While breastfeeding is often the preferred method of nurturing an infant, some mothers may find themselves unable to breastfeed, and some babies may not immediately take to the process. Also, many mothers suffer painful side-effects while breastfeeding, such as chapped, sore nipples, a sore back, bruising, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
For these reasons, bottle feeding continues to be a popular option. Not only can it help ease a nursing mother's aches and pains, but it can also be the only option in some instances. However, choosing the right bottle for your baby can feel more complicated than deciding on a name!
There are thousands of different options from which to choose, but the right one for you and your tiny tot depends on quite a few critical factors.
While the benefits of breastfeeding are commonly found in baby books and guides, the benefits of bottle-feeding can be just as valuable. Mothers who struggle with breastfeeding should never feel ashamed to switch to bottle-feeding, especially when you consider benefits like:
In addition, mothers who decide to bottle feed their infants (and use formula) will exempt themselves from the majority of negative breastfeeding side-effects, including cracked and bleeding nipples. The bottle-feeding advantages for your baby are varied, and many benefit the mother just as much as the baby.
Bottle-feeding is far simpler than breastfeeding, no matter how you choose to go about it. Even though formulas and breast pumps differ significantly, the general feeding process is the same.
Baby formula comes in three types: pre-made liquid, concentrate, and powder. Pre-made liquids are the easiest to use and can be quickly emptied into a clean, fresh bottle. Powders are the trickiest to use because they can clump and cause digestion issues if incorrectly combined.
A food processor or blender can help ensure the best quality powder-based formula. Another thing to consider is the brand. Switching from brand to brand is typically a bad idea for babies, as a consistent diet and type of formula are likely to lead to fewer digestive issues.
Bottle-feeding with breast milk is very similar to using pre-made liquid formula. The greatest thing to take care of when choosing this route is milk, age, and quality. Food service specialists use an acronym to ensure that their ingredients never spoil.
The acronym is FIFO: First In First Out. Mothers can adopt this acronym to ensure that the milk they're giving their baby is always safe. To follow this policy, always mark your breast milk with the date and time it was pumped.
Always use the oldest milk first, ensuring that refrigerated supplies are never older than four days old. Doing so can help protect your child from an upset tummy, or worse.
Choosing the best bottle for your baby depends on a few vital factors. Here are some crucial aspects to consider when selecting a bottle:
Baby bottles can be made of many different types of materials. Some aren't dishwasher friendly, and some can warp when exposed to heat. Being familiar with these materials can help you choose the best one for you and your little one.
Glass doesn't contain any harmful chemicals, and it can last a lifetime. That is, as long as you don't accidentally drop it. One of the greatest dangers of using glass bottles is the chance of breakage, and while dropping a glass bottle is sure to result in broken glass, extreme temperatures can also shatter glass baby bottles.
Polypropylene bottles are commonly referred to as plastic bottles. BPA-free bottles are the most popular, as they're less potentially harmful to infants. Still, depending on the origin of your baby's plastic bottles, there may be harmful residues leftover from the manufacturing process that can leach into the milk.
Plastic bottles are relatively cheap and easy to replace, but they don't enjoy long lives. And like glass, plastic is liable to warp and become unusable when subjected to high heat. Still, many parents choose to buy a handful of these for emergencies.
A quality silicone baby bottle can be an excellent choice for several reasons. Silicone is soft to the touch, flexible, resistant to heat, and naturally anti-microbial. Silicone bottles are BPA-free and they don't shatter like glass bottles.
Also, silicone bottles are easy to clean, especially since they're dishwasher-safe. Silicone bottles (and silicone nipples) make an excellent choice for both breastfed and bottle-fed babies.
Bottle shape and size can be incredibly important for two reasons: preventing colic and saving money. Smaller, newborn-safe bottles only last for a few weeks before parents need to upgrade to larger bottles, so it's wiser to invest in larger bottles with many various nipple sizes.
Also, bottles should feature some kind of venting to help prevent air bubbles and reduce the chance of infants developing colic.
As babies grow, they're able to consume more milk more quickly. Consequently, they'll likely need a larger nipple size with a larger opening. This point of child growth can be challenging when breastfeeding, but it's a cinch for bottle-feeders.
Most nipples range in size from 1 to 4. Size 1 nipples are best for very young babies and newborn infants. Size 4 nipples are best-suited to babies transitioning into toddlerhood.
Mothers who would like to pump during their free time and administer a bottle may want to choose a bottle that is compatible with their pump. Doing so can reduce potential messes and spills and make the entire process far smoother. Still, this feature can limit your possible bottle choices.
Finding the right bottle for your baby can be a tricky process, and your baby is likely the one who will make the final decision as to which bottle is right for her or him. However, parents can help this process along by choosing a handful of quality candidates.
The ideal bottle should be made of safe materials, be the right size and shape, and have an appropriate nipple size. A container that is also compatible with your breast pump can be an excellent option.
Don't waste another day struggling with bottles that are easy to break, difficult to clean, and frustrating for your baby to use. For moms who want to try the silicone option, check out Perry Mackin Silicone Bottle which is a soft, natural feel, anti-colic baby bottles!