Either you intend to exclusively breastfeed or switch to baby formula after sometimes, you need a good baby bottle to get things done. Getting the right baby bottle isn’t rocket science, it’s also not an easy task either. There are many factors that should be considered, what works for baby A, would in most cases not work for Baby B.
It’s a choice you make after factoring in several variables as it pertains to your baby, factors such as baby’s age, sucking skills as well as possible allergies must be put into consideration while making your decision. All of these makes it difficult to select some products and label them as the best bottles for breastfeeding babies.
My aim is to analyse some of the popularly recommended bottles by nursing mothers, check them against the important criteria that should be present in an ideal baby bottle, so as to guide your decision when making a purchase.
Nipple/Teat: Baby bottles are as good as the nipple (teat). This is the most important criteria that should be considered when buying one. The goal is to select a bottle with teat that is as close to the natural nipple as possible.
While this may seem like an easy task, it isn’t. Right now there are about six to seven different types of teat designs on baby bottle. It’s impossible to say a specific type of teat is the best, as you will later on discover in the individual reviews.
However, an ideal bottle teat should have a medium sized base and easy transition between the teat base and the nipple. This is to ensure feeding convenience for the baby.
Design: Too many parts means difficulties in cleaning. Improper cleaning usually result into accumulation of germs. This is the last thing you want around your baby’s bottle. If a bottle has too many parts, then it’s advisable to stay away from it. Modern bottle designs have three or lesser parts; the bottle itself, the teat, the cover for the teat, and in some cases a ring that connects the teat with the bottle. Anything beyond that is an indication of poor design and you want to stay away from such.
Aside the number of parts, another design factor is ventilation of the bottle. If a bottle isn’t properly designed, there is a huge tendency of it trapping air inside of it, resulting into bubbles. When baby suck air, it might result into stomach upset or bloating. Not only that, excess air in the bottle has been shown to result into depletion of the supposed nutrient in the milk. To avoid such occurrence, you want to get a bottle that with an advanced vented air system.
Material: Glass? Plastic? Silicone? These are the materials from which most baby bottles are made. It’s very easy to get confused as to which is the best to go for. Some argue that plastic baby bottle isn’t safe because of the supposed presence of BPA, others argue that glass baby bottle are usually heavy and can get broken easily. Another benefit is that, glass bottles are generally easier to clean.
Plastic baby bottle on the other hands are lighter, cheaper, not easy to clean when compared to plastic and there is another risk of baby’s exposure to BPA.
Durability is also another issue of concern. The material of the bottle itself is not just the issue of concern, which the nipple is made of is also another important factor that should be considered. It shouldn’t be too soft (silicone) or too hard (hard plastic), since the goal is to have a bottle that is as close to the natural breast as possible.
Sizes: This is another criteria that should be put into consideration when making your purchase. Depending on the age of your baby, you want to go for something that correlates with that. Getting a large size bottle for few months old baby would make it a bit uncomfortable for them to lift appropriately.
It’s a common practise to increase the size as they advance in age. Usually, most product comes in sets. The risk of getting a product that comes in set is that; if you find the bottle unsuitable for your baby, then the entire set is completely useless (in most cases).
Those are the factors I have carefully analysed in my review of the top 10 best bottles for breastfeeding babies, I hope you find something that works for you within your budget range.
#1. Philips Avent Natural Glass Baby Bottles, 4 Ounce (3 Pack).
This product is designed for newly born. If you decide to use bottle right from the start, then you should get a product that will cater for easy transition between your breast and the bottle. The design has been tailored to suit the need of newly born; both in bottle size and flow rate.
Nipple/Teat: The nipple on this bottle can be classified in the medium base to short nipple category. Meaning; the base of the nipple is not excessively large, and the nipple itself is not too long or short. Ideally, this is the most appropriate design for new babies.
If the base is too wide, it becomes very difficult for the baby to make a proper latch around it. Longer nipple also means the teat goes deeper into their throat, which might cause choking or affect the sucking process because the teat is way beyond the tongue level.
But a medium sized base and nipple seems about the ideal design for newly born. The transition between is base and the nipple in the Philips Avent natural glass baby bottle is also not too sharp. A sharp transition might hinder proper positioning.
