Struggling to find the best bottles for breastfed babies? As a mom of a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old who have both been breastfed and have also proven to be quite picky when it comes to bottle feeding, I understand the difficulties of trying to find the perfect bottle for your breastfed baby.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably experienced challenges with transitioning from
This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through one of these links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for the support!
Jump Ahead To:
Key Features For Bottles For Breastfed Babies
- Wide-Neck Bottles: Offer easy cleaning and broader latch area.
- Multi-Stage Options: Choose bottles that accommodate growth stages.
- Deep Latching: Opt for nipples enabling deep latch, akin to
Glass vs. Plastic Baby Bottles
- Glass Bottles Benefits: Durable, resistant to stains, easy to clean, no odor retention. Dry quicker than plastic.
- BPA-Free Plastic Advantages: Lightweight, convenient for travel, shatterproof.
Bottle Size 4 oz Vs. 8 oz
Initially, you might opt for smaller 4-ounce bottles, perfect for newborns and younger babies. As they progress, transitioning to 8-ounce bottles allows for increased milk intake. There is nothing wrong with starting with 8-ounce bottles from the get-go.
Slow Flow Vs. Fast Flow
Similarly, starting with slow-flow nipples mimics the gradual pace of
Pro Tip: I find breastfed babies don’t take as much milk as their formula-fed counterparts. I never had to use more than 5 ounces with my kids.
How To Introduce Bottles To Newborn Babies
- Timing: Introduce the first bottle after 3-4 weeks of established
breastfeedingto prevent nipple confusion while allowing comfort with both feeding methods.
- Familiar Taste: Start with breast milk in the bottle to ease the transition. Consider a manual pump if not planning to pump regularly.
- Involve Caregivers: Bonding and associating the bottle with others can help.
- Lactation Consultants: Seek guidance from certified lactation consultants for personalized advice.
- Patience and Consistency: Successful transition requires time, consistency, and attentiveness to your baby’s cues.
Remember, the key to a successful transition is patience and consistency. It may take some time for your little one to adapt to bottle feeding. By following these tips and staying attuned to your baby’s cues, you can make the process smoother and more enjoyable for both of you.
Mom to Mom: I felt worried with both of my babies that they would have nipple confusion and refuse the breast or bottle. Although it was a long road with both babies, it all worked out both times. Your worry is normal and natural.
Introducing Bottles to Older Exclusively Breastfed Babies
You never introduced a bottle, and now you want a little freedom from your milk monster, but they refuse to take the bottle. You worry that you missed the window to introduce it, and there’s nothing you can do. Sound familiar?
Consider the following steps to make the process easier for your baby:
- Let Others Feed: For older babies, it’s vital to have someone other than you offer the bottle.
- Choose Calm Moments: Introduce the bottle during calm times, avoiding fussiness or hunger.
- Familiar Nipple Shapes: Opt for bottles with nipples resembling the breast, especially for older babies.
- Vary Feeding Positions: Experiment with different feeding positions to differentiate from nursing.
- Warm the Milk: Mama, your breastmilk is between 96-98 degrees. It took my husband and me a long time to realize that cold milk was the BIGGEST factor in my son’s bottle refusal. Invest in a quick warmer, because breastfed babies are used to their milk on-demand!
- Explore the Nipple: Allow your baby to explore the bottle nipple before feeding. This gives them a chance to become familiar with the new sensation and texture. You can even take the nipple off the bottle completely.
- Be Patient: Gradual transition with small amounts is key; remain consistent.
- Positive Reinforcement: Celebrate progress and offer encouraging words to build bottle confidence.
Shop Bottle Warmers
Top 25 Best Baby Bottles for Breastfed Babies
Comotomo Bottles have a breast-like experience for smooth transitions from
- Soft, Breast-Like Nipples: Silicone nipples mimic the breast’s texture and shape.
- Slow-Flow Nipple: Designed for newborns to prevent overfeeding.
- Easy Cleaning: Wide neck design simplifies cleaning and assembly.
- Comfortable silicone material reduces fussiness.
- Breast-like design aids latching.
- Dual anti-colic vents reduce gas.
- Wide neck eases cleaning and filling.
- Simple assembly enhances convenience.
- Soft silicone may be difficult to handle.
