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Selecting a Baby Bottle

I stopped to admire a baby bottle today.  Yes, really.  It sparked a post on bottles.  Probably more than most of you want to know!

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. 

What size?  Since you only need one or two, I would go ahead and buy an 8 or 9oz size. 

Which nipple?  There are many choices in nipples.  I prefer silicone.  Breastfed babies should always use a size 1 nipple. 

What bottles are safe?  The concerns with bottles are BPA, PVC, lead, and phthalates.  The material choices are plastic, glass, and stainless steel. 

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?

13 responses »

  1. Cadence hasn’t used a bottle yet, but it will happen soon. Are the stainless sold locally or just at the links you posted?

  2. I haven’t seen any. I’ll check at Earth Fare on Sat. Anyone know of a local source?

  3. Actually the earthlust bottle shows up with free shipping so no need to go to the store. 🙂 We are going to buy one. We will let you know how it goes.

  4. We have always used the Medela bottles, because they’re so convenient- I pump directly into them, then pop them in the fridge.

    For what it’s worth, my daughter never took more than 5 ounces of breastmilk, and when we did start supplementing, she never took more than 5 ounces of formula at a time. My understanding is that that is more typical of breastfed babies (used to smaller, more frequent feedings). Anyway, we never had to buy a bigger bottle until VERY recently, when she went to whole milk at 12 months. I guess my point is that if you’re breastfeeding, you may very well never need a bottle larger than ounces, so I would hesitate to buy them up-front.

    Also, we never moved past medium-flow nipples. We stuck to slow-flow until she was nearly 10 months and we started supplementing. Lucy never seemed bothered by them, and I credit them with preserving our nursing relationship (and avoiding bottle preference).

  5. I liked your recent post on bottles. I had never heard of the Earthlust bottle. Just ordered one with free shipping and 15% off. My husband will love that he can warm up the milk before he leaves the house and the milk will stay warm for the baby. We have an Adiri bottle and it is pretty good, but this one is really cool. Also, I have in the past been very judgemental of women that are bottle feeding, but thanks to you, I remember your posts and think that it helps me to be a much kinder mom. We never know what is in a bottle and truthfully, I’m learning that it is not my place to judge.

  6. Leigh Anne, you’ll have to tell me how you like the earthlust. I love stainless steel sippies b/c we do lots of herbal teas (catnip, chamomile/lavendar, lemon balm) with Cedar. I use warm water from the tap with a tea bag and the steel keeps it nicely and safely warm.

  7. I was always so much more embarrassed to feed Rowan from a bottle in public than to breastfeed. I’m really glad you posted this, I’m going back to class in January and I’ve been forced to think about Jason having to give Charis a bottle while I’m gone. I’m extremely nervous, do you have any tips for a nipple-confusion survivor that has to introduce a bottle? She’ll be about 6 months old, and will most likely do just fine going back and forth…but I’m still a wee bit paranoid!

  8. Jenn, I’m known for nursing in public and then hiding in the bathroom to give a bottle.

    I don’t think you need to worry (but you’re a mama so you will anyway). She’s more likely to refuse the bottle altogether. In which case, since she’s 6 months, Jason might skip it and use a nuby cup or safety straw cup.

  9. Love the post. We are using a Born Free glass bottle when I go to class. It also has a silicone sleeve as well. And, so far, we’ve only needed one. I am really happy with it and Evie doesn’t seem to have any nipple confusion. She much prefers to be breastfed, but she’ll take the bottle.

  10. Elizabeth, I checked at Earth Fare today. No stainless steel bottle for babies. They carry Green Sprouts (silicone) and Andrew Weil (plastic).

  11. We received the Earthlust bottle. It had all the parts you needed to convert from bottle to sippy and the lid is a measuring cup. When I returned to work, Cadence had his first bottle and my husband’s only complaint was that you could not tell how fast he was drinking in order to stop and burp.

  12. I wanted to report back on the Earthlust bottle. It is fantastic. Nick doesn’t eat much while I’m at work anyway (about 8 oz the entire day-he waits for me to get home) but he really wasn’t drinking much from the Adiri bottle that we used with Liam when I went back to work.

    Nick drinks much more easily from this bottle. My husband only used the nipple attachment on it for a couple of weeks and now at almost 8 months, Nick drinks from the sippy attachement.

    Thanks for posting about this bottle. I would have never thought to try it because I wanted one that is a breast like as possible. The handles on it are great too. My husband says that he does well holding it too.

  13. Thanks for the review Leigh Anne and Elizabeth! I love my product testers. 🙂

    And this just in…you can get the Earthlust bottles locally now at Natural Baby ( Woo-hoo!


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