Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies

There are plenty of guides out there that claim to offer sound advice on the best bottles for breastfed babies, but the fact is there is only one person who can tell you the best bottle for your baby, and that person is your baby. I have four children, two of which were given a bottle while breastfeeding just for the occasional sitter, and two who required supplementation at a younger age due to growth issues. Each child preferred a different bottle.
best bottles for breastfed babies 2018
Generally, your best bet is to just try one that looks good, and if your baby rejects it, do some trouble shooting. For example, I found the first bottle I gave baby four (new this March) had a flow that was too fast for her. So, I went on Amazon and bought one of each of the available bottles designed for breastfeed babies. Then I checked the flow rate on each using their slowest flow nipple, found the slowest one, and tried that bottle for her. It worked like a charm, and I am now successfully breastfeeding and bottle feeding together. However, I might not have had to buy so many bottles if I’d known a bit more about what was on the market, so while I may not be able to tell you which is “best,” I can offer a short review of each.

What makes a bottle best for breastfed babies?

Bottles for breastfed babies are usually designed with a wider top and nipple that more closely mimics the breast. They often attempt to create a more natural flow where the baby needs to nurse to get milk rather than it just dripping out due to gravity as well. Many also have unique orthodontic nipples. You can read a bit more about bottle differences here.

In my sampling of the best bottles for breastfed babies, I had some perquisites. All of the bottles in this review are:

-Relatively inexpensive. I placed a $10 cap on each bottle (Yes, there are bottles that run more than $10 each!) This did rule out several commonly suggested bottles such as the Tommee Tippee, Medela Calma, Munchkin Latch, and Adiri NxGen.
-Simple to clean and assemble. This is why you won’t see the often recommended Dr. Brown’s bottles on my list. I learned with my past children all those components just get lost and are a pain to clean, so a ton of multiple parts was a deal breaker for me.

So, what made the cut? (Alphabetically ordered, not by “best” to “worst.”)

Avent Natural Flow
Breastflow by the First Years
Comotomo
Lanisoh mOmma
MAM Anti-colic
Nuk Advanced
Note: Prices and reviews are as of July, 2018.

The best bottles for breastfed babies reviewed:

Avent Natural Flow Bottles:

Price: 4 oz. $6.47best bottles for breastfed babies
Amazon rating: 4.5/5 from 541 reviewers
Most common complaints: Odd shape, causes gas
Most common praises: Trusted brand, nipple does not collapse on itself

My take: Avent is a brand most people know and trust, and I have used their bottles with my kids in the past, so I had high hopes. The flow on the slow nipples for these is in the mid-range for the bottles I tested, a steady drip when tipped upside down.

I will agree with many reviewers that the shape is a bit awkward. These bottles are short and fat, but wider at the tops than they are at the bottom. This makes storing them in the sides of diaper bags hard, and holding them sort of–weird? Maybe it’s just because this isn’t a common bottle shape. I did also note I had to burp, and often, with these. My baby would actually stop nursing and begin fussing, get burped, continue feeding, and so on until the milk was gone. She doesn’t typically need burped during feedings, after yes, but not during.

best bottles for breastfed babies

Breastflow Bottles:

Price: 5 oz. $8.33
Amazon rating: 3.5/5 from 187 reviewers
Most common complaints: Leaks, milk is trapped between nipples and wasted
Most common praises: Slow flow, reduced air intake

My take: I have no idea why so many folks said these have a slow flow. These actually had one of the fastest flows of all the bottles I tried. I’m talking a steady stream when tipped upside down, no need for suction at all. They gagged my slow-feeding booby baby, but may be ok for a baby who prefers a faster feed.

