If you're overwhelmed by the sheer amount of bottle brands and varieties on the market, welcome to the club! I have four kids and the first three all used the same bottle brand with nary a problem… then baby #4 came around, and of course she decided to reinvent the wheel. I stocked up on nearly a dozen new options, painstakingly sterilizing and attempting to get her to suckle from each one—so that, ya know, I could go to the grocery store or take a shower without her needing to nurse!
Regardless of whether you're a soon-to-be mama looking for the bottle that's just right for you and your baby, or you're at-the-end-of-your-rope mama who's willing to try anything to get your fussy bambino to take a bottle, we got you.
Before we get started, here's your crash course in "babas" as we lovingly call them in my household.
Why do you need bottles if you're planning to breastfeed?
Well, as I said earlier, you're going to likely want some space at some point—whether it's for date night or to run errands for an hour—and to do so with some peace of mind, you'll want your baby to be able to be fed in your absence, and a bottle is the only way it's gonna get done (regardless of whether it's formula or breastmilk in there!).
How many do you really need?
If you're stocking up on bottles for the first time, you'll want to have roughly six to eight on hand starting on day one of baby's life. That may seem excessive, but when you consider that newborns feed eight to 12 times a day, we promise you it's not!
What types of bottles are there?
There are glass and plastic (BPA-free, of course), and there are usually four levels of nipple size for newborns through toddlers, with the nipple size and flow growing with the babe. There are also two sizes of bottles, typically around 4- and 9-ounces—you'll plow through the small bottles when they're drinking smaller portions many times a day, and as solids are introduced you'll transition to the larger bottles for fewer "meals." More to know: Most bottles on the market now are designed to specifically aid parents with certain pain points, like gas, colic, or—like my stubborn fourth child—a baby that simply prefers the boob.
So, there you have it mamas! Now that you've completed your Bottles 101, let's dig in, shall we? Below we give you our favorite bottles to buy.
Why it's our fave: This is the brand that I used with my first three babies and each was able to seamlessly transition from boob to bottle. I attribute this to the brand's wide, breast-shaped nipple that mimics mama. The bottle boasts an anti-colic technology that vents air towards the bottom of the bottle—and away from your baby's belly. Parents everywhere will appreciate that this bottle only comprises three pieces, which makes cleaning and assembling easy peasy. If you're looking for an all-around all-star bottle, this is it.
More to know: The nipple itself is ultra-soft and has petal-esque design that prevents collapsing and helps babies latch.
Why it's our fave: If you have a gassy baby who's suffering from colic—or you simply want to avoid colic at all cost—Dr. Brown's bottles are the way to go. The OG of anti-colic bottles, Dr. Brown's features a technology that routes air through vents, instead of the milk, preventing babies from ingesting bubbles and thus reducing colic, spit up, burping and gas. Another perk: These bottles fit most breast pumps (including Medela), allowing mamas to pump directly into them and avoiding messy transfers.
More to know: The downside of Dr. Brown's is the amount of parts—with five components, hand washing can be a bear but all those pieces can be thrown in the dishwasher!
Why it's our fave: Definitely the prettiest bottle on our list, the Comotomo is also the trendiest—it's beloved by celebs ranging from Kate Hudson to Kim Kardashian. And we have to agree with those A-list mamas, because the bottle's hype is real. The nipple is hyper-realistic when it comes to replicating mama's breast shape, and the bottle's squeezable silicone base helps control milk flow, just as mama would massage her own breast when nursing.
While some users have complained that the bottle's soft base can be difficult to hold on to when feeding baby, the silver lining is that the material is easier for babies to grasp and the malleable material is easier to stuff into a diaper bag side compartment! And some 4,500 Amazon reviewers have given Comotomo nearly five-stars for reasons ranging from the zero-leak nipples to the effective anti-colic valves.
More to know: With only three parts, the bottle is a cinch to clean.
Why it's our fave: With an extra wide neck and a nipple shaped like mama's breast (making for an easy, natural latch), Tommee Tippee has gained cult status because its silicone nipple is so sensitive that it actually flexes inside baby's mouth… just like mama's! Comprising an antic-colic valve that creates an extra-slow flow (no bubbles = no gas!), the bottle's curvy design is easy for to grasp and hold. And the short stout body means it's one of the easiest bottles to clean on our list.
More to know: These bottles are the cheapest on our list!
Why it's our fave: The only bottle on our list with multiple nipple holes (starting at three with the "slow" flow and going up to nine with the "fast"), Nuk Simply Natural bottles aim to mimic mama's nursing breast via a flexible nipple that moves with baby's latch and adapts to the shape of his or her mouth. The anti-colic air system allows for baby to swallow liquid, not air (No gas! No spit up!) and because it's built into the bottle, there are no extra parts to clean, woot woot!
More to know: The bottles also come in super cute, gender-specific patterns in pastel pink and blue.
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