I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Chicco. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and as a thank you for participation.
The article here is based on my personal experience and opinion along with links to the related information and the company website. As always, please consult a International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) for nursing assistance and questions.
As a proud 3rd time breastfeeding Mom, I know the importance of introducing my baby to the right type of bottle. I want a bottle that not only mimics breastfeeding, but is an easy transition from breast to bottle and back to avoid problems like nipple confusion and bottle preference.
It’s recommended that a bottle not be introduced until at least 4-6 weeks and that the bottle used is consistent and designed for breastfed babies (1). Oral skills that include muscle and sucking patterns are different for a bottle vs the breast which can lead to nipple confusion. Offering multiple nipples and pacifier types and sizes can contribute to this, leaving Mom sore and baby frustrated. If you decide to introduce a bottle and or pacifier do it at the right time, and when you find the right bottle for your baby stick with it!
A year and a half ago my husband and I attended a rehearsal dinner. We decided to leave Grandma with pumped breast milk and a bottle for my 2 month old. I was nervous to leave him, but was planning on being away for less then 3 hours. We had used the bottle before a few times, but apparently not often enough for him to be comfortable.
I checked my cell phone part way through dinner and saw multiple missed calls from home. When I called Grandpop (very flustered) answered. I could hear my son crying in the background being comforted by Grandma. “He won’t take the bottle, you need to come home.” We got in the car and left to hurry back to our son.
That experience taught me that I need to have caregivers practice multiple times with a trusted bottle to make sure my baby will be fed and happy if I’m away. Leaving work isn’t an option like the rehearsal dinner, and I don’t want my son unhappy without me. Which is why we are very excited to try out a new line of bottles and pacifiers from a brand I trust; Chicco.
Chicco NaturalFit bottles are made in Italy and designed to help baby transition from breast to bottle and back. The bottles offer three distinct nipple shapes that are designed for baby’s developing feeding pattern from squeezing to sucking and are pictured below. Bottles are designed for 4 feeding milestones; 0+ months (m), 2+m, 4+m, and 6+m.
Bottles are Latex and BPA free and O+m and 2+M offer a unique angled nipple that’s designed for proper neck positioning. This angle also reduces air intake by staying full of milk. If you’re pumping breast milk you know that every drop is precious; the unique angled Chicco NaturalFit nipple helps make sure none is wasted.
One important lesson I learned was to leave smaller meals for baby’s caregiver if I’m away. I arrived home after a supermarket trip with my first son, only to discover that my son’s Grandparents had gone through 4 – 5oz bags of breastmilk because they had difficulty getting my son to accept a bottle. They concluded that something was wrong with the milk and defrosted and threw away 5 bags!! I almost fell over….any Mom who’s pumped knows the work that goes into it. Since then, I leave smaller bags and better instructions.
The Chicco NaturalFit 0+m bottle (far left) is fantastic for this. I have found that leaving Grandma 2oz freezer bags of milk, or fridge bottles, is the best way to ensure that precious breast milk doesn’t get wasted. The smaller bottle holds up to 5 oz making it the perfect container for smaller meals and pace feeding.
If you’re like me and have a drawer full of bottles with oddly shaped little nipples you have tried without success, then you’ll appreciate the wide based Chicco NaturalFit nipples that are designed to mimic breastfeeding. I was surprised that the bottles packaged directly with my breast pump weren’t wider and more similar to an actual breast. Even an orthodontic nipple given to me by my pediatrician proved to be narrow and was rejected by my infant (pictured below).
As you can see, the entire bottle comes apart for easy cleaning and sterilization. Pacifier instructions recommend squeezing any extra water out of the nipple before giving to baby (once it has cooled ).
Sucking is a primary means of comfort to an infant. As a breastfeeding Mom it is easy for me to comfort my infant by nursing, however there are situations, like when I’m driving the car, when nursing just isn’t an option. I find that using a pacifier is a great way to comfort my infant until I can pull over somewhere safe to take him out of his carseat and find the root cause of his discomfort.
One of my favorite pacifier features of the soft silicone pacifier is the clear base and nipple. If you prefer color, it also comes in a see-through blue and pink! I don’t know how you feel, but I want to see as much of my baby’s adorable face as possible. The clear base allows for this and I can even see baby’s mouth! This is great because it’s less obtrusive for photos as well.
Having the right bottle can mean the difference between getting a frantic phone call from your caregiver, and making a phone call home to discover that everything is fine. Your local La Leche League branch is always a great resource as well as their website www.llli.org. Consult a IBCLC for breastfeeding/latch help and your pediatrician for any related information. Make sure to follow the La Leche League’s guidelines for storing and using breast milk.
The Chicco NaturalFit line can be purchased at buybuy Baby and the bottle set here can be purchased as Baby’s First Gift Set with 4 bottles, 2 pacifiers and retails for $29.99.