Whether you are bottle feeding with formula or bottle feeding breast milk for breastfed babies, finding the best baby bottles to battle acid reflux can be quite the chore.
The perfect baby bottle for your little one is usually a trial and error process. When it comes to the comfort of the baby’s tummy, the sense of urgency in finding the baby bottle that your baby likes and keeping your little one from swallowing air becomes a race most parents intend to win.
This article may not be able to tell you which baby bottle your little one will prefer, but it will help you to narrow down your options.
Gone are the days when a glass bottle with a standard nipple was the only option.
Finding the best bottles for reflux is like finding a needle in a haystack with so many options. Read on for some of our recommendations that can help address bottle-feeding concerns.
What are acid reflux and colic?
While not an immediate cause for concern, reflux isn’t fun for parents or babies. It occurs at least some of the time for most babies.
Reflux occurs when food or fluid comes back up and out of the stomach and can result in vomiting or spitting partially or not digested food.
Colic is very similar, but it deals with air. Air is trapped in the stomach, creating gas, which needs somewhere to go.
The trapped air creates a bloated and tight feeling that often results in pain, discomfort, and cramps.
A good anti-colic baby bottle can often care for or help ease both problems.
The best bottles can help eliminate these issues, leading to a happily fed baby, to which you won’t dread offering a baby bottle.
The search for the perfect baby bottle
When finding the perfect baby bottles for our little ones, there are a few things to remember when trying to reduce or eliminate acid reflux.
Spit-up is no fun for any of us, especially babies, and keeping just a few things in mind as we begin looking for the best baby bottles can give us a leg up.
Nipple flow is essential when looking for a bottle that will reduce spit-up and air bubbles.
An excellent slow flow nipple is crucial, especially for newborns and young infants. When a nipple flow is too fast for the baby, air bubbles are created, and the baby ends up swallowing air.
This leads to colicky babies who are miserable. They spit up, get cramps, and often get diarrhea and sleeplessness.
Some of the time, the culprit is the nipple. A slow-flow nipple is best for older babies with acid reflux and colic.
Also, pay attention to the size and shape of the baby’s mouth to determine the correct size nipple for your little one.
The nipple shape is also essential, especially for breastfed babies.
If you feed your little one breast milk and go back and forth between nursing and bottle feeding, you need to find bottles with a natural nipple shape. This will help to eliminate nipple confusion.
Nipple confusion occurs when an infant gets used to drinking from baby bottles and becomes hesitant or resistant to latch onto the breast to nurse. A soft nipple will also help in these efforts.
Anti-colic valve and vent system
If your baby bottle is equipped with an anti-colic valve or anti-colic venting system, it will be easier for the baby’s tummy to drink from.
Anti-colic bottles work by pulling the air away from the nipple or out of the bottle entirely so that no air bubbles are consumed.
This will help eliminate spit-up and feeding bottle after bottle of formula on your shirt and down the front of your baby.
The best bottles for reflux
If you are looking for the best bottles to combat the issues of reflux and colic, look no further.
The following are some of the best-reviewed and most recommended baby bottles on the market for these particular issues.
Philips Avent anti-colic baby bottles
With a nipple that mimics a human nipple and a side vent system for more successful horizontal use of ease, these baby bottles are well received, especially among breastfed babies.
This bottle has four parts, making it a bit tedious to clean, but it also comes in a few colors, and many parents swear by these bottles.
Evenflo Glass Premium Proflo Vented Plus
The air-free vent is built right into the nipple of these environmentally friendly glass bottles.
It also has a standard neck that will fit onto most breast pumps so that you can pump directly into the bottle, which is incredibly convenient.
These bottles also have a cool twist design to have a better grip, which is helpful when washing or feeding the bottles.
Because they’re made of glass, there are some downsides: they are breakable, making them unsuitable to offer baby for self-feeding, and they also don’t work in bottle warmers.
Comotomo baby bottle
It doesn’t get much more straightforward than this bottle.
There are only three parts, making it a breeze to clean, and the dual anti-colic vents and soft nipple make it easy to go back and forth from the bottle to the breast.
It also has a soft silicone body, making it a runner for the best baby bottle for the baby to learn to self-feed.
Comotomo bottles have two anti-colic vents, which some parents claim makes them the best anti-colic bottle on the market.
The vents prevent the air from causing reflux, the soft outer body of the bottle is easy for the baby to grip, and these bottles are simple to put together and clean. It’s a win-win.
