Not all bottles are created equal. Some are just better than others.
Even worse, babies have this thing called opinions that can really screw things up.
Today we’re going to ice skate our way through the violent sport of Choosing a Baby Bottle.
Start painting your face and writing giant letters on your tummy, it’s about to get pretty darn intense.
In the Olympics of Baby Bottles, there are four competitions:
- The “Best for Breastfeeding”
- The “Gas-o-matic & Colic”
- The “Don’t Bust the Budget”
- The “Up and Coming Superstar”
Those of you who have been readers for a while know that I don’t like getting all bossypants with other people’s babies. So, true to form, I’ve listed all three of our winners (gold, silver, and bronze) for you to explore on your own.
After all, just because a bottle scored a gold medal from our testing moms, doesn’t mean that it’s a perfect match for your baby, budget, and situation! Click through my descriptions and read through the details of each to determine which is YOUR gold medal winner!
The “Best for Breastfeeding” Category
Whether it’s a little nipple SOS, or just to give Dad a bonding moment, giving your baby that first bottle of pumped breastmilk is always a little nerve-wracking.
That said, it’s ah-mazing how much bottle-technology has changed since I was breastfeeding! These new designs soothe all those nipple-confusion worries away.
Gold Medal for the Best Baby Bottle for Breastfeeding
The Lasinoh mOmma baby bottle unique’s teardrop shape is definitely the first thing you notice. The 2nd thing you notice? That over 200 parents gave it a 5-star “I love this bottle so much” rating.
The biggest rave-point was the consistency of the nipple. Most reviewers said it had the closest give-and-take to a real breast, which helped the process of transitioning back and forth from breast-to-bottle seamless and easy.
Silver Medal for the Best Baby Bottle for Breastfeeding
“He has to work to get the milk out and he can pause while eating just like while nursing. We had some tongue-tie issues early on and wanted to avoid nipple confusion at all costs.” – TJ McHugh
While Chelsea commented on how easy it is to use with a pump. There’s a reason so many breastfeeders love this brand!
Bronze Medal for the Best Baby Bottle for Breastfeeding
Avent has been around for ever (they were Lauren’s favorite bottle), but in 2012 they upgraded to a new, sleeker design that’s easier for babies to grip and doesn’t have the leaking issues the older design had.
“I’m nursing so I only use them once a week or so, but they are easy to disassemble for cleaning, he doesn’t seem to be gassy with them (although he’s not a gassy baby) and he doesn’t get ‘confused’ with the nipple.” – Lauren O’Malley, Mighty Moms subscriber
The “Gas-o-Matic & Colic” Category
A Quick Peek Inside Heather’s Brain: Just so you know, the only reason I chose the “Gas-o-Matic” title here was so I could link to this beloved SNL sketch. Yes, it’s just that simple!
Gas is a mom’s worst enemy. Not only do we have to worry about our babies swallowing air, we have to make sure we aren’t using formulas that create bubble-fests we have to fight later on.
The easiest way to fix a gassy baby is to avoid getting the baby gassy in the first place. If your baby struggles with colic or gas, trying one of these air-bubble-busting bottles with the best anti-allergy formulas may be exactly the solution you’re looking for.
Another very helpful tool for gassy and colicky babies are probiotics. Click here to learn more about why doctors are recommending you add this to your baby’s regular feeding routine.
Gold Medal for the Best Baby Bottle for Gas & Colic
Yes. They come with a few more parts than normal. But if your baby is a gas-machine, a majority of other parents think it’s worth the extra washing effort.
Silver Medal for the Best Baby Bottle for Gas & Colic
Several readers recommended I look deeper into the Tommy Tippee brand (they weren’t around when I was in babyland) and I have to admit, I’m pretty impressed.
It was listed as #1 by Consumer Search, and this particular colic-specific bottle has been very effective in helping babies struggling with colic and other tummy issues.
Bronze Medal for the Best Baby Bottle for Gas & Colic
The MAM Anti-Colic bottle was developed by pediatricians and developmental psychologists. It uses a patented system of special ventilation holes at the bottom of the bottle to keep those air bubbles where they belong: out of your little one’s tummy.
90% of those parents who reviewed this bottle on Amazon gave it at least 4-stars. Not bad!
