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What is the best type of baby bottle?

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Since 2011, the European Commission has banned the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in children's bottles. This is because of the problem that this chemical can leach out of the plastic and be absorbed by babies. All bottles on the market should not have BPA.

 

Many parents want to know 'which brand of baby container is best? The reality is that there are no independent studies showing differences in feeding ability or patterns between different brands of containers or pacifiers. It is up to you and your baby to see what will help you. Below are reviews of the main types of bottles offered on the market.

 

1. Standard bottles

These are standard containers that are often narrow and also cylindrical in shape. They generally have their own teats and lids and are also reasonably good value. They are widely available, but filling these narrow-necked containers can be tricky.

 

2. Anti-colic bottles

These bottles are more expensive and are designed to reduce the chances of colic symptoms. These bottles often have vents, tubes or retractable milk bags to reduce the amount of air swallowed. It is difficult to know if these really make a difference as the only research available is from the manufacturer and not independent.

 

You may hear people say that you should keep your nipples full of milk to avoid ingesting air. However, if the milk is flowing too quickly and out of the baby's control, it is more likely to cause acid indigestion or gas. Anecdotally, babies whose mothers and fathers use a rhythmic feeding style tolerate less gas.

 

Using these containers is not a reliable remedy; some parents find them convenient, but not all children benefit. On the other hand, they may be more difficult to clean.

 

3. Wide neck containers

These are shorter and fatter than the basic bottles, but you can put just as much milk in them. They are generally made with silicone rather than latex teats and have a self-sealing lid.

 

Some of the advantages of using these containers are that they can be easily filled and tidied up. On the other hand, they take up more space in the steriliser, so you may not be able to organise as many containers at the same time.

 

4. Ready-to-eat containers.

Recipe powders are not sterile, so you will need to use water at around 70 degrees to eliminate any type of bacteria that may be present. If the water is also warm, it will reduce the nutritional benefits of the formula, but if the water is too cold, it may not kill any microorganisms in the formula. Ready-to-feed bottles have ready-made milk that has actually been sterilised.

 

Ready-to-feed bottles can be a practical temporary service if parents are feeding formula to their infants on clinical advice. However, they are particularly expensive and not good for the environment.

 

If you are planning to use formula from the start, your nearest hospital may ask you to bring these types of baby bottles with handles with you, as most hospitals do not have the space or facilities to sterilise them. Please contact your midwife.


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