Let's Talk about Bottle Types and Picking The Best One For You

feeding Feb 14, 2022

Did you know that babies are picky? It’s true. When it comes to what bottle to use when feeding your baby, there are so many different kinds to chose from, and for good reason. It is extremely common for babies to reject some bottle types, so it’s always best to have a small sample around before deciding on one specific bottle type. Ultimately, what type of bottle you chose is going to be up to your baby.

Bottles come in plastic, glass, stainless steel or silicone. They’ll range in price and sturdiness.

Plastic bottles are some of the most common that you’ll find in stores. These types of bottles are great because they’re lightweight and don’t break (easily!). Even the most careful parents will drop a bottle at SOME point throughout their journey. The plastic ones will not break on impact (now I can’t say that they won’t come apart if your dog gets ahold of it). Over time though, plastic bottles have a habit of deteriorating. Signs that your bottle is running out of life are:

 - Scratches
 - Cracks
 - Leaking
- Discoloration
- Odor
The other thing that you need to worry about with plastic bottles is to check the label and make sure that they are BPA free.
Glass bottles are already BPA free, which makes them a good alternative to plastic. However, glass bottles are much easier to break if you do accidentally drop one. If you can find one, a silicone sleeve might help prevent breaking if dropped though.

Stainless Steel Bottles are also BPA free and lightweight. However, these can get super expensive. These are probably the most efficient for long-term usage but keep in mind that you can tell how much is inside so keeping track of what baby is eating could prove difficult.

Silicone bottles are BPA-free and made from food grade materials which makes them a great choice for families. Not only are these BPA free, but these bottles are also lightweight and extremely shatterproof which make them a great possibility for those late-night feedings.

 Bottles not only come in various materials, but also in different shapes. They have some that are standard sized, like the Dr. Browns, some that are wide with shorter nipples designed to mimic breastfeeding, like the Phillips Avent, and some that are Angled to help prevent baby from sucking in air. Keep in mind that these can be harder to clean due to the angled nature.

Bottle Size

Bottles come in 4- or 8-ounce sizes. I LOVE the smaller sizes during the first few months when baby isn’t eating as much per feeding. However, around 4-5 months, when baby increases the amount they’re eating per feeding, it might be beneficial to increase the size of the bottle to the larger, 8-ounce containers. That way you aren’t refilling a small bottle in the middle of a feeding and giving baby time to decide they don’t want anymore (remember, snacking can lead to cat naps).

Bottle Nipples

Much like the various bottle types, nipples can come in different shapes as well. The long and narrow nipples are typically found with the standard shaped bottles while the wide and short nipples accommodate those wider-mouth bottles.

Nipples are typically made of latex or silicone. It’s important to watch your baby to see if they have a reaction to the latex nipples as some can have allergies. Silicone is a little stronger than the latex and can last a tad longer. It’s important to replace bottle nipple immediately if they are showing any signs of wear (thinning, sticky, discolored, cracked).


Nipple Flow

Most bottles have different flow nipples. This refers to the speed at which formula or breastmilk comes out of the bottle. In general, if you’re breastfeeding, it’s best to keep baby at a 0 or 1 so that they don’t start to favor the bottle over the breast. A mom who is exclusively bottle feeding may need to increase the nipple flow size as time goes on. It’s always best to start with a 0 or 1 and make sure that you’re pacefeeding so that baby doesn’t choke. Increase as needed or if you’re seeing that baby is getting upset at the bottle.


 Pacefeeding is paced bottle feeding. This is where you keep the bottle parallel to the ground and baby at a small incline. Stop milk flow every 20-30 seconds by tipping the bottle back slightly and break from feeding to burp baby every ounce or so. This helps baby to realize when they’re full rather than allowing them to be overfed.


*** It is important to note that bottle propping should not occur as this is a hazard to baby.


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