Which baby bottle should you buy? I’d be at a loss if I had to make this decision today. As Young Parents’ expert panellist Dr Natalie Epton puts it: “There is a dizzying variety of bottles on the market – all claiming they are the best for ‘something’.” The task was more straightforward when I had my firstborn eight years ago – you went either for a wide-neck bottle or the standard “narrow” one, depending on your preference.
Things got a little more complicated three years ago when my second child came along. That was when bisphenol A (BPA) was thrust into the limelight. Scientists showed significant evidence that the industrial chemical – commonly used to make certain plastics, including baby bottles – can seep into food or into beverages. “BPA became banned in baby and child bottles and feeding utensils in many countries due to the potential health hazards, ranging from neurological to hormonal,” recalls Dr Epton, a specialist paediatrician and neonatologist at International Paediatric Clinic.
And so, besides choosing the bottle neck size, I had to decide between two popular BPA-free plastic alternatives offered by major infant brands: polypropylene (the material has a milky hue and is softer) and polyethersulfone (it gives a natural, honey-colored tint and feels hardier). Fast forward to 2016: silicone, steel and glass feeding bottles are widely available now, and manufacturers have upgraded boring basics. Many offer designs that claim to reduce the amount of air your baby sucks in, and in turn prevent colic; while others have hip designs and functions you never knew you needed.
Young Parents rounds up the latest offerings in the following pages, but back to the all-important question: How do you pick the right one? Cut through the marketing hype and heed Dr Epton’s advice: “Choose whichever bottle you like, as long as it is labelled BPA-free.” Clinical studies supporting anti-colic claims are sparse, involving very small numbers of babies and published in obscure journals, she notes. “And if you’re planning to partially breastfeed, it makes sense to go for a teat which is designed to be more anatomically similar to the maternal nipple,” she adds.
If you love bling, you’ll adore this bottle, which takes inspiration from the Sancy diamond, a dazzling, shield-shaped 55 carat rock. It comes with removable, easy-grip handles to help Baby learn to feed herself. GET IT Prices start from $42.90, from OG and John Little Plaza Singapura.
This silicone bottle is so soft, you can even fl ip it inside out to wash – no bottle brush needed. To reduce unnecessary air intake during feeding, the teat is designed with not one, but two, anti-colic air vents. GET IT Prices start from $28.90, from selected Guardian stores and www.babyken.com.sg.
Rock Star Baby
Milk feeding has never looked so cool, thanks to this kick-ass line of bottles designed by drummer Tico Torres from rock band Bon Jovi. If the pirate skull print is too much for Grandma to handle, go for the stylish snake, zebra or leopard print instead. GET IT Prices start from $13.50, from www.kidzloft.com and Takashimaya D.S.
See that accordion-style teat? It’s designed to mimic breastfeeding. More milk is released when Baby pushes against the teat’s base. It also stretches and fl exes as she moves her head. The blue value at the bottle’s bottom helps ensure that air bubbles don’t get through. GET IT Prices start from $20.80, from leading nursery retailers.
Pylones Petit Glouton
Who says glass bottles look boring? We’re hard-pressed to choose from the three Insta-worthy designs: the pirate (pictured), Japanese doll and owl. GET IT A 240ml bottle costs $36, from Pylones.
Why did this Singapore brand launch square bottles? So you can stack your expressed breast milk neatly in the freezer and save space. When it’s feeding time, snap on the off-centre teat, which helps promote feeding in an upright position. This is said to help reduce the risk of milk backfl ow and likelihood of mid-ear complications. GET IT Prices start from $24.80, from Motherswork and www.pupsikstudio.com.
You would rather stay clear of plastic bottles – yes, even the BPA-free ones – to avoid any undiscovered harmful chemicals used in ther manufacture. Yet, you’re worried that glass is fragile. Your concern is shared by a mum in the US, who came up with this solution: insert the glass into a plastic bottle! GET IT Prices start from $25.90, from Metro Centrepoint and OG.
The cheery prints on this range of stainless steel thermal bottles will put a smile on your face. Choose from swirls, bubbles, blueberries (pictured), cherries and fish. You can replace the teat with a spout and add handles to convert it to a sippy cup. GET IT Prices start from $35.80, from Motherswork, OG and www.babyken.com.sg.
This Korean brand has a patented design that ensures milk in the silicone bottle won’t come into contact with the plastic ring. It has a built-in air valve on the bottle to help prevent colic. GET IT Prices start from $33.90, from Mothercare.
Leave the heavy thermal water fl ask at home when you’re on the go. Baby can still enjoy warm milk with this clever invention. Press a button to activate the warmer. Within a minute, it gently heats up the milk to between 32 and 34 deg C, which is believed to be the temperature of breast milk. GET IT The feeding system with a 140ml bottle costs $55.90, from Kiddy Palace and www.yoomi.com.
It claims to be the fi rst and only 100 per cent plastic-free bottle on the global market – only stainless steel and silicone are used. It’s designed to grow with your child. Simply replace the teat with a sip spout or straw when he’s ready. GET IT Prices start from $29.90, from www.kidzloft.com