This is the first installment in a series that I’m calling “The One”. Throughout my pregnancy, I asked many mom-friends for their recommendation on numerous products, from baby bottles to diapers to strollers, and every time I asked, I got the same answer: “You’ll find the one that’s right for you.” That was a great answer, full of optimism and a sense of adventure – until I started looking for The One. Then came confusion and frustration at the onslaught of baby products available, each one claiming to be The One. So I’m going to share what I’ve learned, what we’ve found to be “The One” that’s right for our family, and hopefully help some of you in your searches as well!
When I added baby bottles to my registry, I didn’t do much research. I had seen the Munchkin Latch bottles and found that their styling appealed to me, and they also promised to provide a latch that was most like mom’s. This was, of course, a bonus – I wanted to avoid the dreaded nipple confusion that I was told would come about if I tried to breastfeed and bottle feed all at once. I received a sample Latch bottle from Babies’R’Us and marveled at the texture and flexibility of the nipple, and I was sold. I wasn’t sure how often we’d actually be using bottles, so I didn’t invest much time into research.
Since Olly was born, I’ve had the opportunity (and have sometimes been forced) to try a few different bottles. I will try to outline the main points for each kind of bottle in as few words as possible, below, because if you’re a mom, I know you don’t have time to read a whole heck of a lot!
We LOVE these bottles, but they do not come without fault. The nipple is flexible and moves with baby as needed. The shape of the bottles makes them easy to hold. The anti-colic valve seems to do exactly what was promised.
The anti-colic valves, however, start to soften up after time and after numerous rounds in the bottle warmer. Once they soften up, they start to leak. Munchkin.com sells replacement valves, but Munchkin.com/canada does not. I do plan on contacting Munchkin customer service to see if replacement valves can be shipped to a Canadian Address.
The valves also need to be removed before cleaning, and when you’re bottle feeding more than breastfeeding, this turns into a lot of work.
One more important note: when warming in an electric bottle warmer, a small amount of milk will leak from the valves, leaving a particular difficult mess to clean in your bottle warmer.
UPDATE: Munchkin customer service considers the leaky valves to be defective, so they are replacing them, free of charge.
I really like Nuk bottles. The nipple is shaped very differently than other bottle nipples. It’s supposed to be more similar to the shape mom’s nipple takes during breastfeeding. The hole is on the side of the nipple, and this is supposed to ensure that the milk hits the baby’s tongue and mixes with saliva before entering the baby’s stomach, which should reduce gas and colic. There is also a small anti-colic valve on the side of the nipple.
This anti-colic valve sometimes leaks, and the nipple hole leaks as well. The lids for these bottles are shaped in a way that should block that hole, but they don’t. And the Stage 3 nipple, for infants 6 months and up, is so wide that milk just pours out of it.
I picked up one of these bottles when Olly was about 6 months old, because I’d had just about enough of bottle washing, and was curious if this type of bottle, with a disposable liner, would be cost effective and worth the switch. I definitely prefer the convenience of the disposable liner, but every time I throw one out, I feel like I’m killing the planet a bit more.
Playtex offers four different nipple styles, however, so you can find the best one for your baby. The liner system itself is an anti-colic device, as it contracts as the baby drinks. The bottles also have a hinge that allows you to bend them at a 45 degree angle for flexibility during feeding.
You can get a box of one hundred 8-10 oz liners at Walmart for $8.97 CAD, or one hundred President’s Choice Brand 8 oz liners at Loblaws for $5.49 CAD.
President’s Choice Classic Feeding Bottles
These are as basic as you can get. They don’t have any anti-colic mechanism. They’re not bad, but they’re not great. They’re inexpensive, and are fine for us at the moment, since Olly is past colic and drinking less than 8 oz per feed.
I see a lot of families using these bottles. We received one as a sample, and had it in our rotation when Olly was first born, but it leaked from the nipple rim EVERY SINGLE TIME we used it, so we ended up tossing it. We spoke to friends a few months later who had received a whole set of Avent bottles as hand-me-downs, and they reported the same thing – every single one leaked, every single time. So, fair warning!
UPDATE: Since posting, I’ve had two frinds comment that they love their Philips Avent bottles and haven’t had leaking issues. One friend mentioned that some initial leaking was caused by the nipple not being pulled through the ring fully. So, if you have these bottles and have experienced leaking, make sure the nipple is installed properly!
Bottle Feeding Accessories We Love
Prince Lionheart Formula Mixer
When it became clear that formula was going to be a big part of our life, I knew I needed to speed up preparation of bottles. This handy little mixer saved me from spending a couple hundred dollars on a big, automatic formula preparation machine. I got it for $10 CAD at Walmart.
Prince Lionheart On-the-Go Bottle Warmer
Olly used to drink his bottles cold, but one day decided they needed to be warm (hurray!). This travel bottle warmer will heat up a bottle in 5-8 minutes, and doesn’t need to plugged in.
JJ Cole Bottle Cooler
These fashionable bottle coolers will hold two 8-10 oz bottles. The included ice pack keeps bottles cool for more than a couple of hours. The cooler is very easy to clean!