By Elizabeth KadarMay 04, 2023
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Whether you’re returning to work soon, hoping to combo feed from the start or just want to run errands without having to worry your little one will starve, it’s important to find a bottle your tiny boob monster will actually take—and a great newborn pacifier while you’re at it.
We spoke to a lactation education counselor and read tons of real parent reviews to discover the best bottles for breastfed babies so you don’t have to. Consider adding any (or all) of these to your newborn checklist because finding the right bottle for your picky babe may take some trial and error.
The good news is, you’ve got options. But before investing a ton of money into a beloved brand or the bottle your BFF swears by for her boob babe, Lactation Education Counselor, Nannie Reinert of Dream Baby Lactation encourages parents to purchase several single bottles—that meet the below criteria—and see which one your baby prefers first. “Then you can easily order more based on what they like!”
We’ve all heard horror stories of breastfed babies completely refusing the bottle and this could be for any number of reasons—from a nipple flow that’s too fast to a nipple preference (ahem, yours).
“Babies also have a heightened sense of smell and taste and previously frozen milk can sometimes taste off to them,” notes Reinert. She recommends trying fresh milk—and experimenting with different types of bottles and nipples—to see what works best. “Sometimes babies don’t like to be bottle fed by the same person who breastfeeds them either,” she explains.
“If possible, try having another caretaker give your baby the bottle while you pump in the other room as far away as possible.” Some moms may even want to leave the house for a little with a manual breast pump and some yummy lactation cookies in tow.
Around three to six weeks of age when their latch is clearly established. Make sure baby is sleepy, calm and not hangry on that first try.
“It’s hard enough for adults to learn new things when we are hungry,” points out Reinert. “Have the person bottle feeding express a little breast milk to the outer nipple of the bottle so baby can use their amazing sense of smell to entice them. From there you want to use paced bottle feeding, where baby takes a few sips and then you pull the bottle away for a rest, to mimic breastfeeding as closely as possible,” she says.
Clinically proven to reduce nipple confusion (a big worry for breastfeeding mamas), this bestselling wide-necked bottle from Lansinoh has over 15k rave reviews on Amazon and a super impressive 4.7-average star rating.
The soft silicone NaturalWave nipple gives your babe the best boob-like experience by allowing them to use the same natural sucking pattern they would at the breast, making it the perfect option for paced feeds—and even the pickiest little ones.
Other features to love are the air ventilation system, which is designed to prevent your baby from taking in too much air as they drink and may help with gas, colic and spit up. The bottle is BPA and BPS-free so you know it’s safe and can be put in the dishwasher for quick cleaning.
It’s shaped like a boob, moves like a boob and stretches like a boob—what’s not to love? The top-rated Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottle is one of the best bottles for breastfed babies if you’re on a budget (and even if you’re not). Aside from the affordable price point, parents seem to really love these bottles for their overall ease of use and the fact that their baby will actually take them.
In fact, 95% of moms reported that their baby accepted the soft, super wide nipple, which is huge. Speaking of the nipple, it also features an anti-colic valve to minimize excessive air flow and keep your little one fuss-free as they drink.
You can throw them in the dishwasher or a microwave bottle sterilizer for easy cleaning. Reviewers praise the bottle's three-way, easy-hold design, which allows you to comfortably feed your baby with the bottle cradled in your hand, gripped or held from the base—so you’ve got options.
If you’re concerned about chemicals or just want something that’s better for the environment, these premium, BPA-free glass baby bottles from Philips Avent come highly recommended. They boast more than 2,500 positive reviews on Amazon for good reason.
What we love most about it is that, like the breast, milk only comes out when your baby actively drinks so there’s no choking, big messes or overfeeding for that matter. The no-drip nipple design puts baby in control of the milk flow, making switching between the bottle and the boob much easier on everyone.
An anti-colic valve ensures your little one’s not getting a tummy full of air either. The clever design also conforms to baby's mouth the way a real breast might.
I’ve used Comotomo for all three of my picky breastfed babies and it’s one of the only bottles they wouldn’t reject. Reinert is a fan too. It has an ultra-wide neck for natural latching and is made of soft, skin-like silicone, which my babies loved to rub and squeeze (just like the boob!) as they drank. The squishy, lightweight design also makes it easy for you and your baby to hold.
As a busy mom, I also appreciate just how easy the Comotomo is to clean (no brushes needed) and put together in a pinch when you have a hangry babe. There are only three separate pieces that are all safe to sanitize in the microwave, dishwasher, boiling water or sterilizer.
It also comes in two fun colors—pink or green—and features dual anti-colic vents so there’s less air going in and gas coming out. Snag it in the 5-ounce size for younger babes and the 8-ounce size for older ones. Certified lactation consultants rave about these bottles, and we agree. We used them for our own babies, too.
The top recommended baby bottle brand by pediatricians in the US and also the bestselling. This beloved, breastfeeding-friendly bottle gets top marks from lactation consultants and parents too, with over 36,000 ratings on Amazon and a nearly-perfect 4.8-star rating.
What really makes it so special is its one-of-a-kind, anti-colic internal vent that helps preserve the nutrients in breast milk and aid in digestion for a good nap or night’s sleep—which, trust us, you both need. It has a breast-like nipple shape to encourage your cutie to properly latch and help them transition from boob to bottle with ease.
The natural silicone nipple on Dr. Brown's bottles provides a consistent flow of milk so it’s not gushing out too fast or too slow, but nice and steady at babe's pace.
Pumping milk and trying to eat all the right foods to increase supply is exhausting so cleaning bottles should be a breeze because who’s got time? The best bottles for breastfed babies won’t add to your ever-growing pile of dirty dishes, but instead drastically cut down on cleaning time—like these top-rated bottles from Kiinde that only need the nipples washed as you use them. Um, amazing!
Here’s how it works: you pump milk directly into the storage bags, drop the bags into the bottle frames, put a nipple on (parents rave about how they’re completely leak-free) and feed. That’s it. Just wash the nipples as you go in the top rack of the dishwasher. The set comes with one slow-flow nipple and case and one medium-flow nipple and case, plus two bottles.
Sources: Nannie Reinert of Dream Baby Lactation
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