bottles.
If your baby has colic or gas, we definitely suggest trying out Dr. Brown’s. They may also be a good choice for babies who still breastfeed regularly, since this brand consistently earns good reviews when it comes to avoiding bottle confusion. Dr. Brown’s boasts that it is similar to breastfeeding because both don’t have any extra air in the milk.
The original bottle holds 4 ounces, but other size options are available; each bottle features convenient measurement markings.
- Clinically proven to reduce gas, colic, spit-ups, and burping.
- Helps preserve essential vitamins for baby’s health.
- Slow-flow nipple allows for paced feeding.
- Fits most breast pumps for easy pumping and storing.
- Helps prevent nipple confusion.
- The vent system requires a little more work when it comes to washing and cleaning.
- Measurement markings can be hard to see.
5. Mixie Formula-Mixing Bottle
If you intend to skip breastfeeding and give your baby formula instead, you are free to use whatever type of bottle you want. They won’t need first to learn the proper latching technique like breastfed babies will. Many babies like gravity-fed bottles because they don’t have to work as hard for their milk.
Some think using formula is easy. While there are definitely some benefits, it can actually be quite hard, just in a different way.
Just think of all the measuring and mixing you constantly have to do! It’s especially hard when you’re on-the-go or trying to feed your baby in the middle of the night. It’s not difficult to measure wrong, spill the formula, or make a mess.
This all means your baby doesn’t get fed right away, which can lead to unhappiness for both of you.
That’s why we like this special bottle from Mixie. It has a special “fix now, mix later” design, which allows you to place dry formula in the bottom compartment and water in the top.
When it’s time for a feeding, simply push up the bottom to release the dry formula into the water. Shake and in a matter of seconds, you’ll have a prepared bottle for your baby. The compartment lid acts as a free-floating agitator to ensure the formula is mixed evenly and free of clumps.
These features make this a good pick for active moms on-the-go or those with a little one who constantly feeds at night. Having the formula pre-measured and ready to go will eliminate a lot of stress.
Each Mixie bottle is made without BPA and has a vented silicone nipple to reduce gas and colic. It holds 8 ounces, can be washed in the dishwasher, and includes measurement marks on the side.
- Allows you to prepare formula bottles ahead of time.
- Mixes formula in less than a minute.
- Anti-leak lid makes traveling stress-free.
- Made of BPA-free plastic materials.
- Nipple isn’t designed for breastfed babies.
- Measurement markers may wash off with constant scrubbing.
6. Playtex Nurser with Disposable Liners
When traveling, you want to keep your bottles as simple as possible. Look for something easy to assemble and easy to use. Lots of bells and whistles just complicate the feeding process, which isn’t ideal when you’re driving, flying, or even out on a walk. You’ll also want something that’s easy to clean since you likely won’t be bringing all your bottle brushes with you and access to a dishwasher may be limited.
If there’s one way to keep things neat and clean while you travel, it’s disposable liners. Once your baby is done feeding, simply throw the liner away. The bottle stays clean and you don’t have to worry about anything lingering in your diaper bag and smelling bad.
Playtex has made a super simple liner system: all you have to do is drop the liner into the bottle and you’re good to go. The bottles have a special lip at the top to catch onto the bottle, so you don’t have to worry about it slipping down or moving.
Then, just fill up the liner, screw on the nipple lid, and the bottle is ready.
When you’re done, all you have to do is remove the liner and dispose of it. We understand there are a lot of eco-friendly moms out there, but don’t worry — the liners are recyclable. (In the plastic bag recycle bin at grocery stores, not the regular recycle bin).
One of the reasons we really like these is because they weren’t just designed to make life easier, they actually improve your baby’s feeding experience. This is because the soft liner collapses down as your baby feeds, so the flow mimics a natural breastfeeding experience. And prevent air bubbles from mixing with the milk.
Both the bottle and the liners are made from BPA-free, PVC-free and phthalate-free plastic. The liners have even been pre-sterilized so you can open them up and add them to the bottle without extra steps.
- Simple liner system is easy and quick to use everyday or while travelling.
- Liner is designed to mimic the breastfeeding experience.
- Anti-colic and anti-gas.
- Saving the bags to recycle at a grocery store can get irritating.
7. Medela Breast Milk Collection Bottles
When you’re only pumping and not having your baby nurse from you at all, you may want bottles that double as storage containers. That way, you’ll be able to take them straight from the refrigerator, take off the cap and screw a nipple onto the bottle, saving you from a few extra dishes.
How much milk do you produce? How much milk does your baby actually drink each time they feed?
