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Baby bottles: A guide to your choices

The good news: When it comes to baby bottles, teats, bibs and more, you’ve got a lot of choices. The bad news? When it comes to baby bottles, teats, bibs and more, you’ve got a lot of choices.

Should you go with glass, plastic or disposable bottles? Should the bottles be BPA-free? Do you need a bottle warmer and steriliser? How about bibs, burp clothes and brushes? Fortunately, you don’t need all the products out there, but a few will definitely come in handy. We cover the essentials below.

Baby bottle basics: Plastic, glass or disposable?

Your profusion of choices starts with baby bottles. There are three basic choices:

Plastic baby bottles

Pros: They’re light-weight, strong and unbreakable.

Cons: Plastic baby bottles may not last as long as glass; they may be harder to clean because they can’t be boiled. Safety worries over a chemical called BPA (bisphenol-A) are no longer an issue as this is now banned in baby bottles in Europe.

All plastic baby bottles are made of food-grade plastic, but come in different shapes or designs which may be harder or easier to clean than others.

The instructions that come with a bottle will give cleaning instructions.

Glass baby bottles

Pros: They last a long time and can also be deep-cleaned by boiling.

Cons: They’re heavier than plastic and may shatter if dropped.

If you want to try glass bottles but you're concerned about them breaking, look for companies that make silicone sleeves that go over the bottle to protect it.

Stainless steel baby bottles

Pros: Lightweight and virtually unbreakable

Cons: Often more expensive than conventional bottles

Disposable baby bottles

Pros: These are essentially plastic bottles that are pre-sterilised and are made for disposing of after one use. They’re very convenient for quick clean-ups.

Cons: The disposable bottles may not be environmentally sound, and the bottles are usually more expensive than normal plastic or glass.

Which kind should you choose? Ask for advice from friends, family or your baby’s doctor or health visitor, or try some to see which you and your baby like best.

Once you decide what kind, plan on buying plenty of baby bottles. Even if you’ll be breast-feeding, you’ll want baby bottles for pumped breast milk storage.

Caring for your child's baby bottle

Here are some tips on caring for your child's baby bottle:

Heat and wear can damage bottles over time. Heat polycarbonate bottles in warm water (not boiling), rather than in the microwave. Discard any polycarbonate bottles that are scratched or cracked and replace any glass bottles that have cracks or chips in them.

Teat confusion: Which kind to buy?

As with baby bottles, you’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to teats.

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