When I was expecting my first baby, I planned to exclusively breastfeed, so I got zero bottles.
Guess what happened?
My baby couldn’t latch properly, so I had to run a marathon to get baby bottles in 30 minutes!
Perhaps you want a bottle for a similar or completely different reason. Regardless of the reason the question in your mind is the same,
“How many baby bottles do I need?”
Don’t worry! I’m here to answer that question in detail.
How Many Bottles Should I Have on For A New Born Baby?
I’m going to answer this first because the first time you would actually use a bottle is when your little one is a newborn. There can be a lot of anxiety attached during this stage, but a little guidance will sort it all out.
Newborns tend to eat frequently and in small amounts. That’s because they have small stomachs and can only consume a small amount of food at a go.
Usually, most newborns need to be fed every 2-3 hours. That means you would have to feed them 8-12 times every 24 hours.(1)
Since your newborn only eats a little at a time, you may want to invest in a few 4 oz. bottles. Some websites recommend getting the larger bottles as it saves cost, but I wouldn’t because it may lead to over feeding your little one.
Instead, you can get a small number of the 4 oz bottles and a greater number of 6 oz-8 oz bottles.
Ideally, based on your child’s feeding pattern, you will need 8-12 bottles. This can vary depending on a few factors:
- Your Cleaning Routine: Unless you plan to clean your baby’s bottle immediately after use, you need to get a few extra.
- Your Baby’s Eating Habits: Now, I already said this, but you should talk to your pediatrician for a more bespoke recommendation.
- Your Away Time: If you will be away from your child for an extended period of time, you should provide an adequate number of bottles for a caregiver to feed them with.
- Feeding Method: If you end up exclusively breastfeeding, you may only need 1-3 baby bottles. On the other hand, bottle feeding requires 6-10 bottles.
- Type Of Baby Bottle: I’ll give a deeper insight into this later on, but the number of bottles relates to the type of bottle. They range from plastic to stainless steel bottles and are of different sizes.
How Many Bottles Do I Need Per Day?
There isn’t any hard and fast rule as to the number of bottles you will use in a day. It, as well, depends on the factors listed above.
Based on your baby’s age and feeding habits, you can get a rough estimate of how many baby bottles you would need per day.
As I earlier said, your baby will eat many times each day and only small amounts.
Let’s say you’re getting 4 oz bottles and will be cleaning them twice a day. If you feed your little one eight times daily, you would need four bottles. If you clean just once a day, your best bet would be to get eight baby bottles.
My little one had 7 bottles at this age, and that was because I wanted some extra just in case a bottle or two went missing.
The thing with babies is that as time goes on, their milk consumption will reduce, but before this happens, it will go up a little.
Your baby probably consumes more milk less frequently around this age. The feeding time ranges from 7-9 times everyday.
So, ascertain how many times your baby eats and divide it by your cleaning time to get the right number for the day. Of course, it always helps to keep a few extra bottles handy.
Once again, the frequency of feeding time has been reduced. You are likely to need a larger bottle at this stage since your baby’s milk consumption is greater. I recommend you get new baby bottles here.
When my baby hit 5 months, I went back to work. So, I pumped milk at the office, stored it in bottles, and handed them to the daycare for use the next day.
I fed her at 7am, then the daycare handled her 10am, 2pm, and 5pm feedings. So, I packed 4 bottles for her each day (an extra again, just in case). On average, I needed five baby bottles a day.
This is when the real breather happens—only 4 eating times! If you stuck to the 2× cleaning schedule, you would need just 2 bottles. Otherwise, four baby bottles would work out fine.
You may want to start introducing your little one to solids at this time and with regular cups, so you will be ditching the bottle in no time!
How Long Do Baby Bottles Last?
If you’re observant, you’d know that I mentioned changing your bottle in the 5-6 month age range. Well, that’s just a general recommendation. The life expectancy of baby bottles depends on the material used to make them—in other words, the type.
Let’s start with the ever-common baby bottle:
Plastic Baby Bottles
A few years ago, these were the only materials used in making baby bottles. They worked and still work pretty well. However, many plastic baby bottles contain the harmful chemical bisphenol A that could leak into your baby’s mouth while they feed.
The good news is that there are a number of BPA-free plastic baby bottles on the market, but these aren’t 100% safe.
