Have you had the experience of going to create your baby registry, standing in the aisle of a big box store, and feeling paralyzed by all of the choices? So have we, and we want to help you out. Welcome to our Whole Mamas Must-Have series, where we share our recommendations. Although each family’s needs vary, these products come highly recommended by our team and members of our community.
From Chelsea, Content Coordinator for Whole Mamas: I polled our community on Instagram and Facebook to ask what they used and loved for bottle feeding. You’ll also see my comments sharing my personal experience throughout. Some of these recommendations are specifically for formula-feeding moms, while others will be helpful for combo-feeders or exclusively pumping moms. If you’re looking for breastfeeding product recommendations, find them here! If baby is ready to move on to solid foods, find our favorites here.
As far as bottles go, Comotomo was the clear front runner for moms concerned about baby alternating between breast and bottle. According to @midwife_rem, “They are amazing! They mimic breastfeeding really well are easy to clean and are durable. My daughter was breast and bottle fed with pumped and donor milk. These were by far our favorite bottles.”
Chelsea says, “I breastfed all of my babies, and it was important to me that they could also take a bottle. None of my children had no issues going between the breast and the Philips Avent bottles. If your baby is picky, you may need to try a few brands before you land on one that works for your baby.”
Here’s a few more that were recommended by mamas in our community:
- If you’re interested in a budget-friendly glass option, mama @kt_roars recommends Mason Bottle. You use your own glass jars as the “bottle,” using the attachments to fit the nipple onto it.
- Dr. Browns is a highly recommended glass option, as well. Several mamas mentioned using the preemie nipple for slow flow.
- If you’re interested in saving time washing bottles, check out these Playtex Drop-ins, recommended by several mamas in our community. Mamas also love the Boon drying rack and bottle brush to help with clean up.
For more information on bottles, listen to our podcast with Leah Walsh, speech-language pathologist. She gives her recommendations and explains the reasons why certain bottles may be better than others.
On the Go
To avoid messy formula powder situations, many mamas recommended something like this Baby Powder Formula Dispenser. You may also want to invest in a bottle cooler for on the go, like this one from Tommee Tippee, or you can do it the old fashioned way, with a small cooler and ice packs.
Chelsea says, “I used a small cooler bag and lunchbox size ice packs any time I needed to travel with milk. It worked perfect and fit easily into my bag.”
Gadgets and Miscellaneous
If you’re researching formula options, check out Beyond Organic Baby or Huggable. These are where many mamas find European formula options. There are so many different choices out there, and no “right” one. The needs of each baby are different; read stories from some of our Whole Mamas community members. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, listen to our podcast with Dr. Annie Salsberg, as she helps decode the ingredient label on formula.
If you’re planning to bottle feed, you may want to invest in a bottle warmer. Here are a few that our community recommended:
- Amanda P. from our Whole Mamas Pregnancy Program let us know that she loved the BEABA bottle warmer because it’s really fast.
- Dr. Browns is another common choice of bottle warmer.
For formula-feeding mamas
Check out the Baby Brezza Formula Pro. If you are balking at the price, try checking your local buy/sell groups or consignment shops for a used one!
Every mom that had the Baby Brezza raved about it. Mama Steph S. from our Whole Mamas Pregnancy Program said, “It changed my life. It made the middle of the night feeds so easy; no more trying to mix a bottle with one hand and bounce a hangry baby in the other. The machine is so simple to clean and put together; it made feeds less daunting for baby sitters as well … need I go on? My only regret is I didn’t buy it earlier!”
Some mamas prefer something less high tech, like the Dr. Brown’s Formula Pitcher. This is especially helpful if you notice your formula tends to clump when you mix it.
For exclusively pumping moms
Hands down, the favorite breast pump brand is the Spectra. They are hospital grade pumps with a reasonable price tag. Before you purchase a breast pump, look into what your insurance may cover. Here’s what a few moms said about their Spectra pumps:
- @dannyelle.thompson says, “As an exclusive expresser, a quality breast milk pump makes a world of difference! I have a Spectra S2. It’s a double pump and saves a lot of time.”
- [email protected] says, “Spectra S1 breast pump (same as the S2 but with a battery) was awesome! Planning to use it again for kiddo #2.”
A runner up for recommended breast pump was the Medela Freestyle. If you’re pumping for medically indicated reasons, your insurance may cover the rental of a hospital grade pump.
Chelsea says, “I rented the Medela Symphony through my insurance when I was pumping often for my premature twins. It worked so well and I was sad when I had to return it!”
Lastly, pumping mamas, don’t forget that you may want to look into purchasing extra pump parts so you don’t need to wash every time. You can search for your pump on Amazon to find compatible parts or order extra through the manufacturer. Make sure that your flange size is correct, as that can greatly impact output. Some mamas like to use Freemies to help with the hands-free aspect, as well as a good pumping bra. Dairy Fairy has some really nice options!
Honorable mention – helping hands
Mama @kendrashaefer08 says, “Dad and/or any responsible person can bottle feed the baby. What good is a bottle of you don’t use it to get a little break?!” @allyssabaker says, “Shout out to my awesome co-workers that help pick up my slack so I can go pump at my nursing job!”
Chelsea says, “After the first few weeks, my husband and I fell into a nice routine. I was eager to go to bed early because of those exhausting night feeds. Each evening, I nursed my kids right before they went to bed. Then, whenever I was ready to go to sleep, I would pump last thing before falling into bed myself. My husband would do a dream feed with a bottle of expressed breast milk or formula. (If you’re unfamiliar with the dream feed, this article explains it!) This worked well for all of my kids and I was able to get a longer stretch of sleep every night.”
Anything we missed? Let us know your must-haves on Instagram or Facebook. Curious about our other picks from Amazon? Check out our storefront for more recommendations!
Note: Some of the links contained in this website are affiliate links. This means that we may receive a commission if you click on the link and make a purchase from the affiliate. We only recommend products and services that we know or trust to be of high quality, whether an affiliate relationship is in place or not.