Whether you’re ready to head back to work or just soooooo ready to share some of those late-night feedings with your partner, introducing an exclusively breastfed baby to a bottle can be a surprisingly challenging experience. Though many babies will happily drink from any bottle, others need to try a few different models before they find “the one.”
If you’ve been to the bottle aisle of a big box baby store, you’ll know that there are an incredible number of different bottle designs and brands, most of which claim to be the “most natural.” We’ve whittled the shelf down to five of the most popular bottles on the market reviewed by parents who have tried and tested them — hopefully one of these is right for you and your baby!
Easy to get breastfed babies to take and super easy to assemble
Made of ultra-safe medical grade silicone, the Comotomo Natural Feel bottle stands out from the pack for its reassuringly soft and “squishy” design. Wee ones love to squeeze the bottle, and older babies who graduate to the larger size seem to have no trouble holding it solo.
Many kiddos find the wide base of the nipple makes it an acceptable substitute for the real thing., and the dual anti colic vents help to prevent air intake, reducing colic and gassiness. Parents also find it very comfortable to hold, simple to assemble, and easy to clean without a brush. The Comotomo Natural Feel bottle is good to go in the microwave, dishwasher, or boiling water. The most commonly reported issue is that its rounded design makes the bottle prone to tipping over when hurriedly placed on a flat surface.
The Tommee Tippee is favorite with many babies for its soft, silicone nipple, which is designed to gently elongate and flex during feeding as a mother’s does. It’s also very lightweight and easy for baby to hold. The Easi-Vent Valve helps reduce air intake and prevent a gassy tummy, though some little ones find the nipple collapses under too much pressure.
Parents love its affordable price point, as it is convenient to have a spare always at the ready in the diaper bag or waiting at grandma’s. It’s also very easy to clean.
Easy to clean
The Playtex Drop-Ins Premium Nurser scores big points with parents who don’t enjoy bottle-washing (and who does, really?). Its unique, anti-colic liner gently collapses as the baby feeds to prevent air mixing with the milk and resulting in gas. The disposable, pre-sterilized liners do need to be purchased separately, but many parents are delighted to pay extra for a little less time at the sink and more time with their well-fed, contented baby.
The bendable bottle frames are meant to support a semi-upright feeding position and allow baby to get “every last drop,” but the opinion on these seems to be mixed. Though it’s not necessary to bend it and both bottle positions work well, many parents report that when washing the bottle in its angled position, soap gets stuck in “the bend,” an obvious, yet small irritation for those who choose this style for the ease of cleaning.
Glass – preferred by some to plastic
The Philips Avent Natural Glass Bottle is made from BPA Free glass, and is printed using organic ink. Parents who are concerned about the chemicals in some plastic bottles can be ultra-confident that this option is not only safe, but also easy to warm milk in, simple to clean, and comfortable for both the mother and child to hold. The nipple is designed to promote a natural latch, while the dual anti-colic valves keep the air out. Though the assembly is simple, with just three pieces, some parents find that the lid must be tightened “just so”; either too tight or too loose and you may be in for a wardrobe change.
One of the most natural nipples
Many parents who have tried a variety of famous bottle brands with their exclusively breast-fed little one finally find success with the lesser-known yet very well-designed mOmma by Lansinoh. Many babies prefer its 100% silicone NaturalWave Nipple to any other, possibly because it is soft, flexible, and offers a greater degree of compression than some of the “firmer” or more “pointy” competitors on the market. It’s also very easy to clean, and comes with some handy caps for storing milk in the fridge or travelling. Though the majority of parents find that the bottle’s Air Ventilation System (AVS) is effective in reducing air intake, colic and gas are common issues among the smaller group of babies who dislike the mOmma.
Tip – make sure you get the right nipple
It’s necessary to ensure you are starting out with the right style of nipple. You’ll find that all brands offer a range of nipples from very slow flow (for the tiniest babies) to very fast, and it is sometimes necessary to purchase the correct size separately.
Though finding the right bottle for your little one may involve some trial-and-error, many exclusively breastfeeding mothers quickly come to prize the freedom and flexibility that comes with adding bottle feeding to their little one’s growing skillset.
Best of luck with your bottle feeding journey!