8 Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies of 2019

Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies of 2019

August 20, 2019

Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies of 2019

Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies of 2019

Breastfeeding is one of the many ways you can nourish and comfort your baby, and many parents cherish the closeness that breastfeeding provides.

But for many breastfeeding parents, the realities of everyday life can quickly sneak their way into that newborn bliss. Going back to work, an illness, catching up on some much-needed sleep or simply wanting a night out with your partner or friends (self-care, people!) are just a few of the many reasons you may need to be away from your little one for an extended amount of time. And if you are baby’s main food source, you need to be sure they can take a bottle so you’ll have one less thing to worry about when you’re away.

We’re talking with a lactation consultant about helping your baby transition from breast to bottle, then rounding up our list of Babylist picks for the best bottles for breastfed babies.

When to Introduce the Bottle

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Allyson Murphy of Laid Back Lactation recommends introducing a bottle between 3 and 6 weeks. “That’s because babies have a natural instinct at that time to suck on anything you put in their mouth,” she says.

The oral motor function required to suck from a breast versus a bottle is very different. (Murphy compares it to being bilingual.) Introducing the bottle in the 3- to 6-week timeframe offers the best shot at baby being able to master both “languages.” “If breastfeeding is going well, it’s a great time to introduce the bottle.”

How to Introduce a Bottle to a Breastfed Baby

There are a few things Murphy recommends when introducing the bottle:

  • Upright hold. The position that a baby feeds in from a breast is different than how most people tend to hold babies while bottle feeding. Babies at the breast need to suck hard to remove milk. You’ll want to try to mimic that as closely as possible when you’re bottle feeding. Hold your little one a bit more upright with the bottle parallel to the floor so the milk is coming at them, not down into them. This makes them work to get the milk rather than gravity doing it for them.
  • Paced feeding. Breastfed babies tend to pause often while feeding. Make sure you’re pacing bottle feedings, too, so the faster flow of the bottle nipple doesn’t get overwhelming. Pause every few minutes and let baby take their time on the bottle. This also prevents them from preferring a fast, easy bottle and deciding the work of nursing at the breast is too hard.

Some babies will transition from breast to bottle with hardly any issue at all. For others, though…it’s not that easy. Murphy outlines some tips for an easier transition.

  • Set the stage for success. Two o’clock in the morning isn’t a great time to do anything, let alone introduce a breastfed babe to their first bottle. Same goes for a particularly tired or cranky day. For the best shot at success, pick a time of day when baby (and whoever is doing the feeding!) is in a good mood.
  • Start slow. Murphy recommends using a slow flow nipple and starting with one feeding each day to get a breastfed baby used to taking a bottle. This can be a full feeding, or even a few ounces, but the key is to start slow and build from there.
  • Try, try and try again. Like so much of parenting, patience is key when it comes to introducing the bottle. Try not to freak out if your little one doesn’t immediately take to the bottle. (Easier said than done—we get it.) Just like breastfeeding, taking a bottle is new to you and to your little one, so try your best not to get frustrated. If you can tell things aren’t working out, Murphy recommends putting away the bottle and trying again another day.
  • Switch it up. Babies will often refuse a bottle from the nursing parent. If you find that’s the case, switch things up. Ask your partner, a grandparent, a caregiver or friend to give the bottle a whirl. You can also try a different feeding position to change things up, like feeding while walking around or feeding in an upright bouncy seat so you can get a good view of baby’s latch on the bottle nipple.
  • Consistency is key. According to Murphy, one of the biggest missteps she sees new parents make is lack of consistency when it comes to bottle feeding. Once you introduce the bottle, keep it up! Make sure you’re bottle feeding at least once each day so baby doesn’t get out of practice.

What’s the Best Bottle for Breastfed Babies?

“The perfect bottle for your baby is the bottle that your baby will take,” says Murphy. And she’s right!

Instead of committing to a full set of a single bottle brand, buy one of a few different brands to see what your little one (and you) prefer. She also reminds parents to focus on the nipple rather than the bottle, always choosing a slow flow option. What’s slow flow to one brand may not be slow at all for another, so you may have to do a bit of trial and error to find what works.

Still struggling? Don’t hesitate to reach out to a certified lactation consultant or even a speech language pathologist who specializes in infant feeding, Murphy says. Sometimes a little help from the experts is all you’ll need to get baby on track with bottles.

Registry Must-Have

Why We Love It

Not to toot our own horn but…(toot, toot) we think this bottle box is pretty genius. A great add to any baby registry, this box includes five of our most popular baby bottles, so you and your little one will get to take a test drive with each one before committing to a full set.

