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Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies
Updated on
March 27, 2024

Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies

By Jen LaBracio | Medically Reviewed by LC De Shay-Evans
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Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies.
Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies

Breastfeeding is one of the many ways you can nourish and comfort your baby, and many parents cherish the closeness that nursing 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 are just a few of the many reasons you may need to pump and stash some breast milk for your little one. 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 talked with a lactation consultant about what to look for if you’re choosing a bottle for a breastfed baby, helping your little transition from breast to bottle and the best bottles for breastfed babies.

Babylist’s Top Picks for the Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies

  • Best Sampler Box: Babylist Bottle Box (5 Bottles)
  • Easiest for Breast to Bottle Transition: Lansinoh Momma Breastmilk Feeding Bottle
  • Best Anti-Colic: Dr. Brown’s Options+ Newborn Starter Gift Set
  • Best Glass: Joovy Boob Glass Bottle & Sleeve
  • Best for Pumping Parents: Kiinde Twist Breastfeeding System
  • Another Option for Breastfeeding Parents: Medela Breastmilk Bottle
  • Best Slow Flow: Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle Newborn Starter Gift Set
  • Best Nipple: Pigeon Silicone Nipple
  • Best for Latch: Evenflo Balance Wide-Neck Anti-Colic Baby Bottles
  • Easiest to Clean: Comotomo Natural Feel Silicone Baby Bottles
  • Best to Preserve Nutrients: Nanobébé Starter Kit

Babylist’s Picks for the Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies

Best Bottle Box for Breastfed Babies

What Our Experts Think

Not to toot our own horn but…toot, toot, we think this bottle box is pretty genius. A great add to any baby registry, it includes five of our most popular baby bottles so you can test drive each before committing to a full set of any one brand. It’s especially useful if you’re a nursing parent with a picky baby and want to try before you buy.

What’s Worth Considering

Inside you’ll find bottles from nanobébé, Comotomo, Dr. Brown’s, NUK and Boon. If you prefer glass bottles over plastic or silicone, there’s a sampler box for those, too.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I think this is a great starter box for those who want to try a few bottles to see what works for their baby. Mine is breastfeeding and during our transition to bottle, it’s nice to try which bottle seems to work best for the baby before spending on a bunch of bottles.” -Andrea

Best Bottle for Transition from Breast to Bottle

What Our Experts Think

Lansinoh used over 50 years of research to design this bottle, and their hard work paid off. The nipple 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.

What’s Worth Considering

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.

Best Anti-Colic Bottle for Breastfed Babies

What Our Experts Think

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.

What’s Worth Considering

Although this set does come with level one slow flow nipples, 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. The good news is that the Options+ system allows you to remove the venting system as your baby gets older, making the cleaning process a lot faster.

What Babylist Parents Say

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

Best Glass Bottle for Breastfed Babies

What Our Experts Think

If you’d prefer a glass bottle over plastic or silicone, these bottles from Joovy are our top choice and are recommended by several lactation consultants. The gradually sloped nipple promotes a natural latch and the venting system prevents nipple collapse and colic symptoms. They’re easy to grip thanks to the included silicone sleeve (and less likely to break if dropped) and are easy to clean thanks to only a few parts.

What’s Worth Considering

Glass bottles are heavy. And although they’re tempered, making them more difficult to break than everyday glass, it can happen. They’re also pricey.

Best Bottle for Pumping Parents

What Our Experts Think

If you’re a nursing parent, odds are you’re also a pumping parent—at least some of the time. And that means you’re probably spending more time than you’d like transferring your pumped milk into different places and washing storage containers and bottles. The Kiinde system combines breast milk collection, storing and feeding into one streamlined system, saving you both time and effort. Each sturdy bag pulls triple duty: pump right into it, refrigerate or freeze your milk then attach a bottle casing and nipple right on top when it’s time to feed. This gift set includes 20 storage pouches, 14 adapters (compatible with all major pump brands), a breast milk storage bag holder, a bottle warmer, two bottle casings, three different flow nipples and two cleaning brushes.

What’s Worth Considering

You can’t reuse the milk storage bags, so if you’re pumping and storing a lot of milk, the cost can really add up.

Pro tip: if your baby doesn’t like the Kiinde nipples that are included in the set, you can purchase adapters and attach nipples from other bottle brands to the bottle casing when it’s time to feed.

What Babylist Parents Say

“A must have for any breastfeeding momma! I bought one for me and loved it so much I bought one for my niece who is expecting! Your time is valuable, this system saves you countless hours of cleaning dishes, freezes easily, and reduces air intake for your little one! Win-win-win! Wish I had found this set for my first child. Thank you Kiinde!” -Tracie

Another Option for Breastfeeding Parents

What Our Experts Think

Lots of parents end up trying the Medela Breastmilk Bottle because it’s included with their breast pump— and they are pleasantly surprised with the results. These bottles are perfectly sized for the first few months when your baby is taking only a few ounces at each feeding, and there aren’t a lot of parts to clean, another big plus in the early days. They’re also 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.

What’s Worth Considering

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

Best Slow Flow Bottle for Breastfed Babies

What Our Experts Think

A slow-flow nipple is an important feature when considering the best bottle for a breastfed baby, and lactation consultants love the soft, flexible and naturally-shaped nipples on these Avent Natural bottles. The petal-like shape on the nipple’s base gives the nipple more give but also supports it from collapsing. The bottles feature a wide base and few parts, making them quick and easy to clean.

