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Feeding Bottle Buying Guide
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Features of a Feeding Bottle


Knowing the features of a feeding bottle can help parents decide which bottle to use and what type of bottle would be most comfortable for their baby. The various features of a feeding bottle are as below:
Features of a Feeding-Bottle
Features of a Feeding Bottle

Nipple/Teat

Material

Material


Feeding bottle teats or nipples are available in different materials: Latex, Surgical grade plastic, and Silicone. Latex nipples are soft and natural, but are likely to age faster. Silicone nipples are synthetic and stronger, and hence more resistant to wear and tear.

Size


Nipples come in a range of sizes. Preemies and newborns usually need the smallest size (often called ‘size 1' or ‘stage 1'), which has the slowest flow. As babies get older, you will need large-sized nipples to help them suck more effectively and drink more breast milk or formula milk. Although the markings on the nipples indicate the size and a suggested age range, you may have to test a few different nipple sizes to find one that suits your baby best.
Size
Shape

Shape


Most commonly available shape is standard or cherry shape. Wide-shaped nipples prevent vacuum or bubble build-up, and some babies may find it more comfortable. A special orthodontic nipple shape, designed to accommodate a baby's gums and palate, is also available.

Flow


The flow of bottle contents from the nipple is regulated by the hole's size. Both latex and silicone nipples come with small-sized holes for slow flow of thin liquids like breast milk, medium holes for formula milk, and large holes for thicker feeds.
Flow Rates Chart for Different Infant Age Groups
Flow Rates Chart for Different Infant Age Groups2
Maintenance

Maintenance


Both latex and silicone nipples have to be sterilized before every feed. Since latex nipples are more likely to age faster, they should be stored in areas with less light and away from direct heat.

Disposable option


One time use-and-throw nipples are also available in the market. These are especially suited during travel.
Disposable option

Bottle

Material

Material


Feeding bottles should be made of BPA-free plastic materials that are considered safe for the child. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) revised the standard for feeding bottles in 2013. According to section 4 of the revised standard, ‘The material used for plastic feeding bottles and accessories excluding teats shall be of polypropylene conforming to IS 10910 or polyethersulfone (PES) or any other olefin based polymer. The materials used should be of no health hazards to babies and shall not contain Bisphenol A (BPA).' NOTE - PVC and PET should not be used to manufacture feeding bottles.3 Feeding bottles made of eco-friendly glass are also available in the market.

Size and capacity


Most feeding bottles come in standard sizes, with wide bottoms. Depending upon the baby's preference, bottle size can be selected. Small size bottles are best-suited for newborns, as babies consume only about 120 ml in a single feed. As your little one grows, you can move to 250 or 330ml bottles.
Size and capacity
Volume Units to Milliliter Conversion Chart
Volume Units to Milliliter Conversion Chart
Shape

Shape


Feeding bottles come in varied shapes such as natural shape, standard neck, wide neck, angled, fully vented, with bags, and so on. The shape of the bottle also determines which kind of nipple can be used with it. Fully-vented bottles also have anti-colic and anti-vacuum mechanisms built into them. An ergonomic design lets your hand rest easier while holding the bottle.

Maintenance


Feeding bottles also have to be cleaned or sterilized, or both, before use. Special baby-safe cleansers are available in the market to clean the bottles before sterilization, and it is advisable not to use regular detergent, as it could be corrosive.
Maintenance
Disposable option

Disposable option


Travel-friendly disposable feeding bottles are also available in the market, which are made of baby-safe plastic. You also have disposable liners, that act as covers that hold the milk inside the bottle, without letting it come into contact with the bottle's inner surface. So when on the move, you just have to insert the liner, pour milk into it, and once the feeding is over, dispose off the liner and insert a new one.

Bottle Cap/Cover


A bottle cap/cover protects the nipple from dust and dirt. It helps keep the nipple sterile. You need to cover the feeding bottle with a bottle cap in between feeds. Once sterilized, the bottle nipples should not be touched with bare hands and should always be covered with bottle caps after drying. This is to protect them from any contamination.
Bottle Cap/Cover
Bottle Collar

Bottle Collar


A bottle collar works as an adapter for the bottle nipple and should be compatible with the nipple. Mostly, a nipple from the same manufacturer as that of the bottle easily fits in the bottle collar. Make sure to screw the bottle collar tightly, to avoid any leakage.

Bottle Base


Some bottles come with a detachable bottom. The formula doesn't stick to the bottom of these bottles, as badly as it sticks to the others. This makes formula mixing easy. Some bottles have vented bottoms. It helps reduce the amount of air your baby swallows. Bottles with a detachable bottom are easy to clean, as you can rinse their bottom directly. They also dry fast. Taking all the parts apart and putting them back together after cleaning takes a considerable amount of time though. Make sure to screw the bottle base tightly, to avoid any leakage.
Bottle Base
Solid Lid

Solid Lid


Some feeding bottles come with lids. This way, you can remove the nipple from the bottle and cover the remaining milk, after a feed, with the lid. The solid lid won't allow any leakage.

Sealing Disc


Some feeding bottles come with slim sealing discs. When placed on the bottle collar, these discs stop the flow of milk to the nipple. They are travel-friendly, as they provide a leak-proof transportation.
Sealing Disc
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