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Baby bottles and essential accessories make feeding time easy

What essential items should you get for feeding your baby?

When bottle feeding a baby, you will need not only a good set of bottles but also essential accessories.

Bottles of different sizes accommodate how much your baby eats, starting at 4 or 5 oz. up to 9 oz. or more. The size of the nipple also matters, starting with level 1 with a tiny hole that mimics the flow of breastfeeding (ideal for babies up to about 6 months), followed by level 2, 3, and 4 nipples, each of which has an increasingly larger hole as babies are able to accept a quicker flow of formula or milk.

A formula dispenser is handy for use on-the-go, allowing you to pre-measure the right amount then add water and shake to feed. A mixer can be useful, too, helping quickly dissolve the powder and prevent clumps.

A warmer can quickly and efficiently warm up breast milk or formula, both at home and while out. Silicone bottle sleeves provide a better grip on the bottle while feeding and prevent heat transfer. Meanwhile, sterilizers ensure your bottles are fully clean and sterilized for the next feed.

Finally, consider items like baby bibs and burp clothes for protecting your baby’s clothes (and yours!) from spit-up or spillage.

What types of baby bottles and sets can you get?

All aforementioned items are available individually, but there are also sets with multiple items like different-sized bottles and nipples, or bottles with accessories like a bib, bottle warmer, travel bag, bottle cleaning brush, and more.

Note that if you breastfeed your child, or both nurse and feed formula, you can look into breastfeeding accessories and sets, too, including a breast pump as well as storage bottles with lids and/or bags for breast milk, and a nursing cover-up if you feel more comfortable using one while feeding in public places.

What to look for in baby bottles and accessories

Make sure the bottles are made of BPA-, PVC-, and Phthalate-free plastic, and are dishwasher-safe. Glass bottles are great to use at home, but you’ll want at least a few plastic ones for on-the-go.

With the nipple, get a few sizes and decide when baby might be ready to move up based on if they take longer to finish eating, get fussy or irritated, or fall asleep during feeding time. Also look for the right cut. Y-Cut nipples, for example, can be used with older babies who are drinking thicker milks, or milk with cereal.

Decide if you want a warmer just to use at home or a travel one that can work wherever you are. Formula dispensers are worthwhile if you use formula and will be often out and about with your baby, letting you bring and measure the exact amount as needed, for multiple feeds.

While cloth bibs are great for home, wipeable silicone bibs might take up more room in the diaper bag but make clean-up easier.