Baby Bottles Most Like the Breast – Best for Combination Fed Babies

Summary: Both my babies were mix breast-bottle fed. I picked up a selection of bottles to try from Amazon and ultimately picked different ones for each baby.

My shortlist was:
1. The First Years Breastflow
2. Comotomo Baby Bottle
3. Philips Avent Natural
4. Dr Brown’s Baby Bottles
5. Tommee Tippee Advanced Anti-Colic

One of my babies used the Philips Avent Natural bottles, the other used Tommee Tippee.

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Babies need milk. There are several ways to get baby some milk. (as if you needed MORE things to add to your list of decisions!) Maybe you\’re a working mom who can\’t be with baby to breastfeed during the day. There are also some women, owing to health complications, having to both breastfeed and bottle feed their baby. Sometimes babies are so comfortable with their mother\’s breast they refuse to drink from feeding bottles, which creates a problem if direct breastfeeding isn\’t possible 100% of the time. In such cases there are a variety of options available.

Choosing the right feeding bottle is important to spend a bit of time on. The right bottle will make the baby feel more comfortable and make feeding a natural experience, with the aim to make sure no difference is felt while changing from a natural nipple to an artificial one. Some babies may happily accept any bottle without any issues while some may take time to adapt better with bottles of a specific size or design. There is a wide range of excellent products readily available in the market; both a pro (choice!) and con (choice!) at the same time.

Companies have started manufacturing bottles that feel skin-like, soft with the shape and texture of a natural nipple, but it can get confusing when one has to choose the best from among the lot. Having gone through this myself twice I can offer you my experiences and advice; I hope this will help you narrow down your search.

I jumped on Amazon, armed with my own feelings and experience, to find a selection of bottles to try with my little ones. I did this both times actually; when I started using the bottles from my firstborn for the second I wasn\’t sure they suited him, so I ended up using something else. Other parent\’s reviews helped quite a lot since I was able to see whose babies had similar issues to mine before making a shortlist of bottles to buy and try. Ultimately I just ended up with the ones that had the best customer ratings overall; I assumed they were the safe bet and I ended up choosing one from my shortlist both times.

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The First Years Breastflow Starter Set

The First Years Breastflow Starter Set – it has two 5 ounce bottles with slow flow, two 9 ounce bottles with medium flow, a container, a full-size bottle and nipple brush for cleaning. The bottle is designed to work as a breast; the silicon vented nipple also prevents colic symptoms, spit-up and gas, easy to clean and BPA free.


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Comotomo Baby Bottle

Comotomo Baby Bottle– It is a set of two 8 ounce bottles. It is a soft and squeezy skin-like silicon bottle which almost feel like a natural breast to give a calm and soothing effect to the baby. It has dual anti-colic vents, easy to clean, safe material, anti-dripping and heat resistant. It is also BPA free.


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Philips Avent Natural New Born Baby Bottle Starter Set

The set offers the most natural way of bottle-feeding. The 5 BPA-free natural bottles feature wide breast shaped nipples with unique comfort petals promoting natural latch on and making it easy to combine breast and bottle-feeding. The bottles also have an anti-colic system, free from BPA and are easy to clean.


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Dr Brown\’s Options Plus Baby Bottles

Dr Brown\’s Baby Bottles: It comes with a set of six 8ounce bottles. It has a two-piece internal vent system creating positive pressure-flow for vacuum-free feeding that is similar to breastfeeding at the same time maintaining essential vitamins. Dr Brown\’s bottles are also entirely free of BPA, lead and phthalate for the baby\’s safety.


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Tommee Tippee Advanced Anti-Colic Newborn Feeding Set

Tommee Tippee Advanced Anti-Colic Newborn Feeding Set: This set includes all the useful things that a mother will need for newborn babies with not just feeding bottles but also milk warmer, brush for cleaning and pacifiers. Parts are dishwasher safe, and their \’anti-colic\’ tube will change color if the milk is too hot. This product has won awards for its breast-like nipple, which is shaped like a breast and gives a natural feel just like a mother\’s. It also has an anti-colic valve, easy to clean and is free of BPA which makes the product baby safe.

