Bottles can be a confusing purchase for a pregnant mama. How many to buy? Which brand? Which size? Bottles make claims of being the most breastfeeding-friendly, the safest, or the one most likely to reduce colic.
Here is my personal opinion on bottles. Note: I’m not a baby bottle expert.
First, bottles are not evil. Realistically, most American babies will have a bottle at some point. The bottle might contain expressed breastmilk, donated breastmilk, or formula. These three liquids look alike. I know my readers would not, but it bears stating: Please do not judge a woman giving a bottle to a baby. Remember, it may not even be her baby.
How many? If you’re breastfeeding, you don’t need more than one or two bottles. Really. Breastmilk can stay out at room temperature for up to 10 hours. Formula cannot stay out for more than one hour. If you’re working full-time, the milk will be fine at room temp for 10 hours. Isn’t breastmilk amazing? I had to supplement with donated milk for almost every feeding and I was very comfortable with only two bottles. And then I broke one around 9 months and finished out the year with just one.
Which nipple? There are many choices in nipples. I prefer silicone. Breastfed babies should always use a size 1 nipple.
Safest plastic choices are usually made from polypropylene or polyethylene. Innobaby makes a silicone bottle. Green to Grow uses polyether sulphone (PES). There are many plastic choices. A few are Adiri, Born Free, and Thinkbaby. Born Free and Thinkbaby can also convert to sippy cups which saves some money. Always a good idea. Green to Grow also donates 1% of sales to environmental causes, donates new mamas in need, and claims to be socially responsible in their production.
Glass choices range from the tried-and-true EvenFlo to the fancier coddletime bottle with laboratory-grade glass and a silicone sleeve. I have butter-fingers so I require a silicone sleeve. I used Coddletime bottles with Cedar and still managed to break one. I was impressed that it broke in large peices and the silicone caught the glass (as promised).
And then there are the stainless steel bottles. These can be quite the eye-catcher. I love the earthlust bottle and the organicKidz. Both can convert to sippy cups. Earthlust claims to be ethically made (in China). The organicKidz bottle lids work as a measuring cup. Some benefits to stainless steel: it can keep liquids hot or cool longer and it will not break. However, you cannot microwave stainless steel. I often used the Medela quick steam microwave bags on my glass bottles. Still, these are dishwasher safe.
What are your favorites? What did I leave out?