cute newborn baby being fed by her mother using bottle
Last updated: 06/09/2020

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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.

Key Facts

  • 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 on the U.S. Market

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.

Best Anti-Colic Bottles for the Best Value

This pack of 6 anti-colic bottles comes in a collection of brightly-colored baby bottles. They incorporate breast-like nipples made of smooth silicone for a more natural latch. The slow flow nipple flexes and moves just like the skin of mothers for a comfortable feed. These bottles have a maximum ventilation valve that prevents excessive air intake and discomfort for the baby. It’s made with a comfortable hold design and measurement markings on the side.

Best Anti-Colic Bottles for Ventilation

These anti-colic bottles by Philips are designed to reduce the most common feeding issues: colic, gas, and reflux. The Air-Free vent keeps the nipples full of milk instead of air. This special Air-Free vent is one-piece and easy to clean. There is a range of flow rates available from 1 month old and up. We should note that Philips Avent is the #1 brand recommended by moms worldwide.

Best Anti-Colic Bottles for a Natural Feel

The 2 pack of Como Tomo baby bottles are designed to closely mimic breastfeeding in order to reduce bottle rejection and nipple confusion. The ultra-wide neck design allows easy cleaning, which can be done by hand without a brush. The nipple and body are made 100% of safe hygienic silicone. The bottles are equipped with a dual anti-colic vent that prevents unwanted air-intake, reducing colic. They are microwave and dishwasher safe, able to be heated up to 248°F.

Best Anti-Colic Bottles for an Easy Clean

Unlike most other baby bottles, MAM’s anti-colic bottles open from the top as well as from the bottom for easy, complete cleaning and maximum airflow while drying. The advanced anti-colic venting system creates a vacuum effect which eliminates bubbles that cause gas and aggravate colic. The SkinSoft nipple mimics breastfeeding, making it one of the best choices when switching between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding. It’s made with premium materials that are 100% BPA and BPS free.

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.

Mother gives to drink water baby

Anti-Colic bottles control the amount of food that passes to your baby.
(Source: Kuzmina: 48931104/ 123rf.com)m bottle

What are anti-colic bottles and what are their advantages?

Anti-colic baby bottles are bottles that have specially designed valves that decrease the suction pressure and allow air to flow to the bottom of the bottle instead of into the nipple, decreasing the accidental consumption of air. Here’s a list of their main 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?

The fundamental characteristics of anti-colic bottles come down to their ventilation system. This specially designed internal “vent” controls the movement of air and liquid inside the bottle and how it flows into the mouth of the baby. In this sense, all anti-colic bottles work similarly.

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.

mom feeding a little baby

If your baby has abdominal swelling, anti-colic bottles may be a great option to ease the condition.
(Source: Robert Przybysz: 40576678/ 123rf.com)

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?

An anti-colic bottle can easily be viewed as an evolved, traditional baby bottle; manufactured to solve the incessant crying of a baby from digestive discomfort. The biggest difference is the added air vent system built right inside the bottle.

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?

Because of the built-in ventilation systems in the nipple of the bottle, there’s an uninterrupted flow of milk from the bottle into the babies mouth. They encourage the movement of air bubbles to the back of the bottle, instead of into the babies mouth, reducing the occurrence of gas bubbles in the stomach and intestines.

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.

adorable child baby drinking water from bottle

Anti-colic bottles make it easier for your baby to stay relaxed while feeding.
(Source: Oksana Kuzmina: 47999514/ 123rf.com)

What tips should be kept in mind when using anti-colic bottles?

Below is a list of some quick tips and tricks that, alongside simply using an anti-colic bottle, will help your baby digest food much better.

  • 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?

Like traditional bottles, anti-colic bottles come with various designs of nipple depending on the shape and material preference as well as the age of the baby.
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.

Size:

  • 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?

There are a number of recognizable symptoms and behaviors in babies that can be a clear sign they are suffering from colic. Keep in mind that these symptoms could also be shared with other ailments and may very well be a result of something other than just colic.

  • 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.

Mary SchmidtBachelor of Pediatrics

“It is always best to shake the formula without seating the bottle. Doing so with the bottle closed can create air bubbles that are difficult for the baby to digest. Ideally, it should be done in a separate container with a spoon, mixing the formula well without creating any air bubbles.”

In addition to anti-colic bottles, what else can help avoid gas?

While anti-colic bottles are great helpers in reducing the symptoms mentioned above, there are other techniques that can also prove useful. Keep in mind that the main cause of this problem is anxiety when eating. With anxiety, the baby ends up eating much more rapidly and desperately, sucking in extra air as they try to get in as much food as possible.

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.

Purchase Criteria

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.

mother feeds  baby

Anti-colic bottles should have an easy latch on nipple and ergonomic shape.
(Source: Yanlev: 32228811/ 123rf.com)

Valve

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.

foco

Did you know that the oldest bottle discovered dates back to 3000 years ago? This bottle, made from the udder of a sheep, was found wrapped in the mummy of a baby.

Bottle shape

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.

Material

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.

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Twist and shake 🖤 . . . How can baby bottles and cups be so pretty and stylish looking?! Well @twistshakebaby have managed to achieve that look at it 😍 when twist and shake contacted me a few weeks ago I had no idea what they were sending I just gave them a colour I liked and they sent me some beautiful bits for Charlie to try this is the 11oz bottle it came with a little tub for formula and the shaker part for the bottle which makes dissolving the powder so much easier! . . . They are anti colic bottles and have a even flow so if your little one suffers from colic definitely give these a go! . . . You can use or discount code to save some money on your order which is; lifewithcharlieandsophie . . #twistandshake #twistandshakebaby #babyproducts #anticolicbottle #stylish #grey #onthego #busymum #milkmonster #gifted #mummusthave #toddlersofinstagram #mumssupportingmums #scottishmums #blueeyes #influencer #producttesting #reviews #likes #discoverunder10k #littlemenaceclothing #AD #GIFTED

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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.

Summary

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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(Featured Image Source: Ferli: 45095646/123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

William Dixon Professional Educator
William loves kids of all ages and is a professional educator. During his professional career he has learned a lot about education and toys. Now he loves to blog about it and hopes to help young parents. It is important to Wiliam that he stays up to date, therefore he regularly informs himself about current topics in the field of education.