Chances are, there will always be a difference between the two. That’s why a mom who breastfeeds needs to make sure they have a collection of bottles on hand to store that difference.
One of our favorite picks is from Medela. These collection bottles are affordable and come in a six-pack and are great to use when you’re exclusively pumping. They’re the number one physician recommended breastmilk storage product in the United States.
Each BPA-free bottle holds five ounces and comes with a screw-on lid to keep the milk safe in the refrigerator or freezer. These plastic babies bottles have been designed to retain the breastmilk’s beneficial properties, even after storage.
The feature we like most for pumping moms is the versatility. All Medela bottles are designed to work with a variety of breast pumps so you won’t have to worry about purchasing a different pump if you already have one.
This kit doesn’t come with nipples, but the bottles are compatible with Medela nipples and collars and some other brands of nipples may work, too.
They can go in the dishwasher and the millimeter markers let you know exactly how much you’ve pumped. They’re easy to clean and hold up better in the refrigerator than disposable bags because they aren’t as prone to ripping or leaking.
- Since it comes with six bottles, you’ll have a lot of total storage space.
- The millimeter markers remain even after repeated washing.
- Affordable when compared to other bottle sets.
- Bigger bottles available (8oz).
- Some moms have complained about how thin these bottles are.
- No way to write on or label the bottle.
8. Pura Kiki Stainless Steel Infant Bottle
Stainless steel bottles are a safe alternative to plastic and they’re practically indestructible. The only drawback to using these is that they’re heavier, which you’ll have to keep in mind when your baby starts to self-feed.
Bottles are essential for a certain period and then, once your baby grows, you suddenly find yourself with a bunch of bottles to store away in the back of the cabinet.
This bottle from Pura helps solve that problem. It has a unique bottle evolution system: simply trade out the silicone lids to adapt the main base to your child’s needs. It starts off as a bottle, but can then be used as a sippy bottle, straw bottle, a regular sports bottle, or even a snack container.
You might think this means its performance as a baby bottle is just so-so, but rest assured you’ll get everything you need with this model.
Because it’s stainless steel, you eliminate the chemical seeping you might experience with plastics, plus it won’t break when dropped. Even though the stainless steel is lightweight, the bottle also has a tapered design and included silicone sleeve to add grip and make it easier for baby to hold.
The wide neck more closely resembles breastfeeding and, better yet, makes it compatible with most other nipples from leading brands. The included nipple has a medium flow anti-colic valve design.
We love that this bottle is good for your baby, good for the environment, and good for your pocketbook. If you’re looking to cut down on the number of bottles in your home and get more use out of the baby products you buy, this is a great choice.
- Stainless steel is safe, eco-friendly, and easy to wash.
- Bottle evolution system lets you use the product for years instead of months.
- Compatible with many other leading brand bottle products.
- Silicone grip and tapered design makes it easier for baby to hold.
- You need to buy other accessories to change the bottle’s function.
- A little on the larger size, so small babies may struggle to hold it themselves.
- Can’t see amount in the bottle, measurements are on the inside.
9. Evenflo Premium Glass Bottles
Glass has a proven track record of safety and has long been used in the food industry, which should appeal to moms who are nervous about using plastic. When looking for glass bottles, you want to find one that won’t shatter easily when your baby drops it.
Evenflo bottles are a classic choice, beloved by moms for years, and it’s easy to see why. Made of tempered glass with a distinctive twist shape, these bottles are easy for your baby to hold, but very hard to break.
Glass baby bottles are popular because they can be cleaned and sanitized easily and are completely free of the dangerous chemicals found in many plastics. Evenflo meets those requirements but take it one step further.
With only three pieces – the body, the ring and the nipple, each bottle is easy to assemble and disassemble during feedings. Plus, the entire thing can be put in the top rack of your dishwasher for stress-free sterilization. They’re even kind to Mother Nature since the tempered glass is recyclable.
One of the best parts is the standard bottle neck, which will attach to any major breast pump. If you’re a busy mom wanting to go from pumping to feedings without a lot of hassle, these may be perfect for you.
They can hold 8 ounces of liquid, include molded measurement markers in both ounces and millimeters, and have a one-piece integrated nipple and valve system.
- Tempered glass is easy to clean, but hard to break.
- Ergonomic twist shape helps baby hold onto the bottle.
- Standard neck designed to fit your breast pump.
- Molded measurement markers that won’t rub or wash off.
- Integrated valve system in the nipple.
- Nipple isn’t designed to mimic the breast, so it may not be a good transition bottle.
- The glass doesn’t freeze well and may crack if put in the freezer.
