How to Buy Bottles and Nipples?

When it comes to babies and bottles, there’s no formula for success. Some babies will take any bottle with a smile. Some take to a particular type of nipple or bottle and outright refuse a different brand. And some babies have less colic, gas, and spit-up with certain bottles. (Many bottles are designed to prevent these feeding problems by venting air from the more effectively.) You may also find that your baby doesn't have a preference, but you probably will if, say, a particular brand of bottles and nipples leaks or has too many little parts to clean.

  To start, buy or register for a small selection of bottles and nipples – either a few different bottle and nipple combinations or 2 different brands of newborn starter sets. Ask friends which brands they recommend, and check reviews online.To make it easier to transition a breastfed baby to a bottle, manufacturers have designed various types of bottles and nipples to mimic the feel of nursing. Again, you may have to try a few to find one that works for your baby.

What to look for when buying

Bottle material: Glass, silicone, plastic, and stainless steel are the most common materials.

Plastic is light, ubiquitous, shatterproof and inexpensive, but parents worry about chemicals even in BPA-free plastic (read more about BPA in Important Safety Notes, below). Plastic bottles also deteriorate, so they need to be replaced regularly.

Glass is heavy and can shatter (you can buy silicone sleeves that go over glass bottles to prevent this), but it’s BPA-free. Glass bottles are sold widely and last longer than plastic ones but are more expensive.

Silicone bottles are light, unbreakable, BPA-free, and often soft but more expensive than plastic and glass. Often silicone bottles aren’t sold in drugstores or grocery stores, which can be inconvenient if a nipple cracks or breaks and you need a quick replacement.

Stainless steel is light, unbreakable, BPA-free, and lasts for a long time, but like silicone, these bottles can be expensive and hard to find.


Nipple material: Nipples generally come in either latex or silicone varieties. Latex nipples are softer and more flexible, but they don't last as long and some babies are allergic to them. Silicone nipples are firmer and hold their shape longer.

Nipple shape: Traditional nipples are shaped like a bell or dome. Orthodontic nipples, designed to accommodate your child's palate and gums, have a bulb that's flat on the side and rests on your child's tongue. Flat-topped nipples and wide nipples (used with wide bottles) are said to feel more like Mom's breast and may be a good bet if you plan to switch between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding.

Size and flow: Nipples come in a range of sizes and flow speeds, from slow to fast. Preemies and newborns usually need the smallest size (often called "stage 1"), which has the slowest flow. Babies graduate to larger sizes and a faster flow as they get older, can suck more effectively, and drink more breast milk or formula.

Nipples are marked with the size and a suggested age range. Don't be concerned if your baby doesn't follow these guidelines exactly. You may have to try a few different nipple sizes to find one that works best for your baby. Watch to make sure your baby isn't having a hard time getting milk or getting so much that he's choking or spitting up. And, of course, discuss any feeding concerns with your baby's doctor.