Preemie babies are babies that are delivered more than three weeks before the expected date of delivery (EDD) – it occurs before the commencement of the 37th week of pregnancy. Due to their size, getting the right preemie bottles for your baby can be challenging because preemie babies have unique feeding patterns as compared to full-term babies.
In feeding a premature baby – you will need an appropriate preemie bottle as these babies might not be strong enough to get the milk needed for their growth. Preemie bottles are made for a better flow of milk for easy feeding.
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How To Choose The Right Bottles For A Preemie Baby
The following are the preemie bottle types that you can choose from;
Anti-Colic Technology: this can either be produced with air vents in the nipple or with ventilated discs situated at the bottom of the bottle.
Slow-Flow Nipple: since these premature babies need help with feeding, the slow-flow nipple will prevent the milk from rushing out of the bottle and thereby prevent choking.
Small Quantities: since they can only take a small quantity of milk at a time, a small bottle is recommended as a bigger bottle isn’t necessary.
How To Bottle Feed A Preemie Baby
It is often an anxious moment feeding your baby at the NICU – because you may be bothered about whether your baby is getting enough milk or not. One of the conditions of discharge from the NICU is that your baby must be able to feed well either at the breast or through the bottle.
Also, feeding a full-term baby is different from feeding a preemie baby. Premature babies usually feel sleepy during feeding and may not be strong enough to get enough milk at feeding times.
Tips For Bottle Feeding A Preemie Baby
- Exercise: the NICU personnel can help you with exercises that can help your baby get ready for feeding. The exercises include; chin-stroking, circling the lips using your finger, and gently squeezing the cheeks. These exercises will help your preemie baby adapt quickly to feeding.
- Sitting up the baby: preemie babies are often fed sitting up and not cradled. This can be done by sitting the baby on your lap and supporting the head and shoulder with your hand. This is another way of helping the preemie baby feed well.
- Practice pace feeding: it is usually difficult for premature babies to combine bottle feeding with breathing – which may lead to apnea (a sleep disorder where breathing stops repeatedly and starts again) during feeding. So, be vigilant and stop feeding when the baby is experiencing some troubles, gags, or other signs as noticed by the monitor.
- The feeding tube: The Nasogastric(NG) tubes are the first tube your premature baby will get to determine the effectiveness of the tube feeding. So, it is important to discuss with the health practitioners to know if you can try feeding without the NG tube in place.
The Best Preemie Bottles
The following are some of the best preemie bottles available in the marketplace, check them out;
This bottle is designed for premature babies and other babies suffering from tongue tie, reflux, and colic. This is among the preemie bottles built with anti-colic technology to help reduce the number of air bubbles going into the baby’s tummy.
Therefore, it reduces discomfort from burps and reduces gas pain. Besides, it is designed with a preemie nipple – 60cc that is compatible with several electric breast pump systems due to its universal bottle threading.
- BPA and PVC-free
- It’s compatible with all of Dr. Brown’s eight nipple levels
- Dishwasher, steam bag, microwave, steam, and autoclave safe
- Fits most Electric Breast Pump system
- Preserves vitamins (A, C, and E)
- Soft silicone nipple
- Wide neck
- Anti-colic valve
- It may leak if overfilled
If you want to combine both breastfeeding and bottle for your little one – the Philips Avent Natural Baby bottle is the ideal choice. Interestingly, it is made with an Airflex vent technology which also reduces discomfort and colic by extracting air from the baby’s tummy.
So, if you have a premature baby and want to combine bottle and breast feeding – go for the Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle.
- BPA-free plastic
- Airflex valve technology
- Wide breast-shaped nipple
- Ultra-soft flexible nipple not too different from the breast
- Anti-colic technology
- Ergonomic shape and design
- Wide neck for easy filling and cleaning
- The bottle may get scratched if washed with a brush
- The color turns brown due to exposure to temperature
- Leakages might occur if the bottle is not properly aligned with the nipple
Just like the Philips Avent Natural Baby bottle and Dr. Brown’s Accufeed Anti-Colic Baby Bottle With Preemie Nipple, the Playtex Baby Ventaire is also made uniquely to reduce colic, spit-up, and painful reflux.
The Playtex baby ventaire is a gift set with five bottles; two 9 ounces and three 6 ounces. Also, you can choose either a slow or fast-flow nipple depending on the need of your baby. So, for breastfeeding moms who want a bottle – you could try the Playtex Baby Ventaire Anti Colic Bottle.
- Ventaire technology
- Suitable with all Playtex nipples
- BPA, PVC, and phthalates-free
- Bottom vent to reduce air ingestion
- Angled head for promoting semi-upright feeding. This is recommended by a pediatrician for preventing ear infections.
