You’ve got some thinking to do. Your baby will make his debut soon, and you haven’t decided what type of bottles you’ll use once he gets here. Your nesting instinct is kicking in fast, and you know you won’t relax until you figure this out.
Don’t worry — help is on the way. If you’ve been eyeing out the Medela range, keep reading to see our in-depth reviews of their Calma, Breastmilk, and Storage bottles.
Do I Need Bottles If I Plan to Breastfeed?
Breastfeeding is an excellent choice for your baby, and I’m glad you’re pursuing it. But even moms who are breastfeeding need to have bottles around.
Reasons You Need to Invest in Bottles:
- You’ll need to pump milk in advance if you are going back to work.
- You’ll need a bottle so your babysitter can feed your baby when you are gone.
- Dads don’t have operational boobs, but they still like getting the opportunity to feed their babies. Having bottles on hand gives them that father-child bonding time that is so crucial to their relationship.
Before committing to any style or brand of bottles, you need to figure out what you’re looking for.
Things to Consider When Purchasing Bottles:
- Do they leak?
- Are they easy to clean?
- Are they cost-efficient?
- If you want glass or plastic bottles, and how safe the bottle materials are for your baby.
- Do the bottles have anti-colic features? Bottles with angled tops or vents can cut back on how much air your baby takes it, which in turn cuts back on gas and spit-up. These aren’t necessary for every baby, but if your baby experiences problems, they are nice to have.
Your baby is on the way and you’re planning to breastfeed. That’s great. But you’re also smart enough to know that you’re going to need a set of high-quality bottles as a backup plan, or to let your husband take part in the miracle that is feeding your baby.
There’s only one problem. You’re terrified of your baby developing nipple confusion and not wanting to take your breast anymore.
What you need is a bottle that can eliminate nipple confusion and flow preference by making your baby work for their milk. This is exactly what the Medela promises from it’s highly acclaimed “Calma” bottle.
Medela Calma Review
The Medela Calma is unique because it allows babies to control how much milk comes out – when the baby creates a vacuum, the milk starts flowing. That’s different from traditional bottles that have a set flow amount.
This set comes with one nipple, one 5-ounce bottle, one cap and two lids.
This set comes with:
- One nipple.
- One 5-ounce bottle.
- One cap and two lids.
- Teaches babies to suck, not chew on nipples, to get milk.
- The nipple and lid from this bottle fit on many other bottle types.
- Babies still have to work to get milk from this bottle, so bottle feeding won’t make your baby too lazy to breastfeed.
- There are several pieces on each bottle, which makes it trickier to assemble.
- Harder to clean because of all the pieces.
- Pricey for a single bottle.
Key Features and Benefits
- This bottle experience is meant to simulate breastfeeding. While your baby is feeding, he can stop to breath and the milk won’t keep flowing, unlike many traditional bottles.
- No matter what stage of feeding your child is at, he will use the same nipple – it’s one size and shape. Your baby will control what speed the milk comes out by creating a vacuum with his latch.
- This bottle simulates the same technique needed to get milk from your breast. So you can switch from bottle to breast without worrying about confusing your baby.
This nipple is pretty long, which can cause gagging for some babies, especially newborns. I’m not sure why they made it quite so long unless it helps form the vacuum the baby needs to get milk. But if your baby is gagging from it, you may need to back off these bottles until he’s older and bigger.
Ease of Use
If you have a baby who is used to working hard at your breast to get milk, this bottle will be beneficial to you and she’ll have no problem with it. It might be just the answer you are looking for to switch between breastfeeding and bottle feeding successfully.
But one problem is that it seems like the vacuum your baby creates leads to more milk flow than your baby can handle. That can lead to coughing and choking.
If you have a formula fed baby who has used traditional bottles that allow the milk to flow the second you tip them into their mouth, your baby may have problems using these.
Because it is meant to mimic breastfeeding, your baby will have to suck hard and adequately to get any milk – that might be frustrating to babies who are not used to it.
They won’t have the know-how to get any milk from the bottle, and you’ll need to work through this if you want to use Calma.
How Do They Compare?