- Some instances of nipple leakage or collapsing.
Dr. Brown’s Options+ Wide-Neck Glass Baby Bottles
- Anti-colic benefits with an innovative venting system.
- Options for different flow rates.
- Mimicking natural
- Anti-colic vent system reduces gas and spit-up while preserving nutrients in breast milk.
- Different flow rate options cater to babies’ needs.
- Nipples mimic natural
breastfeeding, aiding in smoother transitions.
- Glass material offers durability, eco-friendliness, and easy sterilization.
- The vent system’s multiple parts are hard to clean.
- Occasional reports of vent system leaks or malfunctions.
- Some caregivers find the bottles bulky or heavy, particularly for smaller babies.
Lansinoh Momma Breastmilk Feeding Bottle NaturalWave Nipple
- NaturalWave nipple to prevent nipple confusion.
- Air ventilation system for reduced colic.
- Perfect for breastfed babies and premature infants.
- NaturalWave nipple prevents nipple confusion and supports oral development.
- Air ventilation system reduces colic, gas, and spit-up.
- Compatibility with Lansinoh breast pumps simplifies pumping and storage.
- Some parents found nipple flow unsuitable for their baby’s preference, leading to choking or frustration.
- Occasional reports of leaks or cracks in the bottles.
- Size and narrowness of the bottles may not be ideal for larger or older babies.
Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle
- Wide breast-shaped nipple for a proper latch.
- Flexible spiral design for comfort.
- Built-in anti-colic valve.
- A broad, breast-shaped nipple improves latching and feeding.
- A flexible spiral design adds comfort and softness for babies.
- The built-in anti-colic valve reduces air intake and discomfort.
- The durable, leak-proof design with easy assembly adds convenience.
- Some parents found the nipple size or hardness unsuitable, leading to gagging or biting.
- Occasional reports of nipple clogging or collapsing.
Philips Avent Glass Natural Baby Bottle
- Durable eco-friendly glass material
- Wide breast-shaped nipple promotes natural latch-on
- Anti-colic valve prevents vacuum build-up
- Glass material offers durability, environmental friendliness, and easy sterilization.
- Wide breast-shaped nipple supports natural latch-on for babies.
- Anti-colic valve prevents vacuum formation during feeding.
- User-friendly design and assembly add to the convenience.
- Some parents found the glass material heavy and fragile for daily use or travel.
- Occasional reports of nipple leakage or clogging.
Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottles
- Award-winning nipple design.
- Easy transition from breast to bottle.
- Compact and convenient for parents on the go.
- Unique nipple design helps babies transition from breast to bottle.
- Award-winning design attracts both babies and parents.
- The compact size makes it convenient for travel and outings.
- Soft, breast-like nipple and anti-colic valve contribute to comfortable feeding.
- Some parents found the nipple flow too fast or slow for their babies’ preferences.
- Occasional reports of leakage or bottle cracks.
- Bottle size might not be suitable for larger or older babies.
Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Soft Feels Silicone Baby Bottle
All of the benefits of the original Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottles above, with the added benefit of their skin-like soft and smooth silicone.
Nuk Simply Natural Baby Bottles
- Multiple nipple flow options.
- Flexible nipple for easy latching.
- Advanced anti-colic air system.
- Various nipple flow options provide customization to baby’s needs.
- Flexible nipple design helps babies latch comfortably.
- Advanced anti-colic system reduces colic, gas, and spit-up.
- Ergonomic shape enhances ease of holding and feeding.
- Some parents found the nipples too large or hard for their babies, leading to discomfort.
- Some parents found the baby refusing the flat nipple shape.
NUK Simply Natural Glass Bottles
All of the same features as the plastic NUK Simply Natural bottles, with fast-drying and durable glass.
Nanobebe Breastmilk Baby Bottle
- Pump directly into the bottle.
- Warm the milk evenly and quickly.
- Shaped like a breast.
- Parents liked the design that mimics breast shape and temperature, enhancing baby’s comfort.
- The fast heating and cooling system maintains breast milk quality, convenient for busy parents.
- The 360-degree double-vented system reduces air intake, preventing colic and fussiness.
- An extra slow flow nipple is gentle for newborns and preemies.
- Some parents found the bottle’s small size and shape a bit challenging to hold comfortably.
