There is nothing like walking into a big baby store when registering for your baby shower and seeing a wall, yes a wall, that is 10 feet long by 10 feet high filled with baby bottles and pacifiers. Talk about overwhelming. And your baby hasn’t even arrived yet!
The problem with this fact is that your baby, even at an early age, will have a preference for one bottle or one pacifier over another. So it is almost impossible to pick the perfect bottle or pacifier.
So here are some tips.
1. Register for a few baby bottle and pacifier brands. This way you have a selection on hand to try out in the first weeks of bringing your baby home. This includes nursing mothers too, as breastfeeding experts typically advise breastfeeding moms to introduce a bottle as soon as breastfeeding is established.
2. Don’t register for too many bottles or pacifiers.
- Similar to the point made above, you don’t know what your baby will like, so you don’t want too many of one type that you are left having to donate or throw out.
- You will need to change nipple types and pacifiers along the way. Nipples come in different flows (milk speed if you will) that will get faster as your baby gets older. Plus pacifiers come in sizes to fit the mouth size of a newborn, which is different than the size of a six month old. And, of course, nipples and pacifiers wear out. The typical recommendation is to replace pacifiers and nipples every six-eight weeks or if you see wear and tear.
3. Look for key features to make it a natural transition from breast to bottle, nipples to pacifiers.
- For pacifiers: Consider products that have orthodontically correct nipple that gives babies the sucking satisfication while maintaining proper jaw and tooth alignment. Also look for pacifiers that are BPA-free, PVC-free, lead-free, CPSIA-compliant. Based on personal experience, I also suggest looking for pacifiers that you can microwave and put in the dishwasher to sanitize and clean. Makes life a lot easier!
- For bottles: Look for bottles with clear measuring guides on the bottle for correctly mixing formula. Also look for a wide top to make it easier to pour in stored breast milk or mix in formula powder without spilling it everywhere. (Not that I speak from experience or anything…) Also look at features that minimizes air to reduce potential gas in your baby. Lastly, look for nipples that mimic the breast especially if you are going to be switching from bottle to breast and back. Similar to pacifiers, make sure they are BPA-free, PVC-free, lead-free, CPSIA-compliant and that you can microwave and put in the dishwasher to sanitize and clean.
There are a few brands I would recommend looking into, to help you get started. One that I have tried for my first child and now my second, are MAM Baby pacifiers and bottles.
I’ve always liked MAM pacifiers. Not only are the designs fun (you can even personalize some of them with your baby’s name), but the plastic around the nipple allows the area around a baby’s mouth to ‘breathe’. I’ve also trusted MAM Baby‘s claims that the nipples maintains proper jaw alignment and teeth development. Not something you consider before your baby arrives, but becomes an essential point once they are at home. Plus, they come in natural latex or silicone. (The MAM Perfect Pacifiers are the softest ones for less mouth pressure.)
The MAM Baby Anti-Colic bottles really attempt to achieve an easy transition from breast. As you can see from the picture, my baby mouth is in the similar shape as if she was on the breast. Note that there are a lot of pieces with a MAM Baby Anti-Colic Bottle, so you need to clean separate parts by hand or in the dishwasher. A bit of a pain in the arse. However, knowing that you can give your baby a breast-friendly bottle so you can go out to dinner, without sacrificing your breastfeeding achievements, is priceless. So it may be worth the extra steps. Yet, one fact that makes up for it is that this bottle self-sterilizes. (For real.)
All in all, hopefully these tips will help you navigate the bottle aisle and pacifier shelves. But don’t panic if what you bought is ultimately not the ‘right one. Keep trying. Soon you’ll find one that works for your baby and you.
If you want to try MAM Baby, visit their Facebook page to print a $2 coupon!
Disclosure: I received an assortment of MAM Baby Anti-Colic bottles and an assortment of MAM Baby pacifiers. However, the content, images, thoughts and opinions are my own.