There is a confusing array of baby bottles on the market, how do you know which one would be the best ??? When trying to decide the last thing you want as a parent of twins or triplet is to buy the wrong one, its a lot of money getting sufficient bottles for two or three babies, that’s a huge outlay to make a mistake!
Take a look at the characteristics of baby bottles then all the different types of bottle you can find. You can then go through to reviews for each type. Happy hunting !
What is the Best Baby Bottle?
I have put together features to consider when you buy your baby bottles, to help you find the best baby bottle! Its a bit daunting as a first parent to plough through the minefield of baby bottles, especially when you have triplets or twins and know you are going to have to buy quite a few ! Have a read through the features below, hopefully they will be informative and give you a good insight into what you want ! I have then added a comprehensive list of different bottles,on the market, their shapes and sizes. To read in-depth about each bottle follow this link to Bottle Feeding where there are reviews about each type of bottle with options to purchase your favourite.
Generally manufacturers supply two sizes of bottles – 4 oz and 8 oz ( 120mls and 230mls) However, like Dr Brown, there are few that produce an extra small bottle – 2oz size. What you require entirely depends on how much your baby feeds. The smaller sizes will be useful in the first few weeks, when your babies are tiny and have a tiny stomach. They will take between 2-4 oz at every feed for the first few weeks so the smaller bottles will be better, less heavy. But as they grow and require more volumes of milk so larger bottles will be needed. The small bottles still come in handy though when your babies are just thirsty and need a drink of water.
Measurement marks on the side of the baby bottles makes feeding time easy. When making up the formula it is extremely important that there is the correct water to powder ratio otherwise baby will become dehydrated if not enough water or lose weight if not enough formula powder. It is also convenient to see how much your baby has taken in the feed so you can monitor this. The measurements will be in metric mls and imperial ounces. The formula tub will tell you exactly how to make it up, how many scoops of powder to how much water. Its easy to do, generally 1 scoop of formula powder to 1 oz of water. You will need to check this carefully when you decide on which formula milk to use.
NUMBER OF PARTS
Most straight forward bottles will have four parts – the bottle, collar, nipple, lid. All easy and simple to put together and this is great if this sort of bottle suites your babies, but should they need one that is anti colic for example, then there may be extra parts such as tubing to reach the bottom of the bottle or flanges to act as vents for air. All will be cleanable, and all will be sterilisable too, but perhaps more fiddly to put together.
DO THE BOTTLES FIT WITH YOUR BREAST PUMP ?
It may be that you are breastfeeding your twins or triplets but not at every feed and so express breast milk for your Mom to help or your partner at feeding time, so a breast pump would be ideal and to avoid all the mess of having to decant milk from one bottle to another, far better to express straight into the bottle that you can feed your babies from. There are various breast pumps on the market and you can review them here: Breast Pumps But I don’t think you should stress over this one too much, its more important to have a bottle system that your babies are happy with and if that doesnt correspond to the breast pump then don’t stress about this one.
This is probably one of the most important parts of the bottle. The baby sucks on the nipple and milk passes through it and into baby’s mouth. They can be made of two materials – silicone ( the clear ones) and latex( the brown ones)
Latex is softer than silicone and more flexible, probably the closest to the feel of a nipple for baby. They will wear sooner than their silicone counterparts, and will get tiny tears and cracks so when washing make sure you inspect them carefully and replace when showing signs of wear. It ls also a possibility that your baby could be allergic to latex, so watch for this and replace with silicone if they are.
Silicone is firmer than latex and may take baby time to get used to this nipple but an allergy to silicone is incredibly rare which makes them more popular. They wear more slowly and wash well.
You will find that the nipples/teats may be different sizes depending on the flow they produce, they will also be marked as to what flow of milk they produce. It does depend on the make of teat you use, it may be that the teats are the same size so make sure you check what the flow is. Some will be slow flow, medium flow, fast flow. For a newborn, a slow flow teat would work best, because their tiny mouths then wont be flooded with milk and cause them to choke. As they get older you can move from the slow to medium, around 6 months and fast flow, from 9 months.
There are two general shapes of teat, the standard nipple shape and the orthodontic nipple which is worth considering as there is some thought that an orthodontic nipple will promote gum and jaw health. However they are not as easily available and are more expensive.Worth a thought but I brought my triplets up on the standard teat shape and their teeth, gums and jaw health is just fine !
This is really not too much of a concern, as all bottles, and all their parts are easily cleanable in warm soapy water using various bottle brushes and everything will go into the steriliser. Be aware that as time goes on, the plastic bottles and teats will scratch which can harbour germs. Some can be washed on the top shelf of the dishwasher, have a look at the packaging that your bottles come in to see if yours can do this. But bear in mind that this will shorten their life and if you use the bottom shelf, it will be too hot for the bottles and this will shorten their lifespan further. The bottles will still require sterilising after washing in the dishwasher.
This is an issue that causes a great nuisance. You’re up at 3 am feeding triplet 2 and the bottle has leaked all over the babygro so now you’re going to have to change him and whilst you do ,he’s spits up and messes the clean one you just put on him ! Leakage should not be an issue if the bottles are put together properly so if you have trouble with leakage, take the bottle apart and reassemble. Have a look at my reviews, I have commented about each bottle and if leakage is an issue with them, I have mentioned it.