What is combination feeding?

When a mom decides to both breast-feed and bottle-feed, it is called the combination method. In such an arrangement, the baby should get used to the difference between accepting milk from the breast as well as the teats of bottles. The problem here is that the baby should accept the bottle. It is not that a baby will ultimately refuse to drink from bottles. It is doable, but it needs time and the correct equipment to make the baby adapt to such an arrangement. It might take a bit of work to encourage and support baby through the transition of getting baby to accept a bottle.

Bottle-feeding is not an easy task as babies who have been drinking from a mother\’s breast may refuse to drink from a bottle at first. Give the transition the best chance of success by having a few items at your disposal, from bottle options to cleaning products. (because you\’ll be doing a bit of that!) Every baby will not like the same type of bottle. The choice of a bottle for may vary from baby to baby. Under such circumstances, take advice from other experienced mothers. From their suggestions, first-time mothers can select some brands and experiment with it to see which type of bottle and nipple their little one is more comfortable with. Make sure to buy one bottle at a time and not in large quantities because if the baby doesn\’t like it, it will save the expense and the wastage of the product.

How to choose the right feeding bottle?

Bottle materials

Baby bottles are available in different materials. Some bottles are made of plastic, some glass, silicone and stainless steel.

  • Plastic Baby Bottles
    • Plastic bottles come with the benefit of being light, cheap, and shatterproof – Just check to make sure that the bottles are BPA (Bisphenol A) free. Most major brands like Lansinoh are BPA free, and will specifically mention this on their packaging or online descriptions, so if you are not familiar with the brand make sure to do a quick check before purchasing. Recycled bottles are more likely to contain BPA – bottles with recycling number 7 and the letters “PC” imprinted on them should be avoided as they may contain BPA. Search for recycle number 2 or 5 which are BPA free.
  • Glass Baby Bottles
    • A good way to avoid the possibility of chemicals like BPA being in your bottles is to go with a glass bottle. Glass bottles are fantastic, particularly when it comes to cleaning, but they are often heavier than other options. Another cost consideration is the addition of a silicone sleeve to protect the bottle from damage – just keep this additional cost in mind when choosing your bottles.

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  • Silicone Baby Bottles
    • Silicone bottles are fantastic because they are light, are a lot less prone to damage, and are BPA free. The downside is that they are not as common as plastic or glass bottles, so getting replacement parts or changing teats may be more challenging as a smaller range of stockists will carry these bottles. Haakaa make a manual breast pump and silicone bottles set. While I haven\’t used this specific set, I can highly recommend the Haakaa for supporting your breast-feeding journey, and the combination of manual breast pump and feeding bottle is absolutely something I would have taken advantage of if it were around when my babies were young.
  • Stainless Steel Baby Bottles
    • Baby bottles are also manufactured in stainless steel – Thinkbaby make a narrow neck bottle which has a Color option, which may be helpful if you have more than one baby, or want to easily identify which bottles should be used in which order. NUK also make a stainless steel bottle which can be used once baby hits 12 months which comes with a silicone drinking spout. The soft spout helps the transition between a fully silicone teat and a rigid bottle spout.

Nipples

The other important thing to check while buying baby bottles is to check for the nipples. As the baby is already used to the mother’s natural nipple nipples, search for products that resemble a natural breast. You can either go for silicone or latex. Latex nipples are soft, but some babies may be allergic to them, while silicon nipples are firmer and do not lose shape quickly. Opt for nipples with a broader base that will remind your baby of your breast. They\’re also available in different size and flow speed so choose slow flow speed for newborns, gradually increasing it as they grow up.

Venting system

While buying baby bottles, buy bottles that are marketed as colic prevented. These bottles will have straw-like components fitted to bottles to prevent the baby from ingesting gas. There may be bottles with a venting system built at the nipples or the bottom of the bottle.