More on the nipple in the material section…
Design: This product has four separable parts. The most important aspect of the design is that it does not have the annoying inner plastic ring that you find in most bottles.
I term them annoying because, not only do they make it difficult to cover the bottle properly, they also give room for leakage and accumulation of germs as it’s difficult to get them cleaned properly.
Luckily, this product does not have them. The four parts are; the bottle itself, the adjoining plastic ring (not inner ring), the nipple and the cover.
The design of the nipple is carefully done to prevent bubble from building up in the nipple during usage. The nipple on both sides has a valve, this valve is designed as an anti-colic mechanism as it sends air back into the bottle, rather than your baby’s tummy.
Material: One of the unique selling points of this product is that, it’s made of glass. The part of the bottle that comes in direct contact with the milk or formula has the case may be is made of glass.
Glass bottles are known to be BPA free. Not only that; they’re always very easy to clean as compared to plastic bottles. Once taken apart, they can be placed in dish washer or hand washed and clean as appropriate.
The nipple is made of silicone. Silicones are of different types, there are super soft silicon that easily collapse while sucking. This product features a stronger type of silicone; not to hard yet it does not collapse. It’s perfectly in between. Making feeding natural and comfortable for the baby.
Size: The product is the 4 ounce size. For newly born baby, during the first few weeks of life, they usually take less than 3 ounces, which increases to about 5oz as they tend towards six months of age. It only make sense to get them a bottle that is not excessively large and can accommodate enough portion to feed them satisfactorily.
Overall, this is a good product that comes highly recommended for newly born. The only downside however is the calibration on the bottle. It’s printed with paint on the bottle, hence the possibility of it fading off as compared to when engraved is high.
All of the Philips Avent Natural Glass Baby Bottles have the same design technology, the only major difference being the size of the bottle, and the flow rate of the teat. If you find the design appropriate, then you can go ahead to check for various sizes depending on your child’s age and sucking habit.
#2. Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Anti-Colic Bottles
Lots of effort goes into marketing baby bottle as a good option over the other; in an attempt to convince buyers, company usually introduce new ideas in the design. Sometimes the idea benefits the users, most times it does not really make a difference.
Although Tommee Tippee has varieties of design, I choose this because of the special venting system, it’s important to review this product, so as to make a wise decision as to whether it would serve your purpose or not.
Nipple/Teat: The base of the teat and the nipple itself also falls into the medium size category. When compared to other products; the base isn’t too large, neither is the nipple too long. Ideally, it’s a good design on that end.
Baby latch is close to perfection on this bottle. Transition between the base and the nipple is equally a good one, and this product features a slow flow, non-vented nipples.
More on the venting system later…
The nipple is made of silicone material, not too soft or hard, making sucking less stressful and more comfortable for the baby. Inside the nipple, around the area of transition between the base and the tip, it has three to four ring type contour. The aim is to provide a ripple effect, similar to what you get when baby suck on natural breast.
Theoretically, this is a good design idea, because as the baby suck via the tip, the milk flow as natural as possible. There is a caveat to this idea though, the caveat will be discussed in the design section of the review.
Design: In a bid to make an advanced vent system so as to prevent colic, a major flaw was incorporated in the design. This product has seven (7) separable parts. While this might not be a big deal on a normal day, it’s a big deal when you have a crying baby to feed, and you need to clean the bottle fast.
The higher the number of parts, the harder the cleaning process.
The separable parts are the container, the silicone teat, the plastic that connects the bottle and the teat, the bottle cover, and the advanced venting system which is again comprised of three separable parts. It’s just too complicated. You should also take note that separating and cleaning them is important to keep germs away.
The caveat of the patent design on the inner part of the nipple I mentioned earlier is that, it makes it more difficult to clean, as milk residual is bound to collect in this area. Special attention needs to be given when washing.
For the bottle container that hold the milk, the bottle is shaped in such a way to allow easy holding either by the parent of the baby. It’s comfortable on that end. Although it has several shapes and contour that requires special attention when washing.
The venting system is a smart design that prevents colic. It works effectively as compared to other products that claim to be anti-colic in design. It passes air around the bottle, without reaching the milk. This is a special design found only in this product, other vented bottles have the valve on their teat, which most times are not as effective as this design, and on top of that collects residual milk or formula, making cleaning more complicated.
