Many breastfeeding mothers also give a bottle to their babies. With so many options to choose from, it can be challenging deciding which bottle is best. And babies who both nurse and take bottles have a special set of needs to consider.
Two challenges nursing moms can face: Some breastfed babies have a hard time taking a bottle and some babies have a hard time going back to the breast after taking a bottle. The key to a good bottle for a breastfeeding baby is the nipple. You want a nipple that mimics breastfeeding as much as possible.
Components to look for:
SLOW FLOW - A slow flow nipple will release milk slowly and make the baby “work” for the milk as she/he does at the breast. Pause and take little breaks while feeding from a bottle to follow natural breastfeeding patterns.
A WIDE, SOFT NIPPLE - A wide nipple is similar in shape to a woman’s breasts and areolas, can help to avoid nipple confusion and provide for a more natural latch.
A WIDE BASE - A wide base may easier to handle for baby, is a good fit for a wide nipple and has a similar contour to a woman’s breast.
A VENTING SYSTEM - Look for a nipple with a ventilation system that prevents too much air being swallowed when baby is drinking. Swallowing air can cause gas, pain, colic and spitting up.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Here are some of the best bottles for breastfeeding babies, which feature all the components listed above:
- Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle
- Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Bottle
- Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottle
- Lanisoh Momma Bottle with NaturalWave Nipple
- Medela Calma Bottle
- Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle
A bottle that may work for one baby may not work for yours. You may go through a few different bottles before finding one that is the right fit for your baby. Or your baby may be fine with whatever bottle you offer.
Whether you are going back to work and want another caretaker to give your baby a bottle of pumped breast milk while you are away, want your partner to give baby a bottle at night so you can rest or need another caretaker to watch baby for a few hours every now and then for a date night or other self care, you will want a bottle that best suits your breastfeeding baby. This list is just a guideline and you may find a bottle not on this list that is best for your baby! Just do what works best for your family!