The sheer array of baby bottles lining the store shelves is enough to overwhelm any parent, whether you're new at the job or an old pro with several older children. When it comes to baby bottles, the ultimate decision is up to you, but size plays a small role in which ones you take home with you.
Standard Sizes and Types
The two standard sizes for baby bottles are small 4-ounce bottles and larger 8-ounce ones. Different manufacturers make different shapes of bottles under the umbrella of these standard sizes, however. You can find tall, thin bottles, as well as short, squat ones. Some manufacturers make bottles that have handles on them and versions that are indented in the middle. No matter what shape the bottle is, most still come in the standard 4-ounce or 8-ounce size.
Choosing a Size
One size isn't better than the other, and ultimately it's up to you which bottles you prefer. Newborns and younger infants might not eat more than 4 ounces of expressed breast milk or formula, which can make the smaller size more practical. Once a baby gets a bit older, she'll likely eat more than 4 ounces at a time, which makes the larger size a better choice then. If you want to save money, consider purchasing only the 8-ounce size, which can hold a 4-ounce feeding or a larger feeding, and you won't have to buy new bottles a few months down the line.
The type of material a bottle is made from is another consideration, no matter what size you end up purchasing. Bottles come in three main types: glass, plastic and plastic shells that require disposable liners. Glass bottles are making a comeback because they are easy to keep clean and BPA-free. According to ConsumerReports.org, all new baby bottles, glass or plastic, are required to be BPA-free, however, so if plastic is more convenient for you, you can rest assured that brand-new ones don't contain this potentially harmful chemical. That's not necessarily true if you plan to use secondhand bottles, though. Plastic bottles are the most common choice because they don't break easily, they're portable and easy to use.
Choosing the best bottle for your baby might require a bit of trial and error. Consider purchasing two or three styles in one or both standard sizes and see which is easiest for your baby to eat from and is most convenient for you. You'll also need to consider nipple size. Nipples with smaller holes are appropriate for babies under the age of 6 months, while older babies have an easier time drinking from nipples that have larger holes.
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