Like the Calma, this bottle was made to avoid the confusion that is sometimes created by switching between the bottle and the breast. Both bottles may be a good choice for parents who want to keep encouraging breastfeeding. The Calma is better suited for older babies because of the length of the nipple, while the Closer to Nature bottle would likely be better for newborns. An older baby may not welcome the softer nipple.
These bottles would be good for moms who are transitioning an exclusively breastfed baby to a bottle because the softness and the squeezable bottle would remind the baby of their mother’s breast. Moms who like the feel of a traditional bottle would likely prefer the Medela Calma.
To work properly, these bottles need both compression and suction, which makes them a good choice for moms who are promoting breastfeeding techniques even through bottle usage. But moms who don’t want to have to buy more nipples every time their baby reaches a new feeding stage may prefer the Calma because it has an all-stage nipple.
Who Should Buy The Calma Bottles?
Weaving between breastfeeding and bottle feeding is a slippery slope. It can cause babies to lose interest in breastfeeding because it requires more effort than traditional bottles.
The Calma can help cut down on the confusion because the milk won’t start flowing until your baby makes an effort, and, much like your breast, the all-stage nipple on this bottle will stay the same size. Not having to upgrade a nipple size will cut down on any confusion your baby has.
Although this bottle is one of the more expensive on the market, you won’t have to buy nipples for later feeding stages since it is an all-stage nipple – that will offset some of the cost.
Medela Breastmilk Bottle Review
These bottles are designed to make breastfeeding easier, although you can also use them with formula. Because the bottles can be utilized with every Medela breast pump, you only have to use one container whether you are pumping, storing milk or feeding your baby.
This set includes:
- Three 8-oz. Bottles.
- Three lids.
- Three medium flow nipples.
- Three wide base collars and caps.
- Can also be used to store breastmilk.
- These bottles are easy to use and don’t have many parts to them.
- Easy to clean.
- If you don’t line up the nipples perfectly, the bottles leak.
- The print on the bottle vanishes with repeated washings.
Key Features and Benefits
- These bottles can be used right away for feeding, but they are also designed for long-term storage for your breast milk.
- Can be put in the top rack of the dishwasher.
- The bottles have volume marks that are easy to read and bright markings that stand out.
- Screw on lids create a simple way to store your milk. Anyone can figure out how these work.
- The travel cap will keep the nipple clean when you store the bottles in a diaper bag.
- Medela’s bottles have never been made with BPA.
- Moms who breastfeed may appreciate these bottles are compatible with every Medela breast pump.
These days, most baby bottles are BPA free. But what I like about Medela bottles is that they have never contained BPA (1). I feel like they were ahead of the curve on this safety issue, which makes me trust their company more.
Ease of Use
Sometimes putting a bottle together can feel like you need an engineer at your side ready to help you. I’ve seen bottles that have six or seven working parts before. If it’s going to feel like a part-time job just to assemble a bottle, you might want to reconsider the brand you use.
I like that these are simple to construct and you can do it even while being distracted by your screaming baby. When your baby is hungry, you feel an intense pressure to get that bottle in his mouth as soon as possible.
I’ve had scary bosses at work who didn’t rattle my nerves as much as hearing my starving baby cry does.
It saves a lot of time and money when you have equipment that is compatible with other equipment you own. These bottles are compatible with every Medela breast pump, which is a huge time and money saver for moms.
Plus, you won’t have the aggravation of remembering which pump can work with which bottle. Moms already have to remember so much stuff during the course of the day; you don’t want to have to worry about bottle capability too.
How Do They Compare?
These are similar to the 8-ounce models in many ways. But these bottles are different in one important way. They are aimed more toward newborns – they hold less milk and their nipples have a slower flow. The 8-ounce bottles are better for a baby who is out of the newborn stage and can handle a medium-flow rate.
This Mimijumi bottle is a good choice for a baby who is suffering from colic because of its integrated venting. The Medela 8-ounce bottles are more for babies who have had smooth sailing when it comes to gas and fussiness.
These 9-ounce bottles have twin valves to help babies with colic and have a wide mouth so they are easy to clean. Parents who want a bigger bottle may like the Philips Avent. Parents who are watching their money will like that the Medela bottles are more affordable than the Avent.