Material: The bottles are made of BPA free plastic. If you’re super sceptical, you might opt for a glass bottle instead. But the manufacturer assures that the material is BPA free.
The teat is made of silicone with good texture. The cover is made of hard plastic. Plastic baby bottle are not easy to clean, and they usually don’t do well in warmer. The good ones can withstand dishwasher, but for this product with lots of separable parts, it’s impossible to wash it in a dishwasher.
Size: It comes in various sizes (oz) and teat flow rate depending on your baby’s age. The bottles are not designed to be excessively “huge” like you have in Dr Brown’s, but rather robust, making it comfortable and easily to carry along without occupying much space.
#3. Playtex Baby Ventaire Anti Colic Baby Bottle
Another bottle with a good anti-colic design. The vent system is not as smart as the one on Tommee Tippee baby bottle, but I’ll choose this product over it, if all am considering is the vent system of the bottle, simply because of the simplicity and lesser amount of separable parts.
Nipple/Teat: The Playtex bottle family has about four (4) different types of teats that can be used alongside the bottle, and your choice would be guided by the age, how wide your baby mouth is, as well as how they suck. They type that comes with the product is the natural latch.
The design of the natural latch is very much similar to the ones in all the previously reviewed product. Medium sized base and nipple. The transition between the nipple head and its base is a little bit indented, but that doesn’t affect the functionality, as it’s provides a very natural-like latching.
The aim of the manufacturer is to make is easy for mom to use the bottle either as a transition from exclusive natural breastfeeding to cup or as an on and off use. Therefore, the latch is expected to be as close to the natural breast, both in shape and texture. The product is well designed in that regard.
For other varieties of nipples that can be used with the bottle, they’re pretty much the same thing, aside for the slow lent nipple type, which is slightly bent, and it comes recommended for preemies, as it works well when the baby is in a slightly upright position (sitting perhaps). It’s made of silicone and does not collapse easily.
Design: The number of separable parts in this product is not as much as you have in the Tommee Tippee bottle. This has five (6) separable parts; the bottle, the cover, the plastic that connects the bottle and the nipple, the nipple itself, as well as a small plastic at the base that prevents milk from leaking through the small poles designed to serve as the vent system.
One of the win this product has over the previously reviewed product is that, it’s very easy to take apart, clean and put back together. It’s not as complicated as the previous one.
The vent system is also a feature that is worthy of note. The bottle has six tiny holes on the bottom lid, the hole allows the passage of air into the bottle while the baby is feeding. Covering the hole to prevent leaking is a small plastic that fits right into the inner part of the bottom lid. The system works perfectly in preventing air passage into the milk and as such it’s a good anti-colic feeding bottle.
So far, I have only reviewed straight bottles (the actual container). The design of the container for this product is slightly different from the regular ones. It’s slightly bent to make an angle (not up to 45 degree) against the teat. The aim of the design is to aid appropriate flow of the milk from the bottle, not only that; it’s backed by research that the angle at which the bottle present the food to the baby’s mouth helps in preventing ear infection.
Material: Product is made from a BPA free plastic, nipple is made from a silicone material of good texture and as such makes feeding comfortable.
Size: It comes in two major sizes; the 4oz and the 9oz.
#4. Comotomo Baby Bottle, Green, 8 Ounce, 2 Count
Most baby bottles are either made of glass or plastic, while the nipple is usually made of silicone. This particular product does not follow that trend. Most part of the bottle is made of silicone. This does not only make them squishy but also easy to clean.
Nipple/Teat: The comotomo bottle is designed in a way as to mimic natural nipple. The teat is of medium size, wide enough to encourage proper latching. The tip of the teat is also of medium length. This is very important because of the sucking reflex. In the nipple tip is too long, it usually result into over stimulation of the soft palate that initiate the sucking reflex.
Over stimulation in bottle would make it difficult to transition between breast and bottle because they wouldn’t get the same amount of stimulation from the mother’s nipple. The goal is to get something moderate, and this is exactly what this product offers.
