Choosing baby bottles and nipples

There are a number of types of baby bottles and nipples. Most companies try to sell their products by claiming they “prevent colic” or are “closer to the breast.” Such marketing claims have not been scientifically proven.

Bottles

Various types of bottles are available: glass, plastic or with disposable bags. Broadly speaking, they come in two sizes: 150 ml to 180 ml (5 to 6 ounces) and 240 ml to 270 ml (8 to 9 ounces). Each bottle type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Choose the type that best suits you.

Bottles currently on sale in Canada do not contain polycarbonate, a hard, transparent plastic that can release bisphenol A when it comes into contact with hot or boiling liquids. The Canadian government recently banned the sale and import of polycarbonate bottles to protect the health of newborn babies and nursing infants, even though it acknowledges that the quantities of bisphenol A released by bottles are not sufficient to cause harm. All the same, it’s best to buy new bottles and avoid using second-hand ones.

Nipples

Every baby is unique. Your baby might prefer one kind of nipple, and your neighbour’s baby might prefer another. No nipple really resembles the breast; nor can it guarantee that the breast/bottle combination will work for all babies.

Nipples come in different shapes, sizes, materials (latex or silicone) and degrees of firmness. There is no scientific evidence that one type of nipple is better than another for your baby. Some babies find it easier to drink with one particular type of nipple, while others have no trouble adapting to any kind. You will probably have to try a few different types before you find the one that works best for your baby.

Most companies sell nipples with different flow speeds. For newborns, a slow-flow nipple is best, because your baby is still learning. Many newborns tend to choke when milk flows into their mouth too quickly. As your baby gets older, you can choose a faster-flowing nipple.