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Given my career path and my status as a mom myself, I get feeding-related questions from friends and family regularly. One of the most common questions out there is, "what bottle should I use with my little one?" These days, there are so many bottles to choose from, and you have several factors to take into consideration when choosing the right bottle for you. You may be looking for the most convenient option out there, or for a bottle that prevents colic and gas. Or are you breastfeeding and looking to transition from the breast to the bottle so daddy can get in on that baby-feeding action?

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Whatever you're looking for, it is out there for you -- you just need to find it. Lucky for you, I've done research for you and put together a list of some of the newest, greatest baby bottles you can find. Whether you want a bottle that looks and feels like your breast or a whole travel bottle system, here are 9 baby bottles you'll want to check out.

1. MAM Anti-Colic Bottle.

At $6.99, the MAM bottle is designed to prevent gas, colic and reflux. It features a vented base that regulates pressure and prevent bubbles and foam to make sure babies don’t get air in as they guzzle away. The MAM is a great option for those who want to transition away from the breast. It’s easy to clean, comes in various sizes/colors, and has the ability to alter the flow rate of the nipple. At only $6.99, this bottle is worth taking a look at! $6.99, buy here

2. Mimijumi.

 

Forget about nipple confusion. If you want the transition to be literally as seamless as possible, the Mimijumi bottle is for you. Not only does the nipple of the bottle visually mimics the color and shape of the breast, it is also similarly textured -- though some claim the nipple to be a bit oversized. This bottle also has different flow rates, allowing baby to latch and control the speed at which he or she is getting the milk. Though Mimijumi comes at a higher price ($25), it is definitely worth every penny if you've had a hard time finding a bottle that your baby accept to drink from. $25, buy here.

3. Baby Brezza.

Do you need a third nipple to give both of yours a break? Look no further, and get daddy to work! Baby Brezza mimics breastfeeding, which means it is great as a transitional bottle and your baby daddy won't have technical difficulties helping you out with the feeding sessions. Baby Brezza is also notable for its low maintenance clean-up (only has two parts to clean) and specialized technology to prevent colic. What's more it comes in a glass version, which is great for those who want to avoid plastic for the healthiest, greenest bottle-feeding experience possible. $8.99, buy here.

4. Kiinde Twist.

Mamas and papas, welcome to the travel system of baby bottles. The Twist is smart and convenient for the parent on the go -- especially the mother who chooses to pump and serve. The bottle system comes with a pumping bag that can attach directly to the bottle. That's right: with Kiinde's Twist, it’s as simple as pumping into the storage bag and placing the it onto the bottle system. What's more, the bottle frame can be used with a variety of select nipples on the market). Finally and since we're all about longevity of the products we buy, the Twist grows with your baby as it allows you to store on-the-go snacks and purees. $11.24 for bottle, $19.99 for pack of 80 bags for $19.99, buy here

5. Philips Avent Natural Bottles.

If you aren’t looking for any fancy footwork, this bottle may be for you.  A classic, the Philip Avent bottle claims to reduce colic, make transition from breast to bottle more smooth, and has various nipple flow rates. With its ergonomic shape, both mom and baby can hold it comfortably. Plus, it is easy to clean and BPA free. At only $14.99 for three bottles, why not give the Avent natural bottles a try? $14.99, buy here

6. Bare bottle.

This is a rare find and technology like no other bottle I have seen. With its syringe-like technology, this bottle acts like a breast as it doesn’t allow any air to enter the nipple system, which in effect reduces colic. The baby is also able to control the flow at which he or she is getting milk, as he has to actively suck on the bottle for the milk to actually come out. With the Bare bottle, you can even feed baby in upright position. $16.99, buy here

7. Mixie bottle.

If you have a formula-fed baby, and your baby’s cries of hunger at night stress you out, this may be the bottle for you. In the Mixie, you have your formula ready to go inside of your bottle, mix it all up and poof, your nighttime time bottle is ready in a jiffy. It's literally fresh formula, whenever and wherever. Be warned though, when you save time to prep, you may spend more time cleaning all the bottle components. But at least, baby should be milk drunk and sound asleep by then. $16.99, buy here

8. iiamo go.

