Buying a Baby Bottle

Bottle-feeding is a convenient way to balance your baby’s nourishment, but choosing the right bottle can be a challenge. This guide to buying a baby bottle outlines your options.

Baby Bottles 101: How to buy the right baby bottle

Baby bottles can be made of plastic or glass and come in a range of shapes, sizes and designs. Your baby’s feeding experience, comfort and development are factors to consider when choosing a bottle that’s just right for your child. Bottles also accommodate different types of nipple attachments, which help control the rate and amount of liquid your baby consumes during feeding. You should also take into account transportation and cleaning convenience when considering which type of baby bottle will meet baby’s needs and complement your busy family lifestyle.

Types of Baby Bottles


Straight-Neck / Standard Bottles

These bottles come in two basic sizes: 4 to 5 ounces for newborns, and 8 to 9 ounces for older babies. Glass or BPA-free plastic are both readily available — just choose whichever feels right for you and your baby. Straight-neck bottles are easy to fill, simple to clean, and allow you to accurately gauge formula amounts. Some bottles have an anti-vacuum function to minimize air intake and reduce the discomfort of gas. Also most breast pumps and bottle warmers are designed for use with standard bottles, although transferring pumped breast milk from a standard bottle to a disposable is easy enough.

Angled-Neck Bottles

These bottles feature a bend at the neck which makes them easier to hold in a comfortable position. But the real advantage is for baby: the angled shape causes the liquid in the bottle to collect at the end of the nipple. This inhibits air intake, and helps prevent your baby from getting gassy and unhappy. The angled neck also works well for feeding a baby who is semi-upright: a position that may help prevent fluid from collecting in the ear canals, which in turn can help prevent ear infections. One downside of this design is that filling the bottle can be awkward. You need to hold them sideways or use a special funnel for pouring.

Reusable Bottles

Reusable bottles require a little more maintenance, but they’re more environmentally friendly. They’re also more cost-effective because you don’t need to buy new liners every month. Whether the neck is angled or straight, a clear style is best to see the amount your baby is drinking. All reusable bottles are marked in ounces for easy, exact measuring.

Disposable Liner Bottles

Disposable liners help prolong the life of a reusable plastic bottle and provide added convenience for busy parents. The pre-sterilized liner fastens right inside the bottle for easy pouring, and collapses as your baby drinks to reduce the chance of air bubbles forming. When finished, the liner is simply thrown out for a no-muss, no-fuss wrap-up to feeding time. 

Vented/Anti-Colic Bottles

These bottles are designed to minimize air entry and possible gas intake. This makes your baby less likely to spit up during feeding. The design also allows the fluid to flow freely for comfortable, no-fuss feeding experience. Different brands feature different internal designs for air ventilation. This is generally through the nipple, though some bottles vent through a rubber drain at the bottom of the bottle or through a valve under the disk cover.

Natural Flow Bottles

This type of bottle features a two-piece straw-like vent system in the center to eliminate the vacuum that can form when a baby sucks. This eliminates any air bubbles and reduces the possibility of colic and gas. It does make for extra pieces to wash, and the straws can be hard to clean, though each bottle comes equipped with a tiny brush to help with cleaning. 

Types of Bottle Nipples

Babies can be pretty picky about the types of nipples they’ll accept, which is probably why there are so many materials, shapes and flow rates available. Some newborns need coaxing, but once they get used to the motion it should come more naturally. It may take a bit of trial-and-error; in the end your baby will let you know which nipple is best.

Anti-Vacuum Nipples

A vacuum in the bottle causes the nipple to collapse, making it hard for your baby to drink. This can also lead to discomfort from sucking to hard. The anti-vacuum nipple alleviates this problem by allowing air into the bottle and preventing a vacuum from forming.


Latex Nipples

More flexible than silicone, the soft, brown latex nipple allows for easy suction for your baby. They do need to be replaced more often, and regular inspection for cracks and wear is a good idea. 

