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How to choose a baby bottle

How to choose a baby bottle

There are a large number of brands on the market that produce baby bottles and teats* to give formula or expressed breast milk. But how to choose a baby bottle? It can be complex to know which baby bottles and teats are right for each case, as there are so many of them and with so many different characteristics to make it even more complicated.

But first, we want to make clear that absolutely no brand has paid us to do this post. Therefore, the following is the opinion of the LactApp expert team led by Alba Padro and Laia Aguilar, thanks to their experience and the information we have received over the years from the mothers we support.

The recommendation of these bottles and teats is aimed at healthy babies who are not premature (at the time of choosing the bottle teat) and without severe oral abnormalities or hypotonia.

Advertising of baby bottles and teats is just that: advertising

Firstly, we must look critically at advertising and understand that all the world’s brands, whether they sell sneakers or cars or anything else, are selling their products to us in the most attractive way possible. They will, therefore, present reality in the best possible way to favor them. And so many things that brands try to sell us, and in our adult eyes, may seem logical and make a lot of sense, don’t do so for babies. No matter how much advertising tells us that this bottle teat is the best, the most flexible, and versatile in the color of your skin or with the ideal base width, none of these are compelling reasons for a baby to accept that particular teat.

What about anti-colic bottles?

Likewise, ignore brands that sell their bottles and teats as anti-colic. Colic is a baby’s crying for which we do not know the cause and which remains a mystery to science. These bottles are called anti-colic because they have systems that remove any air that might remain inside the bottle when the baby sucks. If you are afraid your baby might swallow air, give the bottle using the paced bottle feeding method. This way, you fill the bottle teat fully with milk, allowing your baby to feed at their own pace and with a notable reduction of the air they swallow. Since brands know about families’ fear of colic, they advertise all their teats as “anti-colic.”

Things to consider when buying a baby bottle and teat

Once you know that all brands want to sell their “teat” and bottle, we think certain aspects are essential when choosing a baby bottle. We will explain the elements we like in teats and recommend that you look for one with those features. These recommendations are helpful whether there is a need for supplementing your baby occasionally with milk, if you continue with mixed feeding or if you want to offer only artificial milk. In the end, what we are looking for in bottle feeding is that it resembles as much as possible the sucking a baby does at the breast.

The basic recommendations are:

  • Almost “triangular” teat shape: When the breast (nipple and areola) enters the baby’s mouth, it adopts a distinctive shape. A gradual slope from the tip ensures a better latch and better opening of the baby’s mouth. When the tip of the teat and the base are very mismatched, babies are more likely to latch on only to the tip of the teat without opening their mouth correctly.
  • Round, symmetrical teat on all sides: the mother’s nipple expands and gets longer in the baby’s mouth, but nipples should not be “flattened.” The so-called “anatomical teats” are not at all similar to the mother’s breast, and it is never desirable that breasts take on this shape in breastfeeding.
  • Slow flow no matter the baby’s age: Breasts do not change the milk flow depending on the baby’s age; the flow remains the same. When you increase the flow of the bottle, the baby usually feeds in less time, which is undoubtedly preferable to adults. But it also increases the chances that your baby doesn’t want to feed from your breast afterward because, ultimately, humans (whether babies or adults) always prefer the easier option.
  • Soft nipple: bottle teats should be as soft as possible so they are flexible and form with the touch of your fingers and little force. This way, you ensure it will adapt to your baby’s mouth as much as possible without creating tensions that can modify the baby’s oral structure.

What about nipple confusion (or nipple-teat confusion)?

Nowadays, we know that babies don’t get confused that easily. Occasionally, a baby may show an immediate rejection of the breast after having just had a bottle in their mouth once, but this is not common. Nipple-teat confusion happens when babies get used to receiving a lot of milk flow in a few minutes. If there is also a low milk supply or any other difficulties, babies are more likely to give up feeding at the breast. Again, depending on the reason and/or situation why you want to give a bottle, you will have to take this aspect into account, especially if you want to maintain mixed feeding.

More recommendations for choosing a bottle

Having done this summary, you can see that some bottles meet the recommendations more than others, but you should still know several things that will also be crucial to decide:

  • You will probably have to try several bottles until you find the one that your baby likes.
  • Babies don’t always accept it the first time, so you have to be patient and try to give it to your baby several times before trying another one.
  • To introduce a bottle and try to get your baby to accept it, the baby should be neither too hungry nor too sleepy.
  • In the end, it will be your baby who chooses the bottle. It may not be “perfect,” according to the recommendations of this article, but if it works and your baby takes it, that’s it. Your little one decides!

