Should you use plastic or glass bottles?
Plastic and glass bottles both have their advantages. Which type you choose will depend on your preferences and needs.
*Glass was once the only bottle type available. It has stood the test of time and is reusable, dishwasher safe, long-lasting, and glass resists the build-up of bacteria. Glass can break, crack or chip, although there are silicone sleeves that you can slip over the glass to help prevent the possibility of shattering.
*Plastic bottles are quite common and will not shatter, although they may crack over time. Many of today's plastic bottles are free of the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) and are safe for baby.
What are the various bottle sizes, and how many should you get?
Bottles range in size from 4 to 9 ounces. You'll require small bottles initially and larger ones as baby and his appetite grow. For this reason, it's a good idea to get a range of bottle sizes. How many bottles you require depends on whether you'll be formula or breastfeeding and how much time you have available to wash reusable bottles. In general, you'll need from four to 12 bottles on hand.
Do you need a bottle warmer?
A bottle warmer may sound like an unnecessary luxury now, but after a few sleepless nights of heating up baby's bottles to just the right temperature the old-fashioned way, you're likely to give a bottle warmer a closer look.
Bottle warmers thoroughly and safely heat bottle contents in minutes without boiling. This means baby's milk is the perfect temperature every time and there is no possibility of dangerous hot spots. Some bottle warming models have a chilling chamber that makes it unnecessary to leave the nursery. When baby gets hungry, you simply slip the bottle out of the chilling chamber and into the warming chamber.
Most bottle warmers hold any style bottle and can even warm baby food jars. Some models can be plugged into the car lighter and many have auto-off. And some even have the added capability of being able to make baby food.
Do you need a bottle sterilizer?
Although most bottles and accessories are dishwasher safe, you may prefer the convenience of a bottle sterilizer. Since you can even throw in pacifiers and parts of your breast pump, a bottle sterilizer may become one of your most popular kitchen appliances. If counter space is limited, you can use quick steam bags, which remove 99.9% of household bacteria and are even reusable. Check the manufacturer's instructions on all items to ensure you follow the recommended steps to sterilize your baby stuff safely. Also be sure to discuss bottle safety with your Pediatrician.
What is the advantage of disposable verses reusable bottles?
Unlike reusable bottles, disposable bottles use pre-sterilized liners which are inserted into the bottle and secured by screwing on the top. They reduce clean-up time, as when baby is done, the liner is removed and discarded. Reusable bottles must be properly cleaned after each feeding.
Some parent's prefer the convenience of a bottle system.
A bottle system is a combination of bottles and nipples specially designed to work together to reduce the flow of air to baby, which helps minimize gas and fussiness. Such a ready-made system is convenient, as it takes the guesswork out of which nipples to pair with which bottles.
Many bottle systems feature disposable liners, and the liners are convenient for pumping and then storing breast milk in the refrigerator or freezer. (Discuss proper breast milk storage with your pediatrician.)