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Spit up, burping, and flatulence; they’re all normal and accepted things with little babies. But what happens when those common things become frequent and intensified? Your baby may have gas, and your baby’s bottle may be the culprit. You need help choosing one of the best bottles to reduce gas.
All about Baby Gas
What Causes Gas?
Gas is a common problem with young babies regardless of whether they breast or bottle-fed. In fact, about 70% of all babies suffer from painful gas symptoms at some point during early infancy.
The most common cause of gas is the ingestion of excess air. This can be the result of bottle feeding, improper latch, or excessive crying. Gas can also just be the result of an underdeveloped digestive tract that is unable to properly or completely digest milk, formula, and food.
Read also: What’s the Best Formula for Gassy Babies?
How Do I know if My Baby has Gas?
Symptoms can vary between cases depending on the cause of gas. You may notice that your baby:
- Burps frequently
- Has excessive flatulence
- Cries and fusses nonstop
- Has a hard or bloated belly
- Spits up a lot
- Has the hiccups
Why is there a Difference between Breastfeed and Bottle?
While gas occurs in both breastfed and bottle-fed babies, there is an increased likelihood of frequent gassiness in bottle-fed babies.
Formula is harder to digest than breastmilk, and certain components (such as dairy or soy) can result in an allergic reaction or symptoms of intolerance. Both of these things can cause excessive gas in formula-fed babies.
The bottle you choose can make all the difference as well. A poor latch on an ill-fitted nipple or air pockets created during milk transfer (from the pouch to bottle) can cause your baby to swallow excess air that will cause gas.
How Can I Improve My Baby’s Feeding Experience?
You may not be able to avoid every case of baby gas, but there are a few things you can do to help prevent them.
- Choose the right bottle (that’s what this post is about!). There are several bottles designed to help reduce air intake and gas buildup.
- Keep your baby upright during feedings and after to allow proper digestion.
- Burp your baby during and after feedings to get rid of air bubbles (and make sure they’re actually full).
- Be prepared for mealtime. Babies who are beyond the point of hunger cry and fuss more during feedings, increasing the likelihood of air being swallowed.
- Stir formula and breastmilk; do not shake it.
- Have your baby tested for allergies. If they are allergic to soy or have lactose intolerance, certain formulas can intensify symptoms of gas.
How to Choose the Right Bottle to Reduce Gas Buildup
Babies control the amount of milk that flows during breastfeeding, but they don’t have that some control with a bottle. That’s because bottle nipples are designed with specific holes to control the speed of milk flow.
A flow that is too slow or too fast will not only frustrate your baby, but it can also affect the amount of gas that becomes built up in their little tummy. You need to find the flow that is just right for your baby’s age.
Bottle nipples don’t necessarily look, feel, taste, or work like mom’s nipples do. However, there are more recent bottle designs that are trying to perfect their nipple design to make them more breast-like, helping babies achieve a better latch and reduce gas.
The bottle shape is important regardless of whether it is your or your baby holding it. It needs to be comfortable and ergonomic and provide the right type of flow so that there is more milk and less air swallowed by your baby.
Bottles and/or nipples should be fitted with a vent or valve to allow air out but not in. These can create a sort of vacuum effect so that all the air is sucked out of the vent and not through the nipple opening.
Everything you give your baby should be non-toxic and made with safe materials. This is especially important with bottles and nipples since they are put directly into your baby’s mouth.
The standard bottles of the olden days had such narrow necks and small nipples that they were difficult to clean. Today, there are more options with wider necks that are easier to clean. With as often as your baby will be eating, you don’t want to be fussing with a tedious bottle that takes too much time and effort to clean.
After you decide whether you will be bottle-feeding part-time or full time, you need to consider the cost per bottle and the investment required to get the number you will need.
Best Bottles to Reduce Gas
Dr. Brown’s Original bottle
[amazon box=”B001LENCUE” /]
Dr. Brown’s Original bottle is the #1 pediatrician recommended bottle for babies. It reduces colic, spit-up, burping, and gas thanks to its ventilation system that removes air from the milk. The vents also help to preserve vitamins like C, A, and E.The bottle’s unique positive pressure flow allows for vacuum-free feeding, making it similar to breastfeeding.
They are made of polypropylene and silicone and are BPA, PVC, lead, and phthalate-free. You can rest assured knowing your baby doesn’t have any toxic materials entering their mouth.
The biggest complaint I have with these bottles are the multiple tiny parts required to assemble them. These make the bottle very tedious to clean and increases the risk of losing a small part, rendering the bottles’ features ineffective.
This kit, in particular, comes with three 8-ounce bottles, two 4-ounce bottles, 5 level one (slow flow) nipples, 2 level two (medium flow) nipples, 2 bottle caps, and 3 cleaning brushes.
