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You have reached the point where you’re not certain the number of baby bottles you should buy. Well, don’t worry because you’re not the only one.
All parents wonder about this particular issue, and although the final decision is strictly personal, there are multiple things to keep in mind before opting for a specific number.
I have asked myself the same question not long ago. The entire thing gets even more confusing when you choose to switch from breast milk to baby formula (formula-fed babies).
Bottle feeding is an important aspect of your newborn infant’s life so stick around to find out more regarding this crucial topic.
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How Many Bottles Do I Need to Buy?
If you’re a stay-at-home mom and you’re also breastfeeding your baby, all you’ll need will be a couple of bottles, no more than two or three.
You will most likely use these bottles when you go out for a stroll with your little one or when you go to family gatherings or even to have dinner with friends.
On the other hand, if your baby is fed with infant formula, you will probably need to purchase more bottles (around three or four) and you will also have to wash and clean them more frequently because they are used multiple times each day.
Therefore, if you want to take the daily cleaning time to a minimum, then you should consider buying six baby bottles.
Around 5 Bottles or More
On the other hand, if you’re a working mom and your infant goes to daycare, then you must have the proper number of bottles to cover the whole period your little one is at daycare, without the need to reuse those containers.
The simplest example you could start from is to have one bottle for every 2 hours.
Again, you must adjust this number in the case in which your child is fed with formula. In this case, you must have at least five different baby bottles. This happens especially because most daycare nurses and caregivers require mothers to come with already prepared formulas.
So, as you can see, there are several factors you need to keep in mind such as if you’re working or not and if your infant is breastfed or not.
The Kind of Baby Bottles You Should Use
There is a wide range of available baby bottles. Some are made of glass while others are manufactured with plastic.
There are even some brands that market bottles that feature a plastic liner which makes these containers easier to use. They also prevent the infant from swallowing a lot of air when drinking the milk.
The plastic containers are suitable for older babies and toddlers who have learned to hold the bottle on their own. Newborns can be easily fed using glass bottles because the mother does all the handling. Otherwise, glass containers may harm your kid if they break.
Baby bottles also vary based on size. Smaller ones are good for newborns and babies up to 6 months old. Before using a bottle, you need to wash it thoroughly with hot soapy water and a special bottle brush.
Nevertheless, some bottle models can be safely cleaned in the dishwasher.
Things to Consider When Buying Baby Bottles & Accessories
- Plastic – these baby bottles are light and shatterproof, not to mention they cost less than similar products made from other materials. However, a lot of parents tend to avoid them because of the harmful chemicals that plastic could contain, even if we’re talking about BPA-free versions. Moreover, plastic tends to deteriorate a lot quicker than glass or stainless steel which means you must replace them on a regular basis;
- Glass – although glass is a heavier material that can shatter quite easily, it’s definitely free from BPA. Also, these bottles are more durable and last longer but it’s true that they cost more compared to plastic containers;
- Stainless steel – this material is unbreakable yet light, lasts a very long time, and it doesn’t contain BPA. Still, baby bottles made from stainless steel can be hard to find and are quite expensive;
- Silicone – bottles made from silicone are also BPA-free, light, and unbreakable but they also come at higher prices and they are a tad inconvenient in regards to their accessories. For instance, not many drugstores market these products so, if you need to replace a part, you might not find it easily.
There is a large variety of bottle shapes out there. The classic and commonly-found ones are tall and have an either angled or curved design. Most of these products are created with an ergonomic shape so that babies can hold them without too much effort.
Although angled-necked bottles are easier to hold and handle, wide-necked alternatives are more convenient when it comes to measuring baby formulas. On the other hand, smaller milk containers will fit better in your car or stroller’s drink holder space.
If you want you can opt for bottles that claim to prevent colic and gassiness due to straw-like components that they are marketed with.
These elements prevent the infant from ingesting too much air which causes gas. Some bottles feature this venting system on the bottom while others have special nipples.
These are special bottles that have drop-in inserts made of plastic which you can fill with breast milk or baby formula. They come in handy when you’re outside or on the go and you aren’t able to clean the container.
All you have to do is toss the liner in the trash and then wash the bottle’s nipple. The inserts are for single uses only.
Size and Number
As I said, there’s no such thing as the perfect number of baby bottles that one should have. It can start from 3-4 containers and it can reach up to 12 bottles, if necessary. It’s all based on multiple aspects but the most important one is whether your child is breastfed or bottle-fed.
For newborns, it’s best to use smaller bottles, ones that measure around 4 ounces. When the baby is 4 months old, you can shift to larger bottles that measure around 8-9 ounces.
Usually, these elements are sold in either silicone or latex alternatives. Although the ones made of latex are flexible and soft, they can easily rip and aren’t very durable. Also, your baby could be allergic to this fabric. Nipples made of silicone are firmer so they maintain their initial shape for a longer time.
Classic bottle nipples look like domes or bells. Nowadays, you’ll also find orthodontic nipples which have a more unique design in order to easily accommodate the infant’s gums and palate. These kinds of nipples feature a bulb that has a flat side that rests on the baby’s tongue.
If you have wider bottles, then you should opt for either wide nipples or flat-topped ones which seem to resemble the mother’s breast a lot better.
