When you’ve got a little one on the way, there is so much preparation to do.
There are clothes to buy, there’s teddies and toys, bottles, burping cloths, diapers, and this only scratches the surface.
So it’s probably a good job that you have 40 weeks to ensemble everything together, right?
Well, not always. And, to be honest, when you’re little one comes a fair bit earlier than expected, having enough spare time is the last of your worries.
If you think that becoming a new mom normally is scary, which it totally is, then just imagine taking home a teeny tiny preemie can be.
Any baby seems so delicate and fragile but holding a 3-4lb child in your arms really is surreal.
That protective-parent instinct goes into overdrive.
But don’t panic if your baby comes earlier than expected, because it’s not always as scary as it seems.
Those parental instincts take over and that eternal love really hits you with full force.
You just need to ensure that you have all the appropriate preemie items that you’ll need.
A premature baby is one that arrives anywhere from the 20th week of pregnancy to the 37th week.
Preemies often require a little extra care and much smaller and adorable clothes.
But more importantly, they’ll need special preemie feeding bottles for meal times.
This is because you need a nipple that matches your baby's teeny little proportions.
A baby born in the 25th week of your gestation period simply won't be able to suckle on a bottle that is designed for a baby that reached full-term.
I am very aware that preemie parents already have enough on their plates without trying to sift and search through bottle after bottle, looking for the right fit.
So I’ve done all the work for you, your post-partum gift from me if you will. Below you’ll find the 5 best bottles for preemie babies.
OUR TOP PICK
We’re starting our list with this fantastic baby bottle from the always-reliable Dr. Brown brand.
This product has proved extremely popular with parents, and is practically the best preemie baby bottle that you can get.
If we look at its features, we can easily see why!
For one thing, it has a special internal vent system that is added in order to reduce colic in babies.
Colic is the term for when a baby cries without obvious cause, and no mother wants their baby crying.
This is especially true when you can’t identify the cause, because then it can be hard to help them.
With the anti-colic internal vent system that this baby bottle has, it’s proven to reduce the chance of colic in your baby.
Better yet, it also preserves the nutrients in what they’re drinking!
Another reason to pick this as your preemie bottle is that it’s the perfect size.
Measuring just 2 oz (60 ml), this is just the right amount of small, proving a perfect size for a tiny tummy.
This way, your baby won’t be drinking too much, and you can easily measure out the breast milk or formula.
On top of that, the special “Preemie Flow Nipple” will help your preemie baby in a number of ways.
For one, it will give you vacuum-free feeding, which has a handful of benefits.
It aids your baby’s digestion, giving them a calmer sleep, as well as decreasing their amount of gas and burping.
It should also lessen the chances of spit-up (less clean up for you!) and, of course, reduce colic.
The Preemie Flow Nipple is designed for premature babies especially, because it gives them the slowest flow rate of all Dr. Brown bottles.
This should be easier for preemies, as well as babies that are having difficult feeding.
Thankfully, this preemie bottle from Dr. Brown is also versatile and easy to use.
Cleaning it is simple, since the bottle and nipples are dishwasher and sterilizer safe - though you must only put them on the top rack of the dishwasher.
On top of that, the bottle should fit most brands of breast pump, too, so you won’t have any frustrations there.
If there is a flaw, it’s that there are admittedly a lot of parts to clean with the bottle.
This can take a lot of time, which a lot of parents don’t have!
Thankfully, you get four bottles and nipples with your pack, so at least you shouldn’t run out soon.
- Perfect small size
- Preemie Flow Nipple decreases gas, burping, spit-up, and chance of colic
- Preemie Flow Nipple has slow flow rate
- Lots of parts, so cleaning takes longer
Dr. Brown has some of the best baby equipment out there, so it’s no surprise that we’ve got another great pick from them on our list.
Once again, it has plenty of benefits for preemie parents, and it’s a great choice to go for.
For one thing, it’s a good pick for the initial oral feeding stages.
If your baby has just been born, but direct breastfeeding is not available yet, then this is a solid way to fill in that middle ground!
The bottle offers 15cc in size, which is equivalent to 0.5 oz.
This is nice and small, a good size for babies at this stage.
