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Alison Fay
Contributing Editor

Dr. Brown's BPA Free Polypropylene Natural Flow Wide Neck Bottles Review

Sporting a unique vent system that eliminates air bubbles, this bottle is specially designed to reduce colic, gas and spit-up.

Pros
• BPA free
• Patented vent system reduces gas and spit-up
• Eliminates oxidation and preserves vitamins A, C and E
• All parts are dishwasher friendly

Cons
• The nipple is a little long

Bottom Line
A shatterproof, BPA-free bottle that reduces gas and preserves essential vitamins—what more do you need?

Rating : 4.5 stars

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All baby bottles are created equal—or so I thought, until I used Dr. Brown's BPA-Free Polypropylene Natural Flow Wide Neck Bottles. As a first-time mom, I knew very little about bottles before my son arrived three months ago. To be honest, I spent so much time researching car seats, strollers and other high-priced items that I completely overlooked bottles. I wound up using a leading brand that a friend had given us as a shower gift.

When my son was about 6 weeks old, we noticed that he was frequently fussy after he ate. His fussiness lasted a short time and almost always ended with a good “old man burp,” as we call them, so I thought nothing of it. Then one day my dad brought over a Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow bottle and we never looked back. Thanks, Dad!

Features

The standout feature of Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow bottles is the patented two-piece internal vent system that’s specifically designed to reduce colic, gas and spit-up. As baby feeds, it channels air through the vents to the back of the bottle so the milk (breast or formula) doesn’t get aerated. Not only does that mean baby gets less gassy and fussy, but by eliminating air bubbles it also helps preserve vitamins A, C and E. ( Ed Note: Dr. Brown’s explains that the vitamins in the milk start to degrade when they come into contact with air.)

Because the bottles are plastic, they’re also naturally shatterproof, which I imagine will come in handy when my son starts wanting to hold his bottle himself.

Performance

We’ve been using–and enjoying– Dr. Brown’s bottles for about six weeks now. A friend of mine who also uses them claims they leak, but we’ve never had a problem. What’s more, they’re remarkably easy to put together. The bottles are comprised of four separate parts, but I can assemble it all with just one hand (a critical feature when you’re holding a famished newborn!).

Before using, simply wash the bottles with soap and warm water. After that, you can just pop the bottles into the dishwasher for easy cleanup.

Design

Aesthetically, these slightly curved bottles are nothing special—they’re really designed with functionality top of mind. ( Ed Note: The bottles are available in two sizes: 9 ounces and 5 ounces.) Made to mimic breastfeeding, the silicone nipples control the flow of milk so your child can comfortably feed at his or her own pace. Dr. Brown’s offers different nipple options with varying flow rates to suit every age and feeding style, from level one (newborn) through four (9+ months) as well as preemie flow and Y cut, which has the highest flow rate. My only complaint is the nipples are a bit long for newborns. Perhaps it’s just my personal anatomy, but who has nipples that long? They practically gagged my baby the first few times we used the bottle, but he got used to them.

If you’re thinking of buying a Dr. Brown’s bottle, here’s a tip: Make sure you purchase the model with blue measurements on the side instead of the clear, raised measurements—they’re much easier to read (even though the print is still remarkably small).

Summary

All in all, we own about 14 different baby bottles—and I only use our three Natural Flows by Dr. Brown. Even when our son chugs a bottle with the fervor of celebrating Oktoberfest (the norm for our little piglet), he doesn’t burp and fuss the way he used to with other brands. Bottom line: I’m sold.