Breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed a baby. It provides nutrients, it’s cost-effective, and it boosts the baby’s natural immunity. While a wide range of products are available on the market, Medela is superior when it comes to baby bottles.
With a plethora of baby bottles available, it is difficult to know which one works best. Some bottles claim to remove air but instead come up short, leaving the baby gassy, colicky, and uncomfortable. Definitely what moms don’t want … especially if this is your first child.
Medela’s bottles are well-researched. They’re designed to closely mimic the breast in both nipple design and facially. Most bottles teach different sucking methods to a baby. Medela bottles are designed to function as if the mother was breastfeeding. This eliminates breast confusion in babies.
The same facial muscles a baby would use at the breast are the same as the bottle. Additionally, vents keep excess air out, eliminating unnecessary gas.
Here is our Medela bottle review.
Design Is Key
Design is extremely important, especially if switching between the breast and a baby bottle. Moms want a nipple that closely resembles the breast. These types of nipples encourage babies to open wider when they suck, thereby using the same facial muscles.
Ventilation is important as well. Colic doesn’t occur as frequently with breastfed babies. While the true cause is unknown, according to the Mayo Clinic, some reasons include:
- Immature digestive system
- Imbalance of healthy bacteria
- Food allergies
- Overfeeding, underfeeding, or infrequent burping
- Family stress/anxiety
- Early formation of childhood migraine
Breastfeeding boosts immunity and is easier to digest over formula. Food allergies don’t exist, and the breast makes just enough food for the baby’s consumption.
However, when a bottle is introduced, air becomes a factor. Air can get trapped in a bottle, causing an excess of gas to build up. This gas is uncomfortable for babies and may cause an aversion to feeding or spit up.
Bottles need to be properly ventilated to prevent excess air from being swallowed. That aids in a smoother transition from the breast to the bottle.
While this may not be a factor for all babies, it is for a good portion of them. For a seamless transition, the experience should be as close to breastfeeding as possible. Extraneous factors should be eliminated.
Medela’s Breast Feeding Bottles: A Great All-In-One Solution
These are designed to work with Medela’s breast pumps. Milk is directly expressed into these BPA-free bottles for easy storage. The screw on the lid maintains the freshness of the nutrients. It also allows for easier storage.
The bottles contain convenient measurements in ounces/millimeters so moms can keep track of consumption. The bottles are dishwasher and microwave friendly.
Once the milk is expressed, it can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
When the bottle needs to be used, a sterilized nipple can be added. There is no need to pour breast milk into a separate container risking leakage. They make for easy travel and eliminate the hassle of multiple bottles.
They come in 150ml and 250ml bottles to accommodate babies as they grow. These bottles also work with Medela’s Calma bottles.
Calma is designed for mom’s expressing their milk. It is designed for breastfed babies only. Formula cannot be used in this bottle.
As mentioned, milk can be expressed into the bottles. Once it needs to be used, the lid can be removed, and the nipple can be added.
Calma is designed to prevent nipple confusion. The design is ideal for moms who work yet want to breastfeed. It allows the baby to still take to both the breast and bottle without preferring one over the other.
Calma is unique in that it is structured in the same way that a baby takes to the breast. The baby first forms a vacuum to start the flow. Then they can drink, pause if they need to, and breathe in a natural sequence.
For babies who are excessively gassy or colicky, Calma has a vent system which filters out excess air that can get trapped in baby’s tummy.
Feeding the baby requires the same technique as breastfeeding in order for baby to receive the optimal effects. However, if it’s done consistently, the baby should be able to switch back and forth with ease.
For babies unable to create a vacuum, Medela designed the SpecialNeeds Feeder. It is designed for babies with certain syndromes or neurological disorders. They are also beneficial for children born with cleft lip/palate.
Instead of initiating a vacuum-sucking reflex, compression is used to begin the flow. It is designed with a one-way valve which prevents air from reaching the nipple. Containing a slit-valve, it makes the bottle intuitive to when baby wants to pause.
For caregivers, the teat has three different line markings. This allows the caregiver to find the right position as there are three different flows.
The teat itself comes in a standard size. However, if the baby’s mouth is smaller, a Mini SpecialNeeds nipple can be purchased.
Medela’s SoftCup Bottle
Medela has produced a soft cup bottle for infants with sucking challenges. It is designed as a short-term solution. The bottle has a spoon-shaped mouthpiece, which makes it easier to feed. Numbers marked on the bottle make it easier to track how much the baby has consumed.
The bottom has a curve to prevent milk loss and comes in an 8ml container. With this bottle, milk is controlled by squeezing the chambers of the mouthpiece.
Medela’s SoftCup bottle does make this an alternative to cup feeding, giving caregivers’ greater control. It is less messy and easily measures fluid intake.
This is recommended for babies who have been born prematurely and can’t nurse. Also, it is useful for babies who refuse the breast. The SoftCup is also ideal for supplementing.
Medela Users Enjoy The Versatility
Most users say they enjoy that their baby can use both bottle and breast. Products such as Calma receive rave reviews because it mimics latching so closely. Moms enjoy the lack of nipple confusion between breast and bottle.
Additionally, they enjoy that the bottles integrate so well with the breast pump system. Parents don’t have to look for another product that fits. Medela allow for easy storage in the fridge or freezer.
Since breast milk is seen as “so precious” to a lactating mom, the spill-proof design is a must. Moms like that there is no leakage when bottles are in transit.
Playtex VentAire is comparable to Medela’s baby bottles. They make a nipple that allows for proper latching technique between bottle and breast. The bottle is angled, allowing for a comfortable feeding experience.
The main difference between the two products boils down to design. Medela has the vent before the baby ingests the milk. The VentAire’s system of ventilation is located in the back. Their two-part design eliminates gas by keeping it to the back of the bottle.
In comparison to the steps in putting together a Medela bottle, parents may find this less involved.
The design aids in digestion, prevents colic, and decreases spit up. The angle design keeps babies upright, thereby eliminating ear infections.
Nuk bottles also allow babies to easily switch between the breast and bottle. It is designed to mimic the flow of being breastfed. The main difference of this bottle is that it has nine nipple holes.
The scoop nipple design allows for a baby’s tongue to move naturally. SafeTemp also informs parents when a bottle is too hot. If the thermometer is blue, it’s too hot and fades as the bottle cools.
Medela baby bottles are the most sought-after bottle on the market. Medela invests a great deal of time into researching their product. This attention to detail makes it top of the line for parents.
These bottles are perfect for moms who want to seamlessly transition their baby from the breast to the bottle without nipple confusion. Medela baby bottles are uniquely designed to simulate breastfeeding. They will not interfere with the child’s sucking pattern like other bottles. The baby will not inadvertently learn a new sucking pattern, so it makes switching easier.
How effective are the vents in preventing gas? In answering this, consider that babies who are breastfed generally are not colicky. Breastfed babies do not swallow air. There is simply no air to swallow on the breast.
Therefore, a bottle that mimics the breast may eliminate gas consumption. The only subject of debate may be the position of the vents. Some parents may find vents at the top better when feeding their baby. Others may like the bottom vents. It may boil down to what works best for the baby. They may prefer one over the other.
Don’t be discouraged if you need to try several bottles. The right one will be found. However, do choose a bottle that suits your baby’s needs. Some are better than others, so do the research. It may take a while, but the results are worth it in the long run.