The 7 Best Anti-Colic Bottles for a Fussy Baby
Is your baby crying uncontrollably for seemingly no reason? If you’ve run through the checklist of needs and baby’s been fed, burped, changed and cuddled, it could be colic. The root cause of colic isn’t exactly clear, but potential triggers include milk allergies, overfeeding, gas and even overstimulation. Whatever the case may be, a prolonged period of colic can leave parents (and baby) feeling distressed, upset and utterly overwhelmed.
The good news? If you suspect gas or reflux is playing a role in baby’s teary outbursts, anti-colic bottles may help ease the symptoms. To help you through this difficult stage we’ve gathered the facts and selected the best anti-colic bottles to reduce gas and reflux in infants.
Truth be told, there’s no cure for colic—different things work for different babies. That said, anti-colic bottles can help ease symptoms caused by feeding issues. They work by helping baby get the proper amount of milk or formula per feed and by decreasing the amount of air bubbles swallowed, explains Neela Sethi Young, MD, a pediatrician, lactation consultant and MAM Baby expert. “A baby’s stomach capacity is limited, and if you’re filling that with food and gas, baby will get full and uncomfortable until you either get a burp out or they pass gas,” says Young. Additionally, when baby’s tummy fills with air, they’ll feel fuller faster—but, because they aren’t actually getting sufficient breast milk or formula, they’ll get hungry again soon. Does this sound familiar? If baby goes two nights in a row with colic-like symptoms, Young recommends trying an anti-colic bottle. In short, if your little one seems uncomfortable or fussy after feeding, it can’t hurt to give it a shot.
When to stop using anti-colic bottles?
According to Young, there’s no real need to stop using an anti-colic bottle. That said, most babies would be fine doing so once they hit the three-month mark. At this point, colic symptoms tend to taper down, and baby will begin burping and passing gas comfortably. Young encourages parents to trust their instincts. If baby can gulp milk and isn’t fussy or having colicky moments in the evenings, take that as a green light to wean them from an anti-colic bottle. If baby is frustrated and needs a faster flow of milk, you can try trading up to a larger nipple size. On the other hand, if your little one is doing well and is able to gulp at a steady pace, there’s no need to make the switch.
While all anti-colic bottles are designed to prevent baby from swallowing air, not all brands take the same approach to combat this common feeding issue. Remember that, just like adults, babies can show strong preferences, so finding the best anti-colic bottle may be a matter of trial and error. To help streamline your search, here are three common features to look for in bottles that combat gas, reflux and colic:
- A valve or vent-system. Babies that ingest air bubbles as they feed may suffer from gas, reflux or colic. Fortunately, a valve or built-in venting system helps release trapped air from the bottle.
- Slow flow nipple. If baby is gulping air or choking while they drink, it’s a sign that the milk is flowing too quickly. A slow flow nipple lets baby feed at a more steady pace with fewer breaks, which can reduce gas and tummy discomfort.
- Easy to clean. Anti-colic bottles often have multiple parts that will need to be sterilized and cleaned. Where possible, opt for bottles that are dishwasher safe or have a wide opening, making them easy to hand wash.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to baby bottles, from nipple type to anti-colic features. Before you buy a large multipack, it’s best to test out a few options to find one that works for your little one. Below, find our picks of the best bottles for gas and reflux:
Designed to reduce feeding issues like colic, acid reflux and gas, the Philips Avent Anti-colic Bottle comes in at the top of our list for several reasons. First, it’s equipped with an air-free vent that ensures the nipple is full of milk even when the bottle is held horizontally for upright feeding sessions. Our product tester, the mom of a two-month-old, echoed this, telling us that “the slight curve of the bottle and ergonomic shape made it extremely easy to hold and position correctly while feeding.” Another highlight: The soft silicone nipple is available in different flow rates for babies of all ages. And when baby grows out of this stage, you can simply remove the vent and continue to use the bottle as normal. Better yet, our product tester praised it for being straightforward to clean, saying “the design allowed a bottle brush to thoroughly scrub its curved shape. I was concerned about cleaning the AirFree vent, however, it was surprisingly easy to clean compared to other anti-colic bottles.” It’s no surprise this anti-colic bottle was highlighted in our Best of The Bump roundup of the best baby bottles.
Number of bottles: 3 | Capacity: 9 oz. | Material: Plastic | Number of parts: 5 | Dishwasher safe?: Yes
“I was really impressed with the design and how well my baby fed once he was latched. The milk flow was controlled and the AirFree vent seemed to have a lot to do with this, by keeping the nipple full of milk rather than air. The bottle had zero leaking while making up and feeding.”
- Ergonomic design for baby and parent’s comfort
- Silicone nipple available in several flow rates
- Easy to clean
- Air-free vent isn’t compatible with other bottles
- Nipples with different flow speeds sold separately
Made from pharmaceutical-grade glass, these anti-colic bottles come in two different sizes (4 oz. and 8 oz.) and feature a soft silicone nipple for an easy latch and steady milk flow. But the real standout feature is the internal vent system that’s clinically proven to reduce gas-related colic. “I would definitely recommend these bottles, especially to a mom with a colicky or a reflux baby. The vent system is tried and true,” remarked our product tester, the mom of a 2-month-old. Plus, you can remove the vent system altogether once baby’s tummy is a bit more mature.