- Occasional complaints about leakage or durability issues.
Nanobebe Flexy Silicone Baby Bottles
- Silicone body mimics the feel of the breast.
- Non-collapsing nipple allows a deep latch.
- Stackable dishwasher safe design.
- Soft silicone soothes babies.
- Wide mound and nipple resemble the breast.
- Easy latching.
- Easy cleaning.
- Silicone was too flimsy and hard to hold.
- Some reports of nipple collapse.
Dr. Brown’s Options+ Wide-Neck Baby Bottles
- Anti-colic vent system reduces gas and spit-up.
- Wide-neck bottles for easy cleaning.
- Soft silicone nipples for natural latch.
- Received praise for the effective anti-colic vent that reduced gas and spit-up, preserving nutrients.
- Parents appreciated various flow rate options for their baby’s preferences.
- Soft silicone nipples mimicked natural
breastfeeding, aiding acceptance.
- The wide-neck design was positively noted for easy cleaning and filling.
- A few parents found the vent system assembly and cleaning complex.
- Some reported occasional leakage or vent system malfunction.
- Larger size and weight were occasionally less convenient for smaller babies.
Munchkin Latch BPA-Free Baby Bottle
- Accordion-style nipple stretches like the breast.
- Anti-colic valve reduces gas and fussiness.
- Nipple pumps like breast.
- Accordion-style nipple design resembling breast received positive feedback for comfortable latching.
- Anti-colic valve’s effectiveness in reducing gas and fussiness was appreciated.
- BPA-free material reassured parents about bottle safety.
- Some parents found nipples too big or hard, causing gagging or biting.
- Occasional complaints about nipple collapse or clogging leading to frustration.
- Bottles’ cost and availability were concerns for certain parents.
Chicco Duo Hybrid Baby Bottle
- Combines the convenience of unbreakable plastic, with a micro-thin layer of pure glass interior.
- Angled nipple mimics breast position.
- Anti-colic valve regulates air pressure.
- Clever design with soft sleeve and sturdy inner bottle offers durability and comfort.
- Works with Chicco breast pumps and is dishwasher-safe for convenience.
- Occasional leaks or cracks reported.
- Some may find the size not ideal for larger babies.
Playtex Baby VentAire Bottle
- Bottom vent for air-free feeding.
- Angled design for semi-upright feeding.
- Wide nipple encourages wide latch.
- Compatible with breast pumps.
- Bottom vent that promoted air-free feeding, reducing gas and colic.
- The angled design allowed semi-upright feeding.
- Encouraged a natural wide latch.
- Some parents found the bottles too complex to clean due to multiple parts.
- A few reported occasional leaks from the bottom vent system.
- Some parents felt that the plastic material was not as durable as they had hoped.
NUK Smooth Flow Anti-Colic Bottle
- Optimal nipple shape for natural latch.
- Advanced anti-colic air system.
- Wide neck for easy filling and cleaning.
- Wide neck design for easy use.
- Various nipple flow rates available.
- Some reported nipple leakage.
- Bottles could be bulky for small hands.
- Replacement nipple availability varies.
Olababy Gentle Bottle
- Gentle touch nipple simulates breast texture.
- Off-center nipple for upright feeding and reduced reflux.
- Dual-venting system minimizes air intake and spit-up.
- Wide neck for easy cleaning.
- Silicone material is safe and durable.
- Nipple reduces reflux.
- Dual-venting minimizes spit-up.
- Wide neck eases cleaning and filling.
- Nipple may not suit all babies.
- Some bottles could leak or crack.
- Availability could be concerns.
Haakaa Generation Bottle and Pump Set
- Part of a system for expressing, storing, and feeding breast milk using one silicone container.
- Variable flow nipple adapts to baby’s suction.
- Anti-colic vent reduces gas and fussiness.
- Leak-proof seal prevents spills.
- System for expressing, storing, and feeding in one container.
- Variable flow nipple suits baby’s suction.
- Anti-colic vent reduces gas and fussiness.
- Leak-proof seal prevents spills.
- Container might be small or hard to squeeze.
- Some nipples could leak or clog.
Pro Tip: Learn more about how to use a Haakaa and why it is one of my 🥇breastfeeding essentials 🥇.
