Whichever way you choose to feed your baby, at some point you're likely to feed them using a bottle. Whether you're sharing the night feeds, or that back-to-work date is looming, sticking with breast milk or moving on to a formula, introducing a bottle successfully is important.
Making sure we choose the right bottle for our babies is vital, but with so many different baby bottles to choose from, finding the right one is often troublesome. We've made a list of our top baby bottles on the market, and answered some key questions about bottle-feeding.
Which baby bottles are the best?
There are a number of different types of bottles to suit your baby. From those that mimic breastfeeding or emulate the breast, which helps breastfed babies latch to anti-colic systems and self-sterilising bottles.
When it comes to the best baby bottles, here are some of the bestsellers worth trying.
The best for an easy transition from breast to bottle
An Amazon bestseller from a brand you can trust, these Tommee Tippee bottles are a good option to try if your baby is struggling to latch. With a breast-shaped teat for easy latch and a soft, natural feel, these are one of the best-selling bottles in the UK for breastfed babies. Standout features of these natural bottles include the anti-colic valves on the teat, which has a venting system that eliminates excessive airflow as your baby is eating.
Materials: BPA Free, Phthalate Free
This bottle won Gold in the 2019 Mother&Baby Awards in the Best Bottle Feeding Product category.
Tested by mum Adele for the 2019 Mother&Baby Awards; she said: "I would recommend this product to other mums. The bottles are easy to clean as well as simple and easy to take apart/put together. My baby enjoyed using these bottles and could hold them herself from a very young age because of the shape. They are easy to hold and feel good in your hand while feeding your baby."
Read our full review of the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Feeding Bottles here.
The best baby bottle for sterilising
These self-sterilising bottles from MAM are a game-changer, making life easier on the move as your bottle is ready for every situation. Simply heat in the microwave for three minutes, and it’s ready. Great little anti-colic bottles from a brand you can trust, stand out features include ventilation holes that ensure your baby isn’t inhaling too much air, improving colic dramatically. They are also super affordable and won Gold in the Mother&Baby Awards 2018 after receiving our real-mum tester seal of approval.
Materials: BPA Free
Tested by mum Kerry Bailey for the Mother&Baby Awards 2018; she said: "I would recommend these bottles to everyone I know as they are brilliant and the self- sterilising element make life so much easier. It’s so handy – when we went away for a couple of nights I didn't have to take the bulky steriliser with me, I just popped the bottle in the microwave."
Read our full review of the MAM UK Easy Start bottle here.
The best baby bottle for breastfed babies
These bottles are perfect for breastfeeding mums, with a soft, nipple-like teat that gives your baby an excellent soft flow. You’ll notice the unique design of this bottle, with the bottle nipple being on the side rather than in the middle of the bottle – according to Chicco this improves comfort and ease of feeding and replicates the instinctive way baby feeds. We were really impressed by these bottles and would recommend them. They won Silver in the 2018 Mother&Baby Awards in the Best Bottle Feeding Product category.
Materials: Silicone, BPA Free
Tested by mum Nicky Knight for the Mother&Baby Awards 2018; she said: "I found that this bottle was incredibly easy to hold and so ergonomic. I felt that Chicco had thought about how this should be shaped to help with feeding, not only for ease of baby feeding but also for us to hold it comfortably. The shape is by far the best I have used – he took to this teat very well as it is so soft and akin to the nipple."
Read our full review of the Chicco NaturalFeeling Bottle here.
The best baby bottle for a colicky baby
Not only does the Comotomo Natural Baby Bottle look amazing, but it will resolve all existing problems with standard baby bottles. The shape and texture make it easy for little hands to hold, and it mimics breastfeeding, helping babies that experience ‘nipple confusion’ and ‘bottle rejection’. The bottle is leak-free and allows milk to flow steadily, helping to ease colic. However, it is on the expensive side compared to some of the others on this list. It was shortlisted in the 2018 M&B Awards in the Best Bottle Feeding Product category.
Materials: Silicone, BPA Free
Tested by mum Sarah Smith for the Mother&Baby Awards 2018; she said: "I love this bottle - from the shape and feel, to the design. My baby got on so well with it as it was small enough for him to fit his tiny hands around. From my perspective, it was also easy to take apart and put back together. Milk flowed steadily and at my sons pace, which was great because he suffers with colic and normally feeding is difficult. He had no issues with winding after using this bottle."
Read our full review of the Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle here.
The best baby bottle newborn starter set
It has everything you could need for those first few days transitioning your baby to the bottle, including four bottles, a soother, a bottle brush, a chewable teether and a bib. It’s great value for money, and the little extras are fantastic. When it comes to the bottles, the Easy Latch teats mimic the shape, texture and natural flex of your breasts, encouraging your baby to latch more easily.
Volume: 2 x 180ml and 2 x 270ml
Materials: BPA Free
Tested by mum Catrin Ottley for the Mother&Baby Awards 2018; she said: "I would recommend this set to a fellow mum as the design is really nice and I think it looks appealing for the child. The bottle is very nice, it feels comfortable in my hand when I feed my baby as it has a nice grip and is very easy to use. Also, it’s a compact size, so it doesn’t take up room in my changing bag."
Read our full review of the Nuby Natural Touch Newborn Starter Set here.
The best baby bottle to attach to your breast pump
A great option if you’re already using a Medela breast pump, these clever baby bottles can be used with all different Medela pumps and teats on the market. Easy to use, we love the handy metric and imperial measurements on the side, which are clear to see (no matter how sleep deprived you might be!) They are also dishwasher and microwave-safe.
