How To Pick A Bottle For My Baby

Post by Haley RobertsWhether you will breast feed your baby or formula feed your baby, selecting the right bottle for pumped milk or packaged milk will be a very important decision for you. Selecting the right bottle can prevent fuzziness and gas (forms of colic), tears from babies who are attached to breast feeding only, and in rare cases, subject your baby to potentially harmful chemicals. Fortunately for modern moms we have a WIDE range of choices and information on the world wide web to help us make our decisions.


All babies are different. No matter how many stars a bottle brand has on the world wide web, if your sweet baby refuses to use it, it does not do you any good. It also needs to be a bottle that works for mom. Before heading off to Costco and buying the best reviewed bottle in bulk, buy small amounts of multiple bottle and nipple types and brands. Find out what works best for baby and mom.


Traditional Nipples are dome or bell shaped.

Orthodontic Nipples  are flat on the side that rests on your child’s tongue. This is intended to accommodate a baby’s palate and gums.

Flat Topped and Wide Nipples were created to resemble mom’s breast and recommended for mom’s pumping or weening from the breast.

Nipples also come in a wide variety of sizes and milk flow release. Age recommendations are typically listed on the packaging. Keep in mind that each baby is different and may not follow the exact age guidelines. If your little one is struggling to get milk from the nipple or choking every time he or she sucks, then this particular nipple may not be the right fit for your baby. If you have any concerns be sure to consult your baby’s Doctor.


From angle neck bottle styles, to “natural flow” you will have a wide variety of plastic or glass types of bottles to choose from. Recently, many have become concerned about what chemicals may be contained in plastic bottles such as the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA). Fortunately, this has created a new awareness and new products that are BPA-Free. We strongly caution you against buying anything that is not BPA free.  If you are still concerned, glass bottles are a great option- be sure to get a slip cover to protect them from breaking if dropped on the floor.

From personal experience, I highly recommend specialty bottles such as Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow to prevent colic, spit-up and gas. These bottles have a built-in vent system to prevent air bubbles from entering the baby’s tummy. When we switched to these bottles it changed everything for us!! They are also BPA-Free. As a side note: Don’t be discouraged if you are a working mom and you want to breast feed. YOU CAN DO IT! I did it and it is possible to make it work. 

There are two other materials used to make baby bottles, silicone and stainless steel. Silicone is flexible, BPA-free, safe to heat, safe to clean in the dishwasher, and resistant to scratching. As the years continue on, I think we will see more of this product readily available on the shelves versus plastic. Stainless steel bottles are durable and have a long life. Stainless steel is highly scratch resistant which means there are no places for bacteria or milk to hide after washing. I think it is important to note that stainless steel is the number one material used by hospital kitchens because of it’s cleaning ability.


To help you in your search, here are a few brands and bottles that come recommended.

Glass Bottle recommendations:

Evenflo Classic™ Glass Feeding Bottles, Dr Brown’s 8-oz. Glass Baby Bottle, Lifefactory 9 oz. Glass Baby Bottle

BPA-Free Plastic Bottle recommendations:

Dr. Brown’s® Newborn Baby Bottle,   BornFree 5 Oz Bpa-Free Baby Bottles

Silicone Bottle recommendations:

Momo Baby 8oz Wide Neck Silicone Baby Bottle, Prince Lionheart Silicone 4-oz. Baby Bottles, Green Sprouts Eco-Friendly Silicone Feeding Bottle

Stainless Steel Bottle recommendations:

organicKidz Stainless Steel Baby Bottle, Eco Baba Stainless Steel 12 oz Baby Bottle, Pura Kiki Stainless Steel 11oz. Baby Bottle

Special thanks to Baby Center for their article on “How To Buy Bottles and Nipples.” Much of the research from this blog post has come from this page.


Care For An Apple Dearie….?

Post by Haley Roberts
I LOVE Fall. I love the leaves, the chill in the air, the pumpkins, and the APPLES. Every year our family takes a trip up to Charlottesville, Va to hand pick apples from CARTER ORCHARD MOUNTAIN.  Not only is the drive gorgeous this time of year, but it is a great out door activity for the whole family!

Once you arrive, friendly staff can assist you in the farmer’s market shopping area or hand you maps and bags  for you to pick your own. If you plan on picking boxes and bags full, I recommend bringing  a wagon or cart with you of some kind. Carter Orchard Mountain does provide a few wagons, but if you go on a Festival Weekend, do not count on getting one for your personal use. Also be on the lookout for  “pickers.” They are tall sticks with baskets on the end to catch the apples high up into the trees.

