Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies in 2020
There are many features to consider when choosing a bottle for your breastfed baby. Some bottles claim to offer a feeding experience that mimics breastfeeding most closely, while others advertise convenience and ease of use. No one bottle will be perfect for every baby, so you may need to experiment to find the bottle that works best for you and your child.
3 Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies
Philips Avent BPA Free Natural Polypropylene Bottle
Playtex Baby Nurser Baby Bottle
Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle
Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies
Philips Avent BPA Free Natural Polypropylene Bottle
Philips AVENT Natural bottles have a wide, natural-shaped nipple that may offer your baby a similar latch to breastfeeding. If you are looking for a simple bottle with many options, this might be a good fit. There are only 4 parts to clean and assemble, and the bottle comes in 4 different sizes with 4 different nipple flow options. The nipples on Philips Natural bottles are designed to be comfortable and durable, and have a valve system that may help reduce colic. These bottles are available in glass and BPA-free plastic, so they are a good choice if you wish to try both materials.
- Many sizes and options available
- Choice between glass and BPA-free plastic
- Easy to use and clean
- Not compatible with all Philips Classic products
Playtex Baby Nurser Baby Bottle
The Playtex Baby Nurser uses pre-sterilized disposable liners, which makes it a convenient choice for busy caregivers. This plastic bottle is extremely versatile: it is compatible with all Playtex nipples, and is available in both standard and angled designs. The angled design can help with feeding babies in a semi-upright position, which may reduce ear infections and digestive problems. The disposable liners collapse as your baby drinks, which prevents air from entering his or her tummy. For breastfed babies, the available NaturaLatch nipple has a natural shape and texture to help with the transition to bottle feeding. If you are particularly concerned about budget or waste, these bottles may not be the best choice, as you need to use a new liner for every feeding.
- Convenient pre-sterilized liners
- Many options for size, design, and nipple
- Disposable liners are an ongoing expense and generate waste
Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle
The Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle is a silicone bottle that is popular for its natural shape and feel. Babies can easily grasp and squeeze this bottle, and they may enjoy how the texture feels similar to their mother’s skin. There are multiple nipple options: a slow-flow nipple ideal for newborns, a medium-flow nipple for babies 3 to 6 months old, a fast-flow nipple for babies 6 months and older, and a variable flow nipple that adapts to different feeding speeds. The variable flow nipple is also a good option for thicker liquids, such as supplemental nutrition. The Comotomo Natural Feel bottle is available 2 sizes, and has a unique wide-mouth shape. It is dishwasher safe and free from all hazardous chemicals.
- Pleasant texture and feel for baby
- Variety of nipples for different ages and feeding preferences
- Easy to clean
- Brand does not offer many accessories
Medela Breast Milk Bottle Set
The Medela bottle is designed exclusively for breastfed babies. Babies must create a vacuum to drink out of this bottle, which mimics breastfeeding and may make it easier for babies to switch between breast and bottle. These bottles come in 2 sizes, with one nipple design that is appropriate for all ages and stages of feeding. These bottles might be particularly useful for mothers who pump and store breastmilk, as there are many compatible storage products available. Medela bottles are made of BPA-free plastic and are drip-free, which makes them a good choice for feeding on the go.
- Many accessories available
- Only one nipple design available
Best Bottles for Gassy Babies
Dr. Brown's Bottle
Dr. Brown’s bottles feature a unique internal vent system, which offers babies an experience similar to breastfeeding. This bottle allows babies to feed at their own pace, and the design may help prevent colic, gas, and other digestive difficulties. There are many options available in this product line, which can help you create the best bottle for your baby. Dr. Brown’s even has a nipple design specifically for preemies, who may have trouble feeding from standard bottle nipples. Dr. Brown’s bottles are made of BPA-free plastic, and have several additional components compared to other bottles. While these components may seem complicated, they may help your baby have a more natural feeding experience.
- Many sizes and nipple options available
- Suitable for preemies
- Designed to help reduce digestive problems
- Patented venting system helps reduce colic, gas, and spit-up
- Can be difficult and time-consuming to assemble
Playtex Baby Ventaire Anti Colic Baby Bottle
Playtex Baby Ventaire Bottles are also designed to mimic breastfeeding and come with a leak proof and break proof guarantee. Another great benefit to the Playtex Baby Ventaire Bottle is that it has a base venting system. The vent technology that helps design this product prevents air mixing with the milk, which in turn reduces gas and spit up. These bottles are also angled shaped, which allow for feeding to be down in an upright position minimizing gas and ear infections.
Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottles
The Tommee Tippee bottle is an award winning bottled designed to promote easy feeding when switch from breast to bottle. The easy latch on nipple shape mimics that natural flow of breast feeding, which also includes a super sensitive stretch valve that releases air flow when drinking. The 3-way compact shape allows for easy feeding in comfortable positions for both baby and parents.
MAM Anti-Colic Bottle
This self sterilizing bottle is designed with skin soft textured nipple that feels natural making the switch from breast feeding to bottle feeding much easier. Another great benefit about this bottle is that is vented through the base, which ensure the baby does not get air in the belly while feeding. This bottle has many wide openings and is easy to clean and assemble.
Best Glass Baby Bottles
Lifefactory Glass Baby Bottles
These bottles have ridges in the nipple to vent air out of the milk, which works well to prevent colic and gassiness, but be careful not to tighten the collar too tight as it can cover these ridges, making them useless. Because of the lack of additional components, this bottle is very easy to assemble and clean. It comes with a silicone sleeve which makes the heavier glass a bit less difficult to grasp for baby, though this bottle is on the heavier side for glass bottles.
One problem which affects usability is that the volume markers are only found on the silicone sleeve and not on the bottle. This means that the bottle cannot be used to measure the amount of milk your infant drinks without the silicone sleeve and the measurement with the sleeve on could become inaccurate depending on how well the sleeve adheres to the bottle. Safety seems to be an important part of this bottle. It is made of Borosilicate glass and, between the more durable glass and the silicone sleeve, can outlast several drops.
Cleaning this bottle is simple, but a standard brush is a tight fit for the bottle’s small neck. You will need to either get a smaller bottle brush or get used to the spray of water that comes out of the bottle with the standard-sized brush. They are also dishwasher-safe and the silicone sleeve can be left on during washing.
One of the greatest features of this bottle is that the nipple, when the baby gets older, can be switched out for sippy cup tops made by Lifefactory. This is great because you will be able to use the bottles longer. Since they are so durable, you will also not have to worry about the toddler dropping the sippy cup bottle. These bottles are an excellent value because of their high quality, even though they are definitely priced higher than some of the competition.
Evenflo Classic Glass Bottle
Classic is definitely the best word to describe the Evenflo Class Glass Feeding bottles. There is no complicated venting system or extra components. Instead, micro air vents on the nipple are all that is needed to prevent colic and gassiness. Just be sure not to tighten the collar too tight, as this will cover the micro-venting holes and prevent them from working.
You can get either silicone or latex nipples and, while both types are smaller than many nipples and have a narrower opening, there seems to be no problem with babies latching on and feeding. In addition, the soft nipples make switching back and forth between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding a snap. Heavier than some competitors, the Evenflo Classic Glass Feeding bottles have good reason. They are made with a thicker glass to help insulate milk better and lower the risk of breakage.
Another great feature of this bottle is the silicone sleeve, which is a bright color and has a bumpy texture that will attract a baby’s attention while assisting the baby in holding the bottle and adding further safeguard against breakage. Another outstanding feature of this bottle is that it is so simple to clean, due to the lack of additional components and the dishwasher-safe glass.
Even the silicone sleeve is dishwasher-safe, allowing you to put the bottles in the machine without removing the sleeves. This is one of the best glass baby bottles on the market, and it also happens to be one of the least expensive, giving it a high value rating.
Born Free Breeze Glass Bottle
With the highest levels of safety, Born Free glass bottles have a special feature not found on other bottles. This feature is the ActiveFlow vent on the nipple, which allows the baby to get milk at the rate that best suits their needs. This is great because you will not have to buy new nipples just because your infant is feeding at a faster rate.
These nipples are also soft and breast-shaped, so it can be easier for baby to latch on and switch between breast and bottle. It also has an anti-colic design, so baby does not swallow air with the milk. As safety goes, Born Free is supposed to have the best standards and so much is expected of these bottles. They do have a silicone sleeve, which helps prevent breakage, while also giving parent and baby a better grip.
They also are able to go from freezer to boiling water without pause for the bottle to warm up. This feature is great because many parents like to freeze breast milk and then heat it up later, and the ThermaSafe glass of this bottle allows that to happen. Another nice feature is the fact that these bottles only have two components, making assemblage and cleaning quick and painless.
