October 8, 2014

5 Tips for Choosing Baby Bottles

Here are 5 tips for choosing baby bottles. Thanks to my friends from Joovy for sending me some of the Joovy Boob bottles to try out.  They have been wonderful and are without a doubt my favorite baby bottles so far!

There are certain things you learn the second time around as a mom.  Like that at some point you will utter the phrase "do not eat your toe lint!" only this time maybe you'll care ever so slightly less.  The biggest lesson I learned from Kayla was not to put too much stock in anything based on the fact that it worked for a friend, a blogger, a celebrity, etc.  So while I share my favorite product finds with you frequently, I  always say that every baby is different.  And I thought you might like to learn from some of my amateur mistakes.  Therefore, here are 5 tips for choosing baby bottles.

1) Determine Whether Glass or Plastic is Right for You

When I was pregnant with Kayla, the whole BPA free movement had just started.  The "good" bottles were BPA free and the "bad" bottles were not.  At this point, basically everything is BPA free.  Initially I wanted to use glass bottles out of fear of using plastic because I remember once tasting the water in a sippy cup I had bought Kayla early on and was horrified to realize that it tasted like plastic.  However,  glass can be really expensive, prone to breakage and with many brands the silicone sleeves you can buy are also expensive and a pain to get on and off for cleaning.

In the end, I went with the PPSU boob bottles from Joovy.  They are a super high end plastic that is BPA, phthalate and lead free.  The PPSU bottles also won't absorb odor or color and stand up to being exposed to the high heat of sterilization or dishwashers over and over again.  If you feel glass is the right choice for you then there is a glass version too!

2)Buy Only What You Need to Start

Learn from my amateur mistake the first time around with Kayla.  I went out and bought a ton of a very popular BPA free bottle at the time and all of the later stage nipples for them.  Bad idea.  Of course Kayla did not like them.  Not even a little bit.  In the end I wasted hundreds of dollars on stuff my child wanted nothing to do with and it came from my huge desire to go on that fun "I'm going to be a mom" shopping spree.  This time around I asked some friends for suggestions, but just bought a couple of bottles from different brands to try and didn't dive in too deep before determining what Blake liked.

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3) Be Leery of Complicated Vents

Oh the horror of bottle washing and assembly for tired parents facing complicated bottles!  Again, learn from my mistake the first time.   There are plenty of bottles out there with these complicated vents that have multiple pieces with lots of crevices.  Of course I bought them with Kayla.  Remember that you will be washing, drying, assembling and disassembling these things over and over again every day for a long time.  Do yourself a favor and check out the components of the bottles you are considering before you buy.

The boob bottles I chose have a single piece vent and are very easy to clean.  I was actually shocked by how simple they were and had doubts as to whether they would work.  We've never had a collapsed nipple or an issue with leakage. Except this one time when I made a bottle and forgot to put the vent in and it leaked everywhere.  Face palm.  Tired mommy user error.

4) See How Many Flows are Available

Most bottle brands have 3-4 flows available.  Slow, medium, fast.  Stage 1, stage 2, stage 3.  Blake was born tongue tied, which means that he wasn't latching on properly during breastfeeding and oh my goodness it hurt more than giving birth.  I can say that honestly and I remember saying it with tears in my eyes just 24-48 hours after having him so...yeah.  Ouch.  This meant that in order to give my own boobs a chance to recover from being chomped on I needed to bottle feed him with pumped milk.  

I quickly realized that for him a stage 1 nipple was still too fast.  He needed something slower.  Almost by accident while cleaning some new bottles I noticed that there were some stage 0 or preemie flow nipples available for the boob bottles and ran my little butt off to Buy Buy Baby to pick up some more.  Totally worth it and I think doing so saved my ability to continue to go back and forth between the bottle and the real thing since he didn't get used to a much faster flow. 

5) Check for Pump Compatibility

If you're going to exclusively formula feed then this doesn't really matter.  However, if you plan to pump or alternate between breastmilk and formula it pays to have bottles you can pump directly into.  Odds are in the beginning you won't be socking away massive amounts of milk, so contrary to popular belief you probably won't need to pump into those freezer bags.  Instead, you want a high quality bottle that your baby likes and you can pump directly into using a pump adapter.  Because wasting that liquid gold when you have to transfer it from bottle to bottle is just awful.

If you're looking to purchase baby bottles for yourself, a friend or a loved one, you can pin the image below and it will be waiting when you're ready!  If you'd like more info on Joovy products including the Boob bottle you can check out Joovy.com Want another mom perspective on the Joovy Boob? See what Rachel thought!

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