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A baby's bottle delivers the nutrition a child needs to thrive while offering the caregiver a chance to connect with the infant. But not all babies will like all bottles, so get ready to shop around, caregivers.
The Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle is our top pick because its design makes use and cleaning easy and because most babies accept the bottle — even those with a tendency to fuss about such things.
The first time I fed my infant son from a bottle, the moment left an indelible mark in my memory. I truly remember the feeding as well as if it had happened yesterday, not more than four years ago. His little eyes blinked rapidly with confusion at the new sensation of the artificial nipple, then relaxed and half closed as the warmed breast milk therein started to flow. He finished most of the bottle, drinking slowly but steadily, then lay back across my arms contentedly while I teared up and sniffled.
Most of the subsequent hundreds of bottle feedings, however? Most of those blur together. If you have a bottle-fed baby — or a baby who alternates between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding as our son did — you are going to be using baby bottles many times a day for many months on end. And this using involves not only the actual feeding, but the preparing of the bottle beforehand (filling, assembling, warming, and so on) and cleaning after meals (disassembly, rinsing, boiling, and so forth).
The long story short here is that you need to find a bottle that works for your kid as well as for the adults who manage the feedings, because baby and grownup alike are going to spend a lot of time using them. This search for the best baby bottle for your little one will probably be a multi-step process, FYI. We went through three bottle brands before finding one our baby son accepted readily.
With our infant daughter, we've already tried four different bottles and she has let us know in no uncertain terms that none has been to her liking. Mostly she does this by spitting the bottles out and then screaming at us, a communication method that's hardly diplomatic but highly effective.
Know going into the bottle-feeding period of your life that there might be a rocky start. Try one bottle for a few feedings and, if the baby is rejecting it, try another. Then another. It might take some time and some money, but you will eventually find one the kid will accept. And quite likely, it will be one of the excellent baby bottles on this list.
Here are the best baby bottles you can buy:
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best baby bottle overall
Why you'll love it: The soft, wide body of the Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle is easy for little hands to grasp during a feeding and easy for larger hands to clean out and sanitize afterward.
The Comotomo baby bottles were the only ones that reliably worked with our son. We tried to use the bottles included with my wife's breast pump, but he hated them. We tried a brand we had gotten as a gift, but he sucked in too much air along with the milk and ended up gassy and in pain. Then we tried a Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle, and after that, we never tried another option with him. And once you find an option that works with your kid, stick with it — don't rock the boat!
The Comotomo bottle's nipple is designed to replicate the shape of a mother's breast, helping a baby latch onto the bottle securely. Dual anti-colic vents maintain air circulation inside the bottle, helping minimize the air your baby sucks in.
The wide, soft body of the bottle is made from food-grade silicone that resists bacterial growth and can be cleaned in a dishwasher, in boiling water, or with good old hand washing. And the broad bowl-shaped design of the Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle makes the cleaning process much easier than does the narrow neck of many baby bottles.
With more than 3,000 reviews posted on Amazon, these bottles have a solid 4.40-star average rating among customers. One mother named Melissa speaks for many when she calls the Comotomo bottle an "easy to clean... game changer" that made her baby's issues with colic and gas "almost nonexistent."
A writer from The Bump praised the design of the Comotomo for helping "prevent nipple confusion" and the fact that it's "really easy to clean."
Pros:Promotes good latching, easy to clean, soft easily gripped materials
Cons:Tends to leak if tipped over
Buy a 2-pack of Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottles on Amazon for
The best glass baby bottle
Why you'll love it: The borosilicate glass used in the Lifefactory Glass Baby Bottle prevents bacterial buildup and easily washes clean, while the silicone sleeve makes the bottle safe for and easily gripped by a baby.
A quick look in one cabinet of my kitchen revealed no fewer than six Lifefactory bottles, though to be honest they are mostly larger water bottles, a few for our son and a few adult-sized bottles. We also have Lifefactory wine glasses that I like to bring camping. Suffice it to say, my family likes the brand. And with a few minor caveats, that feeling extends to these baby bottles.
Let's talk about the caveats first, which mostly involve cleaning. While glass is great for rejecting the build up of mold or other unwanted whatnot, cleaning the inside of this small, rigid bottle can be a bit of a chore. You need to use a bottle brush or a good long boiling session to remove every bit of dried, caked-on milk or formula, and proper cleaning of the Lifefactory Glass Baby Bottle require removal of that silicone sleeve, too, which adds a few seconds to the chore every time.
But with that bit of extra cleaning effort comes a bottle that really can be cleaned better than most thanks to that borosilicate glass. The non-glass components of the bottle are made from FDA-approved, BPA- and phthalate-free silicone and polypropylene materials, all of which can be boiled or cleaned in the top rack of the dishwasher. The silicone sleeve, which helps a baby grip the bottle and protects the baby against bonks and the bottle against drops, can also be cleaned using the same various methods.
With more than 375 reviews posted on Amazon at the time of this writing, the Lifefactory Glass Baby Bottle has a 4.1-star average rating. One mother loved that the bottles are compatible with breast pump parts, saying she can "pump right into them" with ease. Another parent said these "wonderful bottles... work well" and "wash up nice and clean."
A BabyGearLab writer said the Lifefactory bottle was made using "quality components that, if cared for, should stand the test of time."
