Once you give birth to a child, your realistic expectations go down the drain. You want your baby to be perfectly healthy, happy, clean and well-rested, at any cost. When I realized Leo is colicky, I celebrated the fact that anti-colic baby bottles exist.
I tried out many of them until I found the one Leo liked the best. So today, I am sharing the information I gathered to help the ones struggling with the same problem.
Importance Of Bottle’s Quality
When you are just at the beginning of fight-against-the-colic with your child, going with a special baby bottle might sound like a fraud. Advertising trick to get desperate parents to buy more expensive bottles expecting a miracle that never comes. Fortunately, that is not the case, at least not in the majority of brands.
There are actual logic and science behind anti-colic bottles. What I learned from being Leo’s mom is the fact that in the most of the situation there is no single factor responsible for your baby’s health or well-being but the interaction of numerous different factors. In case of colic, you have to take care of the right type of the bottle, but right formula too.
Many doctors talk about the immature digestive system being a potential cause, which means that you cannot do a lot of things about it, except adjusting the feeding process to your baby’s special tummy. Colicky babies, like Leo, often swallow air while they are crying or screaming. Therefore, bottles that reduce air consumption while feeding can benefit them tremendously as they work on managing gastrointestinal discomfort.
As you already know, swallowed air gets trapped in the digestive system and causes all of the other tummy difficulties as well – gas, severe discomfort, burping, spit ups and so on. Bottles that are specially designed to fit your child’s oral anatomy and slow down the food intake have a potential to minimize air consumption and that way relief the pain and reduce the frequency of all of the other problems.
Learning About Types Of Bottles
Leo and I had a long journey before we found the right bottle for him. We tried numerous anti-colic bottles, but also other oddly shaped ones because I wanted to be sure that I gave him the best bottle there is. We tried standard, wide neck, angle necked, vented and the ones with disposable liners.
Of course, all of the bottles that had some kind of venting solution worked better than the ones that didn’t. However, even though the bottle shape isn’t crucial for solving colic and gas related problems, it contributes to better results. You can learn more about bottle shapes if you visit the link I gave above.
As soon as you dive in into the pool of vented bottles, you will realize there are various solutions. I will give you the short description of the most common venting systems, so you could know what are you dealing with.
Baby bottles of this type come with small holes on the nipple that allow air to pass through and into the bottle. You will see this solution as the part of Comotomoand Philips Avent bottles. However, even though bottles that are designed this way are much more convenient for mothers as they require simpler maintenance, the air is still bubbling through the milk, which means your baby will still ingest some of it. So, you might not be satisfied with the results after all.
Bottles With Straw Venting
Classical example of this type is Dr. Brown. Air is drawn through holes in the nipples and passes through the milk via narrow straw. This way, the air doesn’t mix with liquid as it can go directly to the bottom of the bottle. This system works almost perfectly and does miracles for your baby’s tummy.
However, the assembling and cleaning are time-consuming and strenuous. At the same time, there is the fact that you have to touch bottle’s inner parts if you want to assemble it correctly, which means automatically they won’t be completely clean for your child.
Bottom Venting Bottles
Bottom vents might seem as real-life-savers to tired parents, as they solve the cons of previous two systems. When you lift the bottle, and your child sucks on it, air gets drawn in through a valve at the bottle’s base. This way, negative pressure is eliminated, and milk or formula is virtually air-free but not as ideally as in straw venting case.
You will still have to invest a little effort in assembling here, but the cleaning will go much easier as all of the parts are pretty big. However, you should always stay aware of the fact that these bottles sometimes leak from their base, often because the bottom part can collect water during the cleaning process. So, my recommendation is to choose high-quality products if you decide to go with this type.
How To Choose The Right Bottle For Gas And Colic Reduction?
There are a few tips I will share with you about choosing the right baby bottle for your child. However, the most important advice is following – your kid dictates the choice. If I hadn’t trusted little Leo and read his signs of discomfort and satisfaction, we would never make such a tremendous progress. Still, these are the general rules you should follow:
The Bottle – Vents, Shapes, And Liners
Vents should be the first thing you choose. All of the venting systems have their benefits and their disadvantages. It is up to you to determine what works the best for your baby.
I already wrote a bit about bottle shapes, which means you already have a general orientation. However, it is important to consider your baby’s preferred feeding position, too. If your child is reclined while feeding, there is no need for angled-neck bottles, but if they like to be held in a more seated position, then you should consider going with angled-neck bottles.
Also, bottles with disposable liners can sometimes be a handy option that relieves colic and gas problems at the same time. However, it can be costly because you constantly have to purchase new liners.
The Nipple – Flow And Shape
Colicky and gassy babies often prefer slow flow. If they eat too quickly, their tummy gets distended and uncomfortable. On the other hand, if your baby is sucking too hard to get the milk out of the bottle, they might be consuming air instead. The best advice here is this – choose a bottle with plenty of nipple flow options. This way you’ll be able to adjust the flow to your child’s needs at any moment.
The nipple shape is also important. If you use the shape that your baby doesn’t prefer, it may cause them to swallow more air.