Materials: BPA Free.
Review: "What a wonderful little set! Absolutely perfect for storing milk on the go. Bought for when I went back to work as the fridge at work is often too full for me to store my pumped milk in, and also I don’t trust it won’t get tampered with or contaminated so I bought this and it’s perfect.The bottles are spot on in terms of size, and fit into the bag perfectly, and holds a decent amount of milk. The ice pack fits around all the bottles and keeps them cold for hours. I take it out of the freezer in the morning when I leave for work, so around 7:20am and it’s still cold when I get back at 6:30pm."
The best all-in-one kit
Whether you're feeding with a bottle once a day between breastfeeds or want to transition to more regular bottle feeding, this starter set gives you everything you need to set off on a bottle-feeding journey. In this set, you'll find three 260ml bottles, three 150ml bottles, a bottle and teat brush for easy cleaning, and a dummy. The silicone slow flow nipple teat feels like a real nipple, helping your baby make that change seamlessly.
Volume: 3 x 150ml and 3 x 260ml
Materials: BPA Free.
Review: "Good value set that’s perfect for those occasionally bottle feeding. I’m only using the smaller bottles so far (baby is breastfeeding and I pump every once in a while). Even though my baby doesn’t use a dummy full-stop, she’ll take this one in the car seat when other soothing solutions are not possible."
Best temperature control bottles
This set of four baby bottles features built-in temperature control indicators, which show when the milk is too hot - this is extremely helpful when you're doing the blurry-eyed nightfeed. The anti-colic vent helps prevent baby swallowing too much air as they feed, controls the flow of milk and removes air bubbles while the extra wide lip support simulates breast feeding as closely as possible.
Materials: BPA free.
Review: "I remembered using this bottle with my first daughter during a stressful breastfeeding-failure episode and they were really great. We had various types in the end as she wasn't fussy (just hungry!) but I always reached for this one over the others. So when I was buying again for my second I jumped straight to these and ordered them just in case we ended up on the same path. Thankfully breastfeeding this time has gone alot better but we have introduced a bottle of expressed milk early on to avoid any weaning issues later. My daughter switches between the breast and the bottle with ease and no fuss."
The best glass baby bottle
The contoured breast-like teat of these glass bottles help your baby easily latch on, offering a more natural bottle-feeding experience. The unique internal green vent system creates 100 per cent vacuum free feeding and is clinically proven to help reduce wind related colic. It also promises to aid digestion for a good night’s sleep for both you and your little one.
Materials: Glass. BPA Free.
Review: "I had a set of plastic Dr Brown bottles but the green insert was so fiddly it drove me mad. I bought the glass version as I had wanted to get rid of everything that was plastic but the added bonus was that the green insert was so easy to use on the glass bottles. I love Dr Brown anyway and they made a huge improvement with my daughter when she was a newborn."
What to look for in a bottle for breastfed babies
Bottle teat design: We'd generally recommend a slow-flow teat as this mimics the natural flow of milk from the breast, which will be more familiar to your tot. However, a narrow-neck nipple with a gradual slope could be useful if you find your baby struggles to get their mouth around a wide-neck nipple teat.
Material: You will find that baby bottles come either in plastic or glass. Compared to glass ones, plastic bottles are cheaper, more widely available and easier for your baby to hold, especially as they are lightweight. Just be sure to go for BPA-free bottles if you do choose plastic. Although glass bottles are heavier and can be pricier, they are much more eco-friendly. Unlike plastic, glass doesn’t stain or pick up odours. This option is also easier to clean and more long-lasting.
Pump compatibility: We're all for making life easy when possible, and bottles that can connect directly to your breast pump are a lifesaver as this means there's no need to worry about transferring your milk.
How do I introduce a bottle to a breastfed baby?
If you’re transitioning your baby from the breast to the bottle, it might take a few attempts to get your baby to latch, so start earlier than you need to. If you’re struggling to bottle-feed your baby, we’ve got plenty of tips to help:
- Try not to feed your baby for at least four hours before giving him a bottle so you know they are hungry.
- It can take up to 24 hours to convince your baby to accept a bottle, but if they are hungry, they’ll want to eat eventually so don’t give up.
- It’s a case of trial and error when it comes to bottles – some babies will prefer a particular shape, while others need features that ease wind or colic
How much milk should I feed a breastfed baby?
If you’re feeding your baby expressed breast milk, try this simple calculation from breastfeeding expert Geraldine to work out how much milk to offer. "Simply multiply your baby’s weight in kg by 150ml and divide this number by your baby’s daily number of feeds – this will give you a low estimate of what your baby needs per feed," says Geraldine.
However, if you’re bottle-feeding your baby with formula, you'll need to use the higher calculation for an estimate of what your baby needs as formula isn’t as well absorbed or utilised by the body as breastmilk. "Multiply your baby’s weight in kg by 180ml and divide this number by your baby’s daily feeds," says Geraldine.
Why trust Mother&Baby?
Our product recommendations are based on a combination of real-world testing from our burgeoning army of mum testers, and the extensive knowledge of our experienced editorial team and product specialists. Where we can, we also consult experts who specialise in that field to ensure you get the right advice along with the right product, and we listen to what you say as well. Our thriving mum community on our Facebook group #mumtribe also often hold great insights as to which products mums really like best and why helping us highlight the products that meet what you really want.
For the essential products, our annual Mother&Baby Awards shortlist the top products tested, and you can find full reviews from our mum testers provided on the product page. The winners and runners up for each category then will appear in our top picks article for that product, along with other products that were rated highly by our team.
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