To make your adventures easier, opt for the self-heating bottle, the iiamo Go. It comes with two interchangeable bottoms: a regular one and a heating system that allows you to warm baby's milk on the go, in 4 minutes! No electricity, no cord, no recharging. It's especially useful for the wanderlust family traveling the distance. $35 for a bottle, $13.99, for 5 packs of heating cartridge charge. Buy here

9. Joovy Boob.

This bottle is called "boob" for a reason: it's great to transition from breast to bottle, making the process as natural as possible, and reduces colic with its specialized CleanFlow Vent technology. Available in 5 flow rates, the nipples are molded and baked to strengthen the silicone and help prevent the nipple from collapsing while still providing constant softness -- though some parents have said that the slowest flow is too fast for their baby. $15.99 for two bottles. Buy here

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As a former beauty editor, I pride myself in housing the best skincare products in my bathroom. Walk in and you're sure to be greeted with purifying masks, micellar water, retinol ceramide capsules and Vitamin C serums. What can I say? Old habits die hard. But when I had my son, I was hesitant to use products on him. I wanted to keep his baby-soft skin for as long as possible, without tainting it with harsh chemicals.

Eventually, I acquiesced and began using leading brands on his sensitive skin. I immediately regretted it. His skin became dry and itchy and regardless of what I used on him, it never seemed to get better. I found myself asking, "Why don't beauty brands care about baby skin as much as they care about adult skin?"

When I had my daughter in May, I knew I had to take a different approach for her skin. Instead of using popular brands that are loaded with petroleum and parabens, I opted for cleaner products. These days I'm all about skincare that contains super-fruits (like pomegranate sterols, which are brimming with antioxidants) and sulfate-free cleansers that contain glycolipids that won't over-dry her skin. And, so far, Pipette gets it right.

What's in it

At first glance, the collection of shampoo, wipes, balm, oil and lotion looks like your typical baby line—I swear cute colors and a clean look gets me everytime—but there's one major difference: All products are environmentally friendly and cruelty-free, with ingredients derived from plants or nontoxic synthetic sources. Also, at the core of Pipette's formula is squalane, which is basically a powerhouse moisturizing ingredient that babies make in utero that helps protect their skin for the first few hours after birth. And, thanks to research, we know that squalane isn't an irritant, and is best for those with sensitive skin. Finally, a brand really considered my baby's dry skin.

Off the bat, I was most interested in the baby balm because let's be honest, can you ever have too much protection down there? After applying, I noticed it quickly absorbed into her delicate skin. No rash. No irritation. No annoyed baby. Mama was happy. It's also worth noting there wasn't any white residue left on her bottom that usually requires several wipes to remove.


Why it's different

I love that Pipette doesn't smell like an artificial baby—you, know that powdery, musky note that never actually smells like a newborn. It's fragrance free, which means I can continue to smell my daughter's natural scent that's seriously out of this world. I also enjoy that the products are lightweight, making her skin (and my fingers) feel super smooth and soft even hours after application.

The bottom line

Caring for a baby's sensitive skin isn't easy. There's so much to think about, but Pipette makes it easier for mamas who don't want to compromise on safety or sustainability. I'm obsessed, and I plan to start using the entire collection on my toddler as well. What can I say, old habits indeed die hard.

This article was sponsored by Pipette. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Military families give up so much for their country, particularly when they have small children at home. Those of us who have never witnessed this kind of sacrifice first-hand could use a reminder of it once in a while, which is just one of the reasons we're so happy to see the beautiful photoshoot Mary Chevalier arranged for her husband's return home from Afghanistan.

The photoshoot was extra special because while James Chevalier was serving a nine-month deployment, Mary gave birth to their second son, Caspian.

Getting ready to meet Dad

"During the laboring and birthing process of Caspian, I was surrounded by family, but that did not fill the void of not having my husband by my side," Mary told InsideEdition.com. "He was able to video chat during the labor and birth, but for both of us, it was not enough."

While James had yet to meet Caspian, their 3-year-old son, Gage, missed his dad a whole lot, so this homecoming was going to be a big deal for him too. That's why Mary arranged for her wedding photographer, Brittany Watson, to be with them for their reunion in Atlanta.

Gage was so happy to see his Dad 

"[He] had no idea he was going to be getting to see his daddy that day," Watson wrote on Facebook. "The family met at the Southeastern Railway Museum for Gage to go on a special train ride... little did he know, he'd be doing it with daddy!"

Watson did a beautiful job capturing the high emotions of every single family member, from Gage's surprise, to the delight on baby Caspian's face. It's no wonder her Facebook post went viral last week.

