If you’re a new parent or new to bottle-feeding, it can be hard to know what you need to buy. Having enough baby bottles is an essential part of being prepared. If you don’t have enough, the dishes will pile up quickly!
You might be left panicking while trying to find a clean one when your baby is hungry. Here’s everything you need to know about having enough baby bottles.
How Many Baby Bottles Does the Average Parent Need?
Most parents buy 4 to 12 baby bottles, and this amount depends on a few different factors. One major factor is whether you’re using breast milk or formula.
If you are exclusively bottle-feeding or pumping breast milk, you will need more. If you’re both breastfeeding and bottle-feeding, you won’t need nearly as many.
It’s normal to be a little unsure of what you plan to do, especially if breastfeeding doesn’t go as planned.
I would suggest starting with six bottles and purchasing additional bottles as needed.
You can even have a few left in the packaging (keep those receipts!) to prepare for a sudden need! This way, you can return the ones you don’t need but are ready for an increase in demand.
How to Buy Baby Bottles for the First Time
If your baby hasn’t taken a bottle before, it’s a good idea to buy one or two types of bottles to see what they like. Then, you can try feeding your baby with each one and see what they take to.
You don’t want to stock up on a large number of bottles right away. You don’t know what your baby will like.
Your opinion of the bottle is essential, too. Some might leak, while others might be hard to clean. While your baby is getting used to a specific bottle, you should decide whether you like it or not too.
Types of Baby Bottles
If you’re ready to find the right bottle for your little one, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are a ton of different types on the market, and they all seem to promise something different. One way to get started is by looking at reviews online.
You can also find bottles made to meet particular needs. For example, if your baby has gas, the bottle will likely have a venting system designed to prevent air bubbles.
Anti-colic bottles are available too. There’s some speculation about whether this works, but they are worth a try.
Bottles for Breastfed Babies
There are bottles made for breastfed babies too! These have a shape similar to the breast, so feedings are more natural for your baby. These are known as wide-necked bottles.
If your baby hasn’t tried a bottle yet, you will have to do a little trial and error to find what your baby likes. You may end up with a few bottles you can’t use, but it’s essential to find a bottle that your baby likes to minimize feeding problems.
Baby Bottle Materials
Baby bottles are made out of a variety of different materials. What you choose is really up to you and your personal preference.
Stainless Steel Bottles
One option that has begun to increase in popularity is stainless steel bottles. These are lightweight, can’t be easily broken, and are BPA-free making them a great choice.
Keep in mind that they are pricier than plastic bottles and might be challenging to find.
Another material choice is glass. Glass bottles are also BPA free. One downside is that they can break easily. They’re also heavier than plastic bottles.
Glass bottles are becoming more popular, so you should be able to find them fairly easily.
Plastic is the most popular type of bottle because they’re easy to find, and different options are available. They’re lightweight and inexpensive.
They won’t break easily, but they will wear down over time. Plastic bottles don’t last as long as stainless steel or glass bottles do.
Some parents do have concerns about BPA in plastic, even with BPA free options, so be aware of that.
Baby Bottle Brands
There are many different baby bottle brands on the market, which can make your search a challenge. These are some of the most popular brands that are worth trying.
These brands have several different types of bottles, so you can find what works best for you and your baby.
- Dr. Brown bottles
- Philips Avent bottles
- Como Tomo bottles
- Medela bottles
- Playtex bottles
- NUK bottles
In addition to different bottle materials and brands, you will find different nipple options too. There are a variety of nipple sizes and materials available.
Most nipples are made out of latex or silicone. Latex nipples are more flexible. If you’re using latex nipples, be aware of latex allergies.
Also, latex nipples don’t last as long as silicone nipples. Silicone nipples are firmer. They last longer because they’re able to hold their shape.
Most nipples have a bell shape. Another option is orthodontic nipples, which can be safer for your child’s teeth and gums. Babies tend to do well with either option.
As mentioned, there are wide-necked bottles available. Those come with wider nipples, which are more comfortable for breastfed babies.
If you’re breastfeeding and bottle-feeding, wide-necked bottles and nipples are one of the best options.
Some nipples have a faster flow. Fast flow nipples are great for older babies who drink quickly. They can handle more milk at once.
Slow flow nipples are best for newborns. They drink slowly and need more time to swallow milk. You should buy both fast flow and slow flow nipples, so you have the right type for each age.
Grab A Few Different Types
When you are shopping for bottle nipples, you will find that the packaging lists a recommended age.
However, this guideline doesn’t have to be followed exactly. Try a few different types and sizes of nipples to find what works for your child.
What Size Bottles Should You Buy?
In addition to having brand and style options, you also have size options. The size you buy should depend on your baby’s age and how much milk they typically consume. Newborn babies can use smaller bottles. Most newborns start with 4-ounce bottles.
Older babies will need bigger bottles for bigger serving sizes. You will need to buy new bottles as your child gets older and requires different types of bottles.
Buying larger bottles can help them to last longer. You can buy 9 or 12-ounce bottles and fill them up to the 4-ounce mark while your baby is a newborn.
Then, as your baby grows, you can fill it to the appropriate mark. As your baby grows, you will also be buying new bottles often if you start with smaller ones instead of larger ones.
When to Buy More Bottles
At some point, you may realize you need more bottles. You might not be able to keep up with washing your baby’s bottles between feedings.
You may have lost a bottle here or there. You will also need to replace your child’s bottles as they outgrow them, as mentioned.
What Bottle Accessories Do You Need to Buy?
In addition to bottles, you will need some accessories. The good thing is that you will be able to use the same accessories from child to child.
The main items you will need to buy are for cleaning. If you’re washing the bottles by hand, you will need bottle brushes and bottle drying racks.
If you’re running your baby’s bottles through the dishwasher, you should get a bottle cleaning basket. Check out this option for ideas! The basket goes in your dishwasher, and each bottle item is placed in a designated spot. This ensures that they won’t get lost in the dishwasher.
Double-check that your baby’s bottles are dishwasher-safe. Most bottles are, but it’s always worth making sure.
You should also buy a few extra nipples. Due to their small size, they tend to go missing easily. You can also buy a variety of nipples so you can find what works best for your baby.
Insulated Carriers or Bottle Warmers
You might consider an insulated bottle carrier. Some carriers guarantee to keep bottles cold for three hours.
Other accessories, such as bottle warmers and sterilization systems, aren’t necessary. There are alternatives to using those, which will save you money.
Can You Use the Same Bottles from Child to Child?
If you’re expecting another child, you can plan on using the same bottles for that child. There’s no reason to get new bottles unless your older ones are in bad shape. Keep in mind that different babies will do better with different bottles.
You can start by using the same ones you used for your first child, but you might need to buy new bottles if the new baby doesn’t take to the first type of bottle you try.