Reader Christine asked,
i’m 4 weeks until my delivery and wanted to see what type of bottles you are using now. i have the medela bottles for feeding with orthodontic nipples, born free, and breastflow. can you review what bottles you tried and what you liked/disliked? i just received my target completion certificate and want to hold off on purchasing bottles until i can get a better idea of what bottles are really good.
This was a very timely question, because we had just switched bottles last week and I had been meaning to blog about our great bottle search.
In the past two weeks, when Claire was suffering from horrible colic, we decided to try different bottles to see if a different design will help with the fussiness. (After all, so many brands these days claim to help reduce colic.)
We had been using Medela bottles because they are the most convenient to use with my breast pump, but we have not been using their nipples. Instead, we have been using the latex nipples that come with the Similac nipple-ready bottles, because we discovered by accident that they fit perfectly with the Medela bottles. Besides, we had received about ten of them at the hospital, and who are we to pass up freebies?
Besides, Claire hated the Medela nipples.
Then I read that the Similac nipples are not designed for long-term use, and that latex nipples should not be boiled after each use (which we had been doing) because it will deteriorate them faster. Oops.
Since we knew that Claire would be outgrowing our 5oz Medela bottles soon, and just in case another bottle/nipple design might help alleviate the colic, we went on what I like to call our great bottle hunt of 2010. These are what we have tried:
- The First Years Breastflow
- The First Years Soothie
- Gerber NUK
- Philips AVENT
- Playtex Drop-Ins
- Playtex VentAire
While I’m sure that each bottle has its merits (and its own fanbase as I only tried the ones with good user reviews), we soon discovered that Claire seemed to have a serious problem with silicone nipples. She would suck for a few seconds and spit it out — no matter the shape of the nipple — and proceed to give us an angry look as if to say, “What the heck did you just put in my mouth?”
(The funny thing is, her favorite pacifiers, Philips AVENT, have silicone nipples. Perhaps she associated the feel of silicone with pacifiers and latex with milk?)
This created a bit of a problem, because most bottle manufacturers — at the ones that are supposed to help with gas and colic according to reviews — only have silicone nipples. Since the Playtex Drop-Ins were the only ones that have latex nipples as an option, we decided to go with those for the time being.
Then the Dr. Brown bottles arrived from Amazon.
I was skeptical at first, seeing that they have silicone nipples. But these bottles have gotten great reviews so I decided to try them out…
…and Claire loved them!
I’m not sure what it was about the bottles (we use the wide-neck version) that helped my baby take to them immediately — was it the shape of the nipple? The vacuum-free design? All we knew was that it was the first time in over a week that she finished an entire 4oz bottle in one sitting, and we were elated.
As for the colic? Now I’m not saying that Dr. Brown’s Bottles were the cure for our colic troubles, but they certainly helped a lot. Perhaps it was the combination of the new bottles and our baby finally passing the 6-week hurdle, but within 12 hours of switching to Dr. Brown’s, Claire went down for the night after crying for only 1 hour (as opposed to the 3+ hours we had been experiencing before).
So to answer Christine’s question, our favorite bottles are Dr. Brown’s Wide-Necks.
Some babies are not picky about bottles at all, but ours was. And while choosing the best bottle for your baby is certainly a game of trial and error (and a potentially expensive one at that), you might get lucky and hit the jackpot with your first or second try.
Your baby might not need a fancy bottle at all. A friend discovered that her baby’s favorite bottles were the plain Gerber bottles she bought at a local pharmacy for $2 for a pack of 3.
But our family is a Dr. Brown’s convert and we will be sticking with this brand. Sure, the extra parts require more attention, but it only adds about 30 additional seconds to assembly and cleaning time.
And our baby’s happiness (and our sanity) is worth it.
Disclosure: I have not been compensated by Dr. Brown’s, or any other company, for writing this post. This is based on my own experience and my baby’s preferences.