Best baby bottles for breastfed babies is probably what every #bfing momma is searching online. We already know breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby. We also know moms want or need to have alternatives ways to feed the baby. Typically “baby bottles” take care of this, but finding the “right” one can turn into a full-time job. After doing intense research, I found there are better alternatives to traditional bottles. So before you start buying every bottle out there and spending a lot of $$$, let’s learn what features work best, as well as what other alternatives can you have.
Best baby bottles for breastfed babies, or better alternatives:
- Flow is critically important: Your breasts don’t have nipple stages. Therefore you will need to guess what is your flow. Try pumping and take a metal video of the amount of milk that comes out. –well… you can make an actual video too–. Then find the nipple stage that closest mimics your flow. You could also get a system with flow-control so takes the guess out of the equation.
- Nipple confusion:If you are not looking to wean your baby off the breast, watch out for nipple confusion. Nipple confusion is the combination of free -flow of milk and the unnaturally shaped nipples. There’s a variety of shapes out there, find the one that’s closest to you. The best baby bottles for breastfed babies should not cause nipple confusion or bottle preference.
- Pacing! When feeding your breastfed baby, many suggest you pace the feeding to avoid “bottle preference.” Baby bottles dispense a free flow of milk. “Pacing” is the act of manually restricting the constant flow by tipping the bottle up and down. In the process, there’s a lot of air-swallowing with this method. As a result, be ready to put up with hours of inconsolable crying and intense pain for your baby. In contrast, a system that allows the baby to control the pace without feeding him air is highly recommended (keep reading).
- Avoid air inside the bottle at all cost: Vented bottles are the kind that continually introduces air inside the bottle. Plastic liners, if we look past the environmental nightmare, can be a better alternative only if the liner collapses as the baby feeds. Many of them don’t; therefore you need to find the ones that do. Air-free feeding systems are the newest technology to dispense milk without air. If your baby is colicky or fussy after a meal, you may want to look into these. Of course, if your baby is severely gassy or has reflux, this option is a no-brainer.
- Supplemental Nursing Systems: AKA SNS, are a great tool when your milk supply is low. By letting the baby stay at the breast as long as possible and getting the nutrients she needs, despite your supply, can help stimulate the breast and therefore grow your supply. SNS is a great alternative to baby bottles. And if you need to step away from your baby, use a system with a nipple that is similar to your breast and encourages suction. This way your baby will do a very similar exercise at latching and sucking which are essential skills for successful breastfeeding.
To recap, you have several options to feed your baby. First, you need to know what your supplemental goals are in order to pick the best bottles for breastfed babies. Second, classify the brands under the technologies mentioned above. Third, be confident about your smart decision and stick to it. If you need help, many manufacturers have lactation professionals on staff ready to help. Message them, text them, email them or call them for help. This is another ‘feature’ to consider.
- Vented bottles are Avent, Dr. Browns, VentAir, Tommee Tippee, NUK, Nuby, etc.
- Bottles with plastic liners are Drop-ins, Kiinde, Tommee Tippee, etc.
- Air-free feeding system refers to Bare® Air-free feeding system. Bare® helped Sarah and Megan Amand to transition their babies to supplement and reinstate breastfeeding as needed.
- SNS’ are made by Medela, Baby Feeding Hot, etc.