Nov 23, 2010  •  In Baby, Claire, Parenting, Reviews

Our Favorite Bottles: Dr. Brown’s

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
  • MAM
  • 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.

5 Responses to “Our Favorite Bottles: Dr. Brown’s”

  1. Donna:

    We used the Dr. Brown's, too and liked them for the most part when Neddy was a little colicky.. but I hated having ALL those pieces to wash!

    My mom tried to get me to use the glass bottles – there was one from Medela (those first weeks are still hazy in my memory) but we used Dr. brown's for a while and then, ended up switching over to Avent for a while.

    YAY – you've made it past the 6 week mark. I remember around 8 weeks, Neddy was down to waking up only ONCE a night – imagine that! He would sleep for 5 hours from 8pm to 3am and then, from 3:30am to 8am…and then, at 11 weeks, voila! He slept through the night from 8pm – 6am.

  2. Christine:

    Thanks for sharing! I actually just received a set of Dr. Brown's bottles and Tommee Tippee bottles. My niece and nephew had Dr. Brown's from the beginning and my sister swore by it, but everyone complains about the hassle it takes to clean them vs. other brands like bornfree that supposedly do the same without requiring the extra parts. I've got gift receipts for all the different bottle types, so I guess I should just hold off on sterilizing them until it's actually time to put my little one on a bottle. I'll try the Dr. Brown's first and see if he'll take to it and if he does, I can exchange the rest!

    Thanks again for the reviews! For some reason, I thought I read that you were using breastflow, but I guess I was mistaken. I've already opened and sterilized those because I read several reviews about them being most like breast feeding and I figured I'd give it a try.

    Good luck with your thrush and mastitis woes!! I hope you can keep on nursing for as long as possible! :)

  3. Pam:

    feels like a breakthrough when you can reduce the crying! we use dr brown bottles, and the parts can be a bummer but baby girl loves dr brown bottles and helps with her gas. we were originally using medela bottles with medela nipples which were too fast for her, so we switched to dr brown from the get go from all the reviews. we went from 2 oz bottles to 4 oz and now at the 8 oz size, though at 4 months she eats about 5-6 oz every 4 hours and has 5 feeds in a day. babies sure are funny aren't they? sometimes they give you this look like "you don't understand what i want!!"

  4. Geek in Heels:

    @Donna — I would have loved for Claire to like the Avent bottles, but she didn't. :-( I'm glad that we finally found a bottle that she likes though. And I'm keeping my fingers crossed that her sleep schedule will improve like Neddy's did!

    @Christine — Honestly, I don't think it's THAT big of a hassle to clean the extra two parts. Like I said in the post, it's an extra 30 seconds. Definitely worth it, if you ask me! As for the Breastflow, I had mentioned it before because it was the first bottle I had gotten after the Medela ones, and they really are supposed to mimic the breast the best. However, Claire HATED these the most. She just refused to use them, period. I really hope that you and your baby will find a bottle you like early on!

    @Pam — I completely understand what you mean. I so wish I could communicate with them so I know exactly what they want/need!

  5. theresa:

    We love dr browns bottles. I use the wide neck. As for all the parts you can toss them in a dishwasher or if you don’t have a double sink get a medium size dish and fill it with baby soap as soon as you r done with bottle rinse out and put in dish. My husband and I tried the born free and the nipple flow was fast.my son was gagging. On the browns he has never had colic or really ever gotten bad gas.

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