"B" is for Bottles
Continuing with our "ABC" series, we give you a few thoughts on bottles!
While we do not think that all bottles are created equal, we do want to emphasize that if something is working well for you, then it's working. There is no need to switch or adjust just because you read this blog post. Not every mother wants to breastfeed, or has the ability to do so. Many mothers choose to either pump, or use formula exclusively. We will support you however you choose to feed your baby, giving you all the education and resources we have at our disposal!
The two main things we encourage clients to look for when it comes to bottles are:
nipple shape and flow rates.
Nipple shape is not going to be as crucial if you're exclusively bottle feeding, but it can be a bigger deal if you're breastfeeding or doing a combination of both. We want to see a nipple shape that both mimics what mom's actual nipple looks like, and one that encourages proper tongue engagement.
Flow rate will vary widely, depending on the brand. You want to look for lower/slower rates that mimic the lower/slower rate baby would experience at the breast. The slower rate will also encourage baby's mouth and tongue to work harder and again, engage the tongue properly. Think about it like a workout, but for the mouth and face. The closer to breastfeeding you can get, the more beneficial it will be in the long term, both in physical development and ease in switching between bottle and breast (if that's your goal). We will discuss "paced feeding" in a future article, but if you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments so we can cover them!
The following graphic shows some of the bottle options we regularly interact with, and how we would "rank" them (if we had to):