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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. The key is to figure out exactly which is the best baby bottle for YOUR BABY.
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.
The Best Baby Bottle
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 Breastfeeders
The Lasinoh mOmma baby bottle unique’s teardrop shape is definitely the first thing you notice. The 2nd thing you notice? That nearly 1500 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 Breastfeeders
Mighty Mom subscribers Chelsea Stanley and TJ McHugh both love their Medela bottles.
“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 bottle!
Bronze Medal for Breastfeeders
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 Best Baby Bottle
for Gas & Colic
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. *palm to forehead* If your baby struggles with colic or gas, trying one of these air-bubble-busting bottles with the best anti-colic formulas may be exactly the solution you’re looking for.
Gold Medal Winner for Gas & Colic
Email subscribers LaKeeshia Fox, Esther Rivera, and Lisa Kinner all recommended Dr. Brown’s bottles (along with over 300 other parents…). 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 Winner 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 Winner 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.
The Best Baby Bottle
for Tight Budgets
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 Tight Budgets
Reader and experienced mom Jenny Croft is a big fan of the Gerber First Essential bottle. She has a few tips to track them down:
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.
Silver Medal for Tight 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 Tight Budgets
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 Best Baby Bottles
for Innovative Designs
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 Innovative Bottle Design
Over 2000 breastfeeding mamas gave this 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 Innovative Bottle Design
The first thing you’ll notice about the Nanobebe bottle design is that it doesn’t actually look like a bottle! It looks like a breast! Parents love that it warms up faster, stacks neatly inside the cupboard, and fits straight into a breast pump. Babies will love that it feels almost exactly like breastfeeding.
It’s still fairly new to add it to the “Best of Breastfeeding” section, but if you’re a Mama who loves to try new things, this is the bottle to try.
Bronze Medal for Innovative Bottle Design
Munchkin has been around a long time in the world of baby products, but it’s only recently that they’ve jumped into the “Best Baby Bottle” pool with the Latch Bottle. The unique valve at the bottom (which looks like an iceberg to me) has been shown to help reduce gas and colic.
They say that people prefer their bottle over Dr. Brown’s at a ratio of 2:1. I guess you’ll have to decide that for yourself!
NEW ADDITION: The PopYum Baby Bottle
After I published this article, I was contacted by a new baby bottle brand, PopYum, and asked to review their brand new product for our readers. Since you’re reading this, you can tell that I’m actually really excited about this new bottle. (Or it would have died in obscurity in my Inbox.)
I think that it actually may be the best baby bottle for late night formula feedings, because it keeps the formula and the water separate until you are ready to feed. (I’ll need to update my graphics!)
No more trudging down into the kitchen to mix something up, or risking contamination by pre-mixing the powder and leaving it in the nursery. You fill the top with formula, fill the bottom with water, and when you’re ready to use it, just squeeze the button on the side and shake.
If you are still doing nighttime feedings, or if you travel a lot and want something super fast to use in the car, PopYum is your new best friend.
Btw, most babies over 5 months old can start dropping those nighttime feedings, if you want. A professional certified gentle sleep coach can help you create an easy weaning plan. Click here to learn more.
Final Tips for Picking Out
Your Best Baby Bottle
Whether you’re trying to help your breastfed baby get used to the bottle, your trying to minimize gas and colic, attempting to stay on a budget, or just want to try something new and different, these medal-winners are going to quickly become your Olympic Champion!
Here are a few more final tips to keep your feedings flowing smoothly!
- 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.
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!
Go forth, then, and feed with confidence!
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