Nobody wants their baby to suffer from colic. I am sure you have heard of several devastating stories of moms losing countless hours of sleep to a baby crying due to colic pain, or maybe you’ve had the same misfortune yourself.
This condition makes our little cry a lot and is in desperate need of extra care and soothing. Trapped gas is among the most common causes of colic. Though it can feel like the end of the world, especially for new moms, it can likewise be a surprisingly easy problem to treat, if you know how. Feeding your baby using an effective anti-colic bottle can make a huge difference. You must check out Avent vs Dr Brown for colic.
Before going to the details, let’s discuss first what is colic and how dangerous it can be for a baby.
What is baby colic?
This happens when a baby cries more than usual with no obvious cause. According to NHS UK, if the crying is more than 3 hours a day, 3 days a week for at least 1 week. It starts when a baby is a few weeks old and usually stops by the time they are 6 months old. Crying is observed to be more often in the afternoon and evening.
It may also be colic if the baby experiences any of the following:
- Difficult to soothe or if there is extreme fussiness
- Has a “windy” tummy
- There’s a presence of bodily tension such as bringing their knees to their tummy, arched back, or stiffened legs or arms
- Reddening of the face
What causes colic?
The cause of colic is still unknown but there are a lot of contributing factors. According to Mayo Clinic, the possible contributing factors include the following:
- The baby’s digestive system is not yet fully developed
- There’s imbalance of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract
- Food allergies or intolerances
- Overfeeding, underfeeding, or infrequent burping
- Family stress or anxiety
There are also numerous articles stating that air swallowing could be the main culprit of gas and colic. Babies can swallow air whenever they cry, suckle, and while they feed usually when bottle-feeding.
What can you do?
These are the things you can do to soothe a baby from colic:
- Cuddling your baby can help relieve colic
- It is highly recommended to hold the baby upright during feeding to stop them from swallowing air
- Do not forget to wind your baby after every feeds
- Distract your baby by having some gentle noise in the background
Sometimes, the baby gets relief after passing of gas or has had a bowel movement.
There are also some tricks that you can do to help your baby swallow less air while feeding:
- Be it breastmilk or formula, you need to stir it instead of shaking the contents within the bottle. Shaking creates a lot of air bubbles within the milk, which ends up in the baby’s tummy.
- Upright or sitting position is recommended while feeding
- Use anti-colic baby bottles
Why use anti-colic bottles? What’s wrong with traditional baby bottles?
The two common problems with traditional baby bottles include vacuum (negative pressure) and ingestion of air bubbles. With non-vented bottles, the baby has to suck harder for the milk to come out and a vacuum tends to develop. When the vacuum increases, air enters the bottle and aerates the milk. These air bubbles get swallowed by the baby, causing gas, discomfort, and fussiness. In severe cases, this vacuum may also cause middle ear infection.
With the introduction of anti-colic bottles, moms now have a comfortable way to feed their babies without introducing air into their milk.
What should you look for when buying an anti-colic bottle?
Anti-colic bottles come in several styles and features, specifically meant to help relieve gas and colic symptoms. You’ve got several brands to choose from, but you need to know exactly what you should look for.
Listed below are some of the main features that manufacturers use to prevent air from mixing with milk in the bottle.
For gassy babies, the flow must be slow! Just like when eating, taking in food quickly can distend your stomach, allowing gases to pass through and make you feel uncomfortable. The same concept is true when feeding.
On the other hand, if the baby is having a hard time sucking milk from the bottle, they can consume air instead.
So how do you know if the nipple flows just right enough to keep your baby from getting fussy?
Choose a brand that has several nipple flow options. This will help you find the perfect balance for your little one.
It’s quite funny how several bottles advertise that their nipples are closest to humans, but they all have a slightly different shape.
That’s because everybody is different, which includes babies. Some likes wide nipples, while others are more comfortable with the narrow ones. If you are doing mix feeding – breastfeeding and bottle feeding, pay close attention to the way your baby’s latching. See which shape might be closest to breastfeeding.
Nipple shape is extremely important. This can help greatly in minimizing the number of air bubbles being trapped in the tip.
When suckling on a bottle, a vacuum is created and pressure piles up. That pressure has to be released effectively for the milk flow to continue. Most nipples have a built-in valve system meant to let air back out and prevent bubbles.
Bottles are available in different sizes and shapes. You can see straight, curved, and angled bottles. All of these help guide gas flow through the milk and back to the bottle end to keep it away from your little one’s mouth.
The right bottle shape should depend on your baby’s favorite feeding position.
Is he or she feeding in a reclined position? If yes, the traditional shape will work perfectly fine for you.
Does your baby prefer to feed in an upright or seated position? If yes, choose a bottle with a tilt to help direct gases away from the baby’s mouth.
