Breastfeeding is rewarding, strengthens the bond between mother and child and significantly reduces the risk of SIDS. In saying this, breastfeeding can also be painful at times and stressful for new moms.
We’ve all been told time and time again that ‘Breast is Best‘. While this may be the case, there may come a time that your infant will need to be offered a bottle alternative due to personal circumstances.
Whether you are expecting to return to work or your little one has began to sprout teeth and your nipples are beginning to pain from breastfeeding, the majority of mothers will at one point or another find themselves bottle feeding their baby. You may choose to pump your own breast milk into a bottle, use formula or provide your child (over one year old) with full cream milk in a bottle.
Whether you are choosing to give up breastfeeding entirely, mix feed or bottle breastfeed, in this article we’ve collected a number of the best bottles for breastfed babies. These bottles have been tried and tested by real moms and bubs.
- 1 When Does a Breastfed Baby Need a Bottle?
- 2 Introducing a Breastfed Baby to a Bottle
- 3 The Best Bottles for a Breastfed Baby
- 3.1 Key Features of a Bottle Suited to a Breastfed Baby
- 3.2 Basic Factors to Consider When Choosing a Baby Bottle
- 3.3 The Best 10 Bottles for a Breastfed Baby
- 3.3.1 Philips Avent Natural Bottles
- 3.3.2 Mimijumi Bottles
- 3.3.3 Medela Calma Bottles
- 3.3.4 Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottles
- 3.3.5 Nuk Simply Natural Bottles
- 3.3.6 Dr. Brown’s Wide Neck Bottles
- 3.3.7 Comotomo Bottles
- 3.3.8 Lansinoh Momma Natural Wave
- 3.3.9 Mam Anti-Colic Bottles
- 3.3.10 Munchkin Latch Bottles
- 4 Let Your Baby Guide You
When Does a Breastfed Baby Need a Bottle?
There are a number of circumstances that can lead a mother to decrease breastfeeds or cease breastfeeding entirely.
While some babies self wean before they even reach one, others enjoy breast milk until they are toddlers. There is no specific age a baby should stop breastfeeding.
While there are many breastfeeding support sites to encourage mothers to continue to feed their infants, some mothers choose to cease or reduce feeds due to the following:
- The mother has reached her limit and needs a break.
- Breastfeeding is preventing the mother falling pregnant with another child.
- A doctor has advised the mother to cease breastfeeding for medical reasons. A mother who is suffering from post-natal depression may need to cease feeding to receive the correct medication.
- The mother must return to work.
- The infant is refusing to suck and latch or issues with biting.
- The urge for a partner to get more involved with feeds.
Introducing a Breastfed Baby to a Bottle
Timing is Everything
It is recommended where possible to only offer a breastfed infant a bottle after the mothers supply has fully come in and an established breastfeeding relationship has began. This is between the second and third week of the infant life.
It is important to introduce a bottle to your newborn at the correct time. Too early and you may have difficulties getting them to breastfeed again and too late and you may find them refusing the bottle all together. It is suggested to introduce a bottle (if you wish to bottle feed within the first few months) when your baby is 3 to 6 weeks old.
After you have introduced a bottle to your breastfed baby, it is recommended to offer a bottle 2 times a week. Being consistent is key. This ensures that you maintain a strong breastfeeding relationship with your baby but also means that if there comes a time when breastfeeding is not an option, your baby should take to a bottle.
Often mothers need to take a break and bottles of breast milk are left with dads, grandparents or careers to feed the baby. It makes life a lot easier for mom and bub if the infant has been exposed to a bottle prior to needing to be given one.
You’ve followed all the rules regarding introducing a bottle to your previously breastfed baby. They should be accepting the bottle, after all it’s still the same yummy goodness inside. But they aren’t. They are still refusing anything other than the breast. If your infant is battling the bottle try some of the techniques below:
- Ensure you have chosen a breastfeeding friendly bottle (have a look at our suggestions below)
- If your baby takes a pacifier, entertain them with that and then make a quick switch to the bottle
- Try to dream feed your baby to see if they will accept the bottle
- Allow dad to try a feed, often newborns will refuse the bottle if they sense the breast is near
- Visit a lactation specialist for more advice and support
The Best Bottles for a Breastfed Baby
Some babies will accept the first bottle you offer them while others are much more picky.
It is important to realize that not one bottle is suited to all breastfed babies. Every baby is different and unique.
Many mothers suggest trialing a bottle with a teat that most accurately represents your own nipple. Your baby has been nourished by breast milk from your nipples for the past few days, weeks or months and they have become used to the feel. Finding a bottle that is similar will make the transition easier.
