Isn’t a baby bottle just a baby bottle?
The short answer is nope! There are many different kinds of bottles on the market, with an assortment of potential accessories available to boot! Whether straight parents, gay parents, intended parents or single parents, bottle choice can be confusing! Since Nathan Chan, single dad by choice, can’t induce lactation (although he did consider it!).
Nathan tries to navigate all the different options as he prepares for his daughter’s arrival. And then, just when you think you have a solid decision, your baby will have a say too!
Types of Baby Bottles
There are three types of bottles available for purchase – plastic, glass and disposable. There are pros and cons to every choice, of course, so let’s compare!
Nipples, you say?
Baby bottle nipples are usually rubber or silicone. They come in many different shapes too – flat, rounded, wide or even shaped as close as possible to a human nipple for baby’s benefit.
There are also different flow rates, dependant upon the size of the hole for the milk to exit. Starting slow and increasing the flow as baby ages, will allow your babe to drink comfortably. And this, my men with babies, is where your child’s preference will overrule your research and choice – some babies have a nipple preference! What you choose as the right nipple, may not be the nipple your baby is looking for! Trial and error is key. Though, once you and baby do decide upon the right nipple for you, don’t hesitate to purchase a minimum of a dozen. Nipples can crack, stretch or become worn and often need to be replaced.
Venting? Don’t mind if I do!
When a baby latches onto a bottle, a vacuum is created, which can allow for air to be trapped within the bottle and/or nipple. Air can then be swallowed by baby during feeding, causing gas or colic. Venting prevents those air bubbles from becoming trapped or mixed in with the milk. Again, there are many types of venting bottles available, though the general consensus is that bottom-venting bottles are the most accurate at ensuring air is completely removed, allowing venting as the bottle is upended for feeding.
Don’t forget to accessorise!
Bottle accessories are a thing and many of them make bottle-use convenient and clean-up easy! Bottle and nipple brushes are important to ensure complete access to the bottle and nipple insides for an accurate and deep clean. Unless you’re using disposable bottles, this is an essential item for keeping bottles sterile and baby healthy. Bibs, burp cloths, and receiving blankets will also be your new best friend. They keep milk from getting everywhere during feedings and will protect your clothing, furniture and dignity from spills and spit-up, no matter where you are. And although not necessary, items such as bottle specific drying racks can make life easy and organized.
Things to Remember
- Don’t over purchase on bottles until you’re sure baby will use them!
- Check on nipples and bottles for wear and tear. A worn nipple could be a choking hazard!
- If baby seems extra gassy, a vented bottle may bring relief for the whole house!
- If you feel you’d like a professional on your side, consider hiring for postpartum doula services such as Genuine Comfort Doula. A postpartum doula can help support you during your new days as parents and can offer advice and clarity on baby’s needs.
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