How To Use The Bottle Properly?
What I learned during my experience with Leo is that bottle won’t do the job on its own, no matter how good it is. You have to be there for your baby and help them through the feeding.
These are the four areas you should pay attention to:
- Keeping baby’s head above the belly and choosing the right angle for the bottle
- Putting baby’s mouth on the nipple correctly
- Using the right nipple flow
- Burping your baby regularly
I decided not to write about this topic too much, but share the direct sources I used to learn before feeding Leo instead. You will find everything you need if you click on bullet points I made.
Top 5 Anti-Colic Baby Bottles On The Market In 2021 – My Reviews
1. MAM Anti-Colic Bottle – The Best Choice
I have to admit; we tried many different bottles by now. I wasn’t very pleased with the results because the majority of them turned out to be ineffective for colic. Some of them did a great job, but they still had their flaws, and I wasn’t comfortable using them.
At last, after the first few days of using MAM’s baby bottle, I felt relief. We finally found something that I was completely satisfied with and most importantly it reduced Leo’s colic and gas.
If you purchase this set, you will get two 9 Oz baby bottles made of plastic and silicone, BPA, BPS, Phthalate, and Lead-Free, with soft, textured, flat shaped nipples to help your baby make a transition from breastfeeding to latching a bottle. Patented vented base is the part of the bottle that makes sure my Leo doesn’t get air in his tummy.
The flow is significantly slower in comparison to other bottles, which means there is no choking or mid feeding puking. Also, what I liked in particular about this brand is the fact that their bottles are easy to clean, dishwasher safe and can be self-sterilized in the microwave within three minutes. Remember, the quality of MAM’s bottom vent is almost impeccable, so if you install it properly, you won’t have any problem with leaking.
However, you will notice they have a thick bottom which makes them unsuitable for standard bottle warmers. They either don’t fit in, or the warming process goes incredibly slowly.
Ounce marks are too small which is a bit complicated because you have to prepare a sufficient amount of milk, as you can’t use a bottle warmer and reheated milk is not recommended for colicky babies. To avoid leaking make sure to pull the nipple all the way through the top part of the bottle cap.
Things I liked
- Bottles are easy to clean and sterilize.
- They fit various breast pumps.
- The flow is significantly slower.
- They reduce fussing, colic, gas, and reflux.
- BPA Free, BPS Free, no lead or phthalates
- Dishwasher and microwave safe
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE
- They have a thick bottom so that they won’t work well in bottle warmers.
- The numbers that mark ounces are too small.
- It takes a little effort to assemble.
2. Philips Avent Anti-Colic Baby Bottles – The Alternative Choice
If MAM’s problem with bottle warmers is a deal-breaker for you, you should try Philips’s Avent anti-colic baby bottles with the integrated venting system.
With a very pleasant price, you will get three 9 Ounce BPA-Free baby bottles with silicone nipples. They come with slow flow nipple for one month and older babies, but you can order nipples with different flow rate to suit your child’s needs.
What I liked about Avent bottles, in particular, was their practicality. They are large enough for me to prepare eight ounces of milk, without formula getting crammed into the bottle’s top. Also, the opening is wide enough to prevent spilling.
As an addition, these bottles are a dishwasher, microwave, and sterilizer safe. In comparison to the previous model, Philips Avent bottles have fewer pieces, and they are easy to clean and install if you make sure you are careful while cleaning vent holes. They helped Little Leo with gas and colic, but in my opinion not as efficiently as MAM’s bottles.
Make sure to buy the proper nipples, because the ones you get will be too fast for your newborn. Also, these bottles are a bit cumbersome and bulky, so they take up a lot of space in your baby bag. You should be aware that natural nipples won’t fit them, which is a major downside because many babies prefer natural nipples over the classic ones. Also, if you are pumping, Avent bottles won’t fit any other brand’s breast pump, except for their own.
Things I liked
- Affordable price
- The formula doesn’t get crammed in the top of the bottle.
- It has only four pieces, which makes cleaning much easier.
- The wide opening prevents the spilling.
- It helps with gas, spit-ups, fussing, and colic.
- Dishwasher and microwave safe
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE
- The vent removes the biggest part of the air but not all of it.
- The natural nipples won’t fit them.
- Baby bottle won’t fit commonly used breast pumps.
- The built-in vent can be easily damaged while cleaning the nipple.
3. Dr. Brown’s Original Bottle Newborn Feeding Set – The Best Pick For Limited Budget
One thing is certain about Dr. Brown’s bottles – they work, and they make a significant difference.
If you purchase this product, you will get five different bottles, seven nipples, matching caps, plus vents, brushes, discs, and inserts. No other manufacturer offers more. Also, Dr. Brown’s bottles worked as heaven for Leo, but I couldn’t get over a few major disadvantages, as you will hear later.
The thing I liked the most is that this complex structure prevented literally any air bubble from entering Leo’s tummy. Also, I could hear every time he finished the bottle, so it prevented him from sucking on the empty nipple.