These bottles also do have a double nipple. There is an insert (easy to wash vs Dr. Browns) as you can see in the pic that creates a second nipple within the first. This section fills with milk with an aim to reduce air intake. It does do that, but as this compartment never really empties, it also makes telling how much your baby has consumed difficult and can waste milk, which is particularly annoying if you are pumping. I did not note any leaking, unless of course they were tipped upside down.
best bottles for breastfed babies

Comotomo Bottles:

Price: 5 oz. $12.99
Amazon rating: 4.5/5 from 684 reviewers
Most common complaint: Frosted color makes reading measurement marks hard, falls over easily/hard to store, expensive
Most common praise: Mimics breast including let down, easy to hold

My take: This is actually the bottle my baby chose. They have a very slow flow, even when tipped upside down there is only one small drop every few seconds. The, albeit weird, round shape keeps the milk at the top of the bottle, so very little air is taken in while nursing. My baby at 3 months even is able to hold these herself. She’s a boob squeezer and seems to enjoy the soft-squish silicone material they are made of.  It can be difficult to angle these so the last about oz of milk can be drained while feeding though.

Sadly, technically Comotomo shouldn’t have made my best bottles for breastfed babies list, as their regular price is over $10 per bottle ($12.99). I caught them on sale when I bought the bottles for my test. This does make a good point, if your baby won’t take any of the more affordable bottles, trying some on the higher end of things one at a time may pay off.
best bottles for breastfed babies

Lansinoh mOmma Bottles:

Price: 5 oz. $7.99
Amazon rating: 4.7/5 from 74 reviewers
Most common complaint: Flow is too fast
Most common praise: Nipple doesn’t collapse, lean shape makes for easy storage

My take: What breastfeeding mom doesn’t know the name Lansinoh? Their nipple creams are a life saver. Honestly, it was that name recognition that led me to try these. They don’t look much different than your typical $1 department store bottle, and reviewers are spot on when saying even the slow flow nipples are not so slow. These were the second fastest flow of the bunch. Surprisingly though, despite ditching the common wide design bottles for breastfed babies have, if these would have had a slower flow I think they’d have worked. She tried to use them. She seemed to like the shape of the nipple, but just couldn’t handle how fast the milk came out.
best bottles for breastfed babies

MAM Anti-Colic Bottles:

Price: 5 oz. $6.99
Amazon rating: 4/5 from 45 reviewers
Most common complaint: Leaks, tricky assembly (could be why so many feel it leaks)
Most common praise: Truly anti-colic, orthodontic nipple good for breast to bottle

My take: These, the Nuk Advanced, and mOmma bottles all had about the same flow with a slow flow nipple. They drip rather quickly when tipped upside down. This bottle comes apart into three pieces: the nipple, body, and bottom. If you fail to properly attach the bottom, they leak, a ton. It can be tricky to get that bottom on right, and it needs to be taken off for proper cleaning. My baby disliked the fast flow anyway, but I’d not have kept up with these just because of the leak risk. I have enough messes to deal with.
best bottles for breastfed babies

Nuk Advanced Bottles:

Price: 5 oz. $6.97
Amazon rating: 4.4/5 from 68 reviewers
Most common complaint: Not durable, hard to clean
Most common praise: Orthodontic nipple good for breast to bottle, attractive designs

My take: Nuk isn’t exactly designed for breastfed babies in particular, but they worked quite well for me in the past. Now, I will note the Advanced model has a new nipple, and I wasn’t impressed. They were the first brand to offer human nipple-like shaped orthodontic nipples to my knowledge, and the older style was awesome.

The new nipples land in the mid-range for flow rate on a slow flow nipple with a fairly fast drip, but not a steady stream, when tipped upside down, but are a pain to clean. These nipples also have air vents to help prevent colic, but I wouldn’t say they are any better than your average bottle. If you want to try Nuk, I recommend the classic orthodontic nipples–which are also cheaper.

Overall, if I were trying these with another child, and needed to rank my test bottles as far as the best bottles for breastfed babies, I’d say from best to worst: Comotomo, mOmma, Nuk (classic), Nuk Advanced, MAM, Breastflow. This may not hold true for your baby.