Key Features of a Bottle Suited to a Breastfed Baby
Certain features of some bottles make them better suited to those babies that were previously breastfed.
#1 Controlled Flow Bottles
Think about the way an infant feeds from their mothers nipples. The flow is controlled by the babies sucking. The milk does not come flowing out. The infant needs to continuously produce a sucking motion. A bottle that stimulates this is most suited to a breastfed baby.
Choosing a bottle that is low flow with an infant teat will somewhat imitate the natural breastfeeding experience. Offering your infant a bottle that flows freely can make them lazy and in turn choose the bottle over the breast. Which baby would choose to work for milk when they can have it free flowing.
#2 Teat that Mimics a Nipple
The teat type also has an impact on how well the baby will take to the bottle. Look for a teat that best represents your nipple. The narrow teats that allows babies to deeply latch are recommended by breasting consultants as this mimics natural feeding.
#3 Colic Friendly
A bottle that is colic friendly will prevent that dreaded wind that’ll make your baby scream for hours on end. Choose a bottle that has proper venting to reduce the amount of air that the infant can potentially swallow.
#4 Safe Materials Used
Our infants safety is always a mothers first priority. When choosing a bottle for our breastfed baby we should always be researching what material the bottle is made from. While the majority of bottles are made from plastic, safer alternatives are those bottles made from silicone and glass.
Materials Used for Bottles
You may have noticed the up and coming bottles are made of glass. The original bottles were glass until a rise in plastic bottles during the late 1900’s. There are pros and cons to each.
These bottles are long lasting although often heavy. They can also be shattered if dropped from high. In saying this, glass bottles are free of nasty chemicals and can be steamed easily.
Plastic bottles are light in weight and can be easily cleaned. Concerns with a chemical (BPA) found in plastic bottles resulted in a ban of this chemical in bottles after 2012. In saying this, always ensure the bottle you pick is actually BPA free.
Basic Factors to Consider When Choosing a Baby Bottle
Price: Choose a bottle in your price range. Always consider quality when weighing up the cost of a bottle.
Nipple Shape and Feel: Choose a bottle with a teat similar to your nipple shape. The teat should feel soft to touch.
Anti-Colic Features: If your baby has reflux choosing a colic bottle is vital.
Material of the Bottle: Ensure the bottle is BPA free. Many woman these days are purchasing glass bottles.
Ease of Cleaning: Always select a bottle that can be pulled apart entirely.
Size: Your baby is small now although they won’t stay small forever. Although there are smaller bottles that have a capacity of 2 to 3 oz, some mothers opt to purchase the larger bottles that can hold 90 – 110 oz straight up. It is up the mother. Either purchase a smaller one knowing eventually a larger bottle will need to be purchased, or purchased a larger one although ensure you only fill it to the required amount.
The Best 10 Bottles for a Breastfed Baby
The prices below (USD) relate to the ‘newborn’ bottles produced by each company. These general hold 2 – 4 ounces.
Some of the bottles suggested below for previously breastfed babies have the ability to connect to a breast pump. This allows a mother to pump directly into their babies bottle which can then be stored for later use.
While the following list of 10 bottles contains what we believe are the most suited for breastfed babies, this does not mean your baby will take to one straight away. Transitioning to a bottle are breastfeeding for some time can be a trial and error process.
What Does Baby Momma Love About the Philips Advent Natural Bottles?
We love that this bottle is wide necked for ease of clean, comes with anti-colic features and is BPA free. The shape of the teat is similar to the shape of a mothers breast. The long teat allows an infant to fully latch like they would to their mother’s nipple.
This bottle was designed with ergonomics in mind. The shape of the bottle allows mothers or infants to grip it with ease. Philips is a world renowned brand that has been designing bottles since 1984. These bottles have been loved and recommended by mothers globally.
|Material Used||Glass or Polypropylene (for newborn bottle)|
|Anti-Colic Features||Philips Advent teats feature an Airflex vent to release air so that it is not ingested by the baby.|
Wide shaped silicone nipples that suit most breastfed babies. The nipples for newborns feature a spiral design that allow for flexibility.
|Sizes||11 oz, 9 oz, 4 oz or 2 oz|
|Price||2 pk, 2 oz Newborn – $16.99|
Advent Bottle Teat Types Diagram
Compatibility of Advent Bottles with a Breast Pump
Many mothers recommend this bottle for a previously breastfed baby. All Advent bottles can attach to the Philips Breast Pumps making it easy for the mother to express and store the milk for later in the day. These manual breast pumps retail for $34.00 while the alternative electric pump retails for $125.00.
Reviews on the Newborn Philips Advent Bottles
- “My newborn was drinking 2 ounces at a time and this bottle fit that need perfectly! I also love the shape of the bottle, because it is easy to hold and clean.”