Better yet, there are clear markings on the bottle, going from 1cc to 15cc, allowing you to measure out as much liquid as you need.
Either way, the bottle offers the smallest feeding volume in a fluid delivery system that’s reliable.
Some people have found that the bottles are too small, so be aware of what size you want in advance.
Finally, each bottle comes with Preemie Nipples, which will be the best kind for preemie babies.
- Incredibly small bottles, for the initial oral feeding stages soon after birth
- Clear measurements on the bottle
- Preemie Nipples
- Some find the bottles too small
Best For Transitioning Babies
Breastfeeding is something that many mothers want to do for the bonding experience, but sometimes with preemie babies, that’s not possible straight away.
If you are planning on breastfeeding later on, but need a bottle to begin with, Comoto’s bottle is a perfect choice.
The bottle is made to mimic a real breast which makes transitioning much easier.
The silicone material is super soft and feels almost like real skin to your child.
It also has a no-slip design so you won’t be wasting formula or breast milk if you accidentally knock or drop the bottle.
The nipple on the bottle is perfect and it has a slow flow which is perfect for preemies that can’t guzzle down milk as quickly.
Because of your baby's tiny proportions inside and out, you’ll want to reduce airflow as much as possible.
The two cleverly designed air vents channel out any extra air so it’s not ingested by your baby.
This way you can prevent your little one from feeling poorly with a painful tummy ache.
The air vents do more than just this though, they also provide a constant flow for the baby while they suckle and helps those still learning to feed.
It’s also super easy to clean, which I know is very important to parents.
You have more than enough on your plate without having to spend hours trying to ensure your bottles are clean.
It’s also easy to sanitize and is dishwasher safe.
The main issue that I’ve found with this bottle is that a few moms and dads have raised issues with the bottle leaking.
It is worth noting that others have then defended the bottle saying that it does not leak as long as the lid is secured tightly.
- Easy Latch-On Nipple
- Two Anti-Colic Vents
- Easy To Clean
- Can Leak When Lid Not Tightly Secured
Best Starter Bundle
Babies, especially preemies, feed quite frequently, so if you are looking for a bottle pack that has more than just one or two bottles, this option is for you.
Having extra bottles creates a lot less hassle for parents because you can always have a bottle on hand.
And this option has 6 bottles in a pack.
The bottles are renowned for their design, and they’ve even won awards for their nipple designs.
And that’s not the only great feature about them.
The bottles use baby-safe materials so it’s one less thing for you as parents to worry about.
As parents, we worry about enough as it is.
The nipple resembles a breast so well, that I doubt your baby will really even notice the difference.
Other than the fact there is no mommy attached.
And as well as being a real soothing and calming suckle for your baby, the nipple has built-in anti-colic valves to keep those painful and gassy tummies at bay.
Mom and dad will also be very thankful for the bottle shape because it has a very comfortable grip that can be held in three different positions.
It can be cradled in the hand, held like a wide-neck bottle, and from the base of the bottle. They’re also dishwasher and microwave safe.
The only let-down with these bottles is that the nipples can sometimes drip and some parents have stated that the slow-flow isn’t slow enough, so this might be something to keep in mind while feeding.
- 6-Piece Set
- Optimal Nipple Shape
- Comfortable To Hold/3-Way Hold
- Safe Materials
- Easy To Clean
- Nipple Can Leak
- Slow-Flow Can Be A Little Quick
No parent likes to see their baby in pain, it is quite possibly the worst feeling in the world.
If you have a baby that is prone to colic and painful reflux, you are probably already all too familiar with that feeling.
But it’s okay because I have the perfect solution.
This bottle is really really good at preventing air ingestion, you should be able to prevent your little one from feeling poorly.
This gift set comes with five bottles. Three of the bottles are 6 oz, and then there are two 9 oz bottles for when your baby gains a little extra weight.
The kit also comes with two different sets of nipples, a slow and fast flow.
The bottles are completely baby-safe and are designed to promote the best position for feeding.
The Ventaire technology used in this bottle is perfect for babies that tend to take big gulps when they’re feeding.
The bottom of the bottle has this cap with little holes at the bottom, when drinking the milk makes its way towards the nipple while the air passes through the holes so that your child doesn’t ingest it.
