Being a new mommy is as exhausting as it is exhilarating. Breastfeeding makes even the smallest decisions feel like a challenge, let alone the decision to go back to work.
However, baby bottles are here for the rescue.
Whether you’re going back to work or just want to rest your breasts, baby bottles are there for you.
In this article, I’ll spare you the trouble of research.
I’ll attempt to give you the extract of my journey through what to consider during your search. I’ll also review some of the best bottles to use for breastfed babies.
Breast feeding using bottle and latching on breast
Basically there are 2 ways you can breast feed your baby. Latching directly on your breasts or using bottles to feed expressed breast milk (EBM).
Direct latching is great skin to skin but may be too demanding for mommy and if mommy needs to tend to work / other chores, then expressing breast milk into bottle to fed or stored in milk storage bags to be fed later will provide flexibility and convenience for mommy and other care givers to feed baby.
The good thing about bottle feeding using EBM is you can involve daddy or other family members who want to be involved in caring for your baby to help with the feeding process.
It also allows mommy to free up some time to do the things she wasn’t able to when exclusively latch on breastfeeding.
Related: BreastFeeding Frequently Asked Questions.
The Best Bottles To Use For Expressed Breast Milk
Navigating through ads of products featuring carefree women feeding their newborns feels absurd and borderline annoying. I feel you. I’ve been there.
This is why I present to you, from one mom to another, the best 10 baby bottles in the market.
Medela Calma breast milk bottle is more of a specialty feeding device rather than a baby bottle. This BPA-free bottle operates using a flow valve, controlled by the vacuum created by the baby when it sucks properly.
The bottle’s vented nipple mimics the mother’s nipple perfectly. This helps in the reinforcement of natural feeding behavior and preventing excessive gassiness.
- Vented nipple to prevent excessive gas
- Flow control valve
- Easily cleaned
- Helps in nipple confusion
- 90-day warranty
- Nipple opening is too big, leading to leakage
- Difficult to assemble
Lansinoh Natural Wave
Lasinoh Natural Wave breastfeeding bottle is made by moms for moms. It’s carefully designed using evidence-based methods to maintain and enrich the natural feeding process.
It has a simple design, focused on getting the job done. The bottle is made of BPA-free plastic that’s both dishwasher and microwave-safe. It has an anti-colic venting system that reduces gas entry, preventing abdominal colic or spit-up.
As for the teat, it’s made of soft silicone with inner vertical grooves, which simultaneously allows the baby to get a secure latch and avoids collapse.
- Great value for money
- The nipple is collapse resistant
- No leakage
- Anti-colic venting system
- Fast flow, it might lead to choking
- No warranty
Nano Bebe is a one of a kind breastmilk bottle. It’s the winner of the innovation Mom’s Choice Award in 2018.
With its unique shape and resemblance to the mother’s breast, Nano Bebe offers a smooth transition from breast to bottle and back. Its design also allows ergonomic handling for more comfort.
Moreover, it’s incredibly innovative, with fast warming and cooling, a breast pump adaptor, and a double vented anti-colic system. Fast warming allows the baby to feed immediately whenever it wants to, while fast cooling prevents bacterial growth during storage.
As for the breast pump adaptor, it’s an efficient way to pump directly into your bottle as well as maintain a proper seal for storage.
- The design resembles the mother’s breast
- Ergonomic handling
- Breast pump adaptor
- Double-vented anti-colic system
- Fast warming for immediate feeding
- Fast cooling for storage
- Difficult to hold
- Pricey $$$
With their unconventional design, Hegen bottles immediately captured our attention. They’re square in shape rather than cylindrical. This is crucial for their versatility and efficiency.
Although this might look odd, it actually comes as a huge advantage. It’s incredibly easy to clean and reach every corner, even without a bottle brush.
The soft-square shape also works perfectly with storage. They’re easily stacked together within the cabinet, dishwasher, or sterilizer.
The lids and teats operate with smooth one-handed closure, clicking into place. It’s completely hassle-free, with smooth edges and no spillage or clogging.