Note: This review of the best bottles for breastfed babies was not paid, though there are affiliate Amazon links throughout. These bottles can be purchased elsewhere. If you choose Amazon, and are pregnant, check out their baby registry which offers a 10% discount (15% if you are an Amazon Mom), all of the bottles listed here are also Prime eligible for free shipping (there is a free trial for this.) As an added bonus, Ebates regularly offers 3% cash back via PayPal for Amazon Baby items.

Diaper Coupons: Tricks to Save on Diapers with Amazon Family

The average baby uses 8 diapers a day (more in the early days, less as they get older). The average child is in diapers about 30 months. That’s around 7,200 diapers per kid—when you ignore the ones they waste by doing things like diapering the cat. Naturally, this makes ways to save on diapers a great topic for parents to study up on. After 4 kids (3 of 4 now diaper-free. Hurray!) I’ve found aside from the occasional discount diaper grocery store score, Amazon Family is the cheapest and most convenient way to save on diapers. However, you can actually save even more on diapers from Amazon with some simple tricks.

 

First, how does Amazon Family help you save on diapers?

Amazon Family, formerly known as Amazon Mom—way to go Amazon for recognizing parental equality there, dads buy diapers too—is an extension so to speak of Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime is $99 per year and comes with free two-day shipping, access to Amazon’s movie, Kindle book, and music library, and some other odds and ends most people don’t care about, and neither do we because this article isn’t about Amazon Prime, it’s about ways to save on diapers with Amazon Family. If you’re not sure you want to commit to $99 a year right away, you can get a 30-day free trial to give it a try.

Amazon Family itself adds:

-20% discount on diapers and pullups with free shipping
-A 15% baby register completion discount and welcome box

Side note, the registry discount can be used to get a discount on baby and toddler items even if you aren’t pregnant, but only once. You simply add an imaginary baby with an imaginary due date within 60 days of the current date, add the items you want, wait 14 days, and presto, 15% off qualifying items on your list. You can also add new items at any time, even when your discount is applied. After you spend $10 on any item on your list, you also get the welcome box which includes samples or trials of things like wipes, diapers, baby shampoo, etc.

Maximizing your 20% diaper discount to save even more on diapers:

The 20% discount on diapers from Amazon Family is easy to use. You simply search the diapers you want, select “subscribe and save eligible” in your left side bar, and take your pick. You don’t need to subscribe to extra items to get this discount, but if you subscribe to 5 items, you do get 15% off all your subscriptions. This can be a great way to save on baby wipes. I add cheaper items like toothpaste to my order and save more than I spend on those items this way.

Now, next you want to watch for coupons below diapers. The major brands such as Pampers, Huggies, and LUVS all very regularly offer percent off or dollar off coupons that say they, “apply only to your first order.” Most might assume that means you can only use them once, but you can receive your first order, cancel it, reorder the same product or if you aren’t brand loyal a different product with the best discount, and use the coupon again.
save on diapers diaper coupons

Here’s an example of my savings one month. I ordered Pampers Swaddlers Size 3 180 count. Regularly, this box is about $50. My Amazon Family 20% off saved me $10.22, then I clipped a 30% off coupon which stacked saving $15.33, equating to $25.55 total (free shipping) or 14 cents per diaper.
save on diapers pampers
Another month I canceled, reordered Huggies with a $2 off coupon. Original price $34.39, 20% off $6.88, minus $2, $25.51 for 192 diapers or 13 cents each. You can keep doing this every single month.

save on diapers huggies

Utilize cash back options to save on diapers:

Once you have your diaper coupon trick down, you can also get cash back on your order. Amazon offers both a store card and a credit card, both of which offer 5% back for Prime members. If you use this card, and pay off the balance right away (which is easy with online payments), you just saved 5% more on your diapers. If you don’t want to open another card, using your credit card of choice with rewards is another option, but most are not as high as 5%.

amazon family save on diapers

Additionally, because this cash back option doesn’t require you click through a special referral link, you can double up and get more cash back on occasion with Ebates.