Keep in Mind

Inside you’ll find bottles from Comotomo, NUK Simply Natural, Herobility, Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow and nanobébé.

What Babylist Parents Say

“We unexpectedly had to supplement with formula our first week with our little one. Having this bottle set was a life saver! Highly recommend.” -Jacqueline

Parent Favorite

Why We Love It

Loved by parents, babies and lactation specialists alike, Dr. Brown’s unique venting system eliminates air bubbles during feeding, aiding in digestion and reducing the likelihood of gas, spit-up and even colic. And thanks to their special design, these bottles have been proven to help better preserve milk nutrients.

Keep in Mind

Although this set does come with a slow flow level 1 nipple, lactation consultants recommend purchasing a preemie nipple to help breastfed babies transition to the bottle. Also be warned that these bottles have a lot of parts to clean, but many parents love them so much that they don’t mind.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Great bottles to reduce colic. They are more complicated to clean but worth it.” -Fiorella

Air-Free Feeding

Why We Love It

The drop-in plastic liners used in these bottles mimic the breast in the way that they contract during feeding—making them a great choice for a breastfed baby. (The liners are also pre-sterilized, which guarantees a clean bottle at every feed.) The nipples have a raised texture and a natural, wide shape which encourage a healthy latch and make the transition between breast a bottle a bit easier.

Keep in Mind

Worried about the environmental impact of the plastic liners? Good news is they’re 100% recyclable.

Mimics the Breast

Why We Love It

Unlike most plastic or glass bottles, Comotomo bottles are made from soft, squishy silicone, meaning they feel much more like the breast. Specifically designed for babies who switch between the two, these bottles feature an extra-wide base and nipple. And very few parts means extra-easy cleaning.

Keep in Mind

Because of their round shape, these bottles can tip over easily, so be careful when filling them.

What Babylist Parents Say

“My baby easily transitions between this bottle and breastfeeding, and they’re super easy to clean.” -Christine

Natural Nipple

Why We Love It

Lansinoh used over 50 years of research to design this bottle, and their hard work paid off. The nipple on this unique bottle is ergonomically designed to mimic a natural breast, helping baby to use the same sucking motion for each and easing the transition between breast and bottle. There’s also a venting system to reduce air intake and an inner vertical groove on the nipple that prevents collapse.

Keep in Mind

Parents rave about the unique nipple design on the mOmma, and it’s also recommended by many lactation consultants as a great bottle for breastfed babies.

For the Perfect Latch

Why We Love It

A good latch is essential for both breast and bottle feeding, which is why we love this breastfeeding-friendly bottle from Munchkin. Featuring a flexible nipple that lets baby control the flow of milk (it’s designed like an accordion, stretching just like the nipple of a breast), it helps your little one stay latched on and ultimately ingest less air during a feeding.

Keep in Mind

The anti-colic valve for this bottle is located at the bottom and does take a bit of work to clean. You can try out the brand’s Latch Deluxe Bottle and Valve Brush for a good scrub.

What Babylist Parents Say

“My baby was breast and bottle-fed from birth and she never had nipple confusion with this bottle. It made the transition from breast to bottle and back again super easy.” -Cassiopeia

Nutrient Saver

Why We Love It

Nanobébé bottles look and feel unlike anything else currently on the market. Short and wide, the rounded shape helps milk cool and heat twice as fast as standard bottles, helping all the nutrients in that precious liquid gold stay as intact as possible. This kit comes with two breast pump adapters, two pacifiers and a non-electric warming bowl that’s specially designed to gently and evenly warm breast milk.

Keep in Mind

Love to keep things organized? These bottles are stackable for compact storage.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I love the breast-likeness of the bottles & the thoughtful design to these products. Our sweet boy didn’t have trouble going from breastfeeding to one of these bottles. I also love that these bottles don’t slide around and are stackable.” - Amber

Perfect for the Pump

Why We Love It

Pumping can add an extra and time-consuming step into the feeding process, but these bottles help to make it all a little bit easier. They’re compatible with all Medela pumps, meaning you can pump directly into the bottle and use it right away or seal it with a storage lid and pop on the nipple once it’s time for a feeding.

Keep in Mind

There’s no venting system, so we prefer these bottles for babies who don’t have issues with gas or spit-up.

What Babylist Parents Say

“We tried several different bottles and he loved this one the most. It’s also really convenient for moms who pump because the bottles fit right on the pump.” -Jessica

Choosing What’s Right for You

Transitioning between the breast and the bottle can be tricky for some babies, but stick with it—with a little practice and the right bottle, your little one will be switching between the two with ease.

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