- Anti-colic air-vent
- Square design for easy cleaning and storage
- One-handed closure
- Versatile; it can be used as a food container, water bottle, and storage container
- Off-center silicone teat for proper upright latching
- BPA, BPS, PVC, and phthalates free
- Beautiful packaging
- Not secure enough
The most notable feature about Como Tomo is its ease of cleaning, assembly, and overall use. It’s an ultra-wide neck silicone bottle made of only three parts.
It doesn’t need a brush to clean, except maybe when cleaning the nipple. It’s also safely cleaned using boiling water, dishwashers, and sterilizers.
The body is soft and flexible to be easily held by the baby’s hands. The nipple ring has a small tab to ensure secure closure.
As for the material, it’s made of silicone, which is kind of the best of both worlds. It has the durability, feel, and flexibility of plastic along with the safety of glass.
- Great value for money
- Made of silicone
- Dishwasher safe
- Ultrawide neck for easy cleaning
- Soft and flexible body
- Nipple ring
- Can tip over sometimes
- Can leak if squeezed
- Nipple collapses sometimes
- Volume markings aren’t easily seen in low light
Tommee Tippee has produced an incredibly affordable bottle, combining natural feel, safety, and convenient design. When it comes to wholeness, it’s certainly second-to-none.
For starters, it’s 100% baby-safe. It’s made of BPA-free and phthalate-free plastic, ensuring absolute safety for your baby’s health.
It’s lightweight with a squat shape and a wide neck. This makes it easy to hold and pour milk. The dark volume markings are easy to read, regardless of lighting conditions.
Moreover, the nipple has a contoured shape that’s very life-like and a single vent that allows in fewer bubbles and less swallowing of air.
- BPA-free and phthalate-free
- Anti-colic venting system
- Easy to hold
- Easily-read dark volume markings
- Difficult to clean
- Volume markings wear off
- Not particularly durable
Philips Avent’s Natural baby bottle is a jack of all trades, master of many. It has something for everyone, offering two different bottles, one glass, and one plastic bottle. It also comes with a range of flow rates, according to your baby’s appetite.
It really hands your autonomy back to you, deciding what’s best for your baby. The bottles’ other features are all the same, still not compromising on your baby’s health or safety.
It has a silicone nipple for easy latching and a breast-like feel, preventing bottle refusal. With only four parts, it’s very easy to clean and assemble.
- Comes in both glass and plastic
- Comes with different flow rates
- Anti-colic venting system
- Silicone nipple for a natural feel
- Easy to assemble and clean
- Fast flow rate is too fast; might lead to choking
- Leakage from sides
At the first look, Dr. Brown’s bottle looks professional, even medical. It’s known to be one of the top choices for babies with colicky pains or excessive gassiness. It’s one of its greatest assets.
It has quite a complicated system, which discourages a lot of tired moms. However, here lies its appeal. There are six pieces for each bottle, two of which compose the removable internal venting system.
The venting system is extremely efficient in getting the air out and preventing the nipple from collapse. On the other hand, the volume markers are clear and easy to read. So there’s that!
Besides, the bottle has a slim profile easily held by your baby’s adorable tiny hands. The design also allows the bottle to be easily heated in a standard bottle warmer.
- Specially designed for a colicky baby
- Easily held by the baby
- 2 internal venting systems for a non-collapsible nipple
- Easily read volume markers
- Easily heated in a standard bottle warmer
- Complicated design
- Difficult to clean and assemble
- Some leakage
MAM has managed to design an anti-colic baby bottle that’s just on par with high-end brands for just a fraction of the price. At just below 5 dollars, it’s practically a steal!
It targets colic and reflux using its venting base design, reducing symptoms by 80%. In contrast to other anti-colic bottles, it’s easily assembled and can be sterilized in 3 minutes in the microwave.
Plus, its elongated nipple ensures a natural feel and reduces nipple confusion for babies in transition.
- Very economical
- Designed to target reflux and colic
- Elongated nipple for a natural feel
- Easily assembled and cleaned
- Small nipple
The Baby Breeza bottle looks and feels like a jar. It has a slow flow rate and a leak-proof cap to prevent spillage and chocking.