The product has four different types of teats that could be used with it. Although the small bottle of 5oz usually comes with the slow flow nipple. You can separate order different flow type nipple to use with it. Major difference between the nipples is the number of holes on the nipple. The slow flow, which is recommended for newly born has just one hole on it, while the medium flow for baby that are over three (3) months has two holes on it, and the fast flow has three holes. There is also a variable flow nipple, with a special hole design, made for older kids and thicker fluid.
Design: With only four (4) separable parts, this is the simplest of design as far as baby bottle is concerned. The design of the bottle does not have a “Special” vent system that makes most bottle complicated in design.
The separable parts includes; the bottle itself, the ring that connects the bottle and the nipple, the nipple and the bottle cover.
The design makes it very easy to assemble ad take apart really quick. Which is very important when you have a crying baby to attend to. Not only that; it makes the cleaning process easier in comparison to other complicated bottle design.
Another remarkable thing about the design of the bottle is the absence of contour on the bottle and the ring. Usually, most bottles will have several lines of contour to along screwing of the ring over the container. While this is effective is ensuring that the bottle and the nipple is well attached and as such prevent leakage. It’s flaw lies in the collection of residuals over time. The design of this product solves that problem, since it has no contour whatsoever.
Back to the easy cleaning… The neck of the bottle is wide enough to allow easy access with the regular sponge, rather than using a washing brush that may sometimes be ineffective in reaching everywhere. With this product, you can easily wash every part with the regular washing sponge.
The vent system that prevents the mixture of air with the content is a simple valve located on both sides of the nipple base. It’s not complicated, yet highly effective.
Material: A larger part of the product is made of silicon material. Making is easy to clean, dry and sterilize. It can withstand lots of stress as compared to glass materials. The only plastic part if the ring that connects the bottle and the nipple, as well as the bottle cover.
Size: Product comes in two different sizes. The 5 ounce bottle and the 8 ounce bottle. Choice as regards size is dependent on the age of your baby, and how much they currently consume.
No matter the size, make sure you go for the correct nipple flow so as to avoid nipple transition problem.
#5. Dr. Brown’s Original Wide-Neck Bottle
Dr. Brown is a popular brand when it comes to baby feeding bottles. I have decided to review the items listed in this article in no particular order, lest I end up making a controversial list.
If I were to give preference based on popularity, this product will be listed between position one and three. This product is made of glass (although Dr Brown have plastic old variations), it’s better to go for glass over plastic one, mainly because of how easy it is to clean glasses.
Nipple/Teat: The teat that comes with this product is very different from all the products reviewed so far. It has a narrow base and a sharp transition from the nipple base to the tip of the nipple. If you have a baby with wider mouth, proper latching might be a bit hard with the nipple that comes with the product.
The nipple that comes with the product offer natural flow rate, but you can always change it for a level wider neck nipple or original nipple. The difference being that; the wider neck has broader base, while the original nipple is narrower with a transition between the base and the tip that isn’t as sharp as that of the wider neck nipple.
Dr Brown’s nipple comes in various level, and the choice of the nipple level is dependent of your child’s age as well as sucking habit. This isn’t the best of nipple design in you intend to use bottle and breast at the same time, it might result into nipple confusion, as the latching on the bottle is not as natural when compared to several other products on this list.
Design: This product has six (6) separable parts; the bottle itself, the lid, the nipple and the ring that connects the bottle and the nipple, the vent system is made up of two separable part.
The cleverness in the design of this product is the ability to do away with the vent system when its not needed. In most cases, as child grow older, the possibility of suffering from colic reduces greatly. If you have older baby, then you would be left with just four (4) separable parts to deal with. Whether the vent is used or not, it does not cause leakage, which is a good thing.
The bottle a bit larger in shape than other reviewed product, a little bit taller.
The cleaning process is very easy, when you remove the vent system, you’re left with just a bottle and the cover, and it never get simpler than that. The package comes with a brush to wash the vent tube. The ring that connects the bottle and the nipple part has a little protruding that makes it easy to unscrew for cleaning.
Material: The particular product linked to below is made of plastic. Although the old type is made of glass. I strongly advice that you get a glass bottle when you can. It’s easier to clean and warm the content inside. The nipple is made of silicone with good texture, while the connecting ring is made of BPA free plastic.
Size: It comes in two sizes. The 4oz and 8oz.