The “Don’t Bust the Budget” Category
If you’re purchasing formula every week, every penny saved is another day of the uber-expensive hypoallergenic formula your baby needs. Here are the most affordable bottles on the market, as recommended by readers and Facebook fans!
Gold Medal for the Best Baby Bottle for Budgets
They are usually hidden away on the bottom shelf at Babies R Us or Target, under the really expensive brands with all the bells and whistles (and a million parts to clean!) so you may have to hunt around for them a bit.
Or you can order them right here on Amazon. (Love the Internet!)
Silver Medal for the Best Baby Bottle for Budgets
For moms who want bottles that are budget-friendly and environmentally-happy, these are the indestructible glass bottles you’re looking for.
Subscriber Angel Estes reported she’s dropped these bottles plenty of times and they’re completely crack free. (FYI, she doesn’t use the optional silicone sleeves.)
Bronze Medal for the Best Baby Bottle for Budgets
(Try saying that three times fast!)
Ashley Browning found the Parent’s Choice bottles to be the perfect fit for their budget. After some trial and error with their acid-reflux baby girl, she concluded that
“…it doesn’t really matter the bottle or nipple for our girl as long as it’s slow flow. So, Parent’s Choice works great for us and helps save a few bucks because we don’t have to buy those other pricer bottles.” – subscriber Ashley Browning
The “Up and Coming Superstar” Category
This category is rather a wild-card. These bottles are pretty new on the market, so they’ve not had a lot of reviews and reports. (Some, but not much.) Still, I wanted to include these because they represent the new and innovative designs that will be taking over Babytopia in the years to come.
Gold Medal for the Best Baby Bottle Design
Over 200 breastfeeding mamas gave this new Comotomo bottle a 5-star rating. In fact, one mother shared that after pumping exclusively for a month due to poor initial latching, when she put her baby back on the breast after using this bottle, she latched on like a champ. Impressive.
Silver Medal for the Best Baby Bottle Design
Specializing in colic-reduction, this new design functions like a syringe, creating a vacuum air-free environment inside the bottle. If your baby struggles with colic, fussiness, and gas, give this innovative bottle a try.
Bronze Medal for the Best Baby Bottle Design
For those parents wanting an alternative to plastic but are worried about broken glass, stainless steel is your new best friend.
This particular design allows you to switch the nipple for a sippy cup, letting you use the bottle for years to come. That helps dull the sticker shock when you see the price. 🙂
Final Tips for Picking Out a Winner
- Make sure the nipple hole is the right size for your baby’s slurping preferences. For most babies that will match their age, but you may have to use trial-and-error to make sure. Reader Lisa Kinner found stage one still too fast for her 4 week old and had to go with preemie nipples to find the perfect fit!
- If you’re breastfeeding, start with the slowest flow first. A faster flow is easier and may encourage lazy babies to give up breastfeeding earlier than you want!
- If your baby struggles with acid reflux, also choose a slower-flow nipple. The slower the formula flows, the more likely your baby will be able to digest the formula before spitting up.
- That said, if you’re using a thickened acid reflux formula, you may need a faster flow just to get the formula out. Test around to see what works!
- Never make nipples larger by hand (cutting, slicing, etc.). It’s a choking hazard.
- Latex nipples are a softer suck than silicone, making them a cost-effective adjustment if your baby is a struggling bottle feeder and you don’t want to try a whole new bottle. That said, if your family has a latex allergy somewhere, it may be best to stick to silicone.
- Reader Jenny Croft shared her breastfeeder struggled with latching on a wide mouth bottle because he couldn’t pull it into his mouth as far as he can at the breast. Consequently, he was “bobbing” on and off the short nipple. If this happens to you, switch to the normal standard sized nipples and see if it improves.
A Few Tips for Weaners
- If your baby is anti-bottle, let someone else feed her. If she doesn’t smell you and see you, she may be more likely to take the bottle.
- For breastfed babies having a hard time mastering bottles, don’t offer the bottle when your baby is frantically hungry. Instead, offer it when he can play around and explore the nipple and bottle-drinking process leisurely, without a grumbly tummy making him grumpy and impatient.
Have you found the best baby bottle for your family? What was it?
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