Parent Time

Tips on Choosing the Best Baby Bottle for Your Infant

Not terribly long ago, baby bottles required a level of scientific sophistication unheard of today. Bottles were glass, nipples were rubber, and everything had to be sterilized in boiling water at all times of day or night.

All things feeding-related were heavy, often hot and even breakable—less than ideal! Luckily, modern plastic and disposable bottles mean that every infant can travel with his or her own food ready to go, and parents don't have to work nearly as hard at feeding their babies either formula or breast milk. High tech bottles in a variety of colors and styles are available for nearly every occasion.

  1. Silicone nipples. These updates to the rubber nipple last longer and are less likely to crack or break off, making them safer.
  2. Gas prevention through venting and anti-vacuum systems. To prevent air in the tummy and reduce the chances of colicky crying, many bottles are now equipped with liquid flow systems that keep air out of babies' tummies. Don't go with old-fashioned bottles if your child is prone to tummy troubles; get the modern versions to keep your child comfortable.
  3. Disposable liners. Best for traveling or any time you don't want to mess around with sterilization (although you still need sterile nipples for each feeding). You can put a liner in the bottle, use it, throw it out and replace it. Clean and simple.
  4. Wider mouths. Look for wider mouths on your baby bottles to make cleaning them much easier. You'll still want a bottle brush to scrape away the solids that tend to collect on the sides and neck of the bottle. Some bottles are now designed to match up with breast pumps, so you can put breast milk directly into the bottle without having to shift between glass storage jars and funnels.
  5. Handsfree—liquid flow tube, bottle can be attached to stroller. The makers of handsfree bottles design them to minimize unwanted air. Your child can drink from a self-feeding bottle while talking on his cordless phone!

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