- Positive pressure flow for breast-like feeding
- Ventilation system removes air and preserves vitamins
- Made with non-toxic materials
- Many little pieces to clean and possibly lose
- Tends to leak occasionally
Comotomo Natural Feel
[amazon box=”B004C053AQ” /]
The Comotomo Natural Feel bottles are not only great for gas-free feeding but they are also comfortable for both mom and baby to hold. Both the bottle and the nipple are made with soft silicone creating a natural feel for your baby’s mouth and hands. The silicone is also BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free.
Even though the entire bottle is made with soft silicone, it is heat-resistant, making it safe for both the microwave and the dishwasher. The nipple is dual vented to allow air out, preventing gas ingestion and buildup in the digestive tract.
This set only comes with one medium flow nipple (suitable for 3-6 months; others available for separate purchase) and one bottle, which is a bit inconvenient if you need multiples for feeding. Each bottle is also quite expensive compared to others on my list.
- Bottle and nipple are made with soft, squeezable silicone
- Safe for microwave and dishwasher use
- Two vents on the nipple prevent air buildup in the bottle
- Only comes with one bottle and one nipple in one flow type
- Pricey for one bottle
Philips AVENT Anti-Colic
[amazon box=”B01M1DSSSX” /]
Philips AVENT has been trusted for many years for their baby products, particularly their bottles. These are especially good as they are clinically proven to reduce colic and gas. Valves are integrated right into the nipples, which vent air away, keeping it out of your baby’s belly.
Each bottle is fitted with a wide neck and only has 4 parts: the bottle, nipple, ring, and cap, making them very easy and stress-free to clean. However, the nipples have been known to leak regularly, making a bigger mess to clean up in the baby’s diaper bag.
This set comes with three 9-ounce bottles with slow flow nipples (others are available for separate purchase) and 3 bottle caps.
- Clinically proven to reduce colic and gas
- Few parts to clean
- Valves integrated into the nipples vent air away
- Nipples are known to leak
Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature
[amazon box=”B00K5KVC52″ /]
You may be familiar with Tommee Tippee’s sippy cups, but did you know that they have great bottles too? The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottle comes in multiple colors, each made with BPA and phthalate-free materials.
It is designed with a super-wide neck, making them a breeze to clean between feedings.I would have to say that the best thing about these bottles is the nipple. It is shaped very similarly to a mother’s breast, which creates a sense of familiarity and allows for a better latch with your baby.
However, there is one major flaw to the nipple design. Due to its ultra-soft silicone material, the nipple collapses easily when your baby is feeding. This doesn’t allow for proper milk flow and can cause quite a bit of frustration for a hungry baby.
- Natural feel nipple creates a more breast-like feeding experience
- Super wide neck for easy cleaning
- Comes in multiple fun colors
- Bottle measurements wash off quickly
- Soft nipples collapse easily during feedings
[amazon box=”B00CXSPL24″ /]
So the Kiinde Twist is more of a feeding set rather than a bottle alone, but if you are planning to bottle-feed pumped breast milk, this set has everything you need to make it easy. The bottles for the Kiinde system are designed to work with the Twist pouches, which come with breast pump adapters to pump straight into the bag.
With no milk transfer, you don’t need to worry about milk lost or spilled and there is no excess air trapped that can find its way into your baby’s digestive system. During feeding, the pouch collapses, pushing out any excess air and eliminating the need for vents.
The nipples for these bottles are quite revolutionary as well. They are shaped like a wide oval rather than round, which means there are no air gaps when your baby latches on. They are also designed with Active Latch technology, which means they require sucking and massaging to stimulate milk flow, just like a real breast. This also eliminates free milk flow from the nipple.
There are also next to no parts to clean between feedings. Just throw the empty pouch away and clean the nipple with the included brush.
This starter kit includes 20 Twist pouches, all major pump adapters, milk pouch organizer, 2 Squeeze Bottles, slow, medium, and fast flow nipples (1 each), and 2 nipple brushes. The biggest downside to this system is that it doesn’t really support formula feeding since the bottles are only usable with the pouches.
- Active Latch nipple simulates breastfeeding
- No air trapped during milk transfer
- Only the nipple needs to be cleaned
- Doesn’t support formula feeding
If I had to make one recommendation for a Best Bottles to Reduce Gas, I would go with Dr. Brown’s Original bottle.
Not only is it the #1 recommended bottle by pediatricians, but it also has a unique ventilation system inside the bottle that ensures an air-free feeding. They make take a little time to clean, but I think the extra parts are worth it if it reduces my baby’s gas.
What do you think? Do you have other bottle recommendations? Let us know!