During bottle feeding, babies tend to swallow some air that fills their stomachs with gas. Although not all babies feel uncomfortable due to this gas, most are very sensitive to it and makes parents start shopping for the best bottle for gas and colic in babies. According to lactation experts, too much gas in the baby’s stomach is among the many possible causes of colic. If you have ever dealt with a colicky baby, then you know how frustrating it can be. Fortunately, manufacturers have begun making bottles that can help to reduce the amount of gas that babies take in during feeding. If your bottlefed baby is always gassy, this guide will help you choose a good bottle that will help to reduce the amount of gas they swallow.
- Best bottle for gas and colic comparison table
- Best bottle for gas and colic review
- What do anti colic bottles do?
- How to choose the best bottle for gas and colic
- Material of bottle
- Material of the nipple
- Shape and design of the bottle
- Design of the nipple
- Vent or valve system
- The ability to clean the bottle
- How to clean and sterilize baby bottles
Best bottle for gas and colic comparison table
Best bottle for gas and colic review
1. Brown’s Natural flow bottle
This is one of the bottles I used with my first born and it did a perfect job at preventing her from swallowing too much air during feeding.
Dr. Brown’s anti colic bottle prevents air from mixing with the milk through an internal vent system. Unlike most of the other anti colic bottles, its internal vent system not only helps to expel air from the bottle but also prevents the loss of nutrients in the breastmilk through oxidation.
2. MAM Anti colic bottles
MAM anti colic bottle is unique in that the valve that expels air from the bottle during feeding is located at the bottom of the bottle.
This valve allows milk to flow freely without mixing with air that may give your baby colic.
Another important feature is that it has a self-sterilising feature that allows you to sterilise it in the microwave within a very short time.
I used this bottle when I was introducing my daughter to the bottle due to the fact that its nipple is skin-soft and made from silicone; hence it felt natural to my gal just like the natural breast.
It therefore helps to prevent nipple confusion when introducing your baby to the bottle. Mothers whose babies have had issues with reflux also state that MAM anti colic bottles are good bottles for reflux.
3. Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature anti colic bottles
Just like the name suggests, Closer to Nature Tommee Tippee anti colic bottle makes the baby feel as close to the mother’s breasts as possible due to their unique design.
The nipples are made of silicone which is not only soft and flexible but can also flex just like natural breasts.
These bottles are small with a wide neck which enables you to hold your baby as close as possible during feeding. This also helps to maintain the connection and encourage baby’s intuitive feeding.
Another important feature is that the nipples come in different flow rates. This helps you to choose the flow rate that is best suitable for your baby based on their age. The different flow rates are clearly indicated on the teats, i.e. 1 for slow, 2 for medium and 3 for fast flow.
Tommee Tippee anti-colic bottles work by eliminating air through the valve when the baby is feeding. The valve allows the milk to flow slowly through the nipple; hence, preventing a lot of air from getting into the bottle. The little air that manages to get in is quickly eliminated through the valve.
4. Playtex Baby VentAire bottles
The Playtex Baby VentAire bottles has a very unique design.
It is angled at the neck to enable babies to feed in a semi-upright position and thereby prevent spilling of milk during feeding.
When the baby does not feed in a semi-upright position, he or she is unable to latch properly and therefore the to milk spills.
According to paediatricians, this milk may get into the baby’s ears and cause an ear infection. The bottle’s teat is also designed to help the baby to latch easily due to the raised texture. It also soft just like the mother nipples which gives the baby a natural feeling when feeding. Paediatricians therefore recommend the Playtex VentAire a for proper latching, prevention of milk spillage and ear infections.
These anti colic bottles also have a vent at the bottom of the bottle. The vent is designed to ensure that air does not mix with the milk at all during feeding. This prevents the baby from swallowing air bubbles, which can cause discomfort and make the baby fussy.
Just like the MAM anti colic bottle, Playtex VantAire is good for introducing a baby to the bottle since it does not cause nipple confusion. This means that if you are still breastfeeding your baby, this bottle will enable her/him to easily switch from the bottle to the breast any time.
5. Comotomo Natural feel baby bottle
The Comotomo Natural Feel baby bottle is among the best baby bottles for gas and colic in the market today that mimics the natural feel and functioning of breastfeeding.
It is therefore good for babies who are transitioning from breastfeeding to bottle feeding.