There is no right or wrong answer

Choosing the right bottle for the baby who is breastfed and bottle-fed at the same time can be a bit of a challenge. Alternative feeding eases mothers of to relieve themselves off of the worries to feed the baby when they are working, or if they have to go out. Feeding a baby with bottles also allows the father to involve in feeding the baby. In bottle-feeding the baby, the importance is not just in finding the right bottle and nipple. It also requires time and patience to wait for the baby to slowly get into the habit of switching between nipples and bottles. Once this task has been successfully achieved the pressure of natural breastfeeding is significantly reduced which is a great relief; not only for the parent’s health but it allows personal time for the mother and father as well. If you\’re not sure, reach out to baby\’s health care professionals. There are plenty of free and affordable options for getting professional help, and there\’s a good chance they\’ve come across what you\’re struggling with before.

How to use bottles when combination feeding your baby

Warm the milk, and the nipple

Your body is warm, and so is the milk baby drinks. You might find that warming baby\’s milk (either breast milk or formula) if you\’re not already, and / or warming the bottle nipple can help reduce fussiness. Let the bottle nipple sit in some clean and warm water (sterilizing liquid if you\’d prefer, and warm, not hot!) for a minute or two before starting your bottle feed.

Buy smaller sets of any given bottle type to begin with

You might find you go through a few bottle brands before you find one that works for both of you.

Try a different bottle teat

Teats like those on the Tommee Tippee Anti – Colic Bottles and the Nanobebe Breast Milk Bottles have a wider surface area at the top of the bottles (and are what you would call a \’wide neck bottle\’ if you are looking at attachments for your breast pump) which is much more like a breast than the teats on Medela bottles, for example.

Look at silicone bottles

Silicone bottles may prove a winner for your baby if they are having trouble transitioning between bottle and breast as they are soft to touch. While breast-feeding babies will often rest their hands on the breast, so a rigid and hard bottle may feel a little foreign to them. Going with a soft bottle means that when reaching out baby will either touch the softness of your skin, or the softness of the silicone bottle.

Try the paced bottle feeding method

The paced bottle feeding method is designed to more closely mimic breast-feeding. It allows the baby to have more control over how much will they take. You can liken it to eating a meal yourself; if you were having a conversation at the same time as eating you may find that you still have food left on your plate, but you are feeling content, or full. If you had been extremely hungry and sat down to eat, but ate extremely fast, you may find that you had eaten more than you perhaps needed to in order to feel full.

At the breast, baby is much more likely to be in the situation you would be if you were having a conversation during your meal; in part due to mom actually feeling a whole lot more of how baby is feeding, and also because the best breast-feeding positions do not see baby ever lying on their back like they might if they were bottle feeding. Babies fed with the paced bottle feeding method are positioned more upright than they would often be otherwise. Bottle-fed babies can sometimes get used to the \”convenience\” of a more fast-paced meal from a bottle, and start aiming for that overfull feeling, rather than a content, full feeling.

One of the most common situations when a breast-fed baby goes to childcare and needs to be bottle-fed, is that baby starts to prefer bottles and starts rejecting the breast at home. Many childcare centers and other formal caregivers will be aware of this method, but you may find that you need to ask for this to happen for your child, or teach a grandparent or other caregiver this method to ease the transition to partial bottle feeding, and maintain your breast-feeding relationship if you wish.

At it\’s core paced bottle feeding involves a change to the position of the bottle in relation to baby\’s mouth, which makes it a lot easier for the caregiver who is feeding baby to know whether baby truly wants more milk or not. The bottle is held horizontally and baby feeds for 20 to 30 seconds before the bottle is pulled down slightly so that no more milk and flow through the nipple. When baby is ready they will start sucking on the nipple again, the bottle gets raised back up horizontally, and the cycle starts again. Eventually baby won\’t start sucking on the nipple again, and you will know that they are full.

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