Wondering What Kind of Bottles to Buy

Updated on December 31, 2008
M.B. asks from New Albany, MS
15 answers

I am planning on breastfeeding, but I work, and will also have to use bottles. I am wondering what kind are the best. I know I want BPA free, but I'm not sure what's best with the pump and all of that. I'm going to be a new mom in February.

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answers from Raleigh on

every baby is different. Just buy one of a few differnet types and see which one "fits" :) also a pump will fit a standard sized bottle. I used to pump straight intothe bottles. let me know if you have any questions about pumping. i pumped exclusively so I can commiserate :)

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answers from Asheville on

Hi M.,

I'm so happy to hear you're aware of BPA and are looking to avoid it. Glass is still the safest type of bottle to use.

I used glass with my son and it was as easy to use as plastic and never was a bottle ever broke. I never sterilized them, simply washed them in very hot water really well and let them sit in non-soapy hot water to rinse. Actually, plastic is somewhat porous and can/will absorb to an extent - thus I never bought in to the concept that plastic never needed to be sterilized.

For those who might be reading this who don't know about bisphenol A (BPA), its a hormone-disrupting chemical that can (and probably does based on scientific studies) through its mimicking the female hormone estrogen causes various cancers, impairs immune function, causes early onset of puberty / obesity / diabetes, hyperactivity (ADD/ ADHD), abnormal sexual behavior, structural damage to the brain, Downs Syndrome, and many other health problems and diseases.

Coincidentally, these now common health issues directly relate to the push from the plastic industry with their common plastic products. I'm older than most of the members on Mama Source so I have an idea of what life was like before plastic... live was good and far cleaner in most ways. We had higher quality things (fewer of them but healthier and nicer), things that were NOT disposable ending up in landfills for millennia, very few were obese (it was NOT uncommon to see no obese kids in schools, every school had one chubby kid, that's the extent), no one had ADD/ADHD (which wasn't even a condition back then!), childhood diabetes was unheard of (even grown up's hardly got diabetes), girl's got their first periods when they were between 14-18 yrs old (NOT between the ages of 5 & 12 like they do today!!!). This alone should be a huge wake-up call and provide direction regarding which path to follow, or not follow. I think this is very serious stuff.

The dramatic rise in certain types of health issues has also been seen with the increase in use of pharmaceuticals, artificial sweeteners, certain types of pesticides/fungicides/herbicides (Round Up being a common one, household pesticides and household cleaners are also notorious for being extremely toxic and ruining the health of hundreds of thousands of innocent children, pets, and people).

I'm 52, and a mom of one healthy son (now grown up) and this is what I've seen happen over the years, I can only imagine what those of the age 75 and older have witnessed. I'm extremely upset by what I've seen happen over the years. It's simply wrong and should have never been allowed for a number of reasons. And no, our government, FDA, USDA and EPA are NOT watching out for our health and well-being - they stopped doing that about 30-40 yrs ago from what I can see, when these big companies started buying their way onto the market. Yes, the corruption is appalling and right under our noses!

I didn't grow up with everything coming out of a plastic container - shampoo was in thick glass bottles and never once did a bottle break in the tub/shower (and our tubs were cast iron!). Food rarely came in plastic packaging. All of our dishes were glass, sure some broke but we very carefully cleaned up the pieces. All beverages came in glass bottles and we could return them to be used over - our drinks tasted better! Our lunch box thermos' had thick glass liners, I never saw one break. Most things were wrapped in paper, thin cardboard, or waxed paper - no plastic wrap (with BPA).

From what I can see, there is NO SAFE type of plastic, regardless of what any manufacturer claims. Plastic becomes even more toxic when exposed to extremes of hot and cold, leaching even more chemicals into your food or drink.

Styrofoam leaches a lot of BPA into your heated beverages... so mom's to be, beware! If it goes into your body you can assume there is a very good chance it will go into the fetus too.

