Switching Between Bottle and Breast

Many new moms decide to switch between bottle and breast, whether it is to let Dad help with feedings or maybe because Mom is going back to work. If you are switching between bottle and breast, choosing the right bottle can be confusing and frustrating. The best thing to do is try a few different brands and decide which one is better for you and your baby. Here are some products that you may be interested in trying.

Avent Natural Feeding Bottle

Avent Natural Feeding bottles are designed with a nipple that encourages latching in the same way as breastfeeding by resembling the natural shape of a breast. This design is to make the transition from breast to bottle as comfortable for baby as possible. This bottle is also clinically proven to reduce colic which means baby should be less fussy, more like a breastfed baby.

These bottles are interchangeable so you can pump into the bottle, store, and feed without having to move, and therefore risk contaminating, the breastmilk. You can attach the ISIS breast pump to the Natural Feeding bottle and express your milk right into the container and then store it. When you are ready to use the bottle, just attach the anti-colic nipple and feed baby. You can also use the Natural Feeding nipples with the Avent VIA Nurser which is the disposable feeding system. These nipples come in different flow rates – newborn, slow, medium, and fast. Newborn flow is obviously for newborns, but also caters to breastfed babies. Slow flow nipples are for babies one month and older, the medium flow is for babies three months and older, and the fast flow is for six months old and up.

The Avent Natural Feeding bottles are available in four-ounce, nine-ounce, and eleven-ounce sizes. You can purchase them individually, in multi-packs, or in gift sets. The multi-packs usually sell for about $12-$14. The Avent Infant Feeding set comes with four nine-ounce bottles with slow-flow nipples, four sealing discs (to store milk without nipples), and one silicone pacifier. It costs around $20-$22. The Avent Newborn Starter set comes with two four-ounce bottles and three nine-ounce bottles with newborn-flow nipples, one bottle brush, and two silicone pacifiers. This set runs about $30-$33.

Playtex VentAire Natural Shape

Playtex VentAire Natural Shape bottles are reusable bottles that are specifically intended for switching between bottle and breast. The Natural Shape nipples are made to promote latch-on and the VentAire design keeps air bubbles out of the liquid so that baby has less gas. Each bottle has five easy-to-assemble pieces that are dishwasher safe, which ensures that the entire bottle will get clean.

Each bottle has a bottom piece with holes and a leak-proof vent disc which work together to keep out air bubbles, a bottle piece, a nipple ring, and a nipple. Depending on which package you buy – six-ounce bottles, nine-ounce bottles, or the gift set – you will get different types of nipples. Stage 1 nipples are for newborns usually six months and younger, and they come with the six-ounce bottles. Stage 2 nipples are generally for six months and up, and they come with the nine-ounce bottles. You can also purchase extra nipples.

Yes, these bottles require disassembly and re-assembly each time they are cleaned. If you fail to place the vent disc in the bottom piece correctly, you may occasionally experience a leak. However, I never used any other bottle with my daughter and the benefits outweigh the extra maintenance required.

Playtex VentAire Natural Shape Bottles are available at most major baby retailers. A three-pack of six-ounce bottles or a three-pack of nine-ounce bottles cost around $13-$14. The newborn gift set runs about $20-$25.

No matter which bottles you decide to try, I hope this gives you a good idea of what to look for when you are switching between breast and bottle.