#6. Mimijumi Baby Bottle
If you’re tired or bored of reading about the transparent silicone nipple, then this product review won’t bore you. It has a special type of nipple design that mimic the mother’s breast, both in texture and in size. Not only that, the bottle is designed in such a way that it makes an appropriate angle with the baby’s mouth.
Nipple/Teat: This design of the nipple differs a lot from the regular baby feeding bottles. The aim of the design is to give the baby a mother like texture and feeling. The color of the nipple mimic that of the human breast.
The size of the nipple is medium, and the tip is also in the medium category. The transition between the base of the nipple and the tip is not very sharp, hence it provides a natural latch that compliments the breast like texture of the nipple. For working mom that would prefer to breast feed their baby when they have the chance rather than use a bottle, the nipple that comes with this product makes it easy to switch back and forth.
It’s soft at the base, but the nipple is a bit harder than the base, although they’re both of good soft texture. Designed to release the milk based on the sucking control of the baby.
A major flow is the flow rate. Although the nipple hold up well when not compressed, but once it is compressed, it tend to flow continuously. For a new born, this might be too much for them to handle. Sometimes it flows uncontrollable, sometimes it doesn’t, it’s much of a hit or miss occurrence.
Design: The bottle has three (3) separable parts. This is the lowest number of separable parts on the list so far. The simplicity of the product is way beyond words. It makes cleaning, and assembling and separation super easy. The three parts includes; the bottle itself, the base that prevents skidding, and the nipple.
The nipple is a one piece item; in that it does not need any ring to connect it to the bottle. As good as the design of the nipple connection with the bottle, a flaw is the number of contour on the nipple. Although the possibilities of residual collecting there is low, but it’s hard to overlook it.
The vent system is not as advanced as you have in other bottles, but it does not make your baby susceptible to colic. A short, yet ergonomic bottle make it easy to handle.
Material: Majorly made of plastic and silicone. The bottle and the cover is made of BPA free plastic. The nipple is made of high grade silicone with skin like texture.
Size: Product comes in two sizes; the very hungry 8oz, and the not so hungry 4oz.
Most users have issues with the cover coming off every now and then, it’s an issue that can be easily fixed with proper attention to putting the lid on.
#7. Lansinoh mOmma Baby Bottle.
Like all other products reviewed so far, this particular bottle is made by a reputable company that has been around for decades. Not just that; they boast of over thirty (30) years of research in the baby feeding niche; thus making their products accurate in meeting baby and parent need alike.
Nipple/Teat: If you’ve paid careful attention to the review so far, you would notice that a larger percentage of a success with bottle usage is attributed to the design of the nipple. Other criteria are either for the baby or mother’s ergonomics.
The nipple is made of 100% silicone (transparent). When compared to the other products reviewed so far, the size of the nipple; both the base and the tip is a little bit smaller than the medium size. Not extremely small, but small in comparison.
The transition between the nipple base and the tip is a gradual one, which does not only encourage proper latching, but also prevents nipple confusion, especially if you intend to switch back and forth between bottle and breast.
All though the nipple is made entirely of silicone, the base has a thicker texture as compared to the tip. And the nipple is meant to mimic the natural wave of breast when baby suck.
It comes in slow flow, medium flow and fast flow, but the release of the milk is directly under the baby’s influence, it they suck it comes, if they don’t then milk is released.
Design: The design is also very simple, the bottle has only four (4) separable parts; the bottle itself, the lid, the nipple and the plastic ring that connects the bottle and the nipple part. It’s one of the easiest design.
The simplicity of the design with lesser part makes it easy to assemble and take apart, which is another important factor to consider when it comes to baby bottle selection.
The vent system is located on the side of the nipple, it has not complicated vent system, and the vent design is robust enough to prevent colic issue if you have a baby that does not suck “aggressively”. A power sucker might not like the bottle and vent design.
Material: Made of BPA free plastic. The bottle can be used in storing breast milk in the fridge. If your baby is unable to finish the milk portion in the bottle, you don’t have to bother about transferring it elsewhere or getting rid of it. All you need do is place the bottle in the fridge and it will be perfectly good for next use.
The nipple is 100% silicon material. And the ring is also made of BPA free plastic.
Size: Product comes in two variation, either as a single item or in set of three. The product comes in 5 ounces.
