Nipple confusion. I remember thinking that if I heard those two words one more time I would scream.
Nurses in the hospital acted like it was the big bad wolf. Attachment parenting books made it sound like the world would come crashing down if your baby took a bottle — even once — because he would never ever latch to a human breast ever again.
I call bullshit.
But, even so, there are certain bottles that are best for breastfed babies. If you’re doubting whether you even need to bottle feed, ever…
- Bottles allow someone else to feed your baby. Even if you breastfeed exclusively, you can express your milk so that dad (or whoever) can give you a break. It's a win-win situation: dad and baby get to bond and you finally get to have a shower, brush your hair, eat something and maybe feel human again! 😉
- It's convenient for when you're out and about There's definitely no shame in breastfeeding in public – it's the most natural thing in the world. But sometimes it’s not the most comfortable thing.
- It gives you a little bit of freedom. Having a bottle for expressed feeds or supplementing with formula means someone can watch baby while you catch your breath – without the worry of missing a feed.
The Top Best Bottles For Breastfed Babies
#1: Kiinde Squeeze (Breast Milk Storage Set)
#2: Comotomo Baby Bottle
#3: Lansinoh mOmma Breastmilk Feeding Bottle
#4: Philips AVENT Natural Glass Bottle
#5: Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature
#6: NUK Simply Natural
#7: Adiri NxGen Newborn Nurser
#8: Mimijumi Not So Hungry Baby Bottle
#9: Playtex Baby Nurser Baby Bottle With Drop-Ins
#10: Medela Breastmilk Bottle Set
But first, before we get into it…
How To Choose A Bottle For Your Breastfed Baby
Ask any breastfeeding mom – babies love the boob and are super picky when it comes to bottles. Bottle feeding your breastfed baby is complicated, to say the least and there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Don't start too early
Despite my hatred of the term, it turns out nipple confusion is probably only a real thing if you introduce the bottle too soon (before 2-4 weeks). Allow your baby to master proper latching technique first. No matter how “natural” the bottle’s nipple is, it still isn't your breast.
But don't start too late, either
Don’t wait too long before introducing the bottle. Many older babies refuse to take a bottle, much to the frustration of moms who were only following the advice mentioned above.
So when should you start? This varies from baby to baby, but the general consensus is not before 2-4 weeks (to avoid nipple confusion) and no later than 6 weeks (or your baby will likely reject the bottle). So, week 5! Check.
Now that you know when to start, take a look at a few factors that could potentially make or break your bottle feeding endeavors:
Nipple shape: The closer the shape is to an actual breast, the better your chance of success. Nipples designed for breastfed babies are usually wider and more, well, breast-like (articulate, I know).
Nipple texture: Real boobs have areolas, and when you're breastfeeding, these aren't smooth. Bumps and grooves allow your baby to latch and stay latched more easily. A softer textured nipple may help, too.
Flow: When breastfeeding, your baby has to work for a let-down and continue to work thereafter, as well. If the bottle’s flow is too fast, it could overwhelm or gag your baby.
After you take a moment to digest all that information (it's a lot to take in all at once, I know), check these great options for breastfed babies.
The Top 10 Best Bottles For Breastfed Babies in 2017
Yup, you know it – I love this bottle and so do thousands of breastfeeding moms. A little pricey, but the innovative design closely resembles breastfeeding and babies sure seem to love it!
Another popular option amongst breastfeeding moms, specifically designed for breastfed babies. This a worthwhile bottle to try if you have a choosy baby.
If you're looking for a glass bottle for your breastfed baby, this is probably the best option. A wide, textured nipple helps your baby to latch while the slow flow milk release feels like mom’s.
Featuring a wide, textured nipple to help baby transition from breast to bottle, an easy to clean design and a simple ventilation system, it isn't hard to see why this brand has a loyal following.
Some breastfed babies love this unique nipple design and some can't stand it. Although this nipple has been specially designed for breastfed babies, it’s still pretty close to the original, but wider and more textured. Definitely worth a shot!
This expensive option resembles the real deal pretty closely. If you've tried a million bottles without any luck, this one might do the trick, but be warned – it is an expensive option.
Super expensive, but for some frustrated moms this realfeel Bottle is a lifesaver!
Convenient paired with thoughtful design – bring it on! Drop in disposable liners mean you spend less time washing bottles and your baby swallows less air.
Perfect for storing expressed breastmilk, especially when paired with a Medela Breast Pump. Too bad the actual feeding design isn't all that spectacular.
Convincing a breastfed baby to take a bottle can be absolute torture, I know. Don't give up though – there are so many well designed options out there and you're bound to find one that works for your baby eventually and when you do, you'll never look back!