There are various different designs for both bottles and teats. With the diverse selection of options on the market, making a choice when buying bottles may seem daunting. While the right selection is typically based on your baby’s individual needs and preferences, here is some information below that may help you decide which bottles to choose.
Don’t feel you need to stick to one option if it’s not working out, it is possible to experiment, however it is only recommended that this be done if the first option is not going as smoothly as anticipated so as not to confuse baby or the feeding process.
Two important factors to consider when making your choice is teat shape and size. If your child is breastfed, you may want to choose a wider, softer teat as many professionals feel this is the closest to the breast and thus makes for an easier transition for baby. Generally, bottles are available in two sizes: Up to 120mls (4ozs) or up to 260mls (9ozs.). I have always found that the smaller ones don’t get much use and so would consider buying the 260mls. You will need at least 6 bottles. (Double for twins) When choosing which bottle you prefer, it may be useful to check whether they are compatible with your steriliser. Teats come in a range of sizes and flow speeds, from slow to fast. Preemies and newborns usually need the smallest size (often called “stage 1”), which has the slowest flow. Babies graduate to larger sizes and a faster flow as they get older, can suck more effectively, and drink more breast milk or formula.
There are some anti-colic bottles that have a specialised vent inside them to minimise the amount of air your baby swallows. These bottles can prove very effective for windy babies.
If your baby has a thicker formula or suffers from reflux, you may find that you need a faster flow teat to enable the milk to flow properly. It may take several attempts to gauge which flow your baby is most comfortable with. If possible, try and match the teat as closely to what he is used to as possible. You can either buy latex or silicone teats, it mainly comes down to personal preference. Teats generally come in two different forms: either domed or bell shaped. Domed teats tend to rest gently on babies tongue, while bell teats can be more favourable to babies who have been breastfed. That said, it is completely down to individuality and preference. It is useful to match your baby’s needs to what you feel is most effective. You may also find advice or recommendations from friends, family, or a public health nurse useful.