There’s nothing more frustrating than when your baby won’t stop crying or spitting up because of an upset tummy. If you’ve tried
gas drops or switched their formula, one easy fix is trying a bottle designed specifically to combat gas and colic. The best bottles for gas and reflux help prevent babies from taking in excessive air during feeds to prevent discomfort and pain. We spoke to Jean S. Moorjani, MD, a board-certified pediatrician, to learn more about how these bottles work. The Expert
Jean S. Moorjani, MD, FAAP, is a board-certified pediatrician at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Dr. Moorjani earned her medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, Virginia. She’s an expert on all things pediatric medicine, with a focus on breastfeeding, asthma, and children with unique medical needs. Why Do Babies Get Gas And Reflux?
It’s always impressive when a tiny baby emits an adult-sized belch. You may be wondering how someone so small can manage it. According to Dr. Moorjani, “Almost all babies will have some amount of gas or reflux because their gastrointestinal tracts are still immature.” It’s when air enters the equation that issues arise, she says, because swallowing air while drinking milk can lead to gas and reflux. The good news is that there’s relief in the long-term: She explains that “the muscle that helps keep the breast milk or formula in the stomach […] grows stronger over your baby’s first year of life.” In the meantime, an anti-colic bottle may do the trick.
How Do Anti-Colic Bottles Work?
There are a few different styles of bottles to help combat air bubbles:
Vented Bottles: Dr. Moorjani confirms that vented bottles can be helpful because they “filter out the air bubbles so that your baby will swallow less air during feeding.” Note that not all vented bottles are alike. Many bottles have a straw or similar mechanism to vent air out of the milk as a baby drinks. These bottles have extra parts to clean but parents often say it’s a small sacrifice. Other brands vent directly out of the nipple, eliminating extra parts. A baby can accidentally cover these vents with their hands or face, although most brands have several vents to prevent that from happening.
Air-Free Bottles: As you shop for bottles, “Air-Free” is another label you’ll encounter. In some cases this means that a proprietary venting system ensures the nipple stays full of milk at all times, even when the bottle is held almost vertically. Dr. Moorjani explains that keeping the nipple full of breast milk or formula can “help decrease the amount of air that your baby swallows during feedings.” Another kind of “air-free” bottle has a silicone interior that collapses as the baby feeds, so air bubbles are never present in the first place. Bonus: This kind tends to have fewer parts to clean. What Features Should Parents Look For In Bottles For Gas And Reflux?
Dr. Moorjani suggests looking for
bottles or nipples with a slower flow rate, which can decrease “the amount of air that your baby swallows and hopefully decrease the episodes of reflux,” she explains. It’s helpful to look at the nipple ratings, usually numbered, indicating a slower to faster flow rate. We found many models that have a self-regulating nipple that lets a baby control the flow of milk so they aren’t overwhelmed, and many of the anti-colic bottles on our list specifically aim to allow for a slower flow rate.
Before you know it, you’ll be in the land of
sippy cups. In the meantime, we’ve found the best bottles for gas and reflux that don’t leak and will help you avoid those extra loads of laundry. And if you opt for a Comotomo bottle, don’t forget to pick up a bottle warmer that fits that specific bottle size.
In a hurry? Here are the top picks for the best bottles for gas & reflux:
1. The Anti-Colic Bottle