- “They’re the only bottles I’ve used. I didn’t know they made them this small but I’m really glad they do.”
- “These are perfect for keeping smaller amounts of breast milk or formula handy for premature or very small babies. Highly recommended!”
What Does Baby Momma Love About the Mimijumi Bottles?
Here at Baby Momma Blog, we love that these Mimijumi Bottles mimic the natural breastfeeding experience. Even the color of these bottles is similar to that of the mothers breast. This company was founded by two doctors with a passion for helping moms transition their babies from the breast to a bottle.
Unlike traditional baby bottles, Mimijumi bottles are created from nylon that is long lasting while still free of nasty chemicals.
|Material Used||Swiss Nylon and Silicone|
|Anti-Colic Features||Integrated venting to reduce colic.|
|Teat Type||The teat is in fact also the lid of these bottles. There are two teat types. One designed for younger babies and one designed for older babies. The baby needs to recreate the same sucking motion for milk to be released.|
|Size||8 oz or 4 oz|
|Price||2 pk, Not So Hungry 4 oz Bottles – $57.00|
Reviews on the Mimijumi 4 oz Baby Bottles
- “This Bottle was a life saver. My son is an exclusively breastfed baby, but there are times that I need to be away from him and he refuses every bottle.”
- “We’ve tried Avent, Dr. Browns Tommee Tippie and a few other. My son will only take this one! Finally a bottle he accepts with little to no fight!”
What Does Baby Momma Love About the Medela Calma Bottles?
The long teat of these bottles mimics the natural nipple allowing babies to fully latch and suck without inhaling additional air. There are no different sized teats needed with the Medela Calma. It is the infant that controls how fast or slow the milk is released. This bottle makes the infant work for the milk by creating a sucking motion as they would need to when breastfeeding.
|Anti-Colic Features||Due to the technology of this bottle, air cannot be swallowed. The baby must create a vacuum by sucking prior to milk being released.|
|Size||5 oz or 8 oz|
|Price||1 pk, 5 oz breastfeeding bottle – $15.99|
Reviews on the Medela Calma Bottles
- “After a month or so of using this bottle my tongue and lip tied baby had corrected his latch and was able to use other bottles and pacifiers correctly. Super happy with my purchase!”
- “This is a great set for breastfeeding moms, or parents of babies that like controlling the flow of milk. Our son is exclusively on breast milk, but seems to find this an easy transition back and forth between breast and bottle without confusion.”
What Does Baby Momma Love About the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottles?
We love that the teat of these bottles are ‘nipple-shaped’. This helps infants latch and decrease the amount of air they swallow. The entire top of this bottle flexes just like a natural breast would. The wide mouth of these bottles makes them easy to clean and sterilize. Additionally these bottles can connect to Tommee Tippee Breast Pumps – Manual or Electric so that mothers can pump and store.
Furthermore, we love the price of these bottles! When you purchase them in value packs, each bottle works out to be around $5.00 each.
|Anti-Colic Features||An anti-colic valve is located in the teat of this bottle. It releases air to prevent babies getting colic.|
|Size||5 oz, 9 oz or 11 oz|
|Price||4 pk, 5 oz – $24.99|
Reviews on the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottles
- “Perfect bottles for our newborn and as she grows. These bottles are great. The super slow flow nipple really helps our newborn for feeding.”
- “This bottles are great. Really do cut down on excess air going in babies tummy.”
- “I bought 5 different types of bottles, and this by far is the best one. This bottle made my daughter less gassy.”
What Does Baby Momma Love About the Nuk Simply Natural Bottles?
Unlike most traditional bottles that have one hole in the teat, these bottles have multiple small holes like a mothers nipple does. The teats of these bottles are flexible and have the ‘Nuk’ shape. Some babies choose to only take ‘Nuk’ bottles and pacifiers.
|Anti-Colic Features||Anti-colic air system in the teat prevents colic.|
|Teat Type||These bottles come in:
|Size||5 oz or 9 oz|
|Price||3 pk, 5 oz simple natural bottles – $14.29|
Reviews on the Nuk Simply Natural Bottles
- “Love these bottles. This style is the only style we could get my girls, who nursed for the first few months to take.”
- “Best nipples ever! My baby latched to these and went right back to my nipple, no problems. These slow flow give as little gas to a baby as breastfeeding.”
What Does Baby Momma Love About the Dr. Brown’s Wide Neck Glass Bottles?
