Bottles and teats are not all the same, but there are different models, even with very different shapes, materials and sizes. In this post you will find out how to choose the right bottle and teat for your baby.
Baby bottles for newborn babies (0 – 3 months)
While there is no doubt that breast milk is the best for your baby, if you cannot breastfeed or opt for artificial milk supplementation (read what it is about here) you should know that one of the most important aspects of getting your baby used to formula milk right away is the choice of feeding bottle.
In the first few months of a baby’s life, the bottle must first satisfy these requirements:
- should be easy to clean, disassemble and assemble as it will be assembled, disassembled and washed several times during the day;
- The teat must be equipped with an anti-colic system that prevents excessive air flow during sucking;
- the flow of milk must be slow and not excessive as the newborn at this stage is able to consume only a little milk at a time.
- There are many types of bottles and nipples on the market that are perfectly capable of meeting all these requirements. As soon as you enter a pharmacy or health service, in fact, you will notice that feeding bottles are generally divided by age group and that there is a category of feeding bottles from 0 to 3 months.
Characteristics of first month feeding bottles
0+ bottles, or first months bottles, which can be made of glass or silicone, usually have the following characteristics:
- maximum capacity 150 ml
- larger teat and made from the softest material (e.g. rubber) to help support the baby’s lips by simulating breast sucking;
- Narrow hole and anti-colic valve always on the teat to prevent the baby from swallowing air while sucking;
- large base and smaller height dimensions to facilitate the passage of milk and facilitate the internal cleaning of the bottle;
- in some cases, but not necessarily, angled shape at 30 degrees to facilitate continuous filling of the teat and thus reduce the presence of air;
- if you are using a breastpump, you must necessarily opt for feeding bottles that adapt to the mouth of the pump you are using to pull the milk from the breast.
- As far as the material is concerned, there are both glass and silicone baby bottles. While the former are more resistant and easier to sterilise even when hot, without the risk of releasing chemicals, the latter are lighter and more practical to handle as they are practically indestructible.
Glass and plastic feeding bottles also differ in price, of course. The former are in fact cheaper than the latter. Since you will still need to have more than one, this factor may also play a role in the choice of which bottle to buy.
Bottle feeding for older children (from 6 months)
As the baby grows, his feeding needs change and the feeding bottle changes with him.
Not only will it have to be larger to hold more milk (usually 250 ml), but its shape will also tend to be different, as from 6 months of age the baby will be able to grasp and handle objects.
6+ bottles must therefore meet these requirements:
- This is why the bottles in this age group are often equipped with handles or with a hollow centre so that they can also be grasped by the baby;
- Teat with a wider hole or with more holes (2 or 3) to facilitate the release of more milk at the same time;
- As far as the teat material is concerned, if in the first months rubber is preferred because it is softer and more extensible and therefore more similar to the mother’s nipple, it can subsequently be replaced by silicone teats, a material that has the advantage of being non-deformable even after numerous sterilizations.
- Keep in mind, however, that feeding bottles with longer shapes are usually more difficult to clean inside. Milk and food residues will tend to settle more easily and should therefore be replaced more frequently.
Bottle feeding after weaning
When the baby is completely weaned and you have reduced the number of feeds, so about 9 months, consider replacing the bottle with a bottle for babies. There are also many brands and models in this case, all equipped with practical handles that facilitate the grip and anti-color system. These flasks also have the advantage of having a beak for the spillage of milk or other liquid contained much smaller and therefore does not interfere with the appearance of the first teeth.
Afterwards, when your baby understands the swallowing process well and is able to handle larger objects, you can replace the water bottle with a colourful baby cup: it is not recommended to continue to use the bottle over a year because this could cause serious problems to the teething of your baby.