The Best Anti-Colic Bottles for a Fussy Baby

Anti-colic bottles may offer relief to gassy, uncomfortable babies.
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By Martina Garvey, Associate E-Commerce Editor
Published January 27, 2023
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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 a milk allergy, 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.

Do You Need Anti-Colic Bottles?

Truth be told, there is no cure for colic—different things work for different babies. That said, anti-colic bottles can help ease symptoms caused by feeding issues. Anti-colic bottles 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.

What to Look for in an Anti-Colic Bottle

All anti-colic bottles are designed to prevent baby from swallowing air, but 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 you on 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.

Best Anti-Colic Bottles

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. To make the search easier, find our picks of the best bottles for gas and reflux below.

Best anti-colic glass bottle

Looking for a tried-and-tested anti-colic baby bottle? These glass bottles by Dr. Brown’s are hard to beat. Made from pharmaceutical-grade glass, the 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. Plus, you can remove the vent system altogether once baby’s tummy is a bit more mature. With so many great features, it’s no surprise that these bottles won a Best of Baby award two years in a row.

What We Love
  • Removable internal vent system
  • Slow-flow nipple
Things To Consider
  • Glass bottles can be heavy

Best anti-colic bottle for newborns

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. MAM Easy Start Anti-Colic Bottles are great for the newborn stage and beyond. MAM bottles have an elongated nipple with a natural feel, so you can easily switch between breast and bottle. 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. Simply fill it with a little water, put the nipple on and heat it in the microwave for three minutes.

What We Love
  • Vented base lets baby drink at their own pace
  • Slow-flow nipple
  • Can be sterilized in the microwave
Things To Consider
  • Best suited for ages 0 to 2 months
  • Multiple pieces to clean

Best plastic anti-colic bottle

Next up on our list of the best anti-colic bottles is this pick by Comotomo. A multiple Best of Baby award-winner, this bottle features 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.

What We Love
  • Leak-proof vents on the lid help prevent colic
  • BPA-, PVC- and phthalate-free
  • Dishwasher-safe
Things To Consider
  • Difficult to open
  • Some parents say the measurements are hard to read

Best anti-colic bottle for older babies

Designed to reduce feeding issues like colic, acid reflux and gas, the Philips Avent Anti-colic Bottle is a great choice for slightly older infants. An air-free vent ensures the nipple is full of milk even when the bottle is held horizontally for upright feeding sessions. The soft silicone nipple is available in different flow rates for babies of all ages. And when baby grows out of this stage, simply remove the vent and continue to use the bottle as normal.

What We Love
  • Vent system keeps nipple full of milk, not air
  • Allows you to feed baby in an upright position
Things To Consider
  • Nipples with different flow speeds sold separately

Best anti-colic bottle for easy assembly

Developed with pediatric feeding specialists, Evenflo Balance + Bottles are another great choice for babies with colic. The bottle comes with a slow flow nipple for a gulp-free feed at a pace that suits your little one. Meanwhile, a built-in vent system helps prevent common symptoms of colic, such as gas, fussiness and spit-up. And because the vent is integrated into the lid, there’s no extra parts to clean.

What We Love
  • Easy to assemble and clean
  • Slow flow nipple
  • Integrated vent system
Things To Consider
  • Nipple may collapse during feeding sessions

Best anti-colic bottle for upright feeds

Playtex Baby VentAire Complete Tummy Comfort Baby Bottles
Image: Walmart

Feeding baby in an upright position may help ease common tummy troubles. Thanks to the innovative shape, Playtex VentAire Complete Tummy Comfort are among the best bottles for reflux, gas and colic. The unique, angled design makes it easy to feed baby in a semi-upright position. Plus, a vent at the base prevents air from traveling forward and mixing with the milk as baby drinks—and fewer air bubbles means less gas, burping and spit-up for a fuss-free feed.

What We Love
  • Unique angled design
  • Air vent in the base
  • BPA-, PVC- and phthalate-free
Things To Consider
  • Some parents say that the milk flow is too fast

Best anti-colic bottle with a heat sensor

Tommee Tippee Anti-Colic Baby Bottles
Image: Amazon

Last 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.

What We Love
  • Built-in heat sensor
  • Anti-colic venting system
Things To Consider
  • Soft nipples are easily damaged by biting

About the expert:

Neela Sethi Young, MD, is a pediatrician, lactation consultant and MAM Baby expert based in Los Angeles, California. Young earned her medical degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

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.

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