5 Things to Know About Your Baby's Bottle

5 Things to Know About Your Baby's Bottle

January 21, 2020

5 Things to Know About Your Baby's Bottle

5 Things to Know About Your Baby's Bottle
5 Things to Know About Your Baby's Bottle

Baby bottles seem straightforward enough. Liquid goes in. Liquid comes out. Everyone is happy. Right? But when you’re standing in the aisle of your favorite store, trying to figure out which bottle your baby will like best, the slightest curve of a nipple can feel like a significant decision. And with all kinds of features to help your baby transition between breast and bottle or fight colic, it’s not always easy to figure out what the difference between all those bottles even is.

So we’ve partnered up with Tommee Tippee to share some of the basics of baby bottle anatomy and how they impact your baby’s feeding experience (Tommee Tippee self-describes as nipple-obsessed, so it’s kind of their jam). Here’s what to look for in a bottle, from A-Z.

Tommee-Tippee-Bottle-Anatomy-v1

The ABCs of a Standard Baby Bottle

Anti-Colic Valve: You may have noticed a small hole on the nipple of your bottle (well, a different hole from where the liquid comes out), and then probably ignored it like the rest of us. But that hole is actually really important. It’s a special valve that allows for better airflow so your baby doesn’t accidentally gulp down a bunch of air and get uncomfortable gas pains. You’ll find that anti-colic valve on Tommee Tippee’s Closer to Nature nipples, but not on their Advanced Anti-Colic bottle system. (That one has a whole interior system to help with airflow, so the anti-colic valve isn’t necessary.)

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature 150ml Bottle Image

Bottle: The base of your baby’s bottle has a simple function: hold the liquid. But you’ve probably noticed certain design features that differentiate one bottle from another. For example, Tommee Tippee’s fluted shape was designed for a more ergonomic hold that’s still easy to wash.

Speaking of which, if you’re breastfeeding and the thought of transferring milk from a bag to a bottle seems daunting (aka you’re worried about spilling), you can choose to forgo the bottle altogether and simplify with a system that lets you pump milk, store it, warm it and then feed your baby all from the same bag. Tommee Tippee’s Pump-and-Go system lets you do just that with a bottle-shaped pouch-holder that cuts out the middleman.

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Collar & Teat Image

Collar: Being able to separate the different parts of your baby’s bottle is what allows you to clean the bottle easily. More importantly, it’s what prevents milk from getting stuck in crevices (because, yuck). The collar on your bottle connects the nipple to the bottle itself and creates a seal so milk doesn’t escape. But when it comes time to clean, just take it all apart and pop it in the top rack of your dishwasher (or sterilize the parts separately).

Flow-Rate Indicator: Even though some nipples might look the same, there’s a very important very tiny difference that can make a huge impact on your baby’s comfort level: flow rate. That’s the speed at which milk flows out of the bottle. Younger babies need slower flow rates while older babies can handle a faster flow rate. And to help you keep track, Tommee Tippee has included a number on the top of all of their bottle nipples that tells you exactly how fast the liquid will flow. The smaller the number, the slower the flow. And for their Advanced Anti-Colic system, they’ve made it really easy by printing the words “Anti-Colic” on the bottle and the nipple. Because when you’re tired at 3 a.m., sometimes you just need it spelled out for you.

Tommee Tippee Nipple Image

Nipple: If you breastfeed, your baby is most likely accustomed to a nipple that’s, well, shaped like yours. So it makes sense that bottles today are also shaped more like a human breast (they’re a little flatter and wider than the bottles your parents probably used on you). And while it might seem like the design features on the nipples are arbitrary (are the patterns…decorative?), it’s a rare thing for anything on a bottle to not have some kind of purpose. For example, Tommee Tippee’s bottles have a patented ripple inside that allows the nipple to flex and stretch more like a human breast. It’s recommended that you change your bottle nipples every two months (and definitely change them up ASAP if they’re damaged, weak or have been bitten by tiny teeth).

Choosing the Right Bottle For Your Baby

Bottles have come a long way since we were fed as babies. And thankfully that means a much better feeding experience for your little one. In fact, when Tommee Tippee did a study of 1,200 babies, over 90% accepted the Closer to Nature bottle within the first three tries. So even though it might feel like there are a million different choices to make in the bottle aisle, none of them should feel intimidating. At least, now that you know what to look for.

This post is sponsored by Tommee Tippee. Babylist’s free site, apps and emails are made possible by our sponsors. We limit our sponsored content to relevant partners that offer products and services we believe in and use ourselves.

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