- Easy to hold
- Different compatible nipples
- Dishwasher safe top rack ONLY
- Soft nipple with breast-like feeling
- Cannot be easily used in a baby bottle warmer
- The bottle can leak if not properly aligned with the nipple
If you are a mom like me and you want to transition to breastfeeding later on – then you should consider the Comotomo Natural Feel preemie bottle. The reason is because it is built in a way to give the baby the natural breast feeling.
- 100 percent safe silicone
- Double anti-colic vent
- Ultra wide neck
- Dishwasher, microwave, boiling water, and sterilizer safe
- Easy cleaning
- Double anti-colic vent
- Baby can easily latch on nipple
- Leakages might be experienced if the lid is not properly aligned
This design comes with a collapsible pouch which helps your preemie reduce the amount of air that is ingested during feeding. Also, it is made of 100 percent baby-safe silicone that is easy to clean.
- BPA and PVC-free
- Dishwasher safe
- It reduces air intake
- Promotes better latching
- The unique venting system helps to reduce the baby’s intake of gas
- The nipple is a bit tough
Reviews On Preemie Bottles (This Is What People Have To Say)
This is what Maria A. McDowell – founder of EasySearchPeople has to say “When I had my baby, she came a little earlier than expected so it wasn’t easy finding a perfect preemie bottle for her. I tried a couple of bottles and she kept spitting out when fed until I stumbled on Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Preemie Baby Bottle. This bottle helped to reduce my baby’s spit-up, burping, and colic issues which I had with other bottles. It is light and the nipple has a slow-flow opening that makes feeding babies easy. I can’t point out any flaw to this preemie bottle because it was the best for me”.
Nathan Hughes, the marketing director at DiggityMarketing.com shares his experience here “One of my closest friends recently delivered her baby and was suggested a bottle that proved very helpful for the little one.
Preemie bottles are one of the best inventions for premature babies. As the babies enter the world before the due date they require special care. The Boon Nursh silicon bottle provides that special care and is the go-to preemie bottle for various moms. The bottle is designed with such accuracy and precision that it limits the air intake. The bottle enables the excess air to escape through the vents that might cause colic. The milk can easily be preserved, microwaved, boiled, and sterilized in this bottle”
Sarah at USTitleLoans says: “I like Comotomo because this preemie bottle helped me make a smooth transition from breastfeeding when I rejoined my office at the end of my maternity leave. The bottle mimics a real breast and has a capacity of 5 ounces. Its soft silicone gives a soothing skin-like feel to babies so that they enjoy feeding milk from the preemie bottle. Besides, Comotomo’s no-drip design allows moms to carry it anywhere without spilling the milk”.
Pros:· Anti-Colic Vents for consistent milk flow· Baby-safe silicone material· Easy Latch-On Nipple· Wide design for easy cleaning· Squeezable bottle.
Cons: Leakage problems if the lid is not closed properly· The rings are difficult to screw, Expensive bottle
Read the experience of Theola Tinny – a co-founder of a start-up Information Technology & Services Company named VinPit : “When my son was born at 34 weeks and became a preemie baby, we needed to be extra careful when feeding him because a preemie baby will need a slow milk flow. This is why we choose Philips Avent Natural Baby bottle. It has a slow flow nipple that is also soft and flexible which is comfortable for the baby latch. One thing that I really love about this bottle is, it has built-in air vents to reduce bubbles that the baby takes during feeding since it is not easy to burp my baby, so this feature helps me a lot. The newborn set comes with a tiny 2oz bottle but still easy on hand while feeding the baby”.
Here are frequently asked questions;
- Do Premature Babies Need Special Feeding Bottle?
Yes, premature babies need special feeding bottles. Since they are born before the 37th week of pregnancy – preemies need some special care especially with feeding to help them gain some weight. The bottles must be small. Have slow flow nipples, and reduce air ingestion during feeding.
- How Do I Feed A Preemie With A Bottle?
Feeding a preemie should be done in a seated position, not cradled in the arm. This can be done by bringing the baby to your lap and supporting the head with your non-dominant hand. This position helps them to stay awake.
- How Long Can A Baby Stay On Preemie Nipples?
- Slow flow: 0 – 3 months
- Medium flow: 3 – 6 months
- Fast flow: 6 – 12 months
- Which Feeding Bottle Are The Best For Preemies?
- Dr. Brown’s Accufeed Anti-Colic Baby Bottle With Preemie Nipple
- Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle
- Playtex Baby Ventaire Anti Colic Baby Bottle
- Comotomo Natural Feel Preemie Bottle
- Boon NURSH Reusable Silicone Pouch Bottle
Preemie bottles are needed for the development of your premature babies. They help to ingest more milk while reducing gas, colic, burping, and spit-up. The preemie bottles reviewed here feature a slow-flow nipple that prevents choking in your newborn. Besides, they are dishwasher-safe, BPA-free, and can be used in the microwave.
Hope you found this helpful!
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