Bottle Feeding

When you are pregnant, your primary focus is to “have the baby.”  You’d think you’d get a little break, but as soon as your baby is born, you will notice that your primary focus has suddenly switched to “feed the baby.”  There are many reasons to offer your baby a bottle, so it’s good to go over some of the basic ideas. 

If you are breastfeeding and want to have the bottle as a feeding option, it’s best to introduce your baby to the bottle after breastfeeding has been established, usually between three and six weeks of age.  Once you have introduced the bottle, continue to offer the bottle on a regular basis, every day or every other day, as older babies may change their minds about taking a bottle if not given the bottle consistently after introduction.

Whether you give your baby a bottle occasionally or all the time, here are some tips about bottle feeding:

  • Hold your baby in an upright position.  The Dad in the picture is a good example.
  • Switch the baby from one side to the other side midway through a feeding.  This may feel awkward at first, but it balances out your baby’s neurological development.
  • Take ten-twenty minutes to feed an appropriate amount so the baby’s system can recognize satiety before the stomach becomes over-filled.
  • Take frequent pauses to discourage the baby from guzzling the bottle.
  • Feed your baby only to the point of satiation.  Learn to be okay with leaving milk in the bottle.  If your baby is sleepy and releasing the bottle nipple before the bottle is empty, that means your baby is finished eating.  Resist waking your baby to finish off the bottle.

Deciding which bottles to use can be challenging.  Over the years I’ve come to favor a few that I’ve listed below.  The prices will vary from those listed on the chart depending on where and when you buy them—I just wanted to give you an idea.  Although the plastic bottles are all BPA free, I am skeptical of what else might be in the plastic bottles, so I prefer glass bottles.  Most bottles come with venting systems to decrease the amount of air baby takes in.  I think these venting systems actually help decrease extra air intake and subsequent gas.  Dr. Brown bottles and Born Free bottles have extra pieces as part of the venting system.  The Avent bottles’ venting system is in the nipple, so there are no extra pieces.

The glass Life Factory bottles don’t have a venting system, and the nipple base is a bit narrow.  Each bottle has a silicone cover to prevent breakage and the cover doesn’t have to be removed for washing.  They are a bit more expensive, but you get a glass bottle that has less chance of breaking. 

Check the nipple size that comes with the bottles.  Newborns need a slower flow nipple, so you may need to order those separately.

Brand

Price

Comments

Born Free   5 oz      Glass

$19.40 (2 bottles)

Wide silicone nipples—venting system (two extra pieces.) Comes with one protective sleeve.

Dr. Brown  4 oz       Glass

$8.81 (2 bottles)

Silicone nipples, more narrow at the base—venting system (two extra pieces to fit together.) Made in USA

Philips Avent  4 oz   Glass

27.99 (3 bottles)

Wide silicone nipple—venting system in the nipple—no extra pieces. Made in Europe.

Life Factory   4 oz Glass

$50 (2 Bottles)

Glass bottles. Silicone nipples with a narrow base. Each bottle comes with its own protective silicone sleeve which does not have to be removed for washing.  Made in France & US