I avoid plastics like the plague and I urge others to do the same. It's not a safe product, particularly if food is involved and for items babies will put in their mouths. The health of our population, all ages, is evidence that we must do everything possible to get this stuff out of our lives permanently.

I find it disturbing that we have allowed industries to expose us and our kids to some of the most toxic stuff on earth. Through their marketing schemes we allow them to condition us into believing their newest fangled whatever is something we cannot live without. The news is... that we can't live with it - not if we want to have a healthy quality of life.

Here are some links that may be useful...

Toxic Baby Bottles Still Being Sold

Use Glass Not Plastic

Nalgene Bottles Pulled from Shelves

Pacific Trash Tsunami

Our Homes are Toxic Waste Dumps

This is not to say our modern stuff is not good, some of it is good. It's just to say... we must not forget that the common diseases of today were not occurring 30+ yrs ago because of the types of products we not NOT exposed to. And that these diseases do NOT have to be a part of life today and in the future... if we stop encouraging these companies by purchasing their very toxic products and fall victim to their manipulative flat out lies.

I'd rather see myself and children be healthy and enjoy a better quality of life than have the conveniences of plastic any day.

Hope this helps,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

We used the Avent "Naturally" bottles. Because we started them before all the BPA information came out, I do not know if they now make BPA free bottles. I saw below where someone recommended the Born-Free bottles, and that is what I want to try whenever I have another baby.

I do agree that you may have to try a few different bottles before your baby decides on the best one. Keep in mind that many daycares do not allow glass bottles, if you're considering using the glass.

Overall, just worry about nursing your baby for the first few weeks. You can worry about bottles once you have established a solid breastfeeding relationship. Childcare providers know how to get a breastfed baby to take a bottle, so you will not have to give him a bottle ahead of time. We actually chose the Avent bottles because our daycare said most of the breastfed babies like those bottles.

I hope everything goes well for you!



answers from Memphis on

I agree with the mom who said you have to let the baby decide. I'd suggest getting one of each of several kinds that you like and then after the baby is born and shows a preference go buy more of that kind. My oldest wasn't very particular, but he had to be given a bottle in the hospital due to low blood sugar at birth. My second didn't get his first bottle until about 4 mths and boy did he object. I had to try just about every bottle on the market and expereiment with different temperatures to get him to take one. He prefers the nipples that are bigger around, like Playtex Ventaire Wide, First Years Soothie, Nuk Orthodontic. Gerber has a wide bottle too that we tried. I tried all these because they were marked on the box that they were good for breastfed babies and more like mom's breast and nipple. My youngest also like his bottles heated almost too warm. He refused them if they weren't warm enough.



answers from Raleigh on

I've used the Born-Free bottles since my little girl was born with a level 1 nipple. They also have a multi level nipple that is supposed to mimic the variable flow of the breast, but I haven't tried that. It doesn't seem like the big stores carry that, but boutiques do and you can probably get it online. We never had problems with nipple confusion - she is 8 months and still uses level 1 nipples though. With breast milk you will never really need the big bottles - the 6oz ones are fine. Don't use the medela slow flow nipples. They say they're slow flow but they're really not. I've not been impressed with the slow flow nipple on the Dr. Brown's bottle's either but other people say it's good.

Also, while I agree that avoiding BPA is a good idea because you never know, there is really no credible research that it actually CAUSES the stuff some of the other folks were mentioning, especially ADHD. The strongest contributors to ADHD in the research controlling for other factors are genetics (about as heritable as height actually) and smoking while pregnant. Since BPA has been in a lot of things over the years, there's really not a way to tell how much of it could have contributed to those health problems without controlled studies. Maybe we will see a decline in some of these health problems as people are more aware of it and it is removed from products, but careful studies will need to be done to show that it's the removal of the BPA that causes the change and not the related variables. For example, many parents who are aware of the issue and use BPA free products might also be higher income (BPA free is often more expensive), to breastfeed and/or feed their kids healthier or organic foods, have their kids exercise more, have higher quality child care and more regular preventative healthcare, etc. Any or all of those things might contribute to the reduction of the problems mentioned. I guess I'm just saying do what you feel is best for your family's health and wellness, but it's probably not worth it to worry about every possible threat (i'm not saying you are at all, just in general - I know I have made myself a little crazy with this stuff sometimes, you're always worried about making the right decision as a new mom) and be careful about the information you read.



answers from Charlotte on

In my opinion, this is the best bottle on the market for breast and bottle fed babies.


