Many new mothers may contemplate supplementing or replacing breastfeeding with bottles, and find a wide array of options available in composition, shapes, and sizes.
Bottles may be glass, plastic, or disposable. Recent concerns over BPA or a substance called bis phenol A have led many parents to prefer glass bottles. These are durable and may be sterilized at home. They do, however, pose a risk of breaking or shattering if dropped.
Plastic bottles are widely used and, despite the concerns mentioned above, are considered safe. They are light-weight and strong, though not as durable as glass.
Disposable bottles come with a sterilized liner that is thrown away after use, making clean-up easy. These do tend to be somewhat more expensive, and less environmentally sound.
Some bottles are specifically designed to minimize occurrences of the baby swallowing air. The collapsible liners in disposable bottles, or bottles with vents or angles, are helpful, as are anti-vacuum nipples.
The shape and composition of nipples, like bottles, is also varied . Nipples are made of either latex or silicone, each having its pros and cons. Latex is softer and sometimes preferred by newborns, but parents may have concerns with latex intolerance and opt for silicone instead. Silicone nipples are more firm and tend to last longer. Newborns require slower flow nipples, and the size of the nipple hole can increase with baby's appetite. Nipple shapes differ, too: some nipples are designated "Orthodontic" or specifically for premature babies.
Even the most informed, careful choice by new parents in choosing their baby's first bottle ultimately comes down to what the baby prefers! It may be helpful to have a sampling of different types of bottles and nipples on hand, and once baby has made up her mind, the parents can put their research to good use.