The bottle is also angled to promote upright feeding.
This is important because it massively aids in reducing reflux which can be really painful for your little one.
The only downside to these fantastic bottles is that the nipples have a habit of tearing fairly easily after just a month or so.
However, to play devil's advocate, the kit does also come with extra nipples and more nipples can also be purchased separately.
So the problem is easily fixable, and in my opinion worth the extra price to ensure the baby has a pain-free feed.
- Ventaire Technology
- Angled Bottle
- Two Nipples Included
- Nipples Tear Easily
If you’re looking to shop around for your own baby bottles, there are a few things that you’ll need to consider before purchasing.
But don’t worry, we’ll go through this now.
Below you’ll find all the features that you want to look for in your preemie bottle.
Slow Flow Nipple
A slow-flow nipple on your bottle is vital, so you want to ensure your bottle has this feature.
Because your baby is premature, they’ll find things like feeding a little more difficult than babies that are full-term.
Everything about your premature baby is smaller than normal.
This includes their mouths and their stomachs, so drinking milk presents more of a challenge for preemies.
If the milk comes out of the bottle too quickly, they won’t have the capability to swallow it fast enough and it can become a choking hazard.
Obviously, this is something every parent wants to avoid, so a slow-flow nipple is essential.
Again, because preemie babies struggle more with feeding, they can be more prone to intaking air as they gulp down their milk.
When this happens it can cause colic and painful gas for your baby.
And no parent wants their child in unnecessary pain which is why opting for an anti-colic bottle is so important.
Anti-colic technology can come in many different forms, some may have nipple valves and air vents, while others have ventilated disks at the bottom of the bottle.
Whichever option you choose, you’ll just want to ensure there is some kind of anti-colic technology incorporated in the bottle.
Preemie babies don’t tend to drink as much milk as much bigger babies.
Because of this, you don’t really need to opt for large bottles.
You’re much better choosing a bottle that holds between 2-6 oz (59 -177ml) of milk.
Preemie babies also tend to drink more frequently so you may want to opt for a kit or pack that offers several bottles.
You’ll be feeding your little one pretty often, and you’ll really regret purchasing your bottle if it's not comfy to hold - it’ll be in your hand a lot.
While ensuring the bottle is perfect for your baby is your main concern, there’s nothing selfish about ensuring that it’s the right fit for mom and dad too.
Feeding your baby is such a beautiful bonding moment, and you won’t want that ruined because the bottle is super awkward and uncomfy to hold.
Always double-check that the bottle is made from approved baby-safe materials.
This is pretty much a no-brainer and really applies to any baby, not just premature babies.
You don’t want your child to put anything in their mouth that may contain harmful chemicals.
Dishwasher Safe/Microwave Safe
These features aren’t necessarily essential, but you’ll definitely thank me for it later.
Life as a parent is non-stop, you’ll be surprised at how much needs to be done all of the time, it can be a little overwhelming.
These small features just make your life that little bit easier, and even those mere minutes will matter in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Preemies Need Special Bottles?
Yes! Your little baby hasn’t had quite as long in the womb to develop, and so everything about them is inherently smaller than a baby that is full-term.
This means that they won’t drink as much, and will have a little more trouble latching and drinking.
You’ll need a bottle with a suitable nipple with a slow-flow to ensure your baby doesn’t choke on their milk as they are drinking.
How Many Ounces Should A Premature Baby Drink?
This can vary from baby to baby. However, as a rule of thumb, a premature baby will need somewhere between 12 and 15 ounces (355 - 443 ml) of milk per day.
However, that amount of milk is drunk in small quantities more often throughout the day.
Usually, they will drink around 2-5oz (59-147ml) of milk per feed.
How Often Should A Preemie Go To The Toilet?
Again, this will vary. However, on average your little one should be producing 6-8 wet diapers a day with around 1-2 bowel movements a day, those numbers may increase as they gain weight.
I strongly believe that any parent's priority when having a baby should be focusing on that teeny tiny little human that they’ve brought into the world.
They shouldn’t have to spend time desperately trying to find the right bottles and the correct sizes and shapes.
So, I really hope that this article has helped you and alleviated at least one stress from your life.
Let me know which bottle you choose and how you find it!