Disposable Bottle Nipples
When you’re traveling with your little one or even when you’re always on the go, you might want to consider purchasing disposable bottle nipples which will come in handy for sure. They usually come sterilized and prepackaged (particularly because you may not have access to a bottle sterilizing system).
These two traits make them highly convenient because all you have left to do is open the package and pop a nipple on your baby’s bottle. Still, don’t forget to use them only once and then toss them in the trash.
Bottle Size and Flow
There are several different flow speeds and sizes when it comes to purchasing bottle nipples.
The flow ranges from slow to fast. Newborns and premature infants need smaller sizes and slower flows while toddlers use nipples of larger sizes and faster flows.
Check the package for these characteristics because all nipples should be marked accordingly. Therefore, make sure to buy the appropriate ones that match your child’s age. In case you have any feeding concerns, you should discuss them with your pediatrician.
Many parents choose to also purchase multiple feeding accessories that can be very useful. Some of the most important ones are insulated tote bags which help you keep the formula or milk warm while on the go, bottle warmers, dishwasher baskets to hold bottle parts, and bottle-drying racks.
Other Must-Have Items
As a new mom, besides bottles and bottle nipples, you will also need sterilizing equipment. This is the best and most efficient way to make sure that all the feeding bottles along with their accessories are properly cleaned. Sterilizing tools leave no air during the cleaning process which kills all the germs.
Important Safety Aspects
- Avoid purchasing plastic bottles as much as possible;
- If you do use a bottle made of plastic, try to choose the baby bottles that are BPA-free;
- Don’t heat plastic bottles in the microwave and never wash them in the dishwasher because some of the chemicals contained by this material might be released in the bottle’s content and then ingested by your baby;
- Check the bottles on a regular basis to make sure they don’t present any cracks because these can easily harbor bacteria;
- Pay attention to baby bottle recalls. They do occur from time to time, although these situations aren’t frequent;
- Don’t overfeed your infant – if you feed your baby too much milk or formula, his or her body will accumulate too many calories which leads to weight gain in a short period of time. Moreover, this habit might continue later, in the child’s adult life;
- Avoid adding cereal to baby formula – adding additional solid foods to baby formula can also lead to overfeeding;
- After every feeding session, you need to burp your child. Do this by placing your little one on your shoulder and softly rub his or her back.
The Best Baby Bottles – a Few Recommendations
They come in two different sizes: you can choose to either buy the 4-ounce bottles or the 9-ounce alternatives or even opt for a mix of these two sizes. The company is a very popular and trustworthy one due to its efforts to constantly upgrade and improve their products.
Some of the AVENT bottles are made from plastic while others are made from glass. The nipples feature anti-colic valves and the entire product has an ergonomic shape that’s easy to handle and clean. Check the price on Amazon!
The natural nipple shape and feel make it easy for baby to combine breastfeeding with bottle feeding. Wide breast-shaped nipple promotes a natural latch on.
The anti-colic baby bottles made by MAM are marketed in three different sizes: small (5 ounces), medium (9 ounces), and large (11 ounces). The bottle is free from harmful compounds like BPA and BPS. MAM bottles work great if your baby is still breastfed.
According to the manufacturer, these products reduce gas, colic, and acid reflux. It seems that more than 90% of the infants who try these bottles accept them without a problem. Check it out on Amazon!
The vented base design releases liquid slowly, reducing colic symptoms in 80%* of babies by eliminating bubbles that cause gas and aggravate colic & reflux symptoms.
These affordable and good-quality baby bottles have anti-colic nipple valves and they are BPA-free. The nipples feature a very sensitive slow flow rate which resembles the feeling of breastfeeding, and it’s made from a smooth silicone material that feels almost like a mother’s skin.
The design makes the Tommee Tippee bottles easy to hold and handle. Each bottle has accurate measurement markings. These products work great for both breastfed and formula-fed infants. Check the price on Amazon!
Answer: There’s no such thing as a definite answer to how often a baby must be fed. It depends on your baby’s age, his or her appetite, etc. Also, the appetite changes every month while your baby grows. Newborns need to be fed more often (approximately every three hours) while toddlers tend to feed less frequently.
Answer: Check the bottles as well as the nipples for cracks, tears, and other damages, at least once per every couple of months. Any indication of wear or tear should make you replace your existing bottles.
Answer: After every use, you must wash the bottle with soapy lukewarm water. Sterilizing is also a good idea, but this doesn’t have to be done every time you use the bottles. In fact, sterilization can be done once in a while. It’s a precaution measure that keeps your baby safe and away from bacteria. Some parents even purchase bottle sterilizer equipment but this isn’t truly necessary. If you’re on a tight budget, you could just soak the containers in a pot full of boiling water for a few minutes.
Answer: We recommend breastfeeding mothers have 2-3 bottles for daily use, while formula-feeding mothers should look to have 3-5 to use each day.
Answer: If there are no defects in the bottle then it is perfectly ok to reuse a bottle for a second baby
How Many Baby Bottles Do I Need – Bottom Line
In conclusion, there isn’t a standard number of bottles that works for all mothers.
That number depends a lot on various factors like the age of your baby, your budget, etc. Think about how often your infant is bottle-fed.
Also, as mentioned in the article, you should research the safest bottle materials, sizes, shapes, and more.
Finally, think about your personal situation and lifestyle because you should buy more bottles if you are a working mom while stay-at-home moms could also rely on fewer bottles.
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