Rating of best baby bottles by brand **

BOTTLE TEAT / BRAND

RATING 

(+,++,+++)

SHAPE OF THE TIP TYPE OF BASE MATERIAL MILK FLOW COMMENTS
Avent: anti-colic teat ++ Round and wider at the top wide silicone Different flows according to age  
Avent: tetina natural ++ Round and wider at the top very wide silicone Different flows according to age The flow is extremely slow. If the baby has sucking or swallowing difficulties: premature, underweight, tongue-tie and so on then they may have difficulties feeding with this teat.
Chicco: NaturalFeeling + Round and wider at the top wide silicone Rapid flow Recommended only from 6 months onwards. A baby younger than 6 months of age or with sucking and swallowing difficulties could have a lot of problems to manage this teat.
Chicco: Physio + Flattened on both sides in the middle narrow silicone Medium flow  
Dr. Brown´s narrow neck + Regular and long narrow silicone Different flows according to age  
Dr. Brown´s Options+ (Rest of sizes) ++ Regular and long wide silicone Different flows according to age Almost “triangular” teat shape
Dr. Brown´s tetina options plus (Size S) +++ Regular and long wide silicone Different flows according to age Almost “triangular” teat shape
Dr. Brown´s wide neck ++ Round and wider at the top  wide silicone Different flows according to age  
Emulait ++ Regular and long wide silicone   Customizable
Evenflo: Balance Standard Neck ++ Regular and long wide silicone two types of flow Almost “triangular” teat shape
Evenflo: Balance Wide- Neck +++ Regular and long

wide

silicone two types of flow Almost “triangular” teat shape
Evenflo: Classic ++ Regular and long

narrow

silicone three flow types  
Evenflo: Vented + Round and wider at the top

medium

silicone two types of flow  
Haakaa: Gen.3
++ Round and long

wide

silicone variable flow  
Haakaa: Gen.3 biberón de cristal
+ Flattened on one side, with the top of the teat placed asymetrically on one end

wide

silicone    
Happy Mami
++ Round and long

very wide

silicone Different flows according to age  
Herobility + Flat and a little wider at the top

V-shaped

silicone Two types of flows The only teat that has this shape at the baseThe only teat that has this shape at the base
Lansinoh: Natural Wave
++ Regular and long

wide

silicone Different flows according to age A very soft and adaptable teat in the baby’s mouth. The shape of the teat is almost “triangular”
Lansinoh: Natural Wave: Flujo Lento
+++ Regular and long

wide

silicone Different flows according to age A very soft and adaptable teat in the baby’s mouth. The shape of the teat is almost “triangular”
Latex medic rapid teat (Bebe due)
+ Regular and long

medium

latex Rapid flow As it is made of latex, it is quite hard
Mam: silicona
++ Flat and a little wider at the top

wide

silicone Different flows according to age  
Medela: Calma
++ Round

wide

silicone 1 flow Designed to offer breast milk at a relatively low temperature. If it containes artificial formula milk, the teat increases the flow or can be blocked by lumps of milk, as the process of recomposition of the milk starts.
Medela: slow or medium flow
+ Round and wider at the top

narrow

silicone 2 flows  
Mimijumi
+ Long and slightly square, located at an angle of 30°

wide

silicone 2 flows  
NUK: For Nature
+ Flat and a little wider at the top

wide

silicone 3 flows The number of holes increases in each flow type, while other teats increase the size of the holes
NUK: anti-colic latex teat + Irregular and flat on one side

wide

latex 3 flows Increases size of holes at each flow rate
NUK: First Choice + Flow Control + Very wide. Irregular and flat on one side

wide

silicone 1 flow  
NUK:Perfect Match (Size M) ++ Regular and long

wide

silicone 2 teats with different flows according to age Very flexible
NUK:Perfect Match (Size S)  +++ Regular and long

wide

silicone 2 teats with different flows according to age Very flexible
Pigeon: flexible  ++ Regular and long

narrow

silicone 5 flows  
Pigeon: Soft touch (newborn size) +++  Regular and long

wide

silicone 6 flows Almost “triangular” teat shape
Pigeon: Soft touch (other sizes)  ++ Regular and long

wide

silicone 6 flows
Suavinex: Philiological teat SX  ++ Regular and long

wide

silicone 3 flows  
Suavinex: Zero zero  ++ Regular and long

wide

silicone 4 flows Presents at a 30-degree angle
Tommee Tippee tetinas advanced anti-colic 0m  ++ Regular and long

wide

silicone 3 flows
Twistshake anti-colic teat  ++ Regular and long

narrow

silicone 4 flows  

 

*In the following text, we use the British word “teat” for the top bit of the baby bottle. In the US and other parts of the world, this might also be commonly referred to as “nipple.” Since all LactApp texts refer to the nipple as a body part of the breast, we wanted to avoid any confusion.

** 3=good 2=medium 1=less recommended

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