Bottles can be a confusing purchase for a pregnant mama. How many to buy? Which brand? Which size? Bottles make claims of being the most breastfeeding-friendly, the safest, or the one most likely to reduce colic.
Here is my personal opinion on bottles. Note: I’m not a baby bottle expert.
First, bottles are not evil. Realistically, most American babies will have a bottle at some point. The bottle might contain expressed breastmilk, donated breastmilk, or formula. These three liquids look alike. I know my readers would not, but it bears stating: Please do not judge a woman giving a bottle to a baby. No, no, no.
How many? If you’re breastfeeding, you don’t need more than one or two bottles. Really. Breastmilk can remain at room temperature for up to 8 hours. Formula cannot stay out for more than an hour. If you’re working full-time, the milk will be fine at room temp for 8 hours (4 hours is the ideal). Isn’t breastmilk amazing? Because I had previous breast surgery, I had to supplement with donated milk for almost every feeding and I was very comfortable with only two bottles. And then I broke one around 9 months and finished out the year with just one.
What size? Since you only need a few, I would go ahead and buy an 8 or 9oz size.
Which nipple? There are many choices in nipples. I prefer silicone. Many breastfed babies use a size 1 nipple for as long as they are breastfeeding.
What bottles are safe? The concerns with bottles are BPA, PVC, lead, and phthalates. The material choices are plastic, glass, and stainless steel.
Safest plastic choices are usually made from polypropylene or polyethylene. Companies like Nanobebe make silicone bottles. Some use polyphenysulfone (PPES). There are many plastic choices. One good option is ThinkBaby which offers a plastic baby bottle which converts to a sippy cup.
Glass choices range from the tried-and-true EvenFlo to the fancier LifeFactory with a silicone sleeve and interchangeable sippy/silicone straw/nipple lids. I have butter-fingers so I require a silicone sleeve. I used glass bottles with Cedar and still managed to break one. It dropped from about three feet up onto cement. I was impressed that it broke in large peices and the silicone caught the glass (as promised).
And then there are the stainless steel bottles. These can be quite the eye-catcher. I love the kleen kanteen and the organicKidz. Both can convert to sippy cups. The organicKidz bottle lids work as a measuring cup and converts to a toddler cup and then grade-school kid cup. Some benefits to stainless steel: it can keep liquids hot or cool longer and it will not break. However, you cannot microwave stainless steel and I often used the Medela quick steam microwave bags on my glass bottles. Still, these are dishwasher safe.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the above products and did not receive any goods or payment to offer my reviews. I just like them. 🙂