At some point, every mom faces the need to be apart from babe for a short while and having a back-up feeding option in case of an emergency is always smart. This means at some point you’ll have to choose a bottle to feed your baby. Dowling and her team recently published research testing the claims manufacturers make regarding their bottle systems in Nursing for Women’s Health, particularly the claims of how a particular nipple or bottle system may mimic real nursing. All bottle systems tested were BPA-free, an important consideration when choosing any baby product that is made of or has some plastic component.
Along the way, they discovered expert-tested strategies moms can follow to pick the right bottle and toddler feeding systems, and it all starts with knowing your baby and how he or she eats.
What were the results? The final choice eventually comes down to the mother’s and baby’s preference.
“Babies are different and have different styles of sucking, from the slow to the fast eaters,” Dowling said, who also cautioned about the practicalities of choosing a bottle system: “The more parts and tiny areas in the components, the harder it will be to clean.”
These differences may mean trying more than one particular bottle or nipple before you invest in the whole system.
Match your baby’s eating style: Look for systems that have slow, medium and fast flow nipples. Younger babies need slower flows, others want faster delivery, especially when they’re over-hungry.
Be persistent: Give baby a chance to adapt to a new bottle and don’t give up if your baby rejects a bottle on the first feeding. In fact, too many changes of bottle and nipple systems can be costly and end up frustrating you both.
Ask around: Ask your friends and other moms what they like about the bottles they use and read reviews online. Look at the overall costs and practicality of each system.
A good place to begin is to try one of the top consumer-rated bottle systems available. Check for these features:
What’s New with Safe Infant Sleep? The latest safe infant sleep recommendations are based on what experts have learned and are known risk-factors for sleep-related infant deaths.