There comes a time when the baby has to be weaned off the mother’s breast and move on to baby formula. In other instances, the mother cannot be there to physically breastfeed the baby and has to express her milk for the baby to be fed while she is away. The only way to safely feed a child formula or expressed mother’s milk is by use of a baby bottle. Below we look at the things that you need to be on the lookout for when buying a bottle.
The Bottle’s Nipple
There are several aspects regarding the bottle’s nipple that you should look at: the size, shape, and material from which it is made.
There is no foolproof way to tell what size nipple is best for your child. The best possible way to do that is to keep feeding him or her with different sized nipples until you determine which size is comfortable for the child. However, you can estimate the size by looking at the mom’s breast. The best fit is one, which closely resembles what the baby is already used to feeding from.
Again, there is no clear method to determine what shape will please the child. Some bottle nipples are designed to imitate the breast while others are tilted to allow easy flow of the contents of the feeding bottle. The shape should be one that fits the baby’s mouth comfortably. If the baby is a few weeks or months old, the shape should be orthodontic and resemble the mother’s breast. When the child is older, you can experiment with shapes that allow the baby sitter to feed the child more comfortably.
The nipples for the bottle is primarily made from two materials, latex and silicone. Each of these materials has its individual benefits, as we shall see. Silicone nipples are harder and therefore last longer than latex nipples. This means that you don’t have to keep buying nipples for the baby bottle. Silicone nipples are also recommended for mothers whose babies are latex intolerant. On the other hand, silicone nipples are not the best for toddlers since they can hurt their gums.
Latex nipples are soft and feel more like the natural thing. For this reason, they are the best option on which to wean a baby. The biggest danger that latex nipples pose is that they can cause horrible allergic reaction to babies who are latex intolerant. The other drawback is that they are easily worn out since babies will chew on them and have to be replaced every one or two months.
The Bottle Size
The second aspect about the baby bottle is its size. This depends on factors like the baby’s age, the duration for which the mom is away, and the feeding pattern for the child. A baby that is a few months old needs a relatively large bottle. This is because at this age, the child is feeding frequently on formula or mother’s milk. As a child gets older, solid food starts being introduced into the diet. The bottle size doesn’t have to be large since the baby is taking less formula and more solid.
Milk is one of those foods that if contaminated can easily result in food poisoning. To avoid this, the milk bottle has to be sterilized after every feeding. Sterilizers are made to work with different materials. However, there are some sterilizers, which are not good for use with latex baby bottle nipples because they eat away at the latex. Knowing your cleaning agent will help you avoid this kind of incidence.