The nipple is round just like a natural breast so as to enable your baby to latch well during feeding. It is also made from silicone which gives it a very soft and tender feeling allowing the baby to squeeze while feeding to increase milk let down.
These Comotomo baby bottles have a soft and squeezable body that has a skin-like feeling. They have two anticolic vents near the teat which allow air to circulate inside the bottle and prevent it from forming bubbles in the milk thereby reducing the chances of your baby getting gas, colic or even spitting up.
The bottle nipples come in different flows; slow flow, medium flow, fast flow, and variable flow. If you have a newborn or your baby is less than 3 months, the slow flow nipples are the best since they help to reduce spit ups and chances of choking. This is because they have only one hole which reduces the milk let down.
Medium flow nipples are good for babies aged 3 to 6 months since they have two holes allowing moderate flow of milk. Babies who are older than 6 months like it when milk flows fast; hence, the fast flow nipples are the best.
However, if you do not want to keep changing the bottle nipples every time as your baby grows, the variable flow nipples come in handy. They are designed to adapt to the feeding speed of your baby and you can also use them for fluids that are a bit thick.
6. Mixie formula-mixing baby bottle
I must admit that I had never seen a bottle that is specially designed for formula until I came across the Mixie formula-mixing baby bottle.
As the name suggests, the mixie bottle has a formula compartment at the bottom where you put the formula while the water stays in the larger compartment. This prevents it from mixing with the water until you are ready to prepare it for the baby.
A major advantage of this is that you do not have to pre-mix formula especially when travelling. So your baby takes freshly prepared formula every time. All you need to do is push the button at the bottom of the bottle to release the formula and then shake thoroughly to mix it with water.
Another important feature is that the nipples are made of silicone to ensure the baby gets the natural feel when feeding. The bottle itself is made of plastic that is BPA free and PVC free.
Moreover, the nipple is vented to remove air from the bottle during feeding and prevent it from mixing with the milk thus making the baby gassy.
The Mixie baby bottles come in two sizes; 4oz and 8oz. The 8oz bottles come with an extra pair of nipples. If you want to replace the nipples, you can purchase new ones or use nipples from other bottles that have a wide neck such as Born Free, Nuk, MAM and Dr. Brown bottles.
7. Philips Avent Anti-colic baby bottle
The Philips Avent Anti-colic baby bottle has been proven by medical experts to promote comfort in babies by minimising gas in their stomach. This helps to minimise fussiness especially in the evening.
It achieves this through an anti-colic airflex valve present on the nipple.
The valve allows air into the bottle during feeding and pushes it to the back of the bottle thereby preventing vacuum build up. As a result, the air does not mix with the milk and get into the baby’s stomach.
Another important feature of the Avent bottle is that its nipples have a ribbed texture. This prevents the nipple from collapsing during feeding.
This bottle also comes with newborn flow nipples, which have only one hole to allow slow flow of milk. These nipples are the best for newborns that are learning how to use the bottle.
What do anti colic bottles do?
During bottle feeding, regular bottles allow air to enter into the bottle through the nipple in order to replace the milk that has already been taken by the baby. This air then mixes with the milk and your baby ends up swallowing milk with a lot of air. This usually happens with the regular bottles that are not designed to prevent gas.
The anti colic bottles on the other hand, have a vent that expels the air that gets into the bottle before it mixes with the milk. This means that there will be no air bubbles in the milk to make your baby gassy. That is simply how bottles for colic and gas work.
How to choose the best bottle for gas and colic
Material of bottle
The first thing you should consider when choosing a baby bottle is the material of the bottle. The most common materials are silicone, plastic and glass. There are some bottles that are made of stainless steel though they are not common.
Silicone baby bottles
Silicone is considered the best material as it gives the bottles and the nipples a soft-like feeling and mimics the natural breasts. It is also heat resistant which allows sterilising of the bottles through boiling and cleaning in the dishwasher. Silicone bottles are also light in weight when compared to the plastic and the glass bottles. Examples of bottles made purely from silicone are the comotomo bottles.
Glass baby bottles
Initially, before plastic and silicone materials came along, baby bottles were usually made of glass. The good thing about bottles made from glass is that they are easy to clean, do not scratch easily and lost long if handled carefully. However, they are quite expensive and heavier when compared to the silicone and plastic bottles. Avent bottles are the best glass bottles available in the market today.
