If you have a baby who suffers from colic or acid reflux, it can be a challenging and distressing experience for you and your baby. Colic is characterized by excessive crying, fussiness, and irritability in otherwise healthy infants, typically starting at around two to three weeks of age and lasting for several weeks or months.
Acid reflux, on the other hand, occurs when stomach contents, including stomach acid, flow back up into the esophagus, causing discomfort and pain. Watching your baby suffer from colic or acid reflux can be painful and distressing for new parents, as they feel helpless to alleviate their baby’s discomfort.
It is natural to turn to anything and everything that might help, from specialized formulas to medications to natural remedies such as massage or soothing music.
Acid reflux and colic are common conditions that affect many babies, and finding the right bottle can help alleviate some of the associated symptoms.
In this context, we will look at some of the best bottles for acid reflux and colic and discuss why some babies suffer from these conditions.
Bottles for acid reflux and colic are designed to reduce the amount of air that babies swallow during feeding, as this can contribute to gas and discomfort.
They may also have a special shape or design that helps to prevent the backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus.
Want the Quick Choices? These Are Our Top 3 Choices!
This bottle features a unique vent system that reduces air intake and helps prevent colic, spit-up, and gas.
Tommee Tippee bottles have a venting system that helps in having less air intake and prevents colic and reflux.
This bottle is designed to mimic a breast’s natural shape and feel, which can help reduce nipple confusion and prevent reflux and colic.
What is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux in babies, also known as gastroesophageal reflux (GER), occurs when stomach contents, including stomach acid, flow back into the esophagus. This can cause discomfort and pain for the baby and may lead to spitting up, vomiting and other digestive symptoms.
Acid reflux in babies is common and affects up to 70% of infants to some degree, usually starting around 3-4 weeks of age and peaking at about four months. Most babies will outgrow the condition by the time they reach their first birthday.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux in Babies:
Frequent spitting up or vomiting
Fussiness and irritability, especially after feeding
Refusing to eat or eating less than usual
Arching the back or pulling away during feeding
Coughing or gagging
Difficulty sleeping or waking up frequently during the night
Causes of Acid Reflux in Babies:
Immature digestive system: Babies’ digestive systems are still developing, which can make them more prone to acid reflux.
Weak or immature lower esophageal sphincter (LES): The LES is the muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach. It may not close properly if it is weak or immature, allowing stomach contents to flow back into the esophagus.
Horizontal position: When babies lie down, their stomach contents can flow back into the esophagus more easily.
Food allergies or intolerances: Some babies may be sensitive to certain foods or ingredients in their diet, which can cause digestive discomfort and contribute to reflux.
Treatment of Acid Reflux in Babies:
Feeding adjustments: Feeding smaller, more frequent meals, keeping the baby upright after feedings, and avoiding tight clothing that can pressure the baby’s tummy can help alleviate symptoms.
Medication: In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help reduce the amount of acid in the stomach.
Thickened feedings: Adding cereal to breast milk or formula to thicken the feedings can help reduce the amount of stomach contents that flow back up into the esophagus.
Infant reflux precautions: Placing the baby on their back for sleep, using a wedge pillow to elevate the head of the baby’s bed for their entire baby sleep schedule, and burping the baby frequently during feedings can help alleviate symptoms.
Medical intervention: If symptoms persist or are severe, medical intervention may be necessary. This can include further testing to diagnose the underlying cause of the reflux and medication to treat the condition. In rare cases, surgery may be required.
How to Prevent Acid Reflux or Help Reduce Acid Reflux in a Baby?
There are several steps you can take to prevent acid reflux or help reduce its symptoms in your baby:
Feeding techniques: Feed your baby in an upright position and burp them after every feeding. Also, avoid overfeeding as it can lead to increased pressure on the stomach and cause reflux.
Thicken formula: If you bottle-feed your baby, consider using a formula that is thickened with rice cereal. This can help keep the stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus.
Smaller, more frequent feedings: Instead of feeding your baby large amounts of milk at once, offer smaller, more frequent feedings throughout the day. This can help prevent overfeeding and reduce the likelihood of reflux.
Elevate the head of the crib: Place a wedge under the head of your baby’s crib to elevate it slightly. This can help keep the stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus.
Choose the right feeding bottle: Choosing the right feeding bottle can help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux in babies. Babies with reflux may experience discomfort and spit up frequently. Choosing the right bottle can help prevent air from getting into the baby’s stomach, reducing the amount of gas and discomfort they experience.
Colic is a common condition in infants characterized by excessive crying, often for no apparent reason. Colic typically affects babies between the ages of two weeks and four months and can last several hours a day, several days a week.
