Bottle Basics

Choosing a bottle can be overwhelming. Jessica Hartshorn, Senior Lifestyle Editor for American Baby, tells everything you need to know about choosing the right bottle for your baby.

You might have to test out a bunch of bottles because you won't know which one your child will like until he tries it. Poll your mommy friends to start off with three suggestions. Buy one of each and do your own testing when the baby arrives. Newborns take only a couple of ounces at a time, but babies ramp up their eating quickly so going straight for bigger bottles can save you money. Look for features that minimize air bubbles because you might have to buy these later anyway if baby turns out to be gassy. If you're going to breast feed and use a breast pump, buy bottles made by the same brand as your pump. If this is your second child buy new bottles.

If your baby is fussy during feeding he might need another bottle or try trouble shooting other things first. If he is sucking fiercely and becoming frustrated you may want to bump up to the next size to allow milk to flow faster. But, if there's so much milk flowing from the bottle that it's pouring out of his mouth, he might need a smaller size. Your baby might have gas, hold his head higher than his tummy while he feeds. It might also be that he just doesn't like what is in the bottle.

If your baby loses interest in the bottle he's feeding from you can save it for later. You don't have to throw out breast milk or formula immediately. Set the bottle aside at room temperature, cap it and see if your baby is hungry again in a bit. If after an hour he's still not interested, dump it. Even if your bottle has been in the fridge, bacteria can multiply quickly, so throw it out after an hour. To avoid wasting formula, divide a feeding into smaller bottles.

You might have heard that bottles are bad for baby's teeth, but it's the frequency of exposure to any beverage containing sugar. Sugar pools on the teeth, creating the perfect environment for tooth decay. Pediatricians recommend you wean your baby form the bottle by his first birthday with the goal of giving up bottles entirely by 15 months.

For more information on choosing the right bottle for your baby and other parenting tips, click here.