In the beginning my triplets were feeding every 2-3 hours. I decided that the last thing I wanted to do was to be washing up bottles, trying to sterilise before they needed their next feed. So I got 24 4oz bottles to start with, with 24 nipples/teats. I had two steam sterilisers and they would be put on as soon as the first six were used, which was after feed 2. I would always make sure I had a steriliser full of clean bottles all the time, so I never had to worry about not having a bottle! They are expensive when buying for twins or triplets, but unfortunately there isn’t much of way round it.
Take a look at the types of bottles below and then click on the link to take you to the reviews. If you want to try a few types before you buy there is a company that will send you a selection of bottles, much cheaper to do it this way than buy them yourself individually. Follow this link to check out the selection First Foods Baby Bottle Selection
TYPES OF BOTTLES
STANDARD BABY BOTTLES
These are usually narrow, cylindrical bottles either plain, or decorated with various appealing designs. They will fit a range of standard teats and have lids that press on the teat to seal. They are made of plastic, which these days is BPA and phthalate free so no chemicals leaching into the milk. They are generally generic brands that you can find at the supermarket or department stores.
Pros: Widely available, likely to fit accessories such as bottle warmers and sterilisers, least expensive type of bottle.Wont break when dropped.
Cons: Not as easy to clean as wider necked counterparts. Plastic eventually starts looking worn, the plastic becomes dull. Not so easy to clean over time.
WIDE NECK BABY BOTTLES
These are generally shorter and wider than standard bottles, but hold the same volume of milk. Usually take silicone rather than latex teats ( reduce potential allergy issues). They have the same self-sealing lid as the standard bottles. Bottles such as Avent and Bare come into this category.
Pros Easy fill and clean. Many come with added features such as anti colic bottles.
Cons Their shape can make them less versatile, it may be that you need a specific bottle steriliser to fit them.
Anti colic bottles are designed to reduce the amount of air your baby swallows whilst feeding, this is thought to be a possible cause of colic (uncontrollable crying in a healthy baby, as a result of trapped wind).To reduce the amount of air swallowed, these bottles usually have valves, tubes or collapsible bags for the milk that stop air bubbling through the milk which in practice reduces the air that can be swallowed by your baby. Anti colic bottles are worth a try if your babies cry for no reason a lot.
There are also drops that you can give your baby before feeding that can help with colic, one of my baby daughters had colic so I used both anti colic bottles and the drops with all three, they were a lot more settled!
Pros Reduce the amount of air swallowed when feeding
Cons May not work for all babies, more expensive than other bottles
ODD SHAPED BOTTLES!
Some bottles are ergonomically designed to be easier for little hands to hold such as mimjumi or comotomo. They are also some of the best bottles to use in conjunction with breast feeding. Take a look at the best breast feeding bottles.
Pros Easy-grip bottles encourage older babies to drink unaided.
Cons Can be more difficult to clean, may not fit in your steriliser.
Pros Visual aid to ensuring you don’t give your baby too-hot milk.
Cons More expensive than standard bottles, and using the inside of your wrist to test the milk works just as well.
MICROWAVE STERILISING BOTTLES
Using a microwave, these bottles don’t require any extra equipment for sterilising. You pour water into the base of the bottle, arrange the bottle components on top and microwave for three minutes. Avent are a very good product in this category and I had one of these.
Pros No need for other sterilising equipment, useful for travel as is neat and compact.
Cons Not as big as the usual sterilisers so cannot sterilise many all in one go, but sure is handy when on holiday.
BABY BOTTLE SETS AND SYSTEMS
Some manufacturers produce bottle sets with attachments such as handles to put onto bottles and trainer spouts and soft sippy spouts, for when your baby reaches the appropriate stage. Baby Bottle Systems do save money when buying for twins and triplets
Pros Good value for money and prolongs the life of your feeding system by adapting to their development.
Cons More expensive at the outset.
Disposable baby bottles/liners and teats can prove extremely useful when travelling and the facility for sterilising is impossible. As a regular use, probably would end up being too expensive. As an alternative a bottle liner can be used, these are sterile and slide inside the bottle, this is then filled with milk and the milk doesnt come in contact with the bottle at all. Still an expensive option and the nipple/teat would need to be sterilised.
Cons Expensive on a daily basis, generates waste.
These glass bottles are much more widely available now, and were brought back due to the concern about chemicals in the plastic bottles and the environmental disadvantages of using plastics but now plastics are BPA and polycarbonate free. Generally they are supplied with easy grip covers for the bottles.
Pros Don’t stain and environmentally friendly if the glass is recycled. They are easy to clean, no nicks or scratches that could harbour milk that leads to germs.
Cons Breakable and become more opaque over time. Easy grip covers are still not completely eco friendly. Bottles are heavier and more expensive at the outlay.
Self Heat Baby Bottles can create their own heat to warm the milk up in approximately 3 minutes. Very handy if youre out and about or travelling! Gone are the days of bottle warmers with car lighter plugs to warm the bottles !
Pros Very handy and definitely quick to get that hungry baby fed!
Cons Expensive outlay for twins or triplets.
These are a new thing to me as this wasn’t possible when my triplets were babies. The bottle holds the formula powder in separate compartment to the water, so all ready when required. A button is pressed that pops the top on the powder compartment and the top acts as an agitator within the milk to assist in even blending.Each brand of formula mixing bottles have different ways of achieving this process.
I would not recommend this bottle for any mom with premature babies, or for babies under 1 year as you have to remember that the formula powder is NOT sterile, and by mixing with water that is not at least at 60°C.
Pros Everything all in one place, no measuring out of powder, and completely fresh when required
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