Who Should Buy The Breastmilk Bottles?
The Medela Breastmilk bottle offers an easy-to-operate, dependable bottle that won’t leave you wishing you had an extra set of arms so that you could put it together.
The fact that Medela has never used BPA in any of their bottles means a lot to me as a parent – I love that they’re concerned about using quality materials for their products.
This bottle is a good choice for moms who want to quickly be able to assemble a bottle to feed a hungry baby and want to be able just as quickly to clean that bottle when they are done.
Less time fussing with bottles gives you more time with your baby, and that’s always been my number one goal as a mom.
If there’s one thing that is guaranteed to make a mom mad – it’s having her precious breast milk leak all over the refrigerator. When you’re pumping, every last drop counts. You did have to basically torture your breasts after all. And your baby is relying on you for that milk.
That’s why it’s essential for pumping moms to find the right collection bottles or bags to safety and hygienically store their milk until their baby needs it.
Enter the Medela Storage Bottles. Not only are they compatible with all Medela breast pumps but also the Calma bottles making it easy to pump, store and feed into the same container.
Medela Storage Bottles Review
Medela storage bottles can be used to store breast milk in the refrigerator or freezer. These bottles come with screw-on lids that help cut down on leaks that you may experience with bags. Also unlike a bag, these bottles won’t be punctured if they are shoved around in the freezer.
This set collection includes:
- Six 5-ounce bottles
- Six screw on lids
- One quick clean micro-steam bag
- Wide bottles for easier cleaning.
- Compatible with Medela pumps.
- The bottles can be sterilized.
- The ounce markings on these bottles are hard to read.
- When heating the bottles from the freezer, the plastic gets soft.
Key Features and Benefits
- These storage bottles are 5 ounces.
- They can be used in the top rack of the dishwasher and the microwave.
- These bottles can be sterilized with Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam bags.
- The bottles work with Medela pumps, which means you can pump into them, screw a lid on and put them right in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Because the lids are one piece, they are straightforward and quick to use.
- These bottles are designed to withstand heating in a bowl of warm water right after being removed from the freezer – the milk will thaw in minutes because of how thin the bottle is.
Ease of Use
Breast milk storage doesn’t get any easier than this. Unlike bags that can be hard to pour breast milk into without experiencing spills when the bag doesn’t want to stay open, these bottles are foolproof when it comes to spilling. You put the milk in and simply screw the lid on. That’s all there is to it. There’s no mess to clean up when you’re done.
The printing on these storage bottles seems to be of a lower quality than other Medela bottles – the ounce markers are harder to read, and they seem to rub off after a while. That might be a deal breaker for moms who are carefully tracking their baby’s intake of milk.
The lids, however, have a nice snug fit to the bottle, which really helps to avoid leaks while you are storing breastmilk in the refrigerator and freezer. That’s great because no mom wants to lose one precious ounce of breast milk after all the work it takes to collect it.
How Do They Compare?
Let’s take a look at Medela Storage Bottles versus other popular brands.
The lid for these storage bottles comes in two pieces, unlike the Medela brand. You can take the middle part off the lid and insert a nipple to use it as a feeding bottle. That may appeal to women who aren’t particular about what type of bottle they use for feeding, but moms who are trying to mimic a breastfeeding experience may prefer the Medela storage bottles because they can put the contents into their favorite bottle for feeding.
These bottles are similar to Medela’s storage bottles. If you already have a Lansinoh pump, you may want these bottles for compatibility. But, for moms who are worried about their bottom line, Medela storage bottles are cheaper.
This item is a hybrid of a storage bottle and a storage bag. Moms who don’t want to worry about leaks may like that these single-use pouches are as leak-proof as a bottle. But moms who don’t want to spend the extra money to replace these disposable units may prefer the Medela storage bottles.
Who Should Buy These Storage Bottles?
When you’re breastfeeding, you need a way to store a lot of milk in the refrigerator and freezer for the times you won’t be around your baby. You need that milk to be secure because it takes so much time and effort to pump it.
But you also need to find storage units that won’t bleed you dry. Medela storage bottles fit that bill — they are a safe way to store your breast milk and they are affordable.