Once our wagon is full, we take a break and enjoy a picnic with a view and treats from the market. The homemade apple donuts are TASTY and our personal favorite, apple cider slushies, will make you come back year after year. Apple picking is also a great way to get your husband to carry the diaper bag….. After lunch, take a ride on the hay wagon, or pick a few pumpkins. Now you may be thinking…”But I don’t need boxes of apples or what do I do with them?” You don’t need to buy a wagon full to have a great time! You can eat while you pick as well. If you do decide to pick a wagon full, you can make use of your apples in home decoration, canning, and gifts. Apples work beautifully on seasonal wreaths inspired by Colonial Williamsburg as well as in glass and crystal bowls. Apples can be canned in a wide variety of ways such as pie filling, spiced, applesauce, apple cutney, and our personal favorite apple butter. I hope you will take an opportunity this season to get out into the fresh air and experience this with your family. Wishing you  a joyful, safe, and apple filled Fall!


Christmas Card Mini Sessions

It is almost here!  Christmas Card Mini Sessions October 26th and 27th at the studio.  Appointments are going fast so call today, 804.477.6617, to reserve your session time.

These are 15 minute mini sessions in the studio for $95 and include 25 holiday cards.  After the session we will view your portraits and choose from 4 different card styles for your holiday cards.  Additional packages are available starting at $89.  Portraits make great gifts for family and friends.

So call soon, 804.477.6617, only a handful of appointments remain.

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Fun Portrait Sessions

I apologize for this blog post being a few days late.  Isaac and I are in South Carolina spending some time with my family as we have gathered at the beach.  I had intended to write this post a few days ago, but then we decided to galavant around Charleston.  Interestingly enough, we used to live in Charleston 24 years ago.  There are all kinds of stories my brothers and I remember from living here.  It was a lot of fun to go and see where we used to live, which has all been torn down and new houses built in their place. But I did get to see where I went to Elementary School.

Anyway, we had a crazy busy September so here are a few of the sessions we enjoyed.

We photographed Madison’s 18 month portraits.  She loves the water and enjoyed watching the ducks.  We had fun photographing near a pond and watching Madison’s interaction with the world around her.  She even loved the dogs who passed by while on their morning walks.

I really enjoyed photographing Paul and Jenn’s family.  I got to hear all about the books the kids were reading and how much fun they were having in school.  We really had a great time.

Elijah was a delight to photograph.  He is a very active 14 month old.  He loved showing us all of the rocks and sticks he found.  One images we captured shows the stage of life his parents are in right now, chasing him non stop.  He is such a sweet boy and I’m grateful for the opportunity to create these portraits of him.

I love creating memories of each stage of a family’s growth and transformation.  With each age of your child comes something new and exciting as they continue to grow and learn about the world around them.

View more of our work at stephaniesportraitdesign.com

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‘Tis The Season To Be Spooky

I LOVE Halloween! LOVE IT. I do not know what I love more; the countless hours making the family themed costumes, the parties, the food, the pumpkin carving!? My family takes Halloween VERY seriously. Here are a few of our favorite things, that you may want to try this year.

First and foremost, let us talk about the food. Sara Wells and Kate Jones are the authors, photographers, and chef extraordinaires of Our Best Bites. They also have written a recipes book of their favorite recipes (MY COOKING BIBLE) with a new book that just came out!

Check out their adorable ideas for Halloween party food!

The breadsticks recipe is a staple in our family’s meal planning.  They are SOOOOOOOOOO delicious and I highly recommend them! For more ideas and recipes CLICK HERE.

The second most important thing for our family during the Halloween season is themed family costumes. Every year we pick a different theme and this year we are stumped! We need feedback and recommendations! Here are a few images of what we have done in years past.

Indiana Jones….

The Mario Brothers and Yoshi

And my husband’s Favorite….The Simpson Family!

What should we do this year?! Suggestions please!

Finally, we love celebrating the season by carving pumpkins. We used to carve real pumpkins only but now we also carve, the plastic/fake kind from Michaels. Michaels Arts and Crafts actually sells these pre-carved by their staff. But you can also do it yourself and it’s loads of fun to do with the family! You can get a scrapbooking knife, pumpkin carving kit, and a plastic pumpkin and WALLA. You can use a template from the pumpkin carving kit or print your own from the internet. We use them to decorate our house for the season. The best part is, you have lots of fun and get to use it again and again and again!

I also recommend carving the real thing…

Can you tell we like the Simpsons? Happy Halloweening!