Dr. Brown’s bottles have long been hailed as parents’ favorite for colicky babies. It is also the number one pediatrician-recommended bottle.
Due to the vent system that is second to none, air intake is essentially eliminated. Because of the vacuum-free method of the internal vent system, this bottle gets incredibly close to what breastfeeding is like for babies.
The number one complaint with these bottles is that there are a lot of parts to clean. However, they are BPA-free and dishwasher safe, which can make the process of cleaning all of those little pieces a little bit easier.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, you can sanitize these bottles and bottle parts in boiling water instead.
Tommee tippee bottles
Tommee Tippee makes a variety of bottles with baby bottle features that can appeal to nearly any need you have for a baby’s bottle.
With a built-in vent to help reduce colic, you can’t go wrong with these.
Some parents’ most significant issue is the bottle shape and nipple; getting all the formula or breast milk for your baby can be challenging.
If how much milk your child consumes is something that you need to pay close attention to, you may find yourself a bit disappointed that it’s so challenging to get all of the milk out of these bottles.
MAM anti-colic bottles
If you want a cute bottle that doesn’t have many parts and is simple to use, a MAM anti-colic bottle may be your best bet.
It has small vents to prevent air bubbles, reducing gas as the baby sucks. The nipples also mimic the human nipple, which is great for moms who use their breast pumps and also nurse directly.
BPA-free and dishwasher safe, these are an excellent choice for feeding time.
You have to wash just a few pieces, which is a plus compared to Dr. Brown bottles.
Munchkin Latch BPA Free Newborn Baby Bottles
With an anti-colic vent system at the bottom of the bottle and a pliable, slow-flow nipple that mimics a human breast as baby drinks, this may be the best bottle for you if your baby is a small newborn and has trouble with gas or reflux.
Known to reduce gas in the tiniest of tummies, you can go from a crying baby to a happy baby in no time with this bottle.
Nanobebe Breast Milk Bottle
This may be the best bottle for the baby who likes to go back and forth from the bottle to the breast.
The bottle looks like a breast and functions much like a breast. You can attach it to most pumps and warm it with a bottle warmer.
These bottles collapse onto each other for ease of storage and are perfect for eliminating any nipple confusion that can occur with other bottles.
This might be the best baby bottle for a baby who can’t decide between the bottle and the breast.
More than a few bottles on the market have a valve to reduce colic. But how many bottles do you know of that can store formula and make the bottle instantly?
These bottles have a storage compartment that holds the powder formula mixture.
You simply fill the bottle’s body with the appropriate amount of water.
With the release of a button, the powder formula drops into the bottle’s body, which is full of water, and you simply have to shake it up to make your baby a bottle of formula.
Perfect for parents who travel or are on the go, these bottles also help with colic.
Playtex baby ventaire anti-colic bottles
These angled bottles are a lifesaver if you have a little one prone to ear infections. As far as bottles for reflux go, they also can’t be easily beat. The vent system is in the bottom of the bottle, which pulls air away from the nipple.
Playtex Baby Ventaire bottles are great for feeding a baby upright or sitting, which can significantly reduce the risk of ear infections.
While it can be a pain to wash, an angled bottle design helps feed the baby upright, which can help prevent too much air from getting into the baby’s belly.
Choosing the best baby bottles for your baby
It’s not a simple task, choosing which baby bottles to try and then looking for signs to see if your infant likes the bottle you have purchased.
All you can do is research and keep trying bottles until you find the one that works best for your little one.
Remembering simple things like nipple size and flow rate may help you to make tweaks and adjustments here and there that will make it an easier fix.
You may even be able to replace the nipples on your current bottles and see a difference in the amount of gas your child has issues with.
When to see a doctor
If you find that no matter what bottle your child uses, it seems to put no real dent in the problem of acid reflux or gas your child suffers, you may need to talk to your doctor or pediatrician.
The bottle change is the first step and often the easiest one to make, but never hesitate to voice your concerns with your child’s doctor.
Remember that it is normal for a baby to have reflux issues sometimes, but it’s not normal for it to be an all-the-time thing.
Patience is a virtue
Finding the right baby bottle for your little one can go a long way towards your baby getting better sleep, eating better, and feeling better.
Trust your baby’s gut will get some relief if you keep trying to find the right products. Don’t give up just yet.
None of us go into parenthood knowing everything, and what works for one baby may not work for the next. We do hope that this article has helped you with the choices available to you out there.
Stay patient, ask questions, research, and speak with a doctor if necessary. Relief can and will occur.