Choosing baby bottles for your child may be more complicated than you think. There are actually a wide variety of baby bottles, and once you've chosen one, you may have to decide on a nipple, too.
Consider Your Baby
The type of bottle and nipple you choose may depend on the age of your child and whether she is breastfed at least part of the time. If you are planning on supplementing your breastfeeding sessions with a bottle, you will need to look for a bottle that is as similar to your breast as possible.
If your child is going to be exclusively bottle-fed, however, you can choose a bottle based on several factors.
Types of Baby Bottles
There are a variety of baby bottles for you to choose from. While you will need to consider which bottle is best for your child, you can also look at the various options available.
Although they aren't as popular as they once were, you can still purchase glass bottles. Of course, the problems with these are rather obvious. Glass is breakable, so you would never give the bottle to your baby to hold. Glass is not as portable, so you risk dropping and breaking it when you are traveling with baby. Still, if you prefer a glass bottle over plastic, there are some available.
- There are simple plastic bottles that you can purchase which will take a variety of nipples. You can use these on any age child, but they are especially useful for older babies.
- Angled bottles are sometimes easier for baby to hold on his own. Once he understands how to hold the bottle, he won't have to tip it as much to get milk. Some parents think that using an angled bottle means less risk of ear infections.
- Some bottles are designed with larger shapes for easier cleaning.
- There are bottles who are shaped in various forms to make them easier for baby to hold. They may be flatter or have a hole in the middle. They may also have grips or handles on the sides.
- Other bottles have removable bottoms to make cleaning easier, too.
- Some parents prefer to use bottles with disposable liners. This eliminates the need to sterilize and clean the bottle so often.
Types of Nipples
Once you've decided on the bottle you like, you may need to choose a nipple that your baby will be comfortable using. Nipples come in a variety of materials and shapes.
- Many newborn babies prefer latex nipples because they are softer and easier for baby to suck on. These nipples are great to start your baby out with, but keep in mind that they aren't as durable as silicone nipples.
- If your baby prefers a firmer nipple, then try using a silicone one. These nipples are tougher than latex, so they tend to last longer.
There are a variety of nipple shapes. While some nipples will only fit certain types of bottles, many are interchangeable. You may discover that your baby changes his nipple preferences as he matures. Some nipple shapes include the following:
- Traditional nipples
- Preemie nipples
- Round top nipples
- Flat top nipples
- Nipples with collars
- One piece nipples
- Slow flowing nipples
- Variable flowing nipples
Finally, pay attention to your baby's preferences. If you are having difficulty getting your baby to suck on one bottle, try another one. Eventually, you'll find one that you and he will both love!