The thing you want to remember the most is to use the slowest flow bottle possible to avoid nipple confusion. Our breast drain much slower than a typical bottle. If your baby gets used to the fast flow, the slower flow of the breast can be very frustrating to them and they can fuss while nursing or even reject the breast. The best of luck to you!



answers from Memphis on

I found with my daughter the nipples were more important. She has to have the large nipples that say closer to the shape of the breast. Also when she first started she needed the slow flow. I guess because it takes more suction to get the milk out of the breast, when I first started her on the regular flow she was sucking to hard and choking. She is two and half months now and has moved up to the regular flow but still uses the larger nipples. With the regular size nipples she acts like she doesnt know what to do with it. I use Targets vent air flow bottles the larger round size Hope this helps



answers from Huntington on


Baby's are people, too and they have preferences. It sucks to have $100+ in fancy nursing systems only to find you baby doesn't like them. (I speak from experience here).

In the end, the Playtex nursers (drop-ins...flay top nipple) were the only ones my little guy would use.



answers from Louisville on

dr browns are great! they saved my life!



answers from Raleigh on

Hi M.
It's has been a while since we used bottles and honestly I'm not sure the one we used was BPA free, since all the news came out after we used the bottles. My son did well with the Dr. Brown's brand. He seemed to do well with the nipples (I also nursed and pumped while at work). Also he didn't seem to get very much gas after feedings. Good luck with your choice. I will recommend trying a few brands because every baby is different.




answers from Hickory on

I used Dr. Brown's wide-mouth bottles, and my sister-in-law used the same ones for her first son. She recently traded in the twice-used bottles for brand new (guaranteed BPA-free) ones of the same kind and is using them with her second son. (Babies-R-Us did this exchange for free, even though the bottles were used. We were suprised, but appreciated it.) I guess any kind of bottle will work, but I picked Dr. Brown's because of a friend's recommendation, and after 3 kids, my sister-in-law and I can recommend them too. Pick what you like and don't worry about it--they will all work. As far as a pump, I used the Medela Pump-in-Style multiple times a day for 11 months, and it did great. I'd definitely get an electric one of some kind. Again, pick what you like. Babies have been growing up for thousands of years with their parents using a wide variety of products, and it all works out fine.



answers from Charlotte on

It doesnt get any better than glass! Soo much easier to clean. We have never had one break. Try them!



answers from Charlotte on

Hi M.,
I agree with Evelyn, everything she says is right, about plastic, enviroment etc. Wish I knew all before I delivered. I used the glass bottles all the time and not even one broke.
If you would like to learn more about healthy living and raising a healthy child here's another link you may find it interesting
and of course there 's holisticmomsnetwork.
wish you have a good delivery and a healthy child



answers from Fayetteville on

We used different ones for all three of our kids - as crazy as it sounds - you kind of have to let the baby decide, alot is based on the size/shape of the nipple that comes with the bottle....One of our children liked the Avent bottles system, two of them liked the old fashioned playtex bottles with liners (also very convenient with pumping b/c in most cases the milk storage bag can double as the "drop in" bag for the bottle system. My best advice is to experiment with a couple of different brands before buying several of any one type. The most important thing is having a system that the baby will not reject when given the bottle as an option to the breast. Good Luck as you get ready to join the ranks of motherhood!



answers from Lexington on

When my children were infants I nursed and used Playtex bottles with the drop in liners. I also used the clear dome shaped nipples. These were recommended because you can get most of the air out of the bottle and the nipple is shaped more closely to a mother's breast. I also really liked the avent pump. It is reasonably priced and worked better than other pumps I tried.

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