In addition, the bottles are top- and bottom-rack dishwasher-safe, so you do not have to spend the time handwashing them. However, the nipples need to be hand-washed, partly because mold builds up in the valve. On the pricier side, Born Free glass bottles are still a good value since the quality of the bottle is high.
Introducing a bottle
Most experts recommend waiting until your breastfed baby is at least a month old before introducing a bottle. This gives the mother time to establish a good supply of breastmilk, and allows the baby to become comfortable with regular breastfeeding. If your baby needs supplemental nutrition, or if your schedule prevents regular breastfeeding, you may need to introduce a bottle earlier. This video offers some additional advice for starting to bottle feed:
Preventing nipple confusion
“Nipple confusion” occurs when a baby begins to prefer bottle feeding to breastfeeding. In many cases, bottle feeding is easier for a baby: milk flows steadily from bottles, and the baby does not need to work his or her tongue and jaw to access it (Source). If a baby becomes too comfortable with bottle feeding, he or she may become reluctant to return to breastfeeding. For this reason, the best bottles for breastfed babies mimic the breastfeeding experience. These bottles typically have a slower flow, allowing the baby to consume milk at his or her preferred rate, and a wider nipple that is similar in size, shape, and feel to the mother’s breast.
There are orthodontic nipples. Orthodontic nipples have been shaped to mirror a babies mouth so that babies have an easier time drinking out of them and they promote healthy oral development. When talking about relieving gas, as stated above, air-venting systems are highly important to take note of. Some bottles have no venting system whatsoever. In turn, means more gas and uneasiness for your baby. You will also find top-vented bottles where there are small holes in the nipple to allow the escape of air. Although top-vented bottles have some ventilation, air bubbles will still be in the milk your baby to ingests. The most equipped air ventilated bottles will have a straw-venting system, which allows air to pull through holes in the nipple through a straw so no air goes through the milk, or a bottom venting system, where the air is pulled through the base of the bottle when the bottle is upended and sucked on. Because air is brought in through the base, the pressure is eliminated leaving virtually no air in bottom-venting bottle systems.
What are the benefits to bottle feeding
If you have opted to bottle feed, there are plenty of benefits for you and your baby. For one, just because you bottle feed does not mean this excludes feeding your baby breast milk. Both breast milk and formula can be fed to your baby through a bottle. If you do choose formula, though, you can find comfort in knowing that you have different formula options to choose from. Plus, if your baby does suffer from gas it will be easier to distinguish the root cause.
When breastfeeding, it can be difficult to find the cause of gas because your baby eats what you eat. Therefore, it may take you removing things from your diet and experimenting to know what is giving your baby gas.
Also, when bottle feeding, another benefit you will find, is that you know how much food your baby has eaten. Once a bottle has been finished, you know your baby is satisfied for the next few hours. Plus, you have the ability to position your baby in a more upright position that will reduce the chance of air making its way through the bottle and down into your baby's belly. More so, bottle feeding allows your whole family to be involved. Plus, mom gets a break! Feeding a baby is an amazing, bonding experience and it is quite nice for dad, siblings, and other family members to experience theses interactive moments with your baby, as well (Source).
How to choose a baby bottle
Finding the right bottle for your baby can be like picking from a mystery drawer. There are so many bottles to choose from and they all range in shape, size, and features.
Bottles for breastfed babies are available in several different materials, each of which offers certain advantages. Many bottles are made of BPA-free plastic. These bottles tend to be relatively inexpensive, and are typically microwave and dishwasher safe.
Glass bottles are another popular option. While these bottles are more expensive than plastic bottles, they are durable and easy to clean and sterilize. However, they will break if dropped, so they may not be a good choice for travel or active households.
Silicone bottles are also a good option for breastfed babies. Silicone is a non-toxic material that is dishwasher safe, and its pliable texture is similar to the mother’s breast. Silicone bottles are easy for babies to grasp, and they will contract as the baby drinks his or her milk.
Your baby may even have trouble at first latching onto the bottle you choose, so having more than one option on hand may be ideal. Keep in mind, most gas is a result of poor air ventilation. Therefore, when choosing your baby's bottle, be sure to look for bottles that have built-in venting systems. This will guarantee that most of the air bubbles will vent before making their way to the nipple and into your babies belly. Also, when choosing the right bottle for your gassy baby, you will want to decide on the bottle material, the bottle shape, and the nipple shape. All of these points contribute to a decent bottle that relieves gassy symptoms for your baby.