10. NUK Disney Bottle
As your baby grows, so will their need for bigger portions. When you have a toddler, you’ll want a bottle that can hold more than the 4 ounces that a newborn bottle typically does. Look for something that can hold closer to 8 ounces and has an orthodontic nipple that won’t cause dental issues.
Keep your toddler happy and entertained with these fun Disney themed bottles.
The pack includes three Mickey Mouse bottles with orthodontic nipples and an angled top. This will help your baby use the correct tongue and mouth position while drinking. The hourglass nipple shape lets your toddler’s lips close in a way that cuts back on how much air they swallow.
The asymmetrical design will encourage the right jaw positioning to avoid developmental problems which are a risk for children who use bottles past the age of one (10).
Toddlers will love the fun design and parents will like that this bottle holds 10 ounces of liquid so they won’t have to be refilling it constantly.
The bottles are BPA-free and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. These have an anti-colic air system built into the nipple so your toddler won’t have as many digestive issues.
We like these baby bottles for moms with multiple kids because they work for both babies and toddlers, so you’ll save money by not buying a separate set of bottles for everyone.
- The nipple design is great for supporting your growing child’s development.
- Holds up to 10 ounces, perfect for a toddler’s appetite.
- Fun Disney design will keep your toddler smiling.
- For best results, you have to line up the anti-colic symbol under your baby’s nose while drinking — that’s hard to control with toddlers.
- Your toddler may quickly transition to a sippy cup, making the nipple less useful.
11. Sassy Baby Food Nurser
If your baby starts taking a little cereal in their milk, you’ll need a bottle with a larger nipple hole. The cereal makes the milk much thicker and it won’t be able to go through slow flow or even medium flow nipples.
Help your baby transition from bottles to solid foods with this unique set. You get two bottles in each pack; one with a traditional nipple and the other with a small spoon attached.
Using them in conjunction can help your baby become accustomed to spoon feeding while also having a nipple with a large enough opening to allow baby cereal to flow through.
This is a great bottle for babies transitioning to solid foods for a few reasons. First, the vacuum disk keeps air out while encouraging the cereal to flow out of the nipple without clogging. Second, you simply press the bottom of the bottle to load some cereal onto the attached spoon.
No matter which lid your growing baby uses, they will have easy access to their food. If they struggle with the spoon, let them use the nipple bottle for a bit. You can slowly add the spoon into their routine as they get used to the food.
You can use it for other thicker foods too, for example yogurt or applesauce if your baby is a fan. We like this because it means you get a lot of use out of the bottle as your baby grows.
These bottles were designed for babies six months and up. Each one holds approximately four ounces of food and is made of BPA-free plastic, but both the spoon and the nipple are made of silicone.
- The spoon-bottle can handle the thickness of cereal, unlike other nipple bottles.
- You can teach your baby the basics of spoon feeding with this bottle.
- The spoon is soft like a nipple so it won’t hurt a baby’s teeth or gums.
- Comes with a hygienic lid.
- A portable way carry homemade baby food.
- For the first few attempts, the plunger on the spoon bottle is hard to push up.
- These aren’t fun to hand wash.
Finding the Perfect Nipple Size
Just as important as the bottle you choose is the nipple size. The nipple size controls the flow of milk out of the bottle. Younger babies generally need slower flowing nipples while older babies and toddlers need faster-flowing nipples.
There are as many different nipple sizes and types as there are bottles. However, most will fit into three categories: slow, medium, and fast (11). They may also be labeled with numbers, such as stage 0 (newborn), stage 1 (1+ months), stage 2 (3+months), and stage 3 (6+ months).
Each nipple you purchase, whether it comes with a bottle or not, should have an age range and flow speed listed. Your baby doesn’t need to match this exactly, but these are usually helpful guidelines to consider. Slower is typically better for breastfed babies.
Related Reading: Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Review: Are the Closer to Nature Bottles the Best?
When Will My Baby Need a Bottle?
Now that you’ve taken a closer look at a few of our favorite brands, you may be wondering when you need to get one. The truth is, there is no right or wrong answer. Every mom and baby is different.
You can breastfeed exclusively for the first six months before introducing solid foods (source). You can also use formula in a bottle from the day they are born. What you choose is up to your health, what your baby needs, and your personal preferences. Bottles provide freedom to a new mom, especially after breastfeeding has been established being able to leave your milk for your baby with a different caregiver allows you to go back to work, go shopping, or simply have a break.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s best to try and have your child weaned from the bottle by the time they turn one. The older your child gets, the harder it will be for them to give up the bottle (12).
How to Transition to a Bottle
It is common practice for a mom to start off breastfeeding and then slowly transition to a bottle as their child grows. This process can be tricky!
