The 10 Best Baby Bottles
10. First Years Breastflow
- bpa- and latex-free plastic
- safe to put in the dishwasher
- flow is too fast for newborns
|Brand||The First Years|
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
9. Playtex Baby Vent Aire
- top and bottom remove for cleaning
- good flow rate for easy drinking
- lots of pieces to keep track of
|Brand||Playtex Baby Vent Aire|
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
8. Nuk Elephants
- encourages natural oral development
- can buy different flow rate nipples
- cap doesn't close tightly
|Rating||3.5 / 5.0|
7. Medela Breastmilk Set
- made of safe bpa-free plastic
- come with flat storage caps
- included nipples are a little flimsy
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
6. Lansinoh Momma
- very simple to assemble
- easy for baby to latch on to
- compatible with a lansinoh pump
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
5. Mam Feed and Soothe
- nipples have anti-slip surfaces
- vented bases reduce air swallowing
- two bonus pacifiers
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
4. Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Fiesta
- compact size fits in any diaper bag
- minimal parts for simple cleanup
- caps close tightly to prevent leaks
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
3. Dr. Brown's Original
- helps to reduce ear infections
- doesn't produce air bubbles
- includes three cleaning brushes
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
2. Philips Avent Natural
- made from durable borosilicate glass
- nipple doesn't collapse during use
- ink printing on bottle is organic
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
1. Lifefactory Glass
- can be converted to a sippy cup
- sleek slim profile
- sleeves come in a variety of colors
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
The Best Bottle For Your Baby
Choosing the right bottle for your baby is no small matter; finding the right baby bottle means identifying a tool your child (or a child in your charge) will use to receive nourishment and hydration. Almost any parent who has been through the struggle of finding a bottle their child will agree that it's seldom a one step process.
In fact, the experienced parent (or the family that has done its homework) will often buy two different bottles with markedly different designs and try them each out in the early days of bottle feeding. A bit of wasted cash is well worth dodging days of stressful feedings if your baby does happen to gravitate to a specific bottle design right away.
As no one can accurately predict which nipple shape a child will find the most agreeable, considering the shape of a bottle's nipple need not be a primary concern in shopping for a baby bottle (make sure to find a unit with a different design if your child resists the first bottle, of course). Instead start with the most basic factor: liquid capacity. If you are giving a bottle of formula or breast milk to a newborn, it's quite unlikely he or she will consume more than four ounces per meal, and thus almost any baby bottle on the market will offer enough liquid per feeding. For children well into their first year, you should be considering bottles with an eight ounce capacity -- you might only fill the bottle rarely, but it's better to have the extra room available for the child with the growing appetite.
Next consider the bottle's material. While any bottle worth your consideration should be free of BPA, phthalates, PVC, and lead, that still doesn't mean that all materials are equal. While glass baby bottles may be the easiest to keep clean, as they can be boiled for the ultimate sterilization, they tend to be heavier, which can make them harder for a child to hold on his or her own. (And of course even a glass bottle with a protective sleeve can shatter if dropped far enough or bumped with enough force.) Some bottles have soft sides that can be easy and comfortable for a baby to grasp, but watch out when packing them in a diaper bag, purse, or your luggage, as when squeezed, they may expel milk or formula.
Finally, do consider price. Some baby bottles cost more than fifteen dollars each, while others come in three packs that cost around twelve dollars. As you search for the right nipple design, bottle shape and size, it's OK to mind the budget.
Other Baby Bottle Accessories
Finding the right baby bottle is a big accomplishment for a parent, nanny, or other caregiver. It means reduced stress for the adult and child alike as feeding times become more efficient and productive, with less time spent fussing and more time spent on nourishment. But a bottle alone is just the start of the bottle feeding story, as it were.
Picking a baby bottle made from materials that are safe and certified nontoxic is a necessary first step in keeping a child healthy, but proper cleaning of the bottle and its various attachments is also critical. After every use, a bottle should be rinsed out with water and then cleaned with a mild soap, then thoroughly rinsed again. Allowing the bottle to fully dry is also of great importance. A good dish drying rack can provide the ideal design a bottle needs to fully drip and air dry, reducing the chance for mold or mildew growth the commence.
Regular use of a bottle brush is also a good way to break up and remove any remnants of milk or formula that may have been left in the bottle after a rinsing. So long as your baby's bottle is rated safe for such treatment, it's also a good idea to periodically run the bottle and its parts through the dishwasher and even to submerge them in boiling water for a tried and true way to kill off all bacteria.
To make a bottle more enjoyable for the infant partaking of its contents, consider using a bottle warmer. Unlike the process of microwaving a bottle, which can damage the nutrients within its milk or formula, or submerging it in hot water, which can make temperature regulation difficult, bottle warmers gently warm fluids to the ideal temperature for a young child's comfort and pleasure.
And of course don't forget to have a bib or burp cloth (or two) on hand for catching and/or cleaning up the drips, dribbles, and spit-ups that occur with feeding an infant. Putting a bib on your child before a bottle feeding can mean not having to change his or her entire outfit later.
Why BPA and Phthalates Are To Be Avoided
Bisphenol A is a chemical additive common in plastics ranging form vehicle dashboards to molded furniture to food service items, such as cups, baby bottles, and more. Or rather it was once common (indeed nearly ubiquitous) up until recent years, when fears over the health impact of this plastic softening and preserving chemical saw its use begin a precipitous decline.
The hazards to human health caused by Bisphenol A -- better known as BPA -- are caused by its ability to act like an endocrine disrupter; that is to say BPA harms the body's ability to create and distribute many of the hormones needed for proper growth, development, and general maintenance of healthiness. While lower levels of BPA may be relatively harmless for adults, it is more dangerous for smaller children, and its ingestion should generally be avoided by everyone.
Phthalates are yet another once common class of chemicals used to keep plastics softer and more malleable, making them easier to mold into goods and protecting the lifespan of items so produced. Too much exposure to phthalates during the early years of development may hamper proper development of the lungs, the liver, the kidneys, and the reproductive system. In studies conducted on laboratory animals, these compounds had the most marked effect on developing testes.