Choosing bottles for your baby can seem overwhelming at first. There's the plastic versus glass debate, the potential for nipple confusion, and a hope to avoid colic, gas, and other digestive issues. How can a new parent know which baby bottle is best?
Top Plastic Baby Bottles
Plastic bottles are lightweight, don't tend to shatter if you drop them, relatively inexpensive, and generally easy to clean. With the BPA options on the market now, there's less of a concern that plastic options could be harmful to babies.
- Dr. Brown's Original Bottle Newborn Feeding Set (around $20 for five bottles): This set gets Amazon's Choice stamp of approval and is one of the top picks from Mommyhood101. These bottles stand out because they're designed to remove air from the milk and prevent colic, spitting up, gas, burping, and even fluid in the ear. Mommyhood101 recommends them because they create positive-pressure flow like the breast and avoid the negative pressure vacuum other bottles can create. This BPA-free plastic version is cheaper and lighter than the glass bottles the brand started with. It is also free from PVC, lead, and phthalates.
Dr Browns Newborn Feeding Set
- Philips Avent BPA-Free Natural Polypropylene Bottles (around $20 for a three-pack; price varies slightly by size): These bottles are The Bump's top pick overall for 2018. The extra-soft nipple is designed to help babies avoid colic. The bottle's design is easy to clean, which is a great benefit to parents. This line grows with your baby, as it is available in a wide variety of bottle sizes. You can get these bottles in 3-ounce, 6-ounce, 8-ounce, 9-ounce, and 11-ounce sizes. As the bottle size increases, the nipple flow tends to increase as well.
- Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottles (about $7 for a 5-ounce bottle; prices vary by size and quantity): These bottles won a top spot in Babylist's Best Bottles of 2018 list because of their similarity to the "shape and movement of a woman's breast." The 9-ounce size is available from Amazon in a package of six multi-color bottles for about $20, where it has over 1,000 mostly positive reviews. The curves in the bottle's design make it easy to grip (for exhausted parents or babies), and cleaning the bottles is easy thanks to the wide mouth. The easy latch nipples make it easy for baby to move between breast and bottle and the anti-colic design helps keep baby comfortable. It's also BPA-free and phthalate-free and.
Best Glass Bottles
Glass is tried-and-true, and you know that you're getting a chemical-free option when you choose it. While glass bottles have largely been replaced by plastic, there are still some brands that offer high-quality options.
- Joovy Boob (about $15): This glass bottle brand made Babylist's round-up of the best bottles on the market as of 2018, as well as Mommyhood101's. Why? They're durable, safe to use (no chemicals), can go from the freezer to boiling water with no issues, and offer a one-piece venting system that keeps tummy issues down. They have silicone sleeves that add color, help you keep track of which bottle is which, and make it easier to grip. These bottles maintain their color and don't pick up smells, either. These are great for preemies, newborns, breastfeeding babies, and even babies who are drinking thicker liquids. Just pay attention to the nipple types.
Joovy Boob Glass Bottle
- Dr. Brown's Wide Neck Glass Bottles (just under $20 for a set of two 5-ounce bottles): These bottles are The Bump's top glass bottle choice. They chose this line in part because the bottles are easy to clean, thanks to the wide neck. They also like Dr. Brown's vacuum-free vent system that controls the flow of milk in a way that keeps gas, colic, burping, and spit-up to a minimum. This design also preserves the nutrients in the milk by preventing air bubble oxidation, so baby still gets all the vitamins A, C, and E. This is a particularly good option for newborns. Some parents like to take out the vent system as their baby gets older, but continue to use the bottles.
Great Bottles for Breastfeeding
When you're breastfeeding and sometimes have to use a bottle, you want something that will mimic the shape of the breast. The easier it is for the bottle to work with the breast pump, the better.
- Comotomo Baby Bottles (under $25 for two): With over 2,700 largely positive reviews from Amazon users, these bottles are listed in the Amazon's Choice category. They also have a high ranking on Mommyhood101. These bottles are known for their ability to mimic breastfeeding. They also have dual anti-colic vents, which make them especially beneficial for babies who are a few weeks old and starting to show signs of colic. They're made of flexible, safe silicone and can go in the dishwasher, microwave, boiling water, and sterilizer, which will make a new parent's life easier. They are available in 5-ounce and 8-ounce sizes and come in your choice of green or pink.
Comotomo Baby Bottles
- Nanobébé (under $15): The Bump lists this bottle as a great option for breast-fed babies. The shape mimics the shape of a breast, and you can stack them up to store them. If you can't be with your baby and breastfeed all the time or you're trying to make the transition to a bottle easier, this one may be worth a try. The nipple design helps prevent gas and the bottle attaches to most breast pumps with ease. When babies get a little older (a few months), they can easily hold the bottle on their own because of its domed shape and concave base.
- Kiinde Twist Breastfeeding Starter Kit ($40 for a starter set): This bottle is a Babylist favorite. It is perfect for breastfeeding moms who sometimes need to use bottles. With this kit, you will pump directly into recyclable pouches and store them in the refrigerator or freezer until needed. When it's time to feed your little one, just heat up a pouch and put it in a bottle. You'll just need to wash the nipples after each feeding or at the end of the day. The pouches hold up to six ounces and work with most pumps. Babylist points out that you can also store pureed food in the pouches.
Ideal Angled Bottle
Bottles with an angled shape can be helpful for several reasons. They are good for colicky babies because they keep the nipple full of milk and keep air out. Additionally, this style promotes a semi-upright feeding position, which can help prevent ear infections. They're also comfortable to hold. There aren't a lot of these on the market, so if you do hope to go with an angled shape, your selection will be limited.
- Playtex VentAire (under $10 for a three pack): This angled bottle was a BabyCenter pick for 2017 and is highly rated on Amazon with over 500 reviews. These are a wonderful choice for parents on a budget. You can get full starter set with five bottles (three 6-ounce and two 9-ounce), plus extra nipples, vent disks, and bottle caps for under $25 on Amazon. Switch out the nipples depending on the flow your baby needs.
Playtex VentAire Baby Bottles
Choosing the Best Baby Bottles
There's no one 'perfect' bottle out there and your needs may change as your baby grows. You may start with one type of bottle with your newborn and then transition to something else in a few months, and maybe even a different kind after that.
The nipples will change over time, no matter what. Sometimes you'll be able to stick with the same brand of bottle and simply switch to a nipple with a different flow or an X in the tip (for thicker fluids), but that's not always the case.
For some families, bottles that don't contribute to nipple confusion are a must-have. For others, that won't matter, but the angle will. Some moms and dads will have a strong preference between plastic and glass. Don't be afraid to experiment to find what works best for your family at any given time.