Babies need a lot of gear, but none more important than the equipment needed to feed them. Baby bottles will be used by most parents, even if the mother is breastfeeding. Not having a bottle on hand when necessary can lead to a meltdown.
Breastfeeding mothers often need to return to work or spend more than two hours away from the baby. After the baby has become comfortable with latching on the mother can introduce a bottle of pumped breast milk. This not only gives Mom some freedom, but also allows other family members- like the father- time to bond with the baby.
Formula fed babies will become acquainted with the bottle right away and parents will quickly learn that babies definitely have preferences when it comes to baby bottles and nipples.
Purchasing baby bottles can be a little confusing. Today’s bottles have special features and are made from certain materials to ensure the child’s safety. While a basic glass bottle will do, they can be dangerous if broken. Plastic bottles have been a recent concern for many parents. There have been studies claiming that plastic can leech chemicals. To correct this problem manufacturers have begun making BPA free plastic bottles. Parents should always check to make sure any plastic bottles are BPA free.
The newest features for baby bottles are venting versions. These bottles use a venting system to help minimize the amount of air that the baby swallows. Excessive air swallowing can cause the baby discomfort and may make them spit up more. Venting nipples are also very common now and usually just consist of a small hole or two on the base of the nipple.
When first buying bottles resist the urge to stock up on one brand or kind of bottle before the baby has actually tried it. Just buy one or two of a bottle and make sure the child will take it before buying five more, otherwise you will be stuck with a bunch of bottles your baby simply won’t use.
Newborns and young babies can use the smaller four ounce bottles, but all children will grow so if money is tight invest in the larger bottles, they can be used throughout the first year. Small bottles will end up just filling up your cupboards, collecting dust at just four months.
Nipples used to be made from latex, but now they are most commonly made from silicone. Silicone doesn’t pick up smells and tastes the way latex can. Also latex is easier for babies to chew holes through.
A baby bottle is useless without the right nipple. Bottle nipples have different speeds for different ages of babies. Newborns need a slow flow nipple to prevent them from chugging their dinner and filling their little tummies up with air. As the child gets older he will need his food at a quicker and quicker rate. Parents can indentify if the nipple is too fast if the child is choking or gagging on the bottle.
From unique shapes to old fashioned glass, baby bottles come in a wide variety of styles today and the one that’s right for your baby may different from another. Experiment to find what best suits your family and make sure the bottle and nipple are both made from safe materials. Remember, feeding is supposed to be a relaxing, bonding time so don’t make it too stressful by using the wrong bottle or by being unprepared. Ask friends and family which brands they recommend and start from there!