Choosing the Right Bottle for Your Newborn

Many parents, especially first-timers, can be a little confused about choosing the best feeding bottle for their newborn baby. Here are some tips to help with the same.

The material

The most commonly used are plastic feeding bottles, but there are other variants like bottles of glass and stainless steel that are available in the market. Plastic bottles are easy and convenient to use. They are also lightweight and effortless to carry, which is very necessary when you step out of the house with the baby. Also, they do not break easily. However, plastic bottles contain chemicals and pose health hazards for little ones if not chosen wisely. Plus, they cannot be boiled during sterilization or heated directly. But, there exist alternatives like BPA-free plastic bottles that are safer. Glass bottles have the advantage of being chemical-free and long-lasting. However, considering their weight, these bottles aren’t exactly convenient to use on the move. Also, they are more breakage-prone, which can be avoided to an extent using silicon covers.

The size

Feeding bottles come in different sizes suitable for different age groups. There exist tiny bottles for newborns who need to be formula fed for various reasons to larger bottles that can hold enough formula for toddlers. It is common for brands to list down the suitability of a particular bottle size for a particular age group, but if you are not sure, you can always check with your baby’s pediatrician or simply someone who is experienced in this regard – you can rely on your mother, friends, neighbors, or someone from the family circle to help you with the right bottle size for you baby. However, it may take a few trials and errors before you actually settle down on the one that works best for your tiny tot. This is especially true because different babies have different appetites.

 The shape

Bottles can be straight, wide, or contoured. The choice of a particular shape depends on how comfortable you and your baby find to hold it during feeding sessions. The shape also affects how easily the bottle can be cleaned. A product with a wide mouth and that is straight is easier to clean, especially in hard-to-reach areas.

The nipple

The right bottle size accounts for a good part of seamless feeding, the other one being the nipples. When choosing the nipple for your baby’s bottle, it is important that you pay attention to the size as well as the shape of the same. While it is possible to buy nipples separately, most nipples come as part of a bottle and need to be of the same band so as to ensure a good fit and leakage-proof feeding. Babies prefer nipples that closely resemble their mom, so look for shapes that give them the feel of natural feeding. This can help a great deal when you are transitioning your newborn from breastfeeding to a bottle and can help bring down the resistance otherwise faced. Also, ensure that the flow through the hole is suitable for your baby’s age and feeding needs. A fast flow can fill up his mouth and tummy with excess milk, causing him to choke. Too little flow can cause the little one to suck hard while feeding and swallow, inevitably leading to gasiness and colic. Another factor to consider is the material of the nipple. Silicone is firmer, while latex is softer but doesn’t last as long. Like bottles, nippled need to be moved to the next size as your baby grows. They also need to be replaced when they are discolored, cracked, or when they start thinking.

Other features

In addition to the above, it is good to look for features like hands-free mixing and anti-colic. Baby bottles that can be attached to blenders make meal preparation time easy and effortless for you. Also, most of these bottles can be used to prepare formula milk, cereals, and to blend stored breast milk. The best baby bottles for newborns include anti-colic features, which help bring down the quantity of air that your baby sucks in through the bottle, and in turn, makes him less gassy and colicky. Anti-colic features may be present as air vents, tubing, or suction systems, and you can choose the one that most fits your needs.

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