Multi-flow Nipples

The multi-flow nipple helps ensure your baby gets the right flow rate every time. Simply adjust it before feeding for a slow, medium or fast flow rate. 

Naturally Shaped Nipples

These nipples are soft and feature a wider base. The design encourages your baby to latch on properly for easier suckling. It should also make the switch between bottle and breastfeeding more seamless.

Orthodontic Nipples

This unique nipple is actually designed to change shape and resemble a mother's nipple due to your baby's repeated sucking. The nipples are long with a centre indentation to encourage the same tonguing action during breastfeeding.

Accordion nipples

Accordion nipples pump and move just like the breast, stretching back to your baby's soft palate for a better latch. The nipples move with baby, providing a continuous latch to help reduce the symptoms of colic by preventing air bubbles to reduce gas and fussiness.

Bottle & Nipple Tips:

  • Eliminate germs through hot water sterilization, a steaming system, or microwave sterilization before and after feeding
  • Throw out cracked, chipped and broken bottles
  • Replace discoloured, cracked, thin or swollen nipples
  • Use the appropriate nipple type based on your baby’s comfort, experience and development
  • Throw away disposable liners after every use
  • Using nipples and collars from the same manufacturer helps ensure a tight fit and avoids messy leaks

Baby Bottle Features

Bottle +

A baby bottle can be made from glass, polypropylene plastic, synthetic resins, and other BPA-free materials. Bottles come in straight and angled shapes and feature tall or wide bases.

Nipple +

Designed to mimic the mother’s breast for easy feeding, the nipple helps transition baby from breast to bottle. Nipples are made of silicone or latex and come in three different flow-rate designs to accommodate your baby’s development and comfort. A slow-flow nipple is good when your baby is first being introduced to bottle-feeding. A medium-flow nipple works well once your baby becomes comfortable with slow feeding. A fast-flow nipple is appropriate when your baby gets confident with feeding, usually after a few months.

Wide Neck/Broad Base +

Wide neck bottles feature a broader nipple base than standard bottles. Choosing between a broad vs. standard nipple base is really a matter of preference — especially for baby during the transition from breast to bottle. These bottles also feature a wide neck to make them easy to hold during feeding. The broad base also allows for easier cleaning and reduces the chances of spill when adding formula powder or pumped milk to the bottle.

Cover/Lid +

The bottle lid or cover caps onto the nipple to prevent leakage or spill in transit. These seals keep the nipple clean until feeding time, helping to prolong to life of the nipple and avoid early discolouration.

Cap Ring +

The cap ring is designed to connect the nipple to the bottle. It is available in a variety of sizes to accommodate bottle shape and nipple base.

Disk Seals +

Certain brands and types of baby bottles feature separate disk seals under the cap ring. These seals help to prevent fluid spill and are convenient when transporting a baby bottle containing pre-made feed.

Disposable Liner +

Used with reusable plastic bottles, disposable liners reduce air intake during feeding to prevent gas and discomfort. Convenient for on-the-go needs, these liners are pre-sterilized and should be thrown out after use.

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How to prepare a bottle for a feed

Step-by-step instructions on how to best use the bottle when feeding are included in the bottle’s packaging. Always thoroughly wash and sterilize the bottle as soon as possible after a feed.

Caring for your baby bottle

  • Uncap bottle and separate parts immediately after feeding
  • Rinse with hot water to remove residue
  • Wash with baby bottle specific soap and brush for first stage cleaning
  • Sterilize bottles with the sterilizing system
  • Store clean bottles in the sterilizing system
  • Dry bottles thoroughly to prevent contaminant build up

Did you know?

Using a microwave to heat the bottle can create hot spots that might burn your baby’s mouth. Warm tap water is a better and safer solution.
All baby bottles made in Canada are now “BPA-free”. Bisphenol A is a hormone-simulating compound that could potentially enter the baby’s system during feeding. Today’s safer bottles are made from polypropylene plastic, synthetic resins or glass.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.