Other bottle options and features
For newborns and young infants, it is important to sterilize all bottle components before use. Some popular bottles have features that make sterilization less of a challenge. For instance, you may be able to purchase a bottle set that includes an electric sterilizer. Other bottles use disposable liners, so that you do not need to sterilize all of the bottle components between feedings. This is particularly convenient for busy moms, or for caregivers who may be new to feeding infants.
Philips AVENT Electric Sterilizer
If you will be using a breast pump to express milk for your baby, you may want to look for a bottle that works with your breast pump. Some bottles can be purchased as part of a set that includes storage containers for refrigeration or freezing. Some breast pumps even connect to the bottles, allowing you to pump directly into the bottle if you will be feeding your baby right away.
Finally, consider how you will prepare and warm your baby’s milk prior to feeding. The simplest way is to place the bottle in a container of hot water for 10-15 minutes. To warm bottles more quickly, you can use an electric bottle warmer. Some warmers are designed to work with specific brands of bottle, so be sure your bottles are compatible with your warmer if you choose to use one.
The benefits of glass over plastic
While glass certainly has its disadvantages, such as being breakable and heavier than plastic, there are many benefits to choosing glass bottles over plastic ones.
- First, glass bottles do not contain bisphenols and phthalates, chemicals that have many parents concerned and rightly so. These chemicals can lead to higher risk of a variety of health issues (“BPA and Phthalates”).
- Second, you will help the environment by using glass bottles because this type of bottle does not have disposable parts and the glass can be recycled.
- Furthermore, while plastic bottles wear down over time and must be thrown out, glass bottles do not become compromised by repeated washings and sterilization and so can be used indefinitely. For this reason, glass bottles will also save you money over time, even though they are initially more expensive. Also, unlike porous plastic, glass is non-porous. This means the glass bottle will be easier to clean and sterilize.
- Finally, you can rejoice that, while plastic holds on to odors and tastes, glass repels these. This may lead to your baby being more willing to drink from a glass bottle because it will taste better.
The four standards for comparing glass bottles
There are four standards by which this article will review glass bottles. These standards are usability, safety, cleaning, and value. There are other standards by which to judge the quality of glass bottles, but this article will look just at these four.
This standard covers the ability of parent and infant to use the bottle for its expected purpose. In includes questions like whether the infant can hold the bottle well and latch on to the nipple properly. Usability also covers parental use such as whether they can read the volume markers well and how easy the bottle is to assemble. This standard is the most important standard because if you cannot use the bottle, then there is no point in getting it.
The second most important standard, the safety standard measures, as you likely guessed, how well the bottle keeps you and your infant from harm. Safety is extremely important because there is no point in using a bottle that will bring harm to your infant or yourself. This may include the bottle’s ability to stand up to intensive heat, any measures taken to prevent shattering, and whether the infant and parent can hold the bottle easily without slipping.
Covering both the cleaning and sterilization process, the cleaning standard is important because a dirty bottle is a useless one. With this standard, things like how many parts there are to clean, how wide a neck the bottle has, and whether the bottle has any hard-to-reach places are considered. Cleaning should be an easy process, and if it is not, how much use will you really get out of it?
Last but not least, the value standard covers the price versus quality ratio of the glass bottles. It looks at how many bottles you get for the price given and the quality you get for that price. The hope is to find the best quality for the best price.
How to help a gassy baby
Having a gassy baby can be very troublesome for your baby and yourself. Many parents are left feeling like they do not know how to relieve their baby's discomfort. Check this video for more information on how to relieve your babies gas discomfort.
Each of these bottles offers many benefits for breastfed babies, and you may need to experiment to find which options are most important to you. The best choice for moms just starting to bottle feed may be the Philips AVENT Natural bottles: you can choose the material, size, and nipple design, and the bottles are extremely easy to assemble and use. If your baby has difficulty with this bottle, you could try one of the more specialized designs. For instance, Dr. Brown’s bottles are particularly good for babies with digestive issues, and the Playtex Baby Nurser might a better choice for busy households. The Lifefactory glass baby bottles are just a higher quality of bottle with a classic, simple-to-use design and they are highly recommended for anyone looking for glass bottles.