Symptoms of colic:
Intense, inconsolable crying for no apparent reason, typically in the late afternoon or evening
Episodes of crying lasting at least three hours a day, three days a week, for three weeks or more
Signs of discomfort, such as clenching fists or arching back
Difficulty sleeping or eating
Causes of colic:
Immature digestive system or digestive issues
Allergies or sensitivities to formula or breast milk
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Family history of colic
Treatment of colic:
Comfort measures such as holding, rocking, or walking with the baby
Offering a pacifier or white noise to help soothe the baby
Changing the baby’s feeding position or offering smaller, more frequent feedings
Trying a different formula if the baby is bottle-fed
Talking to a doctor about over-the-counter remedies or medications that may help alleviate colic symptoms, such as simethicone drops or probiotics
Addressing any underlying medical conditions, such as GERD or allergies
Difference Between Colic And Acid Reflux In A Baby
While both colic and acid reflux can cause discomfort and distress in babies, they are different conditions with distinct symptoms and causes.
Colic is a condition characterized by excessive crying, often for no apparent reason. It typically affects babies between the ages of two weeks and four months and can last for several hours a day, several days a week. Colic is often associated with digestive issues or an immature digestive system, but the exact cause is unknown.
Acid reflux, on the other hand, occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, causing irritation and discomfort. In babies, this can lead to spitting up or vomiting, frequent crying, and difficulty sleeping or feeding. An immature digestive system usually causes acid reflux and can also be associated with other medical conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
While colic and acid reflux can have similar symptoms, there are some key differences to look out for. Colic tends to be characterized by excessive crying and discomfort, while acid reflux may involve more frequent spitting up or vomiting and difficulty feeding and sleeping. A healthcare provider can help diagnose the underlying cause of a baby’s symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment options.
Is Acid Reflux Serious In Babies?
Acid reflux in babies is a common condition that typically resolves on its own as the baby’s digestive system matures. In most cases, acid reflux in babies is not a serious condition, but it can cause discomfort and irritation to the baby, leading to fussiness, crying, and difficulty feeding.
However, in some cases, acid reflux in babies can be more severe and may require medical attention. If your baby is experiencing severe or persistent acid reflux symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing, poor weight gain, coughing, or choking, you should talk to your pediatrician.
Rarely, untreated acid reflux in babies can lead to complications such as esophagitis, aspiration pneumonia, or apnea. Therefore, monitoring your baby’s symptoms and seeking medical advice if you have concerns about their health is crucial. Your pediatrician can recommend appropriate treatments, such as medications or feeding modifications, to manage your baby’s acid reflux symptoms and prevent complications.
When To See A Doctor?
Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux (GER), is common in babies; most infants outgrow it by their first birthday. However, if your baby is experiencing severe or persistent symptoms of acid reflux, it is essential to seek medical attention. Here are some signs that you should see a doctor for acid reflux in babies:
Poor weight gain or loss: If your baby is not gaining or losing weight, it could be a sign of a more severe form of acid reflux called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition requires medical treatment.
Excessive crying or fussiness: If your baby cries excessively or appears in pain after feeding, it could be a sign of acid reflux. A doctor can help determine if the crying is due to acid reflux or another underlying condition.
Refusal to eat: If your baby consistently refuses to eat or has difficulty feeding, it could be a sign of acid reflux. A doctor can help identify the cause of feeding problems and offer solutions.
Difficulty breathing: If your baby is having difficulty breathing or choking during feeding, seek immediate medical attention.
Frequent vomiting: If your baby is vomiting frequently or forcefully, it could indicate a more severe form of acid reflux. A doctor can help diagnose and treat the condition.
Factors To Look For In Bottles For Acid Reflux
When looking for the best baby bottles for colic and acid reflux, consider the following factors:
Anti-colic bottles: Look for bottles with an anti-colic design that can reduce air intake and minimize gas, which can aggravate colic and acid reflux.
Slow flow nipples: Choose nipples with a slow flow to prevent the baby from swallowing too much air during feeding.
Angled or upright feeding position: Feeding the baby in an upright or slightly angled position can help reduce the risk of acid reflux. Consider bottles designed to be used in an upright position or use a feeding pillow to prop the baby up during feeding.
Internal vent system: Bottles with a venting system can help reduce air intake and minimize gas, reducing colic and acid reflux symptoms.
Size and shape of the bottle: Consider the size and shape of the bottle to ensure that it is comfortable for the baby to hold and easy to control during feeding.
BPA-free materials: Choose bottles made from BPA-free materials that are safer for the baby.
Ease of cleaning: Look for bottles that are easy to clean and sterilize to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination.
Compatibility with breast pumps: If you plan to pump breast milk, choose bottles compatible with your breast pump to make feeding easier.
Durability: Look for durable bottles that can withstand frequent use and cleaning.
Availability of replacement parts: Choose bottles that have readily available replacement parts, such as nipples and vent systems, to ensure that the bottle remains effective and functional over time.
