It can be hard to choose a good bottle for your baby or toddler. There are hundreds of bottles on the market, and they come in an often-bewildering array of different options and variations.
My favorite bottles for your newborn baby are the Dr. Brown’s Anti Colic bottles. You can buy them on Amazon at a great price.
I’ve used these bottles with all three of my kids, so I’ve probably prepared hundreds of bottles of milk in these. Here are my thoughts.
Dr. Browns Bottle Basics
The Dr. Brown’s Options Plus Anti-Colic Bottle comes in a four-pack of eight-ounce bottles. You can also get smaller bottles that are four ounces. This size is probably appropriate for a kid six months and up, but you should always check with your pediatrician.
Parts of the Dr. Brown’s Bottle
The Dr. Brown’s Options Plus Anti-Colic Bottle has a few different parts.
- Vent (2 pieces)
- Travel disc
The vent is designed to help prevent colic by letting more air in as your kid is drinking. It comes in two parts–a little tube and a stopper that goes on top. The cover helps prevent leaks and keeps the nipple from getting dirty, and the ring holds the nipple in place. The travel discs prevent leaks on longer trips.
Assembling the Dr. Browns Bottle
Dr. Brown’s Options Plus Anti-Colic Bottle is easy to assemble. Just put the ring on the nipple and then screw it onto the bottle. The vent goes into the top of the bottle.
I’ve done this so many times that I can literally assemble a Dr. Browns bottle one-handed!
The only other thing I would add is that Dr. Brown’s Options Plus Anti-Colic Bottle comes with a little brush that you can use to clean out the inside of the vent if stuff starts to get stuck in there. You can end up with milk solidifying inside the vent, so this helps clean it out.
Cleaning Dr. Browns Bottles
Cleaning the bottles is fairly easy, although the plethora of different parts makes it a bit more challenging than with simple bottles.
You can clean these out by hand, but there’s an easier way.
Can Dr. Browns Bottles Go in the Dishwasher?
Yes, Dr. Brown’s bottles can go in the dishwasher. Everything is dishwasher safe, and you can break each piece of the bottle down and put it into a special Dr. Brown’s insert or into your dishwasher’s silverware holder.
I did a full writeup about washing my Dr. Brown’s bottles in the dishwasher. The bottom line? I’ve been doing this for 5+ years, and it works great.
You can also use a bottle sterilizer (again, consult your pediatrician here), but I was told just to use the Sanitize setting in my dishwasher.
Choosing the Right Nipple Size
Dr. Brown’s nipples come in different sizes, depending on your baby’s age. There is a size chart is located on the back of every Dr. Brown’s nipple package.
Of course, check with your pediatrician for any recommendations that are specific to your baby. Depending on how they feed, you might need to choose a different nipple that’s the right size for their development.
- The pink level is for preemies. This is the slowest flowing nipple, perfect for very tiny babies who are either premature or on the smaller side.
- The level one nipple is for newborns. It has a low flow, perfect for feeding small quantities of formula. You can usually keep using the level one nipple until your baby gets settled into a feeding routine. I use it for the first several months with my kids.
- The level two nipple is for three months and up. It has a faster flow, making it easier to feed larger quantities of formula.
- The level three nipple is for six months and up. I actually think you can stick with these nipples until your baby is a year old. The advantage of it is that it is a little bit slower flowing than the later levels, making it a good balance for feeding larger quantities of formula.
- The level four or Y-cut nipples are the fastest-flowing nipple in Dr. Brown’s line. This is for babies who are nine months old or older. If you tried to feed a baby this age with a level two nipple, it would take forever, and they would get frustrated.
When in doubt, stick with the level three nipple for a while longer. Once your baby is six months old and you start to introduce solids, you can bump up to the level four nipple. If your baby is younger than six months, stick with the level one or two nipple.
Here’s a video that I made about selecting Dr. Brown’s nipples.
I find that Dr. Brown’s Options Plus Anti-Colic Bottle is great because the vent really does work well. It’s easy for your kid to drink out of, and it doesn’t leak too much. You can also upgrade the size of the nipple as your kid gets bigger, so the bottle grows as they do.