Here are five tips to help you make the transition:
- Use breast milk inside the bottle .If you’re transitioning to formula starting off with your milk in the bottle helps the baby use the bottle because it’s milk they are used to.
- Find a bottle with a slow-flow nipple. These are designed to imitate the suckling effect during breastfeeding and prevent nipple confusion.
- Find a bottle with a wider base. It will feel more like your breast and be easier to latch on to.
- Choose a bottle made of soft silicone or one that has a silicone cover. Your baby is used to your soft skin and silicone can help replicate that experience.
- Choose relaxed feedings to try a bottle. If your baby is super fussy and upset, they may be more likely to reject a bottle. Choose a time when they’re more relaxed and happy.
If your baby constantly rejects bottles, try looking at both the bottle itself and what’s inside it. You may have to try a few different bottles to find one your baby likes.
Something to consider for your registry is a baby bottle sample pack.
Do I Need a Baby Bottle Warmer?
Some babies like a warm bottle! To warm the milk, simply place the filled bottle into a container with hot water, which will heat it through evenly.
You can also purchase baby bottle warmers that will keep track of the temperature and take some of the guesswork out of the process. After all, you do not want to give your baby a bottle that’s too hot and scald them.
How Do I Store Baby Bottles?
Empty baby bottles should be cleaned, dried, assembled, and stored in a protected environment such as a kitchen cabinet (13).
If your bottle is filled with breast milk or formula and hasn’t been used for a feeding, it can be stored in the fridge or freezer. The length of storage time will depend on the type of liquid in the bottle and what the bottle is made of.
If your baby has already had a portion of the bottle, it needs to be used within two hours or disposed of (14).
How Do I Clean Baby Bottles?
So, how can you clean your baby’s bottles properly?
Baby bottles are made from a variety of different materials with different care instructions. Some can be placed in the dishwasher, while others can’t. Most are safe to be put in the top rack of the dishwasher, but always confirm this by reading your bottle’s care instructions first.
Every once in a while, it’s also a good idea to fully sanitize your baby bottles. You don’t need to do it after every use, but we suggest sterilizing bottles before you use them for the first time and after your baby has been sick (15).
The easiest way to sanitize them is to boil them in hot water for approximately five minutes. If your bottle can’t be boiled, look into a special bottle sterilizer.
We suggest only purchasing bottles that can be washed in the dishwasher and easily sanitized.
Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Bottles
Can baby bottles cause ear infections?
Bottles themselves don’t cause ear infections. However, your baby may get one if they use a bottle while they’re flat on their backs. This is because the milk may enter the eustachian tube, a canal which connects the ear and the throat, increasing your baby’s risk of infection (16).
Prevent ear infections by keeping your baby as upright as possible when they use a bottle, especially if they’re self-feeding.
Are baby bottles allowed on airplanes?
You can carry bottles of breast milk or formula onto airplanes. Anything containing a liquid may be subject to testing and examination, so make sure you’re using easy to open, clear containers.
According to the Transportation Security Administration, bottles filled with more than 100 millimeters (3.4 ounces) of milk can be inside your carry-on and you don’t need to put them in any plastic bag (17). You’re also allowed to have a variety of ice packs to keep the bottles cool, and needn’t actually be traveling with your child at the time.
Can baby bottles be recycled?
You will need to check what your bottles are made of before you try and recycle it. Today, many types of plastics and glass can be recycled; take a look at the bottle itself, especially on the bottom, for the recycle symbol.
If you can’t find any information from the bottle or the packaging, check out the product listing online or contact the company for more information.
Can baby bottles be reused or donated?
Baby bottles are safe and easy to reuse or donate as long as they don’t have any cracks or missing parts. All you have to do is sterilize them thoroughly (18).
If you don’t have another child you can save the bottles for, consider contacting your local women’s or refugee shelter to see if they are in need of bottles. We bet they’d love to have them!
Can baby bottles expire?
Most bottles can last indefinitely as long as you take good care of them. However, it’s normal for wear and tear to occur. If you notice any of the following signs on the bottle or the nipple, you may want to get rid of it (19):
- Cracking, chipping, or breaks.
- Swelling or other signs of a distorted shape.
- Fast pouring of milk through the nipple.
When do babies hold their own bottles?
The Bottom Line
Feeding time can be a precious bonding opportunity for you and your child. Whatever your baby’s stage of development, we hope you’re feeling more comfortable about finding the best baby bottle for them — and using it effectively.
Let us know what you think about our baby bottle reviews and leave any tips and tricks you’ve discovered in the comments below and help the other moms out there make a confident choice.