Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies
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Would you agree that breastfeeding is difficult? Even with a great breastfeeding relationship it can be seriously so difficult at times, not even the breastfeeding itself but even just having to wake up in the middle of the night, not being able to be away from your baby for more than 3 hours or so – it’s tough! And some women even have health issues or other concerns that make it even more difficult. So even for the exclusively breastfed baby, I am not surprised if mom is looking for a bottle for their breastfed baby.
As mothers we have a duty to take care of our child the best we can, for some moms formula feeding is what works best in their family. I love attachment parenting, but I totally understand that breastfeeding has to be a mutual relationship between baby and mom. But if breastfeeding isn’t working and you need to use formula then you do you mama – take care of your baby the best you can!
But to the breastfeeding mamas looking for a bottle that won’t interfere with your breastfeeding relationship this here is for you.
Why Start Bottle Feeding the Breastfed Baby
Bottle feeding does not have to interrupt or stop your breastfeeding relationship but it may come up for one of several reasons
- Mom is going back to work
- Mom is going for a night out
- Mom is sick or having surgery
- Mom just wants to sleep
Everyone will have a different reason to start bottle feeding. What’s your reason?
For me, we were going on a safari with my sister and her boyfriend who were visiting us in South Africa and I knew my little two month old would need a bottle now and then so we decided to try it. I have also chosen to use a bottle while flying, when my parents were watching her during a root canal, and while my mother in law was watching her a few times when my husband and I were running tent crusades.
Do you want to bottle feed often, or will it be occasionally?
I knew it would just be an occasional thing for us since my daughter is with me most of the time, so just two bottles were fine.
I wanted a bottle that would not harm our breastfeeding relationship, so I went with the suggestion of our wellness nurse to go with the Tommee Tippee bottle.
The Tommee Tippee is a BPA-free bottle with a soft and flexible silicone teat with ridges that make it easy for the baby to latch onto, along with the fact that the teat is extra wide. The easi-vent tm valve helps with the air flow through the bottles which is more comfortable for your baby It’s easy to hold and wash because of the width which is great for the caregiver as well!
This bottle worked great for us, I have no complaints. Breastfeeding still went smoothly and it was easy for anyone to feed her with this bottle.
How to Bottle Feed the Breastfed Baby
To bottle feed your baby you will want to hold them up right, this makes it much easier for them to swallow. When you first start the feeding hold the bottle just in front of them so they can latch on, it you just push the bottle nipple into their mouth they might not latch on properly. You should hold the bottle for the air vent is facing up so there will be appropriate air flow. If your baby swallows a lot of air they are not going to be happy about it later!
To mimic breastfeeding it is good to pace yourself as you feed them, and also to switch sides. If you always feed them in the same position they might prefer to stay in that position all the time and it will be hard during breastfeeding when you need to switch breasts. It’s very important that you pace the feed and take your time. The closer the experience resembles breastfeeding the better.
Store Your Breast Milk Safely
Be aware that breastmilk will go bad, especially if the baby has already been drinking from the bottle because the bacteria from their mouth can get into the milk. Once they have been drinking from a bottle they should either finish that milk or it should be thrown out within an hour. If you are pumping then the idea of throwing out breast milk isn’t going to thrill you. It may take awhile before you know how much milk your little one really takes in a feeding. I would suggest giving them less than you think and adding more if they still need it. Keep the breast milk in a separate container, this goes the same for when you are leaving your baby with someone else.
For more information about safe breastmilk storage, whether it’s for tomorrow’s night out or stashing up before you go back to work, check out this post by Mama Natural.
More Bottle Suggestions
Besides the Tommee Tippee bottle, there are a lot of other great bottles you can use for your breastfed baby. Here are some more great suggestions for you to consider.
These bottles have been intentionally designed with breastfeeding mamas in mind. The nipple shape mimics the breast and has a anti-colic system designed in. The ones I am showcasing here are glass, but there are many designs available and the nipples are compatible with a variety of the designs.
The Comotomo bottle is another great bottle designed specifically for breastfed babies. Made with 100% hygenic silicone these bottles are wide and easy to clean and have a dual set of anti-colic vents. Buy them here.
The Dr. Brown bottles are very popular, and also made with the breastfed baby in mind. They’re designed to keep the pace of the milk slow and similar to breastfeeding so the baby will not start to prefer the bottle over the breast.
The MimiJumi bottles are another great option among bottles for breastfed babies. They are free to BPA, BPS, latex, phthalates, lead and all known EA (Estrogenic Activity) agents.
Final Thoughts on Bottles for Breastfed Babies
When you start bottle feeding one thing to be aware of is that some babies might be picky about which bottles they will choose to use. Try feeding them as close to what breastfeeding would feel like to avoid having to go through several bottles.
Here are some quick tips to remember for a great successful bottle-feeding experience
- Let mama be the first one to bottle feed them
- Try for the first time when they aren’t really hungry or they must be frustrated with the transition
- Hold baby upright but in the position similar to being breastfed
- Switch sides halfway through the feed
- Pace the feeding for a slow, breast-like experience
There you go mama, I hope you find a bottle that works best for you and your little one. Best of luck to you, and good on you for continuing with breastfeeding! I hope you are able to stick with it as long as possible, even when little one starts to grow teeth! 😉
The Moving Mama
Lizzy Mash is an experienced early childhood educator now living in Africa as a missionary working with children and families.
She teaches Christian moms how to take a more respectful and Christ-like approach to motherhood by using Gentle Parenting strategies.
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