Babies and bottles! There’s no shortcut or formula for success. Some babies are fussy and might outright a type of bottle or nipple. Others have no preference and may take to any bottle. As a parent, on the other hand, maybe picky and may prefer a particular brand. Some babies react differently to bottles.
Some have less spit-up and gas and even less colic with some bottles. Other brands of bottles and nipples leak and might just spike up the colic. The bottles that are designed to vent air to prevent these feeding problems are perceived to be very expensive.
For those of you on a tight budget, here are some things to consider while buying your baby’s bottles:
Consider the material of the bottle before you buy them. There are glass, plastic, silicone and even stainless steel bottles.
- Obviously, the most inexpensive ones are the plastic bottles which are shatterproof and light. This is the one I would recommend for someone on a tight budget. And you do not even have to worry about chemicals, thanks to technology, there are BPA-free plastics. I must warn you though that plastic bottles need to be replaced regularly because they deteriorate.
- The glass bottles are BPA-free but they are heavy and can shatter. They last longer than plastic bottles but they are quite expensive.
- Silicone bottles are soft, light, BPA-free and unbreakable. It is rather inconvenient however because most drugstores do not sell silicone bottles. They are quite expensive too.
- Stainless steel is BPA-free, light and unbreakable. But, just like silicone bottles, they are hard to find and expensive too
The shape of the bottle
There are wide varieties of shapes of bottles. Many of the bottles in the market have an ergonomic design which makes it easier for babies to hold. They are also easier for you to hold because they have angled necks. The traditional ones are usually tall and angled or slightly curved.
Bottles with venting systems
Many bottles have straw-like components that fit into the bottle to prevent ingestion of air bubbles that cause gas. They may even have venting systems built into the bottom of the nipple or into the nipple. All these are meant to prevent colic.
Baby bottles come in different sizes and numbers
The sizes and numbers of bottles you buy depend on whether you’ll be primarily breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. The number of bottles may range from 4 to 12. For newborns who require little formula or breast milk, the 4-ounce bottles are perfect. Then you can shift to 8 or 9-ounce bottles whenever your baby’s appetite grows or at about 4 months.
Nipple shape, material, size, and flow
- There are nipples designed to accommodate your baby’s gums and palate. They are orthodontic nipples and they have a bulb that rests on your baby’s tongue and is flat on the side. They are unlike the traditional nipples which have a dome or bell shape.
- There are different nipples which come in different sizes and with either fast or slow flow speeds. Newborns will require the smallest size which will have the slowest flow. This is usually known as ‘stage 1′ size. The baby will gradually graduate to larger sizes with a faster flow as they grow older.
- There are two main varieties of nipple material. They are silicone and latex. The silicone nipples are firm and they hold their shape for a longer time. They are also a bit expensive if you are on a budget. Then we have the latex nipples which are more flexible and softer. They do not last long however and some babies may have an allergic reaction to them.
With all these considerations to make, you may be overwhelmed with the prices. And you definitely don’t want to break the bank to shop for your baby’s bottles. Baby bottles need not be expensive. You can find great ones for your budget if you know where to look. Before buying, ask your friends and family for recommendations and then check for their reviews online to get the best deals.