Baby Bottles, Breastfeeding & Accesories

 

Baby Accessories

Breastfeeding rates are on the rise.  More and more families are realizing the benefits of breastfeeding.  This means that more mothers are initiating breastfeeding and continuing to breastfeed longer.  At some point, it may be necessary, or handy for a baby to have a bottle, believe it or not, this can be considered a skill and some babies are more particular than others about how their milk is delivered to their tummies.

In the time shortly after birth sucking is a reflex.  Babies will suck on anything: a fist a finger, a pacifier, a bottle.  Sucking releases calming hormones which can soothe babies and calm them down.  At some point, usually around three months of age, babies lose that sucking reflex and it becomes a choice. A baby may develop a strong preference for one particular bottle, or one particular pacifier, or accept only the breast.

Boppy Nursing PillowPart of the trick to keeping your baby accepting of bottles is to continue to offer them occasionally after a good nursing relationship is established.  If the baby is really particular about what kind of nipple delivers his or her milk, buy several kinds of bottles and nipples and see what works best.  One thing to remember is that eating from a bottle is much easier than eating from the breast- so keep using a newborn flow nipple to encourage your baby to develop a strong suck.

When breastfeeding milk is always the perfect temperature – which is soothing to infants – it is the first comfort food.  Most babies prefer their food to be warm but unfortunately, breast milk cannot be stored at room temperature for a long period of time.  So to feed babies nice warm milk that has been expressed, it needs to be warmed.  Microwaves are not recommended as they can cause dangerous hotspots and destroy some of the amazing things in breast milk.  Heating in a cup of hot water is feasible but can be time consuming.

Bottle warmers are one of the products that can make warming a bottle of  or formula fast and easy.

Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer vs Dr Brown’s Bottle Warmer

Two of the bestselling bottle warmers on the market are Dr. Brown’s bottle warmer and the Kiinde Kozzi.

Kiinde Kozii vs Dr Brown Bottle Warmer

Both make it so giving a baby a bottle in the middle of the night can be a lot easier, and may make dad more inclined to take at least one night-time feeding duty (remember that breast milk is on a supply and demand system so if you should pump at the time of the feeding to cue your body to keep up milk production).

Kiinde Kozzi comes out of the box easy to use.  There are no parts to fiddle with nothing to put together.  The Dr. Brown’s one is a close second in this area.  In line with the ease of assembly parents should consider how easy it is to clean their bottle warmer.  Bottles do spill.

Water can leave scaling.  Ease of cleaning is often overlooked.  If there is a water reservoir rinse it well at least every day to cut down on the chances of mold.  As far as cleaning the Kiinde Kozzi is much easier to use.

In terms of actually warming the milk there are a number of different variables so parents will always have to play around and figure out what works for their situation.  The thickness of the bottle, the material the bottle is made of (glass or plastic), the amount of milk, milk starting temperature etc, are some of the variables that parents need to play around with to find the ideal way to warm a bottle.

Some bottle warmers come with a ‘helpful chart’- which, to me, was absolute nonsense.  By far the best way to figure out how long to heat the milk is trial and error.  A word of caution: always test the milk temperature before feeding it to a baby.  No exceptions. Even bottle warmers can cause a bottle to heat unevenly.

Finding the right settings for individual baby’s needs can take some trial and error. It may take more than one warming cycle to sufficiently warm a bottle of milk that is frozen or very cold.  As a baby’s appetite increases further adjustments will be necessary.   Like with all things involving children have patience.

Make sure the bottle you are using will fit in the bottle warmer of your choice. Some particularly wide bottles just will not fit in a standard bottle warmer.  While the wider bottles may be easier for a baby to hold, they don’t do much good if a parent can’t warm them.

One feature that should be standard is a signal that the warming cycle is completed and an automatic shut off.  Personally, without a beep or some sort of alarm that the warming was completed I probably would forget about the bottle more often than not. For safety reasons, I appreciate the alert as well as the automatic shut off.  Two or three minutes may not seem like a long enough time to get distracted or fall back asleep, when in reality it is. Better safe than sorry.

Another factor to consider is cost.  The Kiind Kozzi warmer is one of the most expensive bottle warmers available, but it is easy to use, easy to clean, and has important safety features.  The Dr. Browns warmer is decidedly less expensive but does not have the same ease of use, straightforward design, or the important safety features.

Not all bottle warmers are created equal, if parents have an opportunity to do so they should go and play with one and see how it works before committing to the purchase.  While it is not always true that the most expensive product is the best, it is that way in this circumstance, at least in my opinion.  The Kiinde Kozzi bottle warmer is pretty expensive especially for something that is not going to be used frequently.  The Dr. Brown’s bottle warmer also did function well so if cost is a limiting factor consider less expensive options.

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