#8. Baby Brezza Baby Feeding Glass Bottle With Lid
Baby Brezza is famously known for baby food maker, not for their baby bottle. They do have a great baby feeding bottle, and I have decided to add it to the list, as it makes a great addition to the list of good products I have reviewed so far.
Nipple/Teat: The base of the nipple is bigger than the previously reviewed product. It provides good latch for baby. The tip of the teat is of the medium range, making it really easy for baby to transition from mouth to breast and forth.
Made of silicon. The product comes with slow rate flow, but there is a replacement flow provided your baby is older and happens to be a powerful sucker.
The transition between the broad base and that of the tip of the nipple is not as gradual as the previously reviewed product, but still mimic the shape of the human breast fairly.
Design: The bottle is well designed with the mother convenience in mind. That does not mean the baby need is neglected. The shape of the bottle is designed such that you don’t need a brush to get the cleaning done.
The product has just two parts! Yes. It’s the only product on the list with such minimal design. Just two (2) parts. The bottle and the nipple. The vent of the bottle is designed together with the nipple.
It is designed to be compatible with all other brezza products. So if you have other brezza appliances, then you would be able to use it alongside other products.
The side of the glass bottle is made to be easily handled by both baby and mother. Not too big as you have in Dr Brown’s, so you don’t have to worry about the product taking extra space.
Material: The bottle is made of glass material, while the nipple is made of silicon material of high grade. There is a plastic part of the nipple base that joins it to the bottle.
The choice of material makes it easy to warm and refrigerate without having to bother about durability and chemical contamination.
Size: The bottle comes in two sizes, the 5ounce and 8ounce bottle.
#9. Dr. Brown’s Original Bottle Newborn Feeding Set
I was not going to mention a particular brand twice in this review, mostly because the design is usually almost the same thing with little variation to market the same product to customers giving them an idea of numerous choices.
But the design of the brown’s original bottle is totally different from the wide neck variety. The nipple and the bottle design is totally different, it could almost pass for a different brand, hence I have decided to give it a special place on the list.
Nipple/Teat: The nipples are longer than the medium sized. The base of the nipple is not as wide as that of the wide neck bottle. The transition between the base and the nipple tip is quite sharp in contrast to other bottles that has been reviewed in this article.
If you would transition back and forth between breast and bottle, then this bottle isn’t really idea. Because the nipple is not constructed to mimic the mother’s breast in away. And when the construction of nipple is not similar to the breast, then nipple confusion abounds.
It’s made of transparent silicon with good texture, and the flow rate is very similar to that of the wide neck bottle.
Design: Personally, I don’t like long bottles. But I am trying to avoid being bias in my review. Leaving it to me, I think the design of this bottle isn’t the best. It’s long and narrow, not “robust” enough to provide ergonomic handling. That alone is a turn off for somebody like me.
But if you want something long, and narrow, then this is your bottle.
The vent system is the same like you have in the wide neck bottle. Lots’ of pieces, making the cleaning process a bit more complicated as compared to several other bottles on the list.
One enviable thing about Dr Brown’s bottle is it’s highly efficient vent that prevents colic. It works better than what you have in most bottles, so I’ll give that one to it.
Material: Made of BPA free plastic. Polypropylene is actively present in the material. The nipple is made of silicon.
Size: It comes in varying sizes as the product linked here is a gift set.
#10. Philips AVENT Anti-Colic BPA Free Bottle
The major difference between the AVENT Anti-Colic bottle and the Avent Natural glass bottle is in the design of teat as well as the bottle’s main container.
Teat: A medium sized nipple, with medium base. It’s not designed to mimic the mother’s breast as well because the base of the nipple is not as wide as you would expect. The vent system is embedded in the nipple. Made of the traditional transparent silicon material.
Design: The bottle is designed to be a bit taller than the anti-colic bottle. It has four separable parts
Material: It’s made of BPA free plastic. And has four (4) separable parts just like the anti-colic bottle.
There isn’t much to differentiate this Avent Anti-colic from the natural bottle, aside the design of the nipple and the shape of the bottle.
Getting the best bottles for breastfeeding babies is highly subjective, but the most important thing is to keep an eye out for nipples that have similar structure in design and texture to the mother’s breast, so it won’t result into nipple confusion when you switch back and forth.