Haakaa Generation Glass Bottle
All of the benefits of the Haakaa Generation Silicone bottle, but with durable glass.
Evenflo Balance + Angled Bottle
- Angled shape allows for varied feeding positions.
- Micro air vents system balances air pressure in the bottle.
- Soft and flexible nipple reduces nipple collapse.
- Twist-and-lock design prevents leaks.
- BPA-free material safe for babies.
- Air vents system balances air pressure.
- Soft nipple reduces nipple collapse.
- Angled shape might be awkward to hold.
- Some bottles could leak or crack.
- Size or weight could be issues for smaller babies.
Evenflo Balance+ Wide Neck Bottles
All of the benefits of the Evenflo angled bottle, but in a smaller size, ideal for smaller babies.
Hegen Baby Bottle
- Elliptical-shaped nipple mimics natural breast shape.
- Built-in anti-colic air vent reduces air intake.
- Interlocking feature for stacking and organizing.
- Press-to-close and twist-to-open design for easy use and cleaning.
- Durable and heat-resistant polyphenylsulfone material.
- Nipple mimics natural breast shape.
- Anti-colic vent reduces air intake.
- Interlocking feature for organization.
- Easy-to-use press-to-close design.
- Durable and heat-resistant material.
- Nipple size might not suit all babies.
- Some bottles could leak or crack.
- Price or availability might be concerns for some.
Boon Nursh Bottles
- Silicone pouch collapses to prevent air bubbles and colic.
- Pouch can be removed from plastic shell for easy cleaning.
- Air-free feeding design reduces reflux, spit-up, and gas.
- Silicone pouch prevents air bubbles and colic.
- Removable pouch for easy cleaning and sterilizing.
- Air-free feeding design reduces reflux and gas.
- BPA-free and PVC-free material.
- Pouch might be difficult to fill or empty for some.
- Pouch durability could be a concern.
- Bottle size may not suit larger babies.
Nuby Baby Bottles
- Breast-size nipple.
- Anti-colic valve.
- Soft flex technology.
- Suits breastfed babies and preemies.
- No-spill design and ease of use.
- Nipple flow may not suit all babies.
Medela Calma Baby Bottle
- Unique nipple lets babies control milk flow with a vacuum, similar to
- One-size-fits-all nipple adapts to changing needs.
- Vented nipple prevents air swallowing and colic.
- Compatible with Medela breast pumps.
- Supports transition from breast to bottle and back.
- Innovative nipple design mimics
- Adaptable nipple suits babies’ growth.
- Vented nipple aids in reducing air intake and colic.
- Compatibility with Medela breast pumps is convenient.
- Nipple may be challenging for some babies.
- Leaking or clogging issues reported by some parents.
Kiinde Active Latch Baby Bottle
- Active Latch nipple requires suction and massaging, preventing nipple confusion and overfeeding.
- Twist Pouches attach directly to the bottle, reducing milk transfer and preserving quality.
- Compatibility with most breast pumps for direct pumping and feeding.
- Twist Pouches offer convenient pumping, storing, and feeding.
- Active Latch nipple encourages natural
- One-piece construction simplifies cleaning and assembly.
- Leak-proof and durable design.
- Twist Pouches may be costly or hard to find for some parents.
- Active Latch nipple might be challenging for certain babies.
- Bottle size and squeezability issues reported by some parents.
Cleaning and Maintaining Bottles
Keeping your baby’s bottles clean and well-maintained is essential for their health and comfort. Here are some tips for effectively cleaning and maintaining baby bottles:
- Use the Right Tools: Invest in bottle brushes, bottle soap, and sterilizers designed specifically for cleaning baby bottles.
- Regularly Clean Components: See “How To Clean and Sterilize Bottles and Pump Parts.”
- Sterilization: Sterilize the bottles and components regularly, especially for newborns.
- Air Drying: Avoid using cloth towels to dry, as they can introduce bacteria.
- Check for Wear and Tear: Regularly inspect bottle components for signs of wear and tear.
- Store Properly: Use a designated area or a bottle drying rack.
Pro Tip: Keep your drying rack away from the stove. Your stove splatters a surprising amount. You don’t want grease and oil getting on your freshly washed and sanitized bottles.
Benefits of Bottle Feeding
- Bonding with Caregivers: Bottle feeding lets partners, grandparents, or caregivers bond with the baby.
