Even if you haven’t experienced it yourself yet, we’ve all heard the horror stories of sleepless nights due to a crying baby. Hours of stress trying to rock them to sleep after they eat is nothing out of the ordinary, especially for those with babies prone to colics. Luckily, a number of companies have begun manufacturing anti-colic bottles to help out.
These special bottles facilitate the eating process, leaving babies free of discomfort from rapid eating and gas accumulation. They leave babies satisfied, comfortable and ready to sleep. For many parents, these bottles have become their best ally. In this guide, we explain exactly what an anti-colic bottle is, why they’re so special, and how you can find the best one for you and your baby.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Key Facts
- 3 Our Selection of the Best Anti-Colic Baby Bottles
- 4 Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Anti-Colic Bottles
- 4.1 What are anti-colic bottles and what are their advantages?
- 4.2 What types of anti-colic baby bottles are there?
- 4.3 What is the difference between anti-colic and traditional bottles?
- 4.4 How do anti-colic bottles work?
- 4.5 What tips should be kept in mind when using anti-colic bottles?
- 4.6 What types of nipple do anti-colic bottles use?
- 4.7 How do I know if my baby needs to use anti-colic bottles?
- 4.8 In addition to anti-colic bottles, what else can help avoid gas?
- 5 Purchase Criteria
- 6 Summary
- Infant colic is a common condition in babies during their first few months of life, it causes them discomfort, which they express with excessive crying. Many don’t realize this is often due to the accidental consumption of air while eating.
- Anti-colic bottles work to prevent the consumption of air, reducing the occurrence of internal gas and facilitating proper eating.
- When choosing the right anti-colic bottle, one should consider the shape, flow from the nipple, valve type, material and its size.
Our Selection of the Best Anti-Colic Baby Bottles
Many people spend days comparing and contrasting the different benefits and costs of anti-colic bottles, especially first-time parents. To help, we’ve created a list of the top anti-colic bottles on the market and their different characteristics.
Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Anti-Colic Bottles
Providing babies with food is one of the most important and challenging things that parents have to do. When it comes to easy feeding, anti-colic bottles can become a parent's best friend. Below is our shopping guide, in it, we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions about anti-colic bottles. It is our hope it will help guide you in your search for the best bottle for your baby.
What are anti-colic bottles and what are their advantages?
- Air consumption is significantly reduced during bottle feeding
- Reduces the occurrence of intestinal gas in babies
- Controls the amount of food ingested
- Eliminates ear pain caused by negative pressure
- Allows the baby to eat at their own pace
- Maintains the nutritional integrity of milk
Altogether, these benefits allow babies to eat better with less discomfort, reducing restlessness and colic. Pediatricians often recommend anti-colic bottles for babies who have problems eating, sleeping and those that frequently go through extended crying spells.
What types of anti-colic baby bottles are there?
However, there are slight variances when looking at the different valves or air vent systems. The simplest models will have a straightforward one-hold design on the teat, while the most complex will have various valves and tubes to create the perfect flow of liquid from the bottle into their belly.
Bottles can also differ in shape, size, and design, each providing slightly different advantages and satisfying the varying preferences of both parents and babies. What’s most important is that the bottle is comfortable enough for the baby to drink fully and without any negative reactions. Below, we include a table that summarizes the main differences between anti-colic bottle shapes and their individual advantages.
|Bottle shape||Specific benefit|
|Cylindrical||The most common, good for any occasion.|
|Triangular||Provide better grip.|
|Wide||Easier filling and cleaning.|
|Anti-reflux||Specifically built to facilitate suction.|
|Ergonomic||Allows baby to easily manipulate and adapt to it.|
What is the difference between anti-colic and traditional bottles?
Moreover, due to the advanced ventilation mechanism, these bottles preserve the nutritional state of milk better than prior models by preventing oxidation of the milk as it comes in contact with air. These differences, while seemingly minute, make a huge difference in a baby’s eating experience during their first years.
How do anti-colic bottles work?
These valves keep the teat completely filled with milk at all times and free of air. There are almost always two differentiated layers: a rigid layer that is perforated, and a flexible layer that prevents the liquid from escaping unless sucked. This reduces the pressure on the nipple when flipped upside down.
What tips should be kept in mind when using anti-colic bottles?
- Don’t wait until the baby is extremely hungry to feed them. This can create anxiety, causing them to suck faster and harder, resulting in more air consumption.
