Stainless and Painless: The Pura Kiki Bottle
When I had my son, I fell in love with him and the act of breastfeeding immediately. We were blessed with his natural ability to nurse effectively (and frequently) from the moment he was born. This is something I did not and will never take for granted. The hospital staff routinely “reminded” me to feed him every two to three hours. Hah. Two to three hours without nursing during those early days would have been a welcome reprieve. I very quickly realized that I could not in good conscience leave him to go to work for two to three hours without knowing he could be fed. So, I started considering adding bottles on an as-needed basis. The clincher for me was: what if I get stuck in traffic? Or got a flat tire, or any number of things out of my control? Not to mention my son had developed a breast preference. Taking both my part-time job and my lopsidedness into consideration, I decided to purchase a bottle.
When I was pregnant, I read a book about breastfeeding that seriously changed my life. I practically read it from cover to cover the day I brought it home, and my maternal/nesting juices started flowing. From that day forward, I decided to breastfeed as exclusively as possible. I put no time or effort into researching bottles or pumps; in fact. I did not register for either. I am fortunate enough to have a part-time job (about six hours per week) that allows me to make my own schedule. While I was still pregnant, this gave me peace of mind that I would be able to continue breastfeeding exclusively while bringing in a little bit of extra money (to be used for cute baby things, of course!).
Enter the Pura Kiki Bottle
Maybe it was my new-mom hormones, but after pumping I realized there was something about actually seeing and touching your breast milk all neatly stored in a bottle that made me appreciate how seriously awesome this stuff is. Something so special should certainly have the perfect container, I thought. At this point, I went to the one place I go the second I need anything for or have any questions about my baby — Ju-Ju Monkey. I was already interested in the Pura Kiki bottle. I had seen them before and loved the look as well as the fact that they’re not plastic. The colorful, stainless steel bottles offer a variety of tops and accessories. I could go on about their appeal, but the manufacturer says it best.
I selected a green five-ounce infant bottle. When I asked Sara Moore for advice on nipples, she emphatically suggested a slow-flow, the one that came with the bottle I purchased. She also gave me some other advice that proved very helpful: She suggested that I be the one to give him his first bottle. (This was counter-intuitive for me, as I assumed my son would never take a bottle when he could have the “real thing.”)
I took my bottle home and washed and sterilized all the parts. My process for washing includes soaking in soapy water and rinsing with very hot water. To sterilize, I put all the parts in a pot after the washing phase, pour boiling water over everything, and cover the pot with a lid to let it steam for at least ten minutes. The Pura is also dishwasher safe, another cool feature.
Baby’s First Bottle
Crafted from safe, anti-bacterial, #304 stainless steel, the same material used in milk pasteurization for years
Soon it became a semi-routine. In those first few days, I made sure he had one bottle per day or every few days. I was preparing to be away from him for two- to three-hour chunks of time, and I needed that peace of mind. I always felt a sense of pride when I broke out the Pura and handed it to whoever would be feeding him. It is so cool-looking; I would literally hold my breath with excitement hoping someone would say, “Oh, cool bottle”…“What made you pick stainless?”…“Where did you get this?”
Eventually he stopped accepting bottles from me, and occasionally fought others on them too. I thought this was bottle-refusal, and went on a researching/polling friends still trying to find another bottle/nipple option. I thought perhaps I should find something that more resembled the breast. There are a lot of bottles on the market designed to be “as close to nursing as possible.” Long story short, he was just getting too old and wise to want a bottle from his momma. He also just wasn't hungry as often as he used to be. If and when he is truly hungry, he will down that Pura like a champ, provided he is not in an area where I typically nurse him. There are still these stipulations, but I attribute that to him being almost exclusively breastfed, not to the Pura. In my humble opinion, bottles are bottles, and boobs are boobs. We’re not fooling anyone, least of all babies. My son can go several days without even being offered a bottle, and then (under the right circumstances) he will accept his awesome green bottle without blinking. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always easy. And I’m glad he prefers nursing because I do, too. But if he has to have the occasional bottle, at least I know his is of a high quality.
More Reasons the Pura Kiki Rocks:
While I was on the streak of trying to find a “more suitable” bottle/nipple, one of my doulas gave me a suggestion. She said to look at my own nipple immediately after my son unlatches from nursing, and to go find a bottle nipple that looks like it. For me, this would be MAM brand , which leads me to another awesome thing about the Pura: it fits a variety of nipples/sippy cup tops . I haven’t gotten around to using the MAM with the Pura, but it’s nice to know I can try it out as my son’s feeding preferences continue to evolve.
I love the Pura so much that I try to immediately store my milk in it after pumping. If I know it’s going to be in the fridge for a day or two before it’s needed, I use silicone sealing disks as the lid instead of putting the nipple/cover on the bottle right away. Purchasing this set of three disks, from Ju-Ju Monkey of course, has opened up a world of possibilities. I can get more Pura bottles and use them to store my milk without taking up a sterilized nipple. I can even put the full bottle in the freezer, then thaw it in the fridge and replace the top with the nipple before leaving it for whoever is watching him. The product website also suggests using Pura bottles/lids to as a plastic-free storage option for any number of things.
Ideas I’ve thought of include snacks, small portions of dressings/sauces, etc. Because the bottles come in a variety of colors, you can designate which will be used for baby and which will be used for food products. Plus, the color options are just fun. My green bottle came with a blue nipple cover, and I now have the option of using an orange lid when not using a nipple. Colorful, practical, safe, easy to clean, the list goes on.
Some people might not like this aspect of the Pura, but for me it’s a non-issue. After all, the bottles that hook up to my pump have measurements so I pretty much know how much I’m putting in the Pura to begin with. Otherwise, I could just look at the measurement lines inside the bottle while I poured the milk. Since my son gets about three bottles per week max, I don’t really pay attention to ounces. I just need enough to keep him content while I’m gone. For babies who have more frequent or exclusive bottles, I can’t imagine that the measurements would be too much of an issue. Instead of watching the level of milk in the bottle go down, you just need to listen for swallowing sounds and keep an eye on the clear nipple to see if and when baby’s approaching the end of the bottle. Easy-peasy.
Bottom line, these bottles are cool-looking, made of a safe, healthy material, work great for my breastfed boy, and are extremely versatile and adaptable. I do not NEED more than one bottle, but I love it so much that I look at the display every time I’m in Ju-Ju Monkey, just for fun.