"Caspian is natural, a very happy baby, but both James and I felt like Caspian knew who his father was almost immediately," Mary told Inside Edition. "He was easily comforted by me husband right off the bat and seemed to have an instant connection. It was very emotional."

The moment this dad had been waiting for 

If we're sobbing just looking at the photos, we can't even imagine what it was like in real life.

"We are all so blessed and take so much for granted," Watson wrote. "I cannot contain the joy I feel in my heart when I look at these images, and I hope you feel it too!"


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During both of my pregnancies, I was under the care of an amazing midwife. Every time I went to her office for check-ups, I was mesmerized by the wall of photos participating in what may be the most painfully magical moment of a woman's life: giving birth. But there was a painting that always drew my attention: a woman dressed in orange, holding her newborn baby with a face that could be described as clueless. The line above the canvas read, "Now what?"

I felt like the woman in the painting as I kissed my mother goodbye when my daughter was born. She came from my native Colombia to stay with us for three months. When she left, I realized that my husband had been working as usual during those first 90 days of our new life. My baby was born on a Friday and on Monday he was back at the office. (No parental leave policy for him.)

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Now what? I thought. The quote "It takes a village to raise a child" suddenly started to hit home, literally.

After a few years in Miami, I had some friends, but it truly didn't feel like I had a village. Some were not mothers yet, most of them worked full-time and others didn't live close by. My nomad life left my best friends spread out in different places in the world. I found myself signing up for "mommy and me" classes in search of new mothers, immigrants like me, alone like me.

It seemed like a utopian dream to think about when my grandmothers became mothers. Both of them had 6 and 10 children and they were able to stay sane (or maybe not? I don't know). But at least they had family around—people cooking, offering help. There was a sense of community.

My mother and father grew up in "the village." Big families with so many children that the older siblings ended up taking care of the little ones; aunts were like second mothers and neighbors became family.

When I was about to give birth to my second baby, my sister had just had her baby girl back in Colombia. Once, she called me crying because her maternity leave was almost over. My parents live close to her, so that was a bonus. Hiring a nanny back there is more affordable. But even seeing the positive aspects of it, I wished I could have been there for her, to be each other's village.

The younger me didn't realize that when I took a plane to leave my country in search of new experiences 19 years ago, I was giving up the chance to have my loved ones close by when I became a mother. And when I say close by, I mean as in no planes involved.

It hasn't been easy, but after two kids and plenty of mommy and me classes and random conversations that became true connections, I can say I have a mini-village, a small collection of solitudes coming together to lean on each other. But for some reason, it doesn't truly feel like one of those described in the old books where women gathered to knit while breastfeeding and all the children become like siblings.

Life gets in the way, and everyone gets sucked into their own worlds. In the absence of a true village, we feel the pressure to be and do everything that once was done by a group of people. We often lose perspective of priorities because we are taking care of everything at the same time. Starting to feel sick causes anxiety and even fear because it means so many things need to happen in order for mom—especially if single—to lay down and recover while the children are taken care of. And when the children get sick, that could mean losing money for a working mother or father, because the truth is that most corporations are not designed to nurture families.

In the absence of that model of a village I long for, we tend to rely on social media to have a sense of community and feel supported. We may feel that since we are capable of doing so much—working and stay at home moms equally—perhaps we don't need help. Or quite the opposite: mom guilt kicks in and feelings of not being enough torment our night sleep. Depression and anxiety can enter the picture and just thinking about the amount of energy and time that takes to create true connections, we may often curl up in our little cocoon with our children and partners—if they are present—when they come home.

Now what? was my thought this week while driving back and forth to the pediatrician with my sick son. I can't get the virus, I have to be strong, my daughter can't get ill, my husband needs to be healthy for his work trip next week, we all need to be well for my son's fifth birthday. And so, it goes on. I texted one of my mom friends just to rant. She rants back because her son is also sick. She sent me a heart and an "I'm here if you need to talk."

I am grateful to have talked to her at that random postpartum circle when I first became a mother. She's a Latina immigrant like me and feels exactly like me. I will do it more, get out of my comfort zone and have—sometimes—awkward conversations so I can keep growing my own little village.

It may not look like the one I'd imagined, but still may allow me to be vulnerable even through a text message.

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Halloween is around the corner, but if you are like me you are still trying to figure out what to dress your family (especially the little ones), so here are some cute ideas inspired by famous characters. There's something for everyone—from cartoon lovers to ideas for the entire family!

Here are some adorable character costumes for your family:

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