Pros:Glass prevents bacterial buildup, compatible with breast pumps, can be used as water bottle for toddlers
Cons:Involved cleaning process
Buy a Lifefactory Glass Baby Bottle on Amazon for .99
The best bottle for breast milk
Why you'll love it: The Nanobébé Breastmilk Bottle makes every step of the bottle-feeding process easier and more beneficial by approximating the shape of a breast and preserving the nutrients in the milk.
Beyond the protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals found in a mother's breast milk, so too are there plentiful antibodies that can help strengthen a baby's immune system. But when the milk is left too long at unsafe storage temperatures, these antibodies are forced to fight off bacteria, sacrificing themselves before getting the chance to help out an infant.
The unique concave bottom of the dome-shaped Nanobébé Breastmilk Bottle creates maximum surface area exposure, so the milk within the bottle will cool down quickly once it's placed in the fridge after pumping. And that same bottle shape helps the milk warm quickly before a feeding, too. Every minute shaved off these cooling and warming processes means the preservation of nutrition and immunological benefits.
The broad, breast-shaped bottle and vented anti-colic nipple simulate a mother's body, making this bottle a good choice for easy transition for exclusively breastfed babies. And that same concavity in bottle's bottom also allows you to stack several Nanobébé bottles atop one another (with the nipple replaced by a cap), saving space in the fridge.
Now truth be told, my own daughter rejected this bottle, so don't think of it as a magic bullet that will work perfectly for all breastfed babies. But she's a harsh critic, having also rejected all other bottles.
Currently, the Nanobébé Breastmilk Bottle has a 4.2-star rating on Amazon, with one parent saying her "picky baby loves this bottle," while another appreciates how the stacked bottles "make it easy to remember [her] pumping order."
A writer from WhatToExpect said that the domed shape of the Nanobébé Breastmilk Bottle mimicks "the shape of a mother's breast" while the wide opening in the bottom makes them easy to clean.
Pros:Cools and warms milk quickly, shaped to match natural breast, easy to clean
Cons:Too bulky to fit into most diaper bags
Buy a Nanobébé Breastmilk Bottle on Amazon for
The best bottle for formula
Why you'll love it: The Mixie Formula-Mixing Baby Bottle makes the process of preparing a bottle of baby formula quick and easy, even when you're away from home.
Truth be told, neither of my kids have ever been formula fed, so until recently I didn't have much firsthand experience with formula feeding and all that goes into it. Then our friends came to stay with us for a few days, bringing their formula-fed 10-month-old daughter along for the visit. I could quickly appreciate how onerous a task formula feeding could be, what with all the measuring, mixing, warming, cleaning, and so forth.
I say how onerous it could be, because they had the process down pat thanks to experience and thanks to a few fine pieces of hardware. The Mixie Formula-Mixing Baby Bottle features a chamber built into the bottom of the bottle that keeps the formula dry and at the ready while the top portion of the bottle is filled with water.
When it's time for a feeding, you simply push a button on the bottle's base to release the formula, shake the bottle to mix things up, then feed your baby.
If it gets simpler than that, I'm sure I don't know how. And by keeping the formula at the ready, this bottle makes your life simpler whether it's on hand for middle of the night feedings or prepared while you're traveling, shopping, or anywhere else.
This is also a great bottle for leaving with other caregivers, either at a daycare center or at grandma's house, as you can remove the guesswork for whoever will be watching your baby by portioning out the right amount of formula and fluid beforehand.
This is the most expensive bottle on our list, but it's hard to put a price on ease of use and peace of mind.
The Mixie Formula-Mixing Baby Bottle enjoys a 4.1-star average rating on Amazon, with hundreds of people having left their two cents. A nanny named Caitlin spoke for many other nannies and moms and dads and other caregivers when she said this bottle "makes [her] life so much easier" as she watches over three small children, two of whom are formula-fed.
And a product tester from ThatBabyLife called the Mixie Formula-Mixing Baby Bottle a "one-of-a-kind" product perfect "to use while traveling."
Pros:Makes formula prep easy, ideal for travel, dishwasher and microwave safe
Buy a Mixie Formula-Mixing Baby Bottle on Amazon for
The best low-cost baby bottle
Why you'll love it: Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Baby Bottle features an integrated airflow system that greatly reduces the amount of air a baby sucks in while feeding. Also, it costs about five bucks.
Don't think for a second that because Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Baby Bottle is the cheapest option on our list in terms of price that it's a cheap bottle in the pejorative sense. In fact, this bottle was designed by a medical doctor (I'm not sure if his actual surname was Brown, so don't bother asking) and features a patented "no vacuum" design that promotes even pressure and airflow with the bottle even while your baby is sucking away, so minimal air will go down her throat along with the milk or formula. And less air in means less gas to come out.
Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Baby Bottles are suitable for use with breast milk or formula, and their wide-mouthed design makes cleaning the inside of the bottle easy after a feeding. You will have to devote a bit of extra cleaning effort to the airflow system that sticks down into the bottle from below the nipple, but as the components are top rack dishwasher safe, you can always let an appliance handle the work for you.
With nearly 1,500 reviews posted on Amazon at the time of this writing, the Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Baby Bottle has a four-star rating among caregivers who have shared an opinion. One parent calls the bottle a "great product" that has led to "less struggles for a baby" prone to gas issues, while another called them a "must have for babies that spit up."
A reviewer from TinyNeeds stated that Dr. Brown's bottles "reduce gas, fight colic," and can even "discourage ear infections," adding that these American-made bottles are free from BPA, phthalates, and other unwanted chemicals.
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