I have, through necessity, been mix-feeding my 4 month old daughter since shortly after her birth, and have amassed quite a collection of bottles. Although my collection was from three different brands, the bottles were all quite similar – so I was excited to have the opportunity to trial the innovative offering from Minbie.
On first inspection, there was lots to love! The bottle is made from smash-resistant glass and the unit I received had a lovely bell curve similar to the polypropylene bottle currently for sale on their website. But the teat is the highlight of the Minbie bottle. Shaped far closer to an actual human nipple, Minbie claim that it “allows your baby to bottle feed with the same feeding-action as breastfeeding”. I also found that the screw thread on the bottle was compatible with the flange on my Spectra S2 pump. I was very excited to begin trialling this Australian-made product that has the internet raving!
Unfortunately, my experiences were less than stellar. The measurement markings on the bottle I so loved were inaccurate. With the rest of my home collection, 100ml is the same across Avent, Closer to Nature, Spectra, and Pigeon, but the same quantity registers as 120ml in my new Minbie. Another way of looking at it is that 100ml in my Minbie measured 85ml in my other bottles. This could be very problematic if you are using the Minbie with formula, where the powder-to-water ratio has been scientifically determined. It may also interfere with the functioning of the teat if your liquid is excessively ‘dense’. Having said this, the Minbie site currently sells different bottles to the one I trialled (the glass bottle appears more square and squat than the one I received), so they may have resolved this issue.
Which leaves the teat. My daughter is over 4 months old, and so I trialled the 3+ teat. Now Minbie caution that babies “previously fed with other bottle teats may have learnt an incorrect feeding technique”, however my daughter is mix-fed bottle and breast, so I had hoped this would not have an impact on her enjoyment of the bottle. For whatever reason, while my daughter readily accepted and sucked from the Minbie bottle, she exerted a lot of effort for little result. With patience and perseverance on my part and hers, she eventually downed 50ml (according to the incorrectly-labelled bottle) in 30 minutes before passing out, and subsequent attempts had similar levels of success. For comparison, she readily drinks 100ml in about 10 minutes from other bottles and I have no pain or damage when she breastfeeds.
Now based on everything I have read about Minbie, I believe my daughter’s latch is a significantly contributing factor to the teat’s poor performance. I believe she is recognising the teat as an artificial nipple and applying the same technique she uses on less advanced designs, and it is possible that if I replaced all my bottles with Minbies, she would learn to use the necessary breastfeeding technique on them. But at $17.99 for the teat and $10.99 for the bottle, this is an expensive proposition on a hypothetical.
So overall my daughter’s personal experiences with the bottle are such that I cannot recommend it, however most other reviews I have read were far more glowing. It unfortunately comes down to the same old advice: different bottles work better with different babies — try it yourself with fingers firmly crossed!
Minbie glass bottle RRP $10.99