Number of bottles: 4 | Capacity: 8 oz. | Material: Glass, silicone | Number of parts: 6 | Dishwasher safe?: Yes
“At $6 per bottle, they’re average-priced and the nipple flow makes them worth the cost. What I also love about the bottle is that when your baby grows, you can remove the venting/anti-colic system and use the bottle without it, ensuring a longer time span of use.”
- Removable internal vent system
- Slow-flow nipple
- Premium, pharmaceutical-grade glass
- Our product tester reported some leakage
- More time-consuming to assemble and clean
Colic symptoms tend to strike in the first few weeks, so an anti-colic bottle can be particularly helpful if you plan to bottle-feed baby from the get-go. MAM Easy Start Anti-Colic Bottles are great for the newborn stage and beyond. They have an elongated nipple with a natural feel, so you can easily switch between breast and bottle. Our product told us, “the bottle parts feel substantial and the nipple feels natural and yet very robust.” Better yet, the innovative vented base allows for an even drinking flow, helping to reduce gas, spit-up and general newborn fussiness. It can even be sterilized in the microwave, which our product tester praised. “I especially loved the measurement markers on the bottle cap so that the water could be properly measured for self-sanitizing in the microwave,” she commented. To do so, just fill it with a little water, put the nipple on and heat it for three minutes—easy peasy.
Number of bottles: 3 | Capacity: 5 oz. | Material: Plastic, silicone | Number of parts: 6 | Dishwasher safe?: Yes
“The design is beautiful, the nipple feels very natural and the self-sanitizing option is very unique and useful.”
- Ideal for newborns and breastfed babies alike
- Unique self-sanitizing design
- Our product tester reported some leakage
Next up on our list of the best anti-colic bottles is this pick by Comotomo. It’s equipped with two built-in vents that reduce air bubbles, helping to prevent gas, tummy pain and colic. The clever design also mimics a natural breast to reduce nipple confusion and ease the transition from breast to bottle and back again—making it a great option for breastfed babies as well. Our product tester praised its construction in particular, saying that it “feels substantial and yet is lightweight. I was surprised at how light it was when I picked it up, considering how hearty it looks. The nipple felt like it was made of quality silicone and the bottle itself was substantial.” We’re sold!
Number of bottles: 2 | Capacity: 8 oz. | Material: Silicone | Number of parts: 4 | Dishwasher safe?: Yes
“I loved the unique design, the squishy silicone bottle, and how clean it looked after washing and sanitizing.”
- Straightforward assembly and cleaning
- Great option for breastfed babies
- Our product tester said the measurements could be hard to see at times
- Higher price point than other options
The NUK Smooth Flow Pro is another great option for babies who experience colic. Each bottle contains an advanced venting system, specifically designed to reduce bubbles in milk so that baby swallows less air. The standout feature, however, has to be the simple, user-friendly design which is made up of just three parts. As a result, you can count on assembly and cleanup to be a piece of cake, thanks to this anti-colic bottle. What’s more, it also has a blue temperature indicator to alert you when the milk is too hot.
Number of bottles: 3 | Capacity: 10 oz. | Material: Polypropylene, silicone | Number of parts: 3 | Dishwasher safe?: Yes
- Fewer parts than the average anti-colic bottle
- Reviewers say they’re a great option for breastfed babies
- Built-in heat sensor
- Some parents say it isn’t 100% leakproof
Next up on our list of the best anti-colic bottles is this option from Tommee Tippee. Designed with the help of breastfeeding experts, the silicone nipple mimics the natural flex, stretch and movement of a breast for an intuitive latch. It also boasts a three-piece venting system that draws air away from the milk, resulting in less gas, reflux and discomfort. The best part? The anti-colic venting tube comes with a built-in heat strip that turns pink if baby’s milk is too hot.
Number of bottles: 4 | Capacity: 5 oz. | Material: Plastic | Number of parts: 6 | Dishwasher safe?: Yes
- Built-in heat sensor
- Flexible nipples prompt intuitive latching
- Soft nipples are easily damaged by biting
On the hunt for an anti-colic bottle that’s perfect for infants and young tots alike? Look no further than this clever cup from Munchkin. It features a soft, flexible spout to move with baby, as well as a two-handle grip to encourage independent feeding. Better yet, the anti-colic bottle is also equipped with a specialized valve to stop air bubbles from forming. As a result, you can expect it to minimize your little one’s gas and fussiness. Another standout feature is the snug-fit lid, that makes it easy to take on the go and prevent spills—score!
Number of bottles: 1 | Capacity: 4 oz. | Material: Plastic, silicone | Number of parts: 5 | Dishwasher safe?: Yes
- Transitional design grows with baby
- Anti-colic valve for older infants and toddlers
- Suitable for babies 4 months or older
We get it—parenting requires a lot of gear, especially when it comes to feeding baby. To help you pick out the best anti-colic bottles for your little one, we browsed dozens of options from leading baby brands and online retailers, so you don’t have to spend hours scrolling. We considered several factors when sourcing products, including ease of assembly and cleanup, quality, durability and, of course, anti-colic features. What’s more, we read user reviews to get the lowdown on how these bottles have worked for real families, and didn’t consider anything with less than an average four-star rating.
To make sure we’re highlighting anti-colic bottles that are safe and effective, we chatted with a pediatrician to understand essential features and safety considerations to keep top of mind as you shop. What’s more, some of these bottles were reviewed by our team of independent product testers, providing additional insight for our roundup.
Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.
Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial process.
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