What’s Worth Considering

This gift set includes three four-ounce bottles with Flow 2 nipples, two nine-ounce bottles with Flow 3 nipples, two extra nipples (Flows 1 and 4), seven sealing discs, two pacifiers and a bottle brush. These bottles also come in glass.

What Babylist Parents Say

“These are amazing for going back/forth from breast and bottle. I like that he can control the flow and it doesn’t guzzle it into his mouth!” -Elle

Best Nipple for Breastfed Babies

What Our Experts Think

If your breastfed baby is struggling with taking a bottle, here’s a tip that many lactation consultants will share: try a Pigeon nipple. This Japanese brand is known for its nipples that help even the most stubborn of bottle refusers. The secret lies in the nipple’s size, feel and shape. It’s thinner than many other bottle nipples, breast-shaped with a gentle slope and features a textured surface and inner ridges to prevent collapse. It’s also very slow-flowing, a must-have for breastfed babies.

What’s Worth Considering

The Pigeon nipple is designed for Pigeon brand bottles, but they also work with the Lansinoh Momma bottles. For a very similar nipple with more bottle options, head over to Lactation Hub. They have narrow neck and wide neck slow-flow nipples that are ideal for breastfed babies.

Best Bottle for Breastfed Babies for the Perfect Latch

What Our Experts Think

A good latch is essential for both breast and bottle feeding, which is why we love this breastfeeding-friendly bottle from Evenflo developed with a pediatric feeding specialist. It’s specially designed to help your baby position their lips for a proper latch and to decrease mouth fatigue. There’s also a slow-flow nipple to help your breastfed baby pace their feed and an integrated venting system.

What’s Worth Considering

Some parents say the measurements on this bottle can be a bit tough to see.

Easiest to Clean Bottle for Breastfed Babies

What Our Experts Think

Thanks to these bottles’ extra-wide base and few parts, they’re super easy to clean. And unlike most plastic or glass bottles, Comotomo bottles are made from soft, squishy silicone, meaning they feel much more like the breast.

What’s Worth Considering

Not all breastfed babies (or all lactation consultants) love the wider nipple base on these bottles. It can also cause a shallow latch for some. And 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

Best Bottle for Breastfed Babies to Preserve Nutrients

What Our Experts Think

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.

What’s Worth Considering

Love to keep things organized? These bottles are stackable for compact storage. Nanobebe also makes a silicone bottle that many Babylist parents love.

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

How We Chose the Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies

  • We analyzed results from Babylist’s Best Baby Products survey, which polled 6,000 Babylist users and asked them to share the baby products they love the most and why.
  • We spoke to Allyson Murphy, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and founder of Lactation Ally.
  • We utilized insight from the Babylist editorial team, including Gear Editor Jen LaBracio, an expert in the baby space for over six years and a mom of two who has written hundreds of baby gear guides and personally researched and tested hundreds of baby products, including many travel systems.
  • We reviewed customer reviews from hundreds of real Babylist parents.

When to Introduce a Bottle for a Breastfed Baby

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Allyson Murphy of Lactation Ally recommends introducing a bottle between three and six 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 three- to six-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,” she explains.

What to Look for in the Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies

There are certain features many lactation professionals recommend when choosing a bottle for a breastfed baby. But don’t discount your baby’s personal preferences, either. “The perfect bottle for your breastfed baby is the bottle that your baby will take,” says Murphy.

  • Nipple type. What nipple type is best for a breastfed baby? Many lactation consultants recommend looking for a bottle with a nipple that has a gradual slope, meaning the top of the nipple is narrow and then gradually slopes outward toward the bottom. This encourages baby’s mouth to open wider and can help them achieve a deep latch. However, every baby is different, and some babies will have no problem drinking from a bottle with a wider nipple base. You also may have to experiment with a few different brands to see what your baby prefers.
  • Nipple flow. It’s best to start with a slow-flow nipple when introducing a bottle to a baby who is regularly breastfed. Much like with nipple shapes, however, don’t be surprised if you need to try a few different brands before landing on a winner. 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, says Murphy.
  • Venting system. If your baby is prone to gas or fussiness, you may want to choose a bottle with a good venting system. There’s no guarantee that any particular venting system will ease your little one’s discomfort, but there’s also no downside in trying a few different types, either.
  • Materials. Just as you would choose a bottle material for an exclusively formula-fed baby, the same holds true for a baby who’s switching between the bottle and the breast: choose what works for you. Plastic, glass and silicone baby bottles all have their own pros and cons. Pick the one that works best for your preferences and your lifestyle.

Pro tip: 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.

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 issues at all. For others, 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 baby to their first bottle. The 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 a 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.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many baby bottles do I need?

You should have three to four baby bottles on hand if you’re using them occasionally to feed your breastfed baby. If you’re exclusively bottle feeding, six to 12 is a good number to ensure you’ll always have one ready to go when you need it.

What size baby bottle do I need?

Most bottles come in two sizes: smaller-sized bottles, usually around four ounces, and larger bottles, which hold about eight ounces of breast milk or formula. As a benchmark, newborns may eat as little as an ounce or two every meal, while babies around six months old may eat six to eight ounces at a feeding. Some parents choose to buy a few smaller and larger bottles, while others buy larger bottles from the start and only fill them up about halfway during baby’s first few months.

Jen LaBracio

Senior Gear Editor

Jen LaBracio is Babylist’s Senior Gear Editor, a role that perfectly combines her love of all things baby gear with her love of (obsessive) research. When she’s not testing out a new high chair or pushing the latest stroller model around her neighborhood, she likes to run, spin, listen to podcasts, read and spend time at the beach. In her past life, she worked for over a decade in children’s publishing. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and their two boys, Will and Ben.

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