- Schedule Flexibility: Bottle feeding offers flexibility, beneficial for work or personal time.
- Infection and Medication Concerns: Bottle feeding avoids transmitting infections or medications via breast milk.
- Extra Nutrition Option: Bottle feeding allows supplementing breast milk with formula or prescribed supplements for added nutrition.
Understanding Nipple Confusion
Nipple confusion can lead a baby to reject
Factors Contributing to Nipple Confusion:
- Breast Comfort: Babies might prefer
breastfeedingdue to its comfort and familiar taste.
- Bottle Ease: Some babies are drawn to bottles because of the quicker milk flow.
- Taste and Texture: Some babies might dislike the taste or texture of bottle materials.
- Sensory Differences: Unfamiliar sensations might be challenging for babies.
- Teething Discomfort: Teething babies might prefer the soothing feel of
Preventing Nipple Confusion:
Here are some strategies that worked for me:
- Delayed Introduction: Avoid introducing pacifiers and bottles for the first month.
- Alternatives to Bottles: If you need to supplement, explore alternative methods like spoon-feeding or using a feeding cup.
- Have Someone Else Do The Bottle: Breastfed babies can smell their mother’s milk a mile away (slight exaggeration🙃), and if they are anything like my kids, those babies will not accept anything other than the boob when they know mom is around. Try going to another room or leaving the house altogether when Dad or another caretaker tries to give them a bottle.
Signs of Bottle Refusal
Generally, your baby is going to make their preferences known. But here are some signs your baby is not happy with their bottle:
- Turning Away: Baby turns head away, indicating reluctance.
- Crying and Fussing: Baby cries or fusses when offered the bottle, resisting.
- Avoiding Eye Contact: Baby avoids eye contact, signaling preference.
- Small Feedings: Baby takes small sips, and rejects more.
- Long Feedings: Baby struggles to finish a bottle in 30+ minutes.
- Drowsy Feeding: Baby only accepts a bottle when sleepy. Here’s what to do if that happens: How To Keep Baby Awake During Feeding.
- Growth and Weight: Poor growth or weight gain could relate to bottle refusal.
To prevent nipple confusion and bottle refusal, there are some things that new parents can do from the start of their bottle-feeding journey:
- Resemble Breast: Choose bottles resembling the breast.
- Slow-Flow Nipples: Opt for slow-flow nipples to prevent choking and encourage paced feeding.
- Anti-Colic Bottles: Select bottles with anti-colic features to prevent discomfort.
- Feeding Timing: Offer the bottle before extreme hunger sets in.
- Express Some Milk: Dab a bit of milk on their lips to encourage latching.
- Matching Nipple Design: Find a nipple closely matching your shape and texture.
- Maintain Natural Pace: Slow-flow nipples maintain a natural feeding rhythm.
- Avoiding Air Bubbles: Tilt bottle to prevent air intake. Gently tap to remove bubbles. Avoid shaking breast milk.
Pro Tip: if you are feeding breastmilk, avoid the temptation of shaking your milk to re-incorporate the fat cap. This adds bubbles-galore to your milk. Instead, gently use the heat of your hands to melt the fatty layer, and swirl the milk together.
Addressing Bottle Feeding Challenges
- Shallow Latch: If your baby has a shallow latch, a wide-neck bottle might be too hard to latch on to. Opt for a smaller base like the Evenflow bottles to see if it makes a difference.
- Tongue and Lip-Tied Babies: My second had both a tongue and lip tie, making it really difficult to latch onto a bottle. Consider a bottle variety pack (like this one) that has several bottle and nipple options to try.
- Flow Problems: Slow-flow nipples can prevent overwhelming milk flow, but might make the bottle too hard to get milk out of. If your baby has a good latch but fusses or takes a long time to feed, try going up a size in the nipple.
Pro Tip: Remember nipple flow sizes are geared more toward formula-fed babies, they don’t account for a mom who might have a really strong letdown with a fast flow.
In my journey as a mom, I’ve learned that each baby is unique. What works for one might not work for another. Don’t hesitate to seek advice from experts or other parents who’ve navigated similar challenges. Stay patient and persistent – you’ll find the right solution for your baby’s bottle preference.