10 Best Baby Bottles Babies with Acid Reflux
The internal vent system, designed to reduce colic, has been clinically proven effective. This system also helps to decrease issues such as spit-up, burping, and gas.
Feeding without a vacuum is the most similar to breastfeeding, and Dr. Brown’s silicone nipples ensure a consistent flow of milk, allowing babies to feed at their own pace.
Leakage issues: Some users have reported problems with leaking, mainly if the bottles are not appropriately assembled or the vent system is not functioning correctly.
Crafted to minimize prevalent feeding problems such as colic, gas, and reflux.
The AirFree vent maintains the nipple filled with milk instead of air.
Made with BPA-free plastic.
The AirFree vent is a single piece, making it easy to clean, and it offers different flow rates to accommodate your baby’s growth.
A bit more expensive than other baby bottles available in the market.
The bottle’s design mimics the shape and feel of a breast, making it easier for babies to transition from breast to bottle feeding.
The slow flow nipple helps prevent choking and overfeeding.
The anti-colic valve reduces the likelihood of colic, gas, and reflux in babies.
The bottle is also made from high-quality materials free of BPA, phthalates, and other harmful chemicals.
The nipples aren’t compatible with other feeding bottles.
The flexible nipple is designed to stretch, flex, and move in a pumping motion, mimicking the movement of a mother’s breast and ensuring a proper latch with every use.
The anti-colic valve is positioned at the bottom of the bottle in a unique manner, which helps to minimize the amount of gas and fussiness experienced by the baby during feeding.
The bottles may leak sometimes.
The wide breast-like nipple provides a natural feeding experience for breastfed babies, making it easier for them to transition from breast to bottle feeding.
By eliminating negative pressure and air bubbles, this feeding bottle can help minimize symptoms of colic, spit-up, burping, and gas in babies.
With continued usage, this plastic bottle has the potential to become hazy or foggy in its appearance.
If you are looking for glass bottles that are as convenient as plastic ones, the DUO hybrid baby bottle is an innovative product that combines the benefits of glass and plastic.
Best known for durability.
The two layers of plastic and glass make the bottle heavier than the single-layered ones.
Comotomo bottles come equipped with dual anti-colic vents that help to prevent colic.
These bottles are designed to replicate the experience of breastfeeding closely.
With their wide neck design, these bottles are easy to fill and clean, and they can be safely washed in a dishwasher or warmed using bottle warmers.
The Comotomo Baby Bottle is comparatively pricier than other baby bottles.
The Playtex Baby VentAire Bottle has a unique design that helps prevent colic and reflux in babies.
It features a vent at the bottom of the bottle that allows air to enter the bottle instead of the baby’s tummy, reducing the likelihood of colic and gas.
The bottles are designed with a wide, angled shape that promotes a natural feeding position for babies. This can make feeding more comfortable and reduce the likelihood of spitting up.
The 6-ounce size is perfect for newborns and infants who need smaller feedings. The bottles are also easy to pack for on-the-go feedings.
The Playtex Baby VentAire Bottle is affordable for parents looking for a high-quality anti-colic bottle. The three-pack provides a good value for the price.
- The narrow bottle neck of the Playtex Baby VentAire Bottle may make it difficult to feed thicker liquids, such as formula mixed with rice cereal. This can be a problem for some parents who prefer to thicken their baby’s feedings.
- The shape of the bottle nipple is designed to resemble that of a mother’s nursing nipple during breastfeeding, facilitating a seamless transition from breast to bottle feeding and vice versa.
- The NUK Smooth Flow Anti Colic Baby Bottle comes in a cute elephant design that adds a touch of fun and whimsy to feeding time.
- The milk flow might be too rapid.
- The 6-ounce size is perfect for newborns and infants who need smaller feedings. The pack of 6 bottles also provides a good value for the price.
- The bottle’s angled design can help reduce reflux and discomfort during feeding, while the silicone nipple is soft and flexible for a natural feel.
- Some babies may find the nipple flow too fast or too slow, which can make feeding time uncomfortable and frustrating.
Best Bottles for Affordability
Many new parents look for affordability when choosing the best baby bottles for acid reflux. Our best choice for affordable anti-reflux bottles is the Playtex Baby VentAire Bottle. It’s suitable for breastfed and bottle-fed babies and helps reduce acid reflux.
Best Overall Bottle
As we analyzed all the available options for the best baby bottles for acid reflux, our top pick is Dr. Brownâ€™s Natural FlowÂ® Anti-Colic Options+â„¢ Narrow Baby Bottles.
Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Anti-Colic Options+ Narrow Baby Bottles are a set of four bottles designed to reduce colic, gas, and spit-up in infants. Each bottle has a capacity of 8 oz or 250 mL, making them ideal for feeding newborns and young infants.
Whatever baby bottles you choose, make sure you’re using the best kind of baby bottle soap to make them last as long as possible and be as clean for your little one as possible.