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- Best overall anti-colic bottle: Philips Avent Anti-Colic Baby Bottle
- Best anti-colic venting system: Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Original Bottle
- Best anti-colic bottle for breastfed babies: Comotomo Baby Bottle (5 oz.)
- Best anti-colic bottle for gas: NUK Simply Natural Baby Bottle
- Best anti-colic bottle for reflux: Playtex Baby VentAire Bottle
- Best anti-colic bottle for newborns: nanobébé Breastmilk Bottle
- Best anti-colic bottle for upright feeding: Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Baby Bottle
- Easiest anti-colic bottle to clean: MAM Easy Start Anti-Colic Bottle
Nothing pulls at your heart strings more than your baby crying uncontrollably. If the cause of their tears is colic, gas, or acid reflux, you may be at a loss about how to help them. Seeing your little one in pain can be so stressful (and exhausting) you probably feel like you’ll do anything to stop the problem.
Luckily, if your baby is bottle-fed, there are some products that claim they can help! Anti-colic bottles are a real thing, and we’re here to explain what they are and how they work. We’ll share our favorite anti-colic bottles, just in case you need help determining which ones to try.
Colic has been medically defined as an otherwise healthy baby crying for 3 or more hours a day, 3 or more days a week, for at least 3 weeks. It tends to appear in a baby’s first 3 to 6 weeks of life.
Colic is a temporary health condition, that should hopefully improve on its own with time, but the American Academy of Pediatricians says 20 percent of all babies develop it. (So, you’re not alone!)
Colic can appear suddenly. There is no known cause of colic, but it could be triggered by:
One of the common ways babies get gas in their digestive system is by swallowing air, particularly during feeds. Colicky babies also have the extra problem that they may swallow air when they are continuously crying, which can cause a vicious cycle.
A bottle labeled as anti-colic is designed to reduce air swallowed during feeds, lessen gas bubbles in the stomach, and slow down food intake. This has the potential to reduce any colicky crying related to gas and overfeeding.
So, just how does an anti-colic bottle reduce swallowed air? They may have:
- a variety of nipple flow options to help get milk flowing at just the right speed
- bottle nipples designed to lessen the chance of air in the tip
- valve systems to ensure your bottle doesn’t turn into an air vacuum
- an angled shape to help keep baby more upright while feeding
- optional vent systems to keep air from traveling through the milk, creating more bubbles
Anyone can use an anti-colic bottle! They will typically be most beneficial to babies who seem upset after feeds and have a lot of gas, but there’s certainly no harm in using them even with a baby who does not seem to have these issues.
When determining which anti-colic bottles made the cut, we considered their special features, cost, and what parents had to say about them. After all, there’s no one more brutally honest about the flow, ease of cleaning, and actual effectiveness than a fellow parent trying to soothe a fussy baby!
- $ = under $5 per bottle
- $$ = $5–$10 per bottle
- $$$ = over $10 per bottle
Best overall anti-colic bottle
Babies are very different in which brand of bottle offers the perfect fit to decrease air intake, so we could honestly name almost any of the bottles listed below as “best overall.” That said, Avent bottles check a lot of the boxes parents for parents struggling with colicky babies.
Meant to reduce colic and discomfort from gas, they are designed to be easy to hold and have nipples structured to prevent collapsing. These bottles are also a cinch to clean, because they only include four parts and have a wide neck!
Best anti-colic venting system
Parents love this bottle and its famous venting system, which reduces air bubbles in milk. Fewer air bubbles also mean less oxidation of nutrients, so the milk may retain more vitamins A, C, and E.
With this bottle there are also a wide range of nipple flow options available, so you won’t run into problems if your baby is a preemie or older and sucking strongly.
Downsides? All the parts you’ll need to clean (this tends to be a problem with most bottles that include venting systems though). There are also more pieces to assemble, which can make this a tricky bottle for friends and relatives to put together in your absence.
Best anti-colic bottle for breastfed babies
Specifically designed to resemble breastfeeding as closely as possible, this bottle has a soft silicone body easy for a baby to grab like a breast. It is also easy to clean due to its wide neck and minimal parts.
Optional handles can be used for self-feeding when your baby is ready, and the true slow-flow nipple — intended for ages newborn for 3 months — only has one hole.
Downsides? You’ll want to really double-check how the lid is screwed on, since it’s been known to leak. The soft base also tends to tip over, since it’s not as stable. Additionally, it can be hard to tell exactly how much formula or milk is in the bottle because the volume markers are hard to see.
Best anti-colic bottle for gas
At a budget-minded price point, this bottle is also good for breastfed babies. The slow-flow nipple on the 5-ounce size is designed with multiple holes to closely mimic how milk comes out of a breast.
The built-in anti-colic air system means you won’t have to clean as many parts, which is always a nice bonus!
Best anti-colic bottle for reflux
This bottle’s bottom includes micro-vents that allow air in while the baby is drinking, which prevents the bottle from becoming a vacuum. The angled bottle shape also helps with upright feeding positions. And did we mention the raised texture on the nipple may encourage easier latching?
One thing to note is that if you plan to use a bottle warmer, this isn’t a great bottle shape. Some parents also worried that the flow of milk might be too fast with this bottle, so be sure to select the slow-flow version if that’s a concern.
Best anti-colic bottle for newborns
You can use this bottle to pump, store, warm, and feed. These bottles are stackable for efficient storage, and the brand carries a breast pump adaptor to make life even easier.
The nipple has a double vent system to reduce air pressure, and it cools milk quickly to help prevent bacterial growth. The small size also works well for small hands!
Some parents found the bottle hard to close and as your baby grows, the compact size of the bottle may mean it won’t hold enough milk for a full feed. For a newborn, though, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Best anti-colic bottle for upright feeding
You can hold this bottle in three different ways, so you can position and grip however is the easiest while you support your baby in an upright position. The nipple is flexible and moves in ways that resemble a breast’s nipple.
This bottle is not dishwasher safe, and it can leak if the flow is too fast for your baby. Many parents actually mentioned the flow might be too slow for their baby. So, you’ll want to make sure that you use the right size nipple to prevent these issues.
Easiest anti-colic bottle to clean
This bottle can self-sterilize in the microwave in just 3 minutes! Parents also really enjoy the flat nipple that fits well into babies’ mouths, making it easier to go back and forth between bottle and breastfeeding.
You’ll want to keep an eye out for the nipple size that comes with the bottle you order. Many MAM bottles come with medium flow nipples, and you’ll need to order slow flow nipples separately.
If your baby is spending lots of their day crying or showing distress after feeds, they may have acid reflux, gas, or even the dreaded colic.
Before feeling helpless, try switching their bottle to one that is anti-colic in design. This way they will hopefully ingest less air and eat in a way that lends itself to a settled stomach.
Always check with your child’s doctor if you think there are any medical issues. You may have to test out a few bottles, but don’t give up hope! Colic will resolve in time, and maybe you’ll find a bottle that helps your little one sooner than later.