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Product Reviews Feeding Baby

What’s the best bottle for baby? How about the best bottle warmer or sterilizer? This section gives you the answers. Under the Brand Reviews, you’ll find some manufacturers have asterisks (*) by their names. These are manufacturers who also make glass bottles along with plastic.

What’s the best bottle for baby? Actually, it’s more than just the bottle. The nipple (how the milk is delivered to baby) is just as important as the container.

When it comes to nipples, there are a myriad of choices. Your first decision will be the shape of the nipple. They come in orthodontic (bulb shaped), flat-topped or original (bell shaped). See graphics below. Experts tell us that the bell shaped nipple seems to work best for breast fed babies who are either taking an occasional bottle or permanently transitioning from breast to bottle. Most nipples are made of latex or silicone. We rec-ommend silicone. They last longer, don’t have any flavor, are heat resistant and may resist bacteria better than latex. Latex can be allergenic as well.


Flat topped

Bell shaped

Finally, nipples have different flow levels. If you are starting immediately with bottle feeding, begin with a low flow nipple so your baby doesn’t become over-whelmed with formula and gag. This is also a good idea for parents who are giving an occasional bottle to a breast fed baby—it forces your baby to work harder,more like when breastfeeding. As baby grows, you may need to buy a faster flow nipple.

What about the bottle itself? After the government issued a report in 2008 that questioned the safety of a chemical (Bisphenol-A or BPA) used in polycarbonate bottles, manufacturers began making BPA-free bottles. So, pretty much all the new bottles on the shelves today are BPA-free. (We’ve posted a Q&A about BPA on our web site, click on Bonus Material). Some parents prefer glass bottles since they have always been a safe, chemical free option.

Of course, there may be older baby bottles still on the back of some store shelves—a word to the wise: make sure the pack- age says BPA-free before buying any bottle, breast pump or sippy cup. And if a friend offers you her old baby bottles, we say politely decline. You likely wouldn’t be able to tell if they had BPA or not.

Smart Shopper Tip #1

Bottle confusion?
“How many bottles will I need if I formula feed? What nipple sizes do I need? Do I need a bottle sterilizer?”

Yes, the questions about bottles and feeding baby can be rather endless! To help, on our web site, we’ve posted a great email from a mom who’s been there, done that. This email actually appeared first as a thread on our message boards, but we thought it was the most comprehensive discussion of bottle-feeding we’ve ever seen. Since it is eight pages long, however, we didn’t have room to reprint it here. Go to to read it.

Smart Shopper Tip #2

Getting started
“I think I’m going to bottle feed for at least some of the time, but I don’t want to spend a fortune on bottles. What should I buy?”

Consider getting a starter kit from one or two of our top rec- ommended bottle makers (see Our Picks below). Starter kits usually include a selection of bottle sizes, slow flow nipples and bottle caps. They may also have accessories like a bottle brush included. Prices range from $15 to $60 depending on brand and number of items included.

Smart Shopper Tip #3

"It seems no matter what bottle I consider, the reviews complain that it leaks. From expensive to cheap, they all have leaking problems. What gives?

We've noticed ourselves that many different bottle types have some complaints that they leak. Often, the leaking occurs when parents over tighten the bottle. There is a sweet spot with baby bottles where the gasket and valves work together in perfect harmony. If you discover you're having leak problems, don't throw out the bottles. Check the manufacturer's web site for tips on assembling the bottle. One example: Avent shows a graphic of what the bottle should look like when it is screwed on properly here.

BB Rating
What's This?


A EXCELLENT-our top pick!
B GOOD-above average quality, prices, and creativity.
C FAIR-could stand some improvement.
D POOR-yuck! Could stand some major improvement.