- The baby should be as relaxed as possible while feeding. To achieve this, the mother should be calm and in a place where both the mom and baby feel at ease.
- The best position to feed a colic baby is vertically. When horizontal, the baby’s body has to work harder to bring the food to the stomach.
What types of nipple do anti-colic bottles use?
Below is a list of the varying materials that baby bottle nipples can be made of:
- Latex nipples: Elastic, soft and very resistant. However, even though they last longer than silicone nipples, they need to be replaced more frequently as they tend to absorb odors and deform.
- Silicone nipples: Less resistant than latex, sometimes break or crack easily. Still durable and won't deform.
- Single hole nipple: Better for controlling the flow of food into the mouth, ideal for newborns and colic babies.
- Nipples with several holes: Allows greater amounts of food to be ingested in less time, recommended for infants four months and up.
Always make sure to look at the age recommendation printed either on the label or directly on the bottle. Although these are general recommendations set by the manufacturer, they can serve as a good guide. It is also important to double check that the materials are safe for babies and non-toxic.
How do I know if my baby needs to use anti-colic bottles?
- Intense, incessant and uncontrollable crying
- Sudden movements and fist clenching
- hugging their legs and arms close to their stomach
- Cries accompanied by flatulence
- Abdominal swelling
- Excessive redness in the face while crying
This being said, if symptoms continue or become worse, it’s always best to consult your pediatrician.
In addition to anti-colic bottles, what else can help avoid gas?
To avoid this, don't wait until they are starving to feed them. Also, keep your child relaxed before and while they eat. Slow movement often helps. Taking them for a walk, gentle rocking and keeping them close to the mother’s body allows them to feel her warmth and breath, which will keep them calm before and during their meal.
As mentioned at the beginning of this guide, there are a number of features to look at when making your choice for an anti-colic bottle. In this section, we go over these relevant criteria. Keeping them in mind will ensure you pick the anti-colic bottle that best suits you and your baby’s needs.
Nipple shape and flow
Because the fundamental piece of anti-colic bottles lies within the nipple, this is arguably the most important feature to consider. The shape, number of holes, and flow of milk into the mouth all boil down to the characteristics of the nipple. The closer that the nipple resembles and functions like that of a maternal nipple, the better.
Flexible and slightly curved nipples are most accepted by babies. Furthermore, knowing whether your baby tends to eat quickly, aggressively or slowly can help guide you towards the number of openings you should be searching for, this will help them drink with more control.
When babies suck excessively on the nipple, it creates a vacuum with undesired pressure which sucks air into the nipple and eventually down into their stomach. In order for the food to pass smoothly, it must be released. Valves allow air to escape out from the sides of the nipple instead of down into the baby's belly.
Although all anti-colic bottles should, by definition, be designed with these special valves, that is not always the case. Always double check on the label or description that the bottle of your choice is properly equipped.
Although the shape of the bottles doesn’t directly influence the occurrence of colic, it can affect the ease with which your baby consumes their food.
One can find anti-colic baby bottles in many different forms: some straighter, others with deeper curves for extra gripping, and even those made with special angles in the middle that favor the flow of milk in specific directions. As with all bottles, the shape is a key factor in providing a comfortable eating experience for your baby.
As with any baby product, it’s important that the material it’s made with is non-toxic and safe to enter a baby’s mouth. No bottle nipple should be made of a material that is potentially dangerous to your baby’s health.
The material should feel soft and comfortable in the babies mouth and allow for effective sucking movements. One should note not only the durability of each material but the taste that they give as well. We don’t want to feed our baby with a bottle that gives a taste our child can’t stand.
Ease of assembly and maintenance
Because babies must be fed multiple times a day, it’s wise to choose a bottle that can be put together, taken apart and cleaned very easily. Ideally, it shouldn’t include a large number of small parts that must be individually taken out and precisely washed.
The nozzle at the top should be large enough to fill with ease and clean without a struggle. Baby bottles that are machine washable are perfect for those that have to feed and take care of multiple babies at once.
Caring for a colic baby is one of the hardest things a parent can be faced with. Anti-colic baby bottles are a huge help in combating the discomfort, insomnia and excessive crying that often comes with improper feeding.
This type of bottle prevents babies from ingesting air bubbles when stress eating, subsequently reducing the occurrence of gas and intestinal ache. Choosing the right bottle requires looking at its shape, valve type, material, and nipple design. Keep the information in this guide in mind, and you’re sure to find the perfect bottle to keep both you and your baby happy.
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