To ensure you don’t accidently purchase a BPA bottle, check for number 7 on the bottom. If that number is present, bisphenol A is present.(1)
These bottles usually last anywhere from 3-4 months. Of course, this depends on the brand and your level of use.
Glass Baby Bottles
These bottles are getting more and more popular among parents. Why? Well, you hardly have to worry about any harmful chemicals leaching into your baby’s mouth.
They are generally more expensive than plastic bottles, but they last much longer. I know what you’re thinking, “It’s glass, won’t it shatter?” —it will, but that’s only if you drop it. There are covers that protect them in case of a fall, though.
Silicone Baby Bottles
These bottles are harder to find but can be amazing! They are unbreakable and reduce the risk of harmful chemicals leaching into your baby’s mouth. Not to mention that the material makes it easy for your little one to grip it.
The only downside, I would say, is the scarcity. If a part were to break or go missing, it would be a hassle to find a replacement.
Most silicone baby bottles can last up to 6 months. I advise you to toss it at this time regardless of whether or not it looks fine to you.
Stainless Steel Baby Bottles
If you’re a parent that loves long-term baby supplies, stainless steel bottles are sure to be your best friend. They can literally last for as long as you need to use them.
Just like silicone bottles, they are unbreakable and contain no harmful chemicals that could leach into your little one’s mouth.
Stainless steel baby bottles are likely to hold heat, so many brands provide a sleeve to keep your little one’s hand safe.
These seem to be the hardest bottles to lay your hands on (at least from my experience), and they can be quite pricey. Most parents don’t even bother to look their way because they prefer regular changes to something that goes into their little one’s mouth.
I’m sure you will agree with me that a bottle is no bottle without the nipple. If you needed to change bottles regularly, you would do so for nipples twice as much. This is because, depending on the material, the nipple can crack or tear easily.
When you notice things like leaks, throw them away. A couple of extra bucks is certainly not worth your little one’s health.
The two major materials used for bottle nipples are:
Typically, a silicone nipple will last longer than latex one although latex is softer. Take note of your bottle neck when replacing nipples, that is, whether it is a wide neck or a standard neck.
How Can I Prepare Baby Bottles for the Day?
If we’re talking about feeding, then an exclusive pumping schedule will require you to store breast milk in the fridge. So, for each day, you will just take it out, warm it up and feed it to your little one.
On the other hand, you can get away with making formula at each feeding time. Honestly, it’s best to make formula as your baby needs it, but you could store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours.(3)
Leftovers should be tossed after 1 hour. No matter how tempting it is, do not use it for your baby’s next feeding time. This is because bacteria from your baby’s mouth will start to develop in it after the initial feeding.
Then, talking about sterilization, some baby bottles can’t be put in the dish washer, so I recommend using a sterilizer for this. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the type of cleaning your bottle can withstand.
What Are The Best Brands For Baby Bottles?
There isn’t any one-size-fits-all brand for baby bottles as your baby and your needs can differ from another’s.
If you’re going to get bottles for your baby ahead of time, you won’t really know exactly what would work. So, I suggest you get two or three different brands and then test them out when your baby arrives.
Or watch this YouTube video by First Cry Parenting to aid your choice.
Here are some of my favorite baby bottles. You could try them out or check for others on Amazon, your local supermarket, or directly from the brand.
- Dr. Brown’s Anti-Colic Baby Bottle
- Comotomo Silicone Baby Bottle
- Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature
- Philips Avent Glass Baby Bottle
- Pura Kiki Stainless Steel Anti-Colic Infant Bottle
The number of baby bottles you need depends on your baby’s age and feeding habits. So, getting bottles before your baby arrives is more or less a gamble. Just make sure to get a few different brands and some extra bottles.
Hopefully, this article has answered your question about how many baby bottles you need. Drop a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts!
- Sanjeev J. M.D, FAAP, (2022, May 13). How Often and How Much Should Your Baby Eat?. Healthy Children. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/How-Often-and-How-Much-Should-Your-Baby-Eat.aspx
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital, (2010, Apr 2). BPA and Baby Bottles: Should You Be Concerned? https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/family-resources-library/bpa-and-baby-bottles-should-you-be-concerned
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (2022, Jul 13). Infant Formula Preparation and Storage https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/infantandtoddlernutrition/formula-feeding/infant-formula-preparation-and-storage.html