If you will be bouncing between breast and bottle, you may want to consider what type of bottle you will use! The first weeks establish feeding habits and routines that are important and difficult. Deciding which brands of bottle to buy before your baby arrives may help to eliminate some decisions that seem to pile up and cause decision fatigue once your baby has arrived.
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Let's take a look at a few of the popular bottles that are recommended by IBCLC's (International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners) for the best transitional bottles between breastfeeding and bottle feeding.
The Evenflo Balance bottles allow a deep latch, similar to breastfeeding, and
encourage your baby to latch onto more than just the nipple. It's called breastfeeding not nipple feeding, so these bottles encourage your baby to have a deep latch while bottle feeding too. If you are cautious about plastic bottles, and would prefer glass, the glass Evenflo bottles eliminate microplastics from getting in the milk.
Doctor Brown bottles have a different design than most bottles, because the filter helps prevent air bubbles which may reduce gassiness. The narrow neck with preemie flow nipple is a compatible shape that fits properly and easily in a babies mouth, so it is recommended for alternating with breastfeeding. From personal experience, the filter creates a slow flow, but needs to be utilized to prevent leakage from the bottle.
If you can invest in your bottles, the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Soft Feel Silicone Baby Bottle, Slow Flow Breast-Like Nipple with Anti-Colic Valve, Stain and Odor Resistant bottle have been called boob like and brilliant!
In similar fashion, the Comotomo Baby Bottle could pass as a breast, and was designed specifically for a baby that is not exclusively chest-fed.
Kiinde has made pumping, and feeding easy with twist pouches that fit within the bottle, and then graduate with your baby so they are able to hold the bottle. Kiinde bottles have an oval nipple shape that is easy for the baby to transition back to a deep latch when breast feeding.
MAM bottles are a basic and popular and trusted bottle for bottle feeding and breastfeeding your baby.
Pace Bottle Feed Technique
Even more important than the bottle, is the pace in which the baby is fed. How fast you feed your baby will affect how a newborn can transition between breast and bottle. If an infant has to work for the milk, and it doesn't just flow into their mouth, they will be less likely to prefer bottle over breast because it's easier. The pace bottle feed technique can be explored and utilized so that it helps a baby continue to work for that let down.
If you want to continue learning, the book - Balancing Breast and Bottle is a phenomenal book for a deeper dive into combination feeding.
For an introductory course into breastfeeding and the postpartum period, check out the Fourth Trimester Course by Made Mindful.
Article by Sarah Ziroll
Sarah Ziroll is a certified Doula, and one of the founders of Made Mindful. As the mother of 3, Sarah is passionate about helping mothers have mindful births, and success in breastfeeding!