And it's not what you think either!
Introducing your baby to bottle feeding while you’re breastfeeding – or stopping breastfeeding altogether – can bring with it a wave of emotions. With so many options available it can often feel impossible to know where to start. Mama, I hear you! The last thing you need when weighing the options for successful bottle feeding is more stress, so I’ve put this together to help you choose the right bottle for your baby and YOU.
Select the right bottle for you, not just for baby
If you’re in the throes of researching all things bottle feeding, it’s likely you’ll have discovered a dizzying array of reviews on the latest must-have baby bottles. Everything from the right teats, flow rates, anti-colic design features, self-heating bottles, and more! Personally, I found most baby bottle reviews didn’t consider features for the parent - after all, we’re the ones having to clean a sink full of the damn things! So below is a list of some of the things I focused on when it came to choosing the right for both of us for bottle feeding.
1. Breastfeeding is convenient. Buying bottles should be convenient too.
Our nearest shopping center is a 45 minute drive away. It's filled with one of those amazing baby stores that has all the toys, clothing and baby bottles imaginable. Our closest pharmacy or supermarket on the other hand, is just 15 minutes away, and has a minimal selection of 2 maybe 3 bottles to choose from. So with the above in mind, here's how things played out when bubs decided to chew through a teat early on a Sunday morning (let’s all be thankful it wasn’t my nipple). We pile into the car - me, still in my pj’s, and bubs screaming - for a 30 minute-round trip that takes more than 60 minutes (thanks to said baby). The ordeal is torturous enough to make the thought of driving to the shopping centre – with all it’s amazing choices – break me into a cold sweat!
*Insert screaming emoji face here.*
While my breastfeeding experience didn't come without its battles, there was no denying its convenience. Motherhood is a full-time gig, and I’d rather spend my time connecting with my baby, making sure I get enough time for sleep and a decent meal, than have my time eaten up with the nightmare of all road trips to purchase the right bottle. So with time and convenience in mind, I chose our first baby bottle based on ease of accessibility and mainstream popularity
2. Choosing a baby bottle based on cost
You might be happy to part with all the dollars to keep your precious bundle happily bottle fed. But fast forward 6 months and imagine your kitchen bench is now covered in every gizmo imaginable. There’s the electronic steam steriliser ($100+), the Scandi-inspired bottle drying rack you had to have ($70), and don't forget about the automatic bottle prepping machine ($250+) that promises bottles ready for you in 4 mins, not to mention the actual bottles themselves. Cha-ching! All that amazing bottle-feeding paraphernalia has set you back a whopping $500. You mightn’t fork out this kind of cash all at once, but the cost of bottle feeding can creep up unexpectedly. (Like that time when you went on holiday to Thailand and forgot to pack your bottle cleaning paraphernalia and had to purchase a steam steriliser after you discovered your ‘exotic’ apartment might’ve had a bathtub with sea views, but no dishwasher for your baby bottles! True story.) Put simply, it pays to think about immediate and additional costs when embarking on bottle feeding your baby. It could mean the difference between spending $500 or just $200.
3. Choosing a baby bottle based on ease of use
What parent wants more than 7 pieces to separate and clean. Can I see a show of hands? Anyone?Sure, a measly 7 pieces might not sound like much when you’ve got just one bottle to clean, but multiply that by the 6 bottles most parents have for bottle feeding their baby. Now times that again for twins! Or worse for triplets, well… you get my drift!Another important factor to consider is the size of the bottle’s opening. It mightn’t seem important at first thought, but you’ll thank me later for avoiding the ‘finger yoga’ that’s necessary to clean the inside of your baby bottle Every. Single. Time.
Learning from my bottle feeding mistakes
I tried two different bottles when I decided to wean my baby from breastfeeding and introduce bottle feeding. Here’s what I found:
Yoomi self-heating bottle
I broke my first rule (local and convenient) and ordered this baby bottle online. While the bottle promised to self-heat the milk, I found it to be a nightmare! The bottle leaked and the mechanism that heated the milk prevented a tight seal. Charging and activating the mechanism itself was so confusing that I wound up breaking two of them (there goes my third rule)! In the end, the bottle left me $120 out of pocket and saw me purchasing an entirely new set of bottles (that's my second rule and officially all of my rules broken).
Tommy Tippee baby bottles
After my first attempt at baby bottle purchasing in which broke all of my rules, I set out, did my research and finally settled on the Tommy Tippee range of bottles. They ticked all three boxes when it came to convenience, ease of use and cost. Plus my bubs had no problem latching onto them when I did try them. If she hadn't, at least I wouldn't have broken the bank trying a different bottle, if these were the first one's I tried.
If I had to choose a bottle all over again?
My bottle-feeding headaches actually inspired me to create a bottle that took into account my 3 main principles of convenience, ease-of-use and value. I created a self sanitising baby bottle that actually sanitises itself, and the water that's added to it, while you travel. The lid on the bottle activates at the press of a button, killing any viruses and bacteria on the bottle or in the water, the same way as your steam steriliser or boiling water does. This frees you from the kitchen sink altogether, with no need to wash or sanitise multiple bottles, or pre-boil water to add to the bottles, before you leave home.
Because it can sanitise itself in-between each feed, you only need to travel with 1 bottle, not 6. Lastly only having to purchase 1 bottle, not 6, with no need for that steam steriliser or other Scandi-inspired baby accessories to clean, wash or dry your bottles makes it great value. Plus you can use it as your own self sanitising water bottle once bubs is done with it, meaning you'll never have to deal with a stinky water bottle ever again.
It’s called the Pronto-Bottle. You can check it out HERE.
Shannon Gilleland is a mother, entrepreneur and the genius who's making the toughest job in the world easier with Pronto-Bottle, the world's first self-cleaning baby bottle. Find her at @prontobabybottle