Most working moms of breastfed babies would agree that finding a bottle that their baby will take can be a challenge! When my daughter was a newborn, I did not spend as much time as I should getting her prepared for taking a bottle at daycare. Because of that our transition to daycare and bottle feeding took a lot longer than expected. We tried a lot of different bottle styles and nipples before finally settling on a bottle for my breastfed baby. Hopefully this list of the best bottles for breastfed babies who refuse bottles will help you avoid some of the trial and error I experienced as a new mom.
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Is it normal for breastfed baby to refuse bottle?
Refusing to take a bottle is very common for babies whether they have been exclusively breastfed or it they are primarily bottle fed. There are many reasons a baby may refuse a bottle from the beginning or begin to refuse the bottle after months of successful bottle feeding. Those reasons include:
- Preference of nursing over bottle feeding
- Distracted environment
- Inadequate flow (too much or too little)
Regardless of the reason for your baby to refuse the bottle, it can be frustrating and nerve-wrecking as a parent. The best thing to remember is that while there are a few physiologic reasons breastfed babies refuse bottles, this stage of your babies development is a phase, and with proper preparation and a little trial and error, you can get through it.
How can I get my breastfed baby to take a bottle?
The best way to increase the use of a bottle for a breastfed baby is with practice. Many babies, once latched will prefer mom to the bottle because of the many benefits aside from nutrition and immunity that breastfeeding provides.
Babies breastfeed for many reasons and refusing the bottle can be because of difficulty from the nipple but it can also be because the reason a baby needs to nurse at a particular moment isn’t due to nourishment alone. Some of those reasons include:
- Your baby needs comfort
- Your baby is overwhelmed
- Your baby is growing and increasing supply
- Your baby is tired
My number one recommendation to help encourage breastfed babies to take the bottle is to allow dad or other relative to feed baby with the bottle. To this day, my daughter who is 13 months, will not take a bottle or sippy cup from me. She prefers to nurse. She will, however, accept these things from dad. When we were searching for the perfect bottle nipple for our breastfed baby, we often let dad be the one testing new bottle nipples out.
What bottle nipples are best for breastfed babies?
When determining the best bottles for breastfeeding you should consider a few things. First, does you baby have any physiologic or health concerns that will need to be addressed in the bottle your choose. Choosing the best bottle for a baby with gas or colic may have a different set of criteria than choosing the best bottle for a shallow latch. Below I will discuss 8 bottles rated highly for their success with breastfed babies. These ratings are based on hundreds of reviews and surveying other breastfeeding moms with babies who refuse the bottle at one point or the other. These bottles all fare well in reviews of nursing moms. I have reviewed them based on three factors; nipple shape/size, bottle shape, and anti-colic features.
Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle
This wide breast-shaped nipple of the Philips Avent baby bottle promotes natural latch-on to make breastfeeding and bottle feeding easier. This was honestly the bottle my super picky daughter loved the most. It was designed with a flexible spiral nipple that mimics a natural feel without collapse.
This baby bottle comes in a variety of sizes and flows. It also comes in an earth friendly glass material as well.
This bottle makes the cut of the best bottle for breastfed baby who refuses the bottle and is 100% approved by my very picky little girl! Reviews on Amazon and from target show that many moms rank this as 1) the best bottle nipples for breastfed babies.
What moms love about it: Grows with baby due to multiple sizes, easy to clean and softer nipple
What moms don’t love about it: Hard for baby to empty the bottle when sitting up; if not closed tightly and correctly bottle can leak
NUK Simply Natural Baby Bottle
The NUK Simply Natural Bottle was the only other bottle that my breastfed baby would take. This baby bottle nipple has multiple nipple holes and innovative extra-soft nipple that feels “just like mom.” The shape of the nipple was designed to replicate moms nursing nipple during breastfeeding.
This bottle also comes in a variety of shapes to grow with baby as baby can take more milk. There are also multiple nipple flows to increase with baby’s development.
What moms love about it: Hard durable plastic, easy to clean, multiple holes mimic mom
What moms don’t love about it: Stage 2 is significantly faster flow than stage 1
Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Baby Bottle
These Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature BPA-free bottles boasts award-winning breast-like nipples that have a anti-colic valve that reduces excessive air flow. The compact shape of the bottle is said to help allowing baby to feed in a more natural position. The ergonomic design allows for multiple grips that makes feeding comfortable for everyone.
Like many of its competitors this bottle can grow with baby as it has multiple sizes and multiple flow rates for the nipples.
What moms love about it: Ergonomic design makes holding bottle easier, smaller nipple makes feeding baby with sensitive gag reflex easier.
What moms don’t love about it: Can leak if not closed very tightly, flow can vary and not good for pace feeding babies
Dr. Brown’s Options+ Wide-Neck Baby Bottle
Dr. Brown’s baby bottles has come out with a new nipple design and moms LOVE it. The new nipple is engineered for consistent flow with a breast-like shape contoured for proper latch of your breastfed baby. This leads to a more natural bottle experience.
The flow rate of these bottles supports breastfeeding and allows your baby to switch easily between the breast and the bottle.
Dr. Browns has long been the go to recommendation for moms of babies with colic. The anti-colic internal vent of the Dr. Browns bottle boasts clinically proven reduction in colic, increase in digestion for better baby sleep, and a consistent flow rate.
Why moms Love it: Moms agree that this bottle has similar colic reduction to older design. Some moms even report seeing the reduction in as little as one day.
Why moms don’t love it: Bottle is leaky, directions are obscure.
Comotomo Baby Bottle
The Comotomo baby bottle is another fan favorite and breastfed baby loved bottle. These bottles are designed to closely mimic breastfeeding to reduce breastfed baby refusing the bottle. These like nature bottles also help to reduce nipple confusion in breastfeeding babies.
The makers of this bottle also considered ease of cleaning in their design. The featured wide neck makes cleaning these bottles by hand without a brush a breeze. Both the nipple and bottle are made of 100% hygienic silicone. Many moms swear this is the best bottle for breastfeeding.
Why moms Love it: The vented design minimizes suction built by strong latch on bottle. Shape makes it easier for baby to learn to feed themselves. Durability.
Why moms don’t love it: Bottles take longer to warm up milk. Wider shape makes it a tight fit in diaper bag.
How to Choose from this list of the best bottles for breastfed babies?
With so many options it can be overwhelming to decide which is the best bottle for your nursing baby. Many new moms will register for entire bottle kits and realize their baby does not like that particular brand for whatever reason. If you are wanting to avoid this version of trial and error then I would recommend the Bottle Box from Babylist.
This kit offers a great solution to new parents wanting to find the best bottle for their baby. Without knowing exactly what bottle your baby may prefer and which they may refuse this kit gives you a chance to try each type of bottle with your breastfed baby.
Aside from learning how to transition from full time nursing to pumping at work and bottle feeding your baby, choosing a bottle for your breastfed baby can be one of the more stressful tasks for moms preparing to get back to work. Having an idea of the most highly rated bottles as a guide can help ease some of the tension of this task!