It has an ultra-wide design and only two parts, making it exceptionally easy to handle, especially for a mother of two or more. It’s said to save 10 hours of cleaning and assembly per year. 10 precious hours!
Into the bargain, it’s made of glass and BPA-free plastic to ensure the safety of your baby.
- Ultra-wide neck for easy cleaning
- Made of only two parts for effortless assembly
- Anti-colic venting system
- Slow flow rate
- Cap melts when put in the microwave
Things to Consider When Buying a Breastfeeding Bottle
Each feature in baby bottles has its importance. They all are crucial for your baby’s health and comfort. Here’s what you should look for.
Design and Build
Breastmilk bottles come in all shapes and sizes. Other than the standard bottle with slightly- rounded sides, there are wide-neck bottles, angle-neck bottles, vented bottles, and breast-shaped bottles.
Wide-neck bottles are short and broad. They look and feel a lot like the mother’s breast, preventing nipple confusion.
As for angle-neck bottles, they’re designed to be easier to hold and anti-colic. This is because the milk collects at one end of the bottle, preventing excessive intake of air. They’re quite hard to fill though.
Finally, as the name suggests, vented bottles have a straw-like inner vent. This works as an anti-colic system, preventing the sucking of gas. It’s, however, a bit complicated, with many parts to assemble and clean.
Let’s be honest, as much as we’d love for our babies to stay tiny, they grow up so fast. The more they grow, the more milk they need.
Most brands offer two or more sizes for their breastmilk bottles. Some even sell packages of three different sizes.
Start small with 4 or 5-ounce bottles, then switch to larger bottles, around 8 to 9-ounces, when your baby needs more.
The nipple is arguably the most important part when it comes to breastmilk bottles. It’s the part responsible for the natural feel of sucking as well as the flow rate.
Nipples’ shapes cater to every taste. Each baby has a preference, either flat, wide, or dome-shaped. Flat and wide nipples tend to be more accepted, as their shape resembles a mother’s breast.
It’s usually made from latex or silicone. While latex is more elastic and flexible, it’s less durable than silicone. It tends to lose its shape pretty quickly. Also, latex allergy is quite common among children.
As for the flow rate, it’s important to prevent choking, spitting up, or overfeeding. Nipples can allow slow, medium, or fast flow rates. They’re often numbered; one being the slowest flow.
Some brands offer accessories to your breastmilk bottle. They’re often convenient to have around.
You might want to look for sets with travel caps if you often take your baby out for a walk or a stroll. Collars, discs, and solid lids are also pretty useful when it comes to long-term breastmilk storage.
Some brands throw a mesh bag into the bargain, to avoid the loss of the parts.
Easy to Wash
Your baby’s safety depends on the cleanliness of its environment. This is why you should always consider buying bottles that are easily washed.
Look for bottles that are dishwasher safe for more convenience. If you prefer not using a dishwasher, look for bottles with a wide neck, as they’re easier to wash and rinse.
Handling and Storage
Handling breastmilk should always be with clean hands and sterilized pumps, bottles, or bags. There are separate containers you can buy for breastmilk storage. However, some breastmilk bottles can do the job if sealed properly.
Freshly pumped milk can be stored for 4 hours at room temperature, 5 days in the fridge, and 6 months in the freezer.
Glass vs Plastic
I’m not sure why this is even in question. Who in their right mind would hand a glass to a baby? Though strong and safe from chemicals, glass is heavy and carries a risk of breakage.
On the other hand, plastic is lightweight, durable, and doesn’t break easily. Also, most baby bottles nowadays are BPA-free and safe for use.
BPA has recently come into the spotlight, and rightly so. It has many possible health hazards, especially for children and infants.
Most baby bottles are already BPA-free, but it’s still noteworthy that you should check beforehand.
A baby bottle is an extremely personal item. There’s simply not a one fits all situation. Each baby has its own preferences, even if it doesn’t seem like a person yet!
However, if I had to pick a favorite, I think it would be Nano Bebe’s bottle. Its breast-like design and ergonomic handling feel to me like the most natural approach to bottle feeding.
Alternatively, if you’re on a tight budget, I believe MAM offers top-notch quality for the health and safety of your baby, without breaking the bank.