The 7 most popular bottles for premature babies
When your preemie needs a bottle, which one are you going to choose?
I have a little secret to share - there is no best bottle for preemies! Personally, I'm pretty comfortable feeding a preemie with the most generic, standard nipple and they often work just fine.
But sometimes preemies have a hard time latching, sometimes parents want bottles that mimic the breast to encourage breastfeeding, and sometimes preemies suck in so much air that parents are looking for something effective at reducing air intake.
If you want some ideas about the bottles other preemie parents love, here are some of the top bottle systems. Thanks to all the mamas who chimed in over on our Instagram page with your recommendations - you taught me about some new ones!
The Dr. Brown's System has a nearly cult-like following among preemie parents, and that's because it really works well for so many preemies.
The internal vent system is designed to reduce air intake, their research even shows it preserves vitamins and nutrients in the milk better than standard bottles, and the slow-flow nipple is ideal for babies who are breastfeeding as well.
Yes, there are several parts to clean, but parents swear that these bottles are better for their preemies and are worth the extra cleaning effort.
Comotomo is a new favorite of mine - because they're super cute AND they seem to work really well for preemie babies.
They call it "Breastfeeding in a bottle" because of the breast-shaped nipple and the soft, squish-able bottle that babies love to grasp.
Preemie parents also love them for their anti-colic vents that help preemies with reflux, and their slow-flow nipple options.
The MAM System has a flatter nipple, which works wonders for some babies who don't latch well to a bigger, rounder nipple.
It also has a vented base, which is designed to help prevent air in the tummy during feeding.
Avent bottles are quite popular with preemie families as well. They have a more standard-shaped nipple than many of the others, and they, too, have anti-colic valves to help reduce air in the tummy.
It's a very simple bottle system without a bunch of parts to clean.
Haberman Suckle Feeder
The Haberman Suckle Feeder is a less commonly used bottle in my experience, but the parents who love it REALLY love it.
This system has a special valve inside which keeps the nipple full of milk at all times, and in theory the baby doesn't have as much milk pressing down from behind which should mean a slower flowing system.
The parents who love this one usually mention how great it is for transitioning to feeding at the breast, so if that's something you're interested in you might give these a try.
Haberman Special Needs Feeder
This version of the Haberman is what I'm used to in the NICU, because it's designed for special feeding needs. I've used it for babies with cleft lip/cleft palate, Downs Syndrome, as well as other disorders which leave a baby with a weak latch or suck.
I wouldn't recommend this one unless your nurses/doctors/therapists recommend it, but I wanted to include it here because it is an invaluable system for those preemies who need it. (And parents have said that buying it on Amazon is much less expensive than elsewhere.)
Finally, the Munchkin Latch bottle is one that preemie parents have mentioned time and again as a successful bottle system. It's is designed to be efficient because the nipple closely mimics a natural mother's nipple - it stretches and flexes more like the real thing. The nipples come in 3 different flow speeds, which is ideal for feeding a preemie - some may need the flow very slow, but some tire too easily and need a faster flowing system.
It also has a very robust anti-colic air valve so it should help prevent air in the tummy.