Despite the fact that breast milk is the best food for the baby, sometimes circumstances come around in such a way that the mother has to feed the baby from a bottle – either with formula or with her own milk. So, how to choose the best baby bottles for your child?
Things You Need To Know About Baby Bottles
The bottle is a very important item in the life of a baby. It’s clear that the calm and health of the child depends on its quality.
In the house where a small child grows, it is necessary to have several baby bottles at once, depending on what you will give to the child – expressed breast milk, formula, liquid porridge, water, or juice.
There are several criteria for choosing baby bottles:
- material of which the bottle is made;
- the shape and volume of the bottle;
- teats that come with baby bottles;
- the presence of an anticolic system;
- cap tightness;
- accuracy and convenience of the scale on the bottle.
Let us dwell on the selection criteria in a little more detail.
Material for Baby Bottles
Bottles can be made of glass and plastic. Your choice depends on where exactly and how often the bottle will be used. Plastic is lighter and safer than glass, but glass bottles are easier to be subjected to multiple sterilizations, while not all plastic bottles can be sterilized many times.
Therefore, for babies for whom sterility is very important, a glass bottle will be the best choice, and a plastic bottle is more suitable for older children – especially if you intend to feed the child outside the home.
This factor is very important if you are going to take a bottle for the baby on a walk, on a visit, to the clinic, or on a long trip. Before buying, be sure to check the tightness of the bottle – the tight fit of the cap, and the presence of a valve. The most reliable are baby bottles with a cap that snaps tightly or is screwed onto the bottle.
The Shape and Volume of the Bottle
The volume of the bottle should depend on how much the child eats. The best option is if it will accommodate about one and a half servings eaten by a child at one meal. The volume of baby bottles for newborns usually varies from 120 to 160 ml.
If you plan to dilute the formula in the bottle, it is better to choose a form with a wide neck. For water or juice, a narrow neck bottle will be suitable. It is more convenient to hold such baby bottles in the hand, but it is more difficult to wash them.
Accuracy and Convenience of the Scale
The scale on the surface of the bottle should be clear and bright. This will ensure ease of use of the bottle, for example, at night, when you need to quickly prepare the formula.
The accuracy of the scale is very important if you plan to dilute the formula in the bottle. Inaccurate scale deposited on the wall of the bottle can lead to non-compliance with the proportions – and, as a result, getting too thick, or, conversely, too liquid formula.
Baby Bottles Teats
Teats vary in shape and can be made from silicone or latex. The shape of the teat can be classical, anatomical (most close to the shape of the nipple of the female breast), and also orthodontic (with a beveled edge to form the correct bite in the child).
Silicone teats are stronger and more durable than latex ones but have an “inorganic” texture. Latex teats are softer, and children often prefer them to silicone because latex feels more like human skin. Anatomically shaped teats are preferable for mixed-feeding babies – it is easier for the baby to move from breast to teat and back when he feels “familiar” form. If the child has biting problems, then doctors recommend special orthodontic teats.
Keep in mind that, depending on the size of the hole in the teat, the flow rate of the fluid can vary significantly. If the flow rate is too low, then the baby will quickly get tired and will not get enough food. And if the flow is fast, then the child can choke.
This system is designed to prevent air from entering the baby’s stomach: it is believed that air bubbles swallowed by the child along with the formula increase colic.
The anti-colic system can be of two types: a valve at the base of the teat, and a special gas vent that is located inside the bottle. Both systems are designed to get air into the bottle (and not into the baby’s stomach) as the level of the mixture decreases. The presence of an anti-colic system is especially important for babies up to 6 months, as well as for children who have problems with digestion.
For convenience, many manufacturers supply baby bottles with accessories. It can be:
- small brushes for washing;
- additional covers, in case the bottle is used to store milk or other liquids;
- a sealing disc; etc.
Safety Rules When Using Baby Bottles
- When heating the contents of the bottle in a microwave oven or in a heater, it should be noted that the liquid is heated unevenly. At the end of the warm-up you need to thoroughly mix the contents and check the temperature.
- Do not leave the baby with a bottle unattended! The baby cannot cope with the flow of fluid, so your task is to control the feeding process very clearly.
- Do not give teats from bottles to babies as pacifiers. In this case, air sucked by a baby can cause colic to appear or intensify.
- Make sure that the baby does not use the bottle as a toy as some types of bottles have small details that can be dangerous for a child.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.