Plastic baby bottles
Over the years, bottles made from plastic have become quite popular and replaced majority of the glass bottles. This could be due to the fact that they are cheaper, have a wide variety and are the best for travelling. However, on the downside, bottles made from plastic do not last long since they wear out quickly and get scratched easily. An example of bottles made from plastic is the Mixie formula-mixing baby bottles.
Material of the nipple
You also need to consider the material of the nipple when choosing a baby bottle. Nipples are made from either silicone or latex.
Silicone nipples are considered the best especially for babies who are transitioning from the breast to the bottle. This is because as earlier mentioned, silicone is very soft but firm and this gives the nipples a natural feel like a normal breast nipple.
Majority of the bottle nipples are however made of latex which is just rubber. Latex material is soft and flexible and this also gives the nipples a natural feel when feeding.
The major difference between Latex and Silicone nipples
Silicone nipples are heat resistant and durable enough to withstand everyday use; hence they last longer.
Latex nipples on the other hand wear out easily since they cannot withstand a lot of heat and cleaning. Latex nipples tend to harden and crack quite easily when exposed to heat.
I would recommend you go for silicone nipples so that you do not have to keep replacing them frequently.
Shape and design of the bottle
Another important factor to consider is the shape and design of the bottle.
One thing manufacturers consider when making baby bottles is the ability of the baby to hold when feeding. That is why there are different shapes and designs of bottles such as straight-neck, angled-neck, wide bottom, and wide neck among others.
The straight-neck bottles are also known as standard bottles and are the most common. There straight-necked design allows them to fit in all types of bottle accessories such as sterilisers and warmers. They are also cheap compared to other types of bottles mainly due to their simple design.
Examples of straight-necked bottles that help to prevent gas and colic include Dr.Brown’s natural flow bottles.
Angled-neck bottles are specially designed to prevent air from getting into the bottle during feeding. The angled-neck helps to retain the milk or formula in the nipple thus preventing air from getting in.
Angled-neck bottles are good for preventing ear infections that occur when milk spills and gets into the baby’s ears during feeding. This is because they enable you to feed your baby in a semi-upright position, which is highly recommended by the paediatricians.
The Playtex Baby VentAire bottles and the Chicco Naturalfit bottles are so far the best angled baby bottles in the market that help to prevent gas in babies.
Wide-neck shape bottles such as Tommee Tippee and Comotomo are specially designed to with a wider neck to mimic the natural breast in order to avoid nipple confusion for babies who are breastfed. The wide neck also eases cleaning since it can easily fit bottle wands and brushes.
The biggest problem with wide-necked bottles is that they usually don’t fit into car holders and drink holders on strollers.
Design of the nipple
You need to consider the design of the nipple too. However, most people are familiar with the standard round baby bottle nipples since they are the most common. In fact I can bet that nearly 90% of you are not aware that there are other types of bottle nipples present in the market such as the orthodontic nipples.
Dome-shaped nipples: The standard round nipples are dome-shaped and this is what most baby bottles have. They are also readily available and do their job quite well.
Orthodontic nipples: These are specially designed to mimic natural sucking. They have an angled top that is made to fit the shape of gums and palate in the baby’s mouth thereby leaving room for the tongue to move naturally during feeding.
If you want to try the orthodontic nipples, you should get the NUK Bottle with Perfect Fit Nipples which are readily available in the market. They also have an anti-colic air system that helps to minimise gas, colic and spit up when baby is feeding.
Vent or valve system
Another important factor to consider is the venting sytem used in the bottle.
Anti-colic bottles prevent air from mixing with the milk in the bottle either through the use of a vent or a valve system.
Vent system: This appears like a straw that runs down from the nipple to the bottom of the bottle such as in the case of Dr. Brown’s anticolic bottles
Valve system: Valves are located at the base of the bottle such as in Playtex Baby VentAire.
Bottles with a valve system work better at eliminating air compared to those with a vent system. This is because the pressure created by the valve at the bottom of the bottles ensures no air gets trapped inside the bottle.
The ability to clean the bottle
Some anti-colic bottles can be really difficult to clean especially those that have very narrow necks and valve or vent systems that are complicated to dissemble and assemble.
The video below demonstrates how to clean as well as sterilize baby bottle for gas and colic.
How to clean and sterilize baby bottles