Sometimes, babies experience prolonged periods of discomfort, and it can leave parents baffled. This is true whether someone is a first-time or seasoned parent and no two children are alike. So what happens when an infant’s needs have been met and they are still crying for hours at a time? If baby is curling up their legs, crying around the same time of day, and appearing to be in pain, it could point to colic.
The root cause of colic can vary. For example, colic could be caused by digestive issues, milk sensitivity, overstimulation, and more. In the case of first-time mother Katrina Johnson, she noticed something was wrong within the first couple of weeks of her son’s life. “He always seemed uncomfortable or in pain, especially after feeding, and wouldn’t sleep longer than an hour,” Johnson said. She later discovered he has infant acid reflux and began trying different “anti-colic” bottles to ease his digestive pains.
While there are many bottles geared toward easing colic, they have different features. Here are our top picks for the best bottles to help with colic.
1. Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Anti-Colic Baby Bottle
This bottle is highly recommended by pediatricians. It features a vent system that allows the milk to flow more easily to the baby without any interruptions. For Johnson, this bottle is the one she trusts to use for her son. She has noticed a reduction in painful gas and overall discomfort after her son’s feedings, which is a plus for her.
2. Philips Avent Anti-Colic Bottle
This is a bottle I can personally attest to using. My son also suffered from indigestion along with chronic constipation. After discovering he has a dairy protein allergy, I began researching which bottle would work for him. The great thing about this bottle is that it also features a vent system that is designed to allow the baby to have more access to milk than air. This is great for babies who simultaneously experience frequent hiccups.
3. NUK Simply Natural Baby Bottle
While this bottle is not classified as “anti-colic,” it still works well because it lives up to its name. The nipple itself is similar to a mother’s breast and creates a more comfortable feeding session for babies. It also features an indicator that lets you know when the milk is too hot for babies to drink.
4. Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Baby Bottles
This is a bottle system that my sister used for her children and recommended that I use for my son. While I found he prefers his Philips Avent bottle more than anything, the built-in anti-colic valve still reduced his indigestion and trapped gas issues. It is also designed to be similar to a mother’s breast, although in our opinion, the NUK Simply Natural Baby Bottles do a better job in that category.
5. MAM Anti-Colic Baby Bottle
Neela Sethi, MD, a pediatrician at Valencia Pediatric Associates and a MAM Baby Ambassador shared with me that MAM’s Anti-Colic bottles feature valves that reduce air bubbles and prevents infants from swallowing air. Plus, the nipple is flat which lowers the chance the baby will bite it. They are meant to produce familiarity in babies by being similar to moms’ nipples during breastfeeding.
6. Babylist Bottle Box
Again, no two babies are alike and a product that works for one mom might not work for you. When it comes to trying out different bottles, consider the bottle box offering by Babylist. It includes five bottles to try from: nanobébé, Comotomo, NUK, Dr. Brown’s, and Olababy (two from our recommended list above!). It’s another option so you can see what really works for you and your baby.
Regardless of which brand you find works best for your baby, the key is ensuring that the baby is comfortable during and after feedings. Although it can be hard not to feel frustrated or panicked, colic generally improves and goes away over time. If, at any time, you feel concerned about your baby’s digestion discomfort, always check with their pediatrician for a proper diagnosis.