The price might seem high at first, but you take a look at the list of the products you will get in the set, you will realize this is the most affordable option from this batch. You won’t have any problem fitting Dr. Brown’s bottles with any significant brand’s breast pump.
Be aware; these bottles are extremely time-consuming and complicated for both assembling and cleaning. As first, there are too many parts and some of them are too small, which means you have to use extra small brushes to get through all of them.
Also, while you assemble the bottle, your hands will have to touch some of the internal parts, which means they won’t be completely clean or sterile for your baby. At last, these tiny parts can easily get lost, and the nipples are likely to leak. But if you can overcome all of these obstacles, this might be the right bottle for you and your baby.
Things I liked
- Affordable Price
- You can hear when baby has drunk all of the liquid from the bottle.
- No air bubble will enter your child’s tummy.
- This set has a great price-value ratio.
- The bottle will fit many different brand’s breast pumps without any problem.
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE
- The process of cleaning is excruciatingly tiring.
- Bottle’s complex structure is difficult to install.
- Your hands will touch the internal parts of the system.
- Tiny parts can get lost easily.
- The nipples tend to leak into the cap if the disc is not placed correctly.
4. Playtex Baby Ventaire Anti-Colic Baby Bottle – Colic Efficient And Angle-Shaped Product
If you are looking for a unique angle shaped bottle, but want to stick with bottom-vent as air eliminating solution, which is understandable because these two features make a great combination, Playtex Ventaire might be a right choice for you.
For the money you pay, you will get three 9 ounces BPA free baby bottles, with the unique body, and nipple design. The anti-colic bottom vent is here to make the bottle “breathe” and create fewer air bubbles that cause the difficulties we are all struggling with.
Leo had no problem accepting Playtex’s nipples because they are thin and have a great texture that resembles mother’s breast quite well. I liked bottle’s curved neck because it helped Leo drink every last drop every time. Also, it did work for his colic and gases and saved me a few bucks at the same time.
However, this is still not my bottle of choice for several reasons. Although it has the same design as MAM’s product, this one leaked from the bottom much more often, which was annoying for Leo and me because it interrupted him during his meal. Also, if you put this bottle in the bottle heater, the blue stopper will warp which will cause another terrible leaking problem.
In the end, one tip for easier cleaning: When we used these bottles I removed the top with nipple first, soaped it and rinsed and then took the bottom pieces off and clean them one by one.
Things I liked
- The curved neck helps baby drink every last drop.
- Nipples are thin and have more natural texture.
- They fairly prevent air from being swallowed.
- Angle-shaped design combines with bottom-vent.
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE
- The bottle heater can damage the bottle and cause leaking.
- If you don’t tighten them well, they will leak.
- Bottles are not compatible with commonly used breast pumps.
- Cleaning can be time-consuming.
5. Comotomo Baby Bottles – High Price, High Body Quality
When it comes to having a child, people give their best to offer their baby as much as they can. That is one of the reasons why they choose to buy more expensive items, with the belief they are providing their child with best possible care. If you are one of those parents, you might like Comotomo baby bottles. You’ll have to invest more money, but you will get two eight-ounce bottles made of high-quality silicone.
I wasn’t sure how this silicone body would work, and I was relieved to see that Leo likes them. Silicone makes the bottle much softer, which means baby can squish it, and the touch and milk let-down will mimic the actual breastfeeding.
Also, they get dry incredibly fast after you clean them. The mechanism is also different, dual air vents that prevent colic are on the top, instead of the anti-colic bottoms, which means fewer pieces – easier cleaning.
However, I disliked the fact that nipples collapsed inward from time to time, so I had to dig them out and interrupt Leo’s feeding process. Also, the milk in the bottle will warm up much slower if you put it in the bottle heater. You should be aware that due to their distinctive shape, these bottles cannot stand on their own if the surface is not entirely flat and solid.
Things I liked
- The whole bottle is made of silicone, which makes it dry faster.
- They mimic the milk let-down during breastfeeding.
- Built-in dual air vents nipple will help colic, gas and other air-related problems.
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE
- They are a bit expensive.
- Nipples might collapse inward.
- Bottles won’t stand on anything except solid flat surface.
- It won’t fit breast pumps of popular brands.
- Bottles don’t easily fit into the bottle warmer.
You probably knew all along, but it is time to declare the winner officially. My choice is MAM Anti-Colic Bottle. Most importantly, Leo liked it the best. This was my top priority request. Besides that, nipple shape and flow, along with the bottle body characteristics satisfied all of the terms I listed above. And I saved so much time on cleaning and sterilizing!
In the end, all I have to say is – let your baby decide and be with them every step of the way and don’t lose hope, you are in control, and you can do a lot to help them. I am sure if you love them as much as half as I love my Leo, you will do everything you can, and you will succeed.
Hi, This is Emma Baster; As a mom, I spend my free time caring for my kids. I’ve read a lot on the Internet to improve my childcare skill and bring the best to my kids. Eruditemommy shares my knowledge and experience through helpful posts. I hope you enjoy them!