Some bottles have built-in valves that deliver excess air directly back to the bottle top without traveling through the milk and potentially cause more air and bubbles. This is perfect for colicky babies, but take note that this comes with an extra work of cleaning.
Bottles with disposable liners are good for colicky babies. These thin liners are very flexible and will collapse easily during sucking and creates a vacuum.
As compared to traditional bottles, this vacuum does not need to be released because it does not alter the milk flow. Air is not required to flow back into the bottle, which eliminates the possibility of creating gas and belly pain for babies.
However, the disadvantage of these bottles is that the liners are disposable. You will have to shell out a few extra bucks from time to time to get new liners. This might not also attract parents who prefer eco-friendly bottles as it will surely create regular wastes.
Two best Avent vs Dr Brown for colic
Right now, two well-known brands are the go-to choices by parents. Avent vs Dr Brown for colic, which one is better? Let’s weigh out the pros and cons.
We’ll start with a company based in England. For some moms, simple is best. These anti-colic bottles consist of only 4 pieces – the bottle, the ring, the nipple, and the cap. This brand is known to have the best nipple vent, which helps keep the air away from your baby. The efficacy of these bottles was already tried and tested. Results showed that infant nighttime fussiness was reduced by 60% as compared to conventional bottles.
Philips Avent not only manufactures baby bottles. This company also produce breast pumps and other baby feeding accessories but we will focus on the baby bottles.
- Both natural and classic bottles of Avent have the following features:
- Have anti-colic valve
- BPA free
- Prevents leakage while feeding the baby
- Have a wide neck for easier cleaning and filling of breast milk or formula
- Have a wide shape which makes it comfortable to hold
- Measurements are clearly written on the side of the bottle, making it easier to read the precise amount of milk for the baby
- The nipple of the Avent natural bottle resembles a mother’s nipple and this also prevents nipple from collapsing when the baby is sucking at a fast pace
- Glass bottles are eco-friendly, more resistant to scratching when cleaning, does not discolor over time and allows faster heat transfer so there is reduced waiting time for the milk to warm up
- Comes in 4, 9, and 11 oz and can be purchased individually or in packs
- Dishwasher safe
- No tiny parts to wash
- Comfortable and natural feeding experience for the baby
- More expensive. The price of a 9 oz classic Avent bottle (clear) is $17.90 while a 9 oz bottle of Dr. Brown’s is $11.86
- Milk leaks all over the place if the bottle is not used correctly
- Plastic-made Avent bottles are sometimes scratched when washed using a brush and over time, may turn brownish due to exposure to high temperature, and tend to appear cloudy
- Glass-made bottles are heavier compared to plastic and have a possibility to break which is why Avent recommends using a protective silicone sleeve that will serve as a cushion if the bottle is dropped on the floor
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Another well-known brand is Dr. Brown’s. It’s well-liked by moms because of its internal vent system. Unlike other brands, the vent is located in the nipple collar, which eliminates negative pressure and air bubbles more effectively, thereby reducing colic.
Aside from reducing gas, this can also help prevent oxidation of nutrients. Clinical researches show that more vitamins are being retained in the milk.
- Less air intake during feedings which reduces the chance of gas, ear infection, and colic
- Maintains nutrients as it preserves vitamins A, C, and E
- Bottles are BPA free; no PVC, lead, or phthalates
- Standard shape bottles come in 4 and 8 oz variety and can be purchased individually or in packs
- Comes in plastic and glass bottle
- Glass bottles are safer, eco-friendly, allows faster heat transfer so there is reduced waiting time for the milk to warm up
- Plastic bottles are shatterproof, lightweight, and travel-friendly
- Cheaper compared to Avent
- Dishwasher safe
- If you happen to lose or misplace a bottle part, you can separately buy a replacement part
- Difficult and time consuming to clean as there are additional tiny parts to clean up
- Measurements written in the bottle may be hard to read by some people as it is too small
- Tends to leak if not used correctly
- Brown’s Original bottles and Options bottles are not interchangeable
- Since glass bottles are heavier, they are not travel-friendly
- Glass bottles have the possibility to break so you may opt to purchase a protective silicone sleeve
Rating: 4 out of 5
These two famous and recommended brands are widely available in local department stores and online. As previously mentioned, they come in different sizes. You can get them in sets, which can help you save some amount of money.
Choosing the right baby bottle is a matter of personal choice. If you are on a budget, you can opt for Dr. Brown’s since it is more affordable. However, some babies do well with Avent, others with Dr. Brown’s. To conclude, there is really no single best baby bottle because each baby is different from another. Finding the right baby bottle takes a lot of patience, research, and testing until you find the one that is effective and works perfectly for your baby.