The ability to use this bottle with or without the colic straw is helpful for those parents who have come to the conclusion that their child has outgrown colic. These bottles have a long teat that mimics some mother’s nipples. The choice of these bottles in glass is great for mothers that wish to be extra cautious of the unknown chemicals found in plastic.
|Material Used||Glass or Plastic|
|Anti-Colic Features||The straw feature of this bottle reduces colic.|
|Teat Type||Dr Brown’s bottles can be purchased with the following teats:
|Size||4 oz, 5 oz, 8 oz or 9 oz|
|Price||2 pk, 5 oz glass wide neck bottles – $17.99|
Reviews on the Dr. Brown’s Wide Neck Bottles
- “My baby really likes the nipple on these bottles. The doctor brown style has helped avoid gas bubbles in the belly that create a fussy baby.”
- “I love everything about these Dr. Brown’s wide necked glass bottles. So easy to put formula or breast milk in them. Easy to clean. No BPA and they fit perfectly in my hand.”
- “I love the fact that they are glass. Its easy to clean and sterilize.”
What Does Baby Momma Love About the Comotomo Bottles?
We love that these bottles are microwave, dishwasher and sterilizer safe. The wide mouth on them makes for easy cleaning and also allows babies and parents to hold them with ease.
|Anti-Colic Features||Anti-colic vents in the teat prevent the infant getting gassy.|
|Size||5 oz or 8 oz|
|Price||2 pk, 5 oz, pink bottles – $23.99|
Reviews on the Comotomo Bottles
- “Love these bottles and so does my baby! They are so easy to assemble and clean and I’m able to switch back and forth between nursing with no nipple confusion.”
- “Best bottles on the market! Excellent for switching from breast to bottle. Makes baby less gassy. Easy to clean!”
What Does Baby Momma Love About the Lansinoh Momma Natural Wave Bottle?
The teat that points into a triangle is different than other bottles on the market. Many mothers love these bottles and quote that they reduce nipple confusion. These bottles are also compatible with other products produced by Lansinoh.
|Material Used||Silicone and polypropylene plastic|
|Anti-Colic Features||These bottles contain an air ventilation system to reduce colic.|
|Teat Type||These bottles can be purchased in:
|Size||5 oz or 8 oz|
|Price||3 pk, 5 oz slow flow nipple – $19.99|
Reviews on the Lansinoh Momma Natural Wave Bottle
- “These bottles are amazing ! I have been using them since my baby turned one month old. I love them and so does she!”
- “The only bottles after several different brands and attempts that my breastfed baby would take. Easy to use, easy to clean, and no nipple confusion.”
What Does Baby Momma Love About the Mam Anti-Colic Bottles?
I have tried and tested these bottles personally on my own son. These were one of the only bottles he would take to and it reduced his colic dramatically. These bottles can be opened from the top and bottle meaning a full clean is possible. Then they can be put back together simply and easily.
These bottles have a teat that is slightly different to other bottles. The teat is long although is flatter on the sides. This allows the baby to latch on easily.
|Anti-Colic Features||Have an anti-colic venting system in the base of the bottle that creates a vacuum effect to prevent air.|
|Size||5 oz or 10 oz|
|Price||2 pk, 5 oz white bottles – $13.29|
Diagram of the Mam Anti-Colic Bottles
Reviews on the Mam Anti-Colic Bottles
- “These are great! My son loves these bottles. I like the self-sanitizing you can do with them. The nipple is nice and big so my little guy gets a good hold of it without too much milk getting all over the place.”
- “I have an exclusively breast fed baby, but I had to return to work at 8 weeks. These are the only bottles my baby will take. She is 12 weeks now and I just switched the nipples to medium flow.”
What Does Baby Momma Love About the Munchkin Latch Bottles?
These bottles have a flexible teat with a one way valve. The one way valve prevents the baby taking in air that can result in colic. These bottles are simple to clean and can even be put into the dishwasher.
|Anti-Colic Features||Anti-colic valve at the bottom of these bottles to prevent air passing into the milk.|
|Size||4 oz or 8 oz|
|Price||3 pk, 4 oz breast-like nipple bottles – $19.95|
Reviews on the Munchkin Latch Bottles
- “Love the nipple on this bottle. Since I’m doing both breastfeeding and bottle feeding my little one does well with the transition.”
- “Lightweight and really works like the true nipple.”
- “Favorite bottles, only bottle exclusively breast fed daughter would take with dad or other caregivers.”
Let Your Baby Guide You
At the end of the day your baby will tell you if they love or hate their new bottle without even needing to talk. At Baby Momma we recommend trialing a few prior to buying in bulk. Don’t go spending copious amounts on bottles before getting your babies approval first.
If after trialing a number of bottles your infant is still refusing anything other than the breast, see a lactation consultant.
If you are new to breastfeeding or intend on mix feeding your baby, have a read of our ‘Breastfeeding Must-Haves‘.