Ebates is one of the few cash back sites that offers cash back on Amazon, but unfortunately, their categories rotate and baby is not always offered. I do see it pretty regularly through the year though at 3% back. I usually will check which categories they offer before my order, and if baby isn’t one of them, opt for Amazon Smile instead to make a donation to a local charity. Note, you can’t use Amazon Smile and Ebates. You must visit Amazon through the Ebates portal to get cash back if your category is offered. Ebates offers cash payments via Paypal quarterly. They are legit, I have been paid every single time.

ebates save on diapers

As you can see, if you take the time to search out coupons, then add in some cash back, it equates to some serious savings on diapers. If you have any other tips, we’d love to hear your advice in the comments below.

Language Delay? Baby Speech Development Basics

When your baby goes from crying to communicating with actual words is a proud and useful milestone in the memory book, but what do you do if that milestone is delayed? When is a baby’s speech development considered delayed? At six months one of our sons had only-recognizable-to-those-closest to him words, but at nearly a year old his brother rarely and only quietly expressed even the tiniest of verbal communication such as “up.” The question then became, did one of our children have a language delay? The answer was in the baby speech development timeline.language delay baby speech development

How does baby speech develop?

Baby speech development begins before your baby is even born. Research shows that in the final 10 weeks of pregnancy your baby hears you and takes the first step in developing speech– listening. This is why newborn tend to be comforted more by familiar voices and will respond better to speech in their native language. This absorption of language sounds continues and soon your baby forms the connection that sound can express wants, a lesson which is well reinforced in the early months by frequent screaming.

Common milestones for infants between birth and 3 months include:
-startling at loud sounds
-showing reaction to voices (being calmed, changing expression, etc.)
-recognizing care giver voices
-cooing, gooing, and signs of happiness
-cries differently to express different needs/feelings

Later, your baby begins to connect where sounds are coming from and make sounds that more closely recognize speech. Making the following common between 4 and 6 months of age:

-looking in the direction of noises
-babbling including letters sounds
-listening to music
-laughing
-cooing, gurgling, or making sounds to express different emotions

Finally, random letter sounds lead to imitation as your baby begins to mimic sounds and form actual words. Between 6 and 12 months most infants begin:

-to mimic sounds
-play peekaboo
-understand common words, such as “cup” or “nap”
-follow simple one-step directions, such as “come here”
-Repeat letter sounds in sentence-like gibberish
-Communicate with gestures
-Say a few simple words (mom, dad, hi, bye are common)

So, when should your baby start talking?

It turns out neither of our sons had a language delay. As the baby speech development timeline above is variable,  language skills are not considered delayed unless no recognizable words whatsoever are said by 15 month of life. Concerns over language delay like mine are common, but often misdiagnosed. Having a child that’s slow to talk is also not a reflection on you. As long as you are talking to your baby often and giving her/him the chance to hear language, you’re doing just fine. Every baby is just different. Often a baby that lags behind in one developmental area may excel in another.

What should you do if you suspect a language delay?

First, there are some cues your child may have an underlying developmental issue prior to that 15 month cut-off.

Warnings of an infant language delay include:

-Doesn’t react to sounds.

-Doesn’t make eye contact or attempt to communicate with you or suddenly stops doing so at any point.

-Doesn’t use gestures as non-verbal forms of communication by 12 months of age.

-Doesn’t try to imitate sounds he or she hears often by 12 months of age.

-Doesn’t babble (random sounds) by 12 months of age.

If your baby isn’t doing any of the above, it’s a good idea to speak with your pediatrician to confirm a language delay, try to figure out what’s causing it, and help your child get back on track.

Common causes of language delay in infants include:

-Hearing loss (partial or complete)

-Learning or intellectual disabilities

-Auditory processing disabilities

-Autism

-Structural problems in areas vital to speech

-Being born premature

-Neurological disorders which may or may not be associated with other medical conditions

-Speech disorders such as Apraxia of speech

-Selective mutism

-Neglect (a baby that is not interacted with enough to hear language will not learn to speak)

Many of the above are correctable or at the least their effects on language can be minimized if caught early on.