Breastfed babies don’t only take their milk from the breast. While lactation consultants suggest waiting at least three weeks before introducing a bottle, breastfeeding mamas often abide by their own schedules. Finding a bottle that truly mimics the motion, flow, and feeling of the breast is often the hardest part of making the switch. We’ve put countless bottles to the test, and narrowed our list down to nine.
Check out our picks for the most breast-like bottles on the market, and let us know which one you (or your children) prefer.
Considered to be one of the most breast-like bottles on the market, the Mimijumi Very Hungry ($29) is a one-piece, wide-mouthed bottle with a unique nipple to help simulate the nursing process. The naturally colored nipple features graduated textures to mimic an actual breast. It is also angled to copy a baby’s position while nursing.
2. Adiri NxGen Nurser
The Adiri Natural Nurser was one of our readers’ favorite bottles for breastfed babies, but it leaked terribly, driving mamas searching for a new bottle.
Now ReliaBrand has introduced the new Adiri NxGen Nurser ($12), an updated and much-improved version of the original that uses a built-in, bottom vent system — no tubes or valves in sight — to create a pure flow of air into the bottle as baby drinks, preventing the nipple from collapsing and minimizing gas and painful bubbles.
Made from food-grade silicon and plastic, the new bottle can be filled from either the top or the bottom, making it a cinch to clean. However, while the new version did not leak nearly as much as the previous version, we did find that it left a bit of milk behind in the warming disk.
3. The First Years Breastflow Bottle
Designed to function like a human breast, the wide-bodied The First Years Breastflow Bottle ($7) requires a suction and compression in order to release milk. The dual action makes it tougher than the average bottle but more similar to the actual process of breastfeeding.
Milk straight from the breast is warm, but milk from the fridge or freezer, just isn’t. While pumped milk can be heated under running water (it should never be warmed in the microwave), there’s no way to regulate the temperature to an exact degree. The Yoomi bottle ($7.97) is fitted with a warmer that fits into the bottle’s elongated lid. Prior to a baby’s feeding, push a button and wait 60 seconds. When the milk enters the bottle’s nipple, it passes over the heater and is delivered at the perfect temperature for hungry lil tots. The heater obtains heat when submerged in boiling water for 25 minutes. It retains its heat until it is used.
6. Medela Calma Breastfeeding Set
One would expect that the bottles designed by a company best known for their breastpumps would be ideal for breastfed babies — and Medela’s Calma bottles ($15.99) are. The bottles unique nipple — it is longer and flatter than most others on the market — requires babies to use the same sucking motion used when breastfeeding in order to create a vacuum to release milk. Though the nipple has several pieces to assemble before it is placed on the bottle, users say it is worth the extra steps.
7. Playtex Drop-Ins Original Nurser
More than a few breastfeeding mamas have reported that the tried and true Playtex Drop-In Original Nurser ($10) is the easiest bottle to introduce to breastfed babies. Whether it’s the collapsing bottle liners that stave off air or the latex nipples that generations of moms have trusted, we’re not quite sure, but for whatever reason, breastfeeding moms just seem to love these low-cost bottles.
8. Philips AVENT Natural Bottle
A longtime favorite of the breastfeeding community, the Philips AVENT Natural Bottle ($11) was recently redesigned to mimic nursing better than ever. A wide-neck design gives the bottle a breast-like shape, while the soft nipple feels relatively like mom’s nipple. The best part is Philips AVENT’s anti-colic system — it is a twin valve that does not leak air into the feeding baby — only into the bottle.
9. Comotomo Baby Bottles
A squeezable bottle? Comotomo Baby Bottles ($27.94) are also designed to mimic the breastfeeding process with their wide-neck design and smooth, skin-like feel, but the bottle’s flexible design makes it unique in a sea of hard plastic/glass bottles. Made from 100 percent BPA-free, medical grade silicon, the bottle is actually squeezable, much like a natural breast, so baby can grab on and get comfortable.
10. Baby Brezza 2-Piece Bottle
Offered in both glass and plastic, these two-piece Baby Brezza bottles ($23.22) have a breast-like nipple and a wide-mouth design that mimics natural breastfeeding, providing optimal oral development for baby and a more seamless transition from breast to bottle. Bonus for mom: with only two parts, they’re easier to clean, fill, and hold, and the sleek design eliminates hard to reach crevices where germs and bacteria can grow.
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