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Tips for choosing baby’s first bottle
Whether you’re bottle-feeding your baby from birth, wanting a combination of breast and bottle feeding, or weaning them off the breast and onto a bottle, it’s important to choose one that is right for your child. From the shape to the material and everything in between – here are some helpful tips for choosing your baby's first bottle.
Taking the time is vital
It’s easy enough to jump online and order a bottle for your baby without thinking about much beyond the price tag. And it’s just as easy to wander into the supermarket, pharmacy or baby store and pick the first thing you see on the shelf. After all, bottles are common and used by most babies, so it’s natural they would adjust to any bottle, right? Not exactly.
Despite their lack of time in the world, babies can be discerning and quite picky about what they put in their mouth – especially when it comes to feeding from a bottle. That’s why you need to take your time, do a bit of research and choose a baby bottle and teat that is most suitable for your little one.
To help make a tough decision a bit easier, here are some helpful tips to think about.
1. When will your baby be using the bottle?
Baby bottles aren’t universal, which means different sizes, shapes and teats will be most appropriate according to your baby’s age. A smaller bottle with a small hole in the teat will be more appropriate for a newborn than a large bottle with a wider opening in the teat, for example.
Also consider whether the bottles will be used only for formula, strictly for breastmilk, or a combination of both – as this may inform your final decision.
2. Will your baby be switching between the breast and bottle?
There’s a variety of reasons why you may need your baby to take a bottle even though you are still breastfeeding. Maybe you’re returning to work and need to keep your child fed throughout the day by your partner or family member while you’re not around. Or perhaps you’re slowly weaning them onto formula or other milk products.
Whatever the reason, nipple confusion is a common problem that can cause both you and bub unnecessary stress. That’s why using a bottle that’s designed to mimic the breast shape can help your baby switch easily between the two.
Pigeon's range of SofTouch baby bottles are perfect for babies who are switching between breast and bottle. The distinct feature of this range is its wide neck. The teat's design mimics the natural breast shape to prevent nipple confusion and includes a textured surface to ensure a secure latch.
3. Have you thought about the bottle teat?
Did you know that the shape and material of the bottle doesn’t really matter? It’s actually all about the teat. You want your baby to feel calm and comfortable. If your baby is small, a slim neck teat may be best, but if you wish to combination breast and bottle feed, your baby may prefer a wide neck teat whose shape is similar to your breast and may help them associate feeding from the bottle with feeding from the breast.
If there’s one thing you should spend the most time researching, it’s the teat! Once you have decided between slim or wide neck, you need to look at the teat design and consider the following – Does it have a textured surface to allow your baby to latch on easily? Is there a venting system to support constant milk flow and help reduce colic such as Pigeon’s Air Ventilation System ? Does the teat offer a range of sizes that will allow you to move your baby through the range as they grow older? All important considerations.
4. What about the bottle material?
Generally, Mum ends up buying bottles and teats as a result of personal preference, budget and how often she thinks the bottle will be used. However, it’s good to know about the differences between the different bottle materials. A lot of abbreviations are used, but in summary, there are basically two options, plastic or glass.
Plastic bottles can be either regular plastic or medical grade plastic. They are commonly called PP or PPSU, an abbreviation of the type of plastic from which they are made. Regular plastic bottles are made from polypropylene – PP, while medical plastic bottles are made from polyphenylsulfone – PPSU.
PP is a lightweight plastic that’s intended for low to regular use, while PPSU, being medical grade plastic is more hard wearing and intended for higher use. PP bottles are generally clear in colour. PPSU bottles are naturally honey toned. Glass bottles offer the best alternative to plastic, but they are slightly heavier, although they do offer years of use.
How often you replace your bottles will depend upon the type of bottles you have and how frequently they are being used. For example, if you use the same bottle six times a day you will need to change it more than if you used 6 different bottles throughout the day.
5. How many bottles will you need?
In the madness of life with a young baby, one bottle is never enough. Their feeding frequency, how many bottles you’ll want to keep in the fridge and freezer, and how often you are likely to clean and sterilise them will all influence how many bottles you will need.
If you are still mostly breastfeeding, three or four bottles should suffice. If you are strictly bottle-feeding, then anywhere from eight to 10 bottles may be necessary.
Pigeon has a wide range of bottles and teats
We understand that every baby is different, and your little one may have a preference for a particular flow, feel or shape to their bottle and teat. That’s why we have a diverse range of options when it comes to choosing your baby’s first bottle.
The SofTouch baby bottles and teats are well known for their wide necks, super-soft silicone and textured surface to help with latching. The Flexible baby bottles and teats are more traditional in design and shape, with four different materials to choose from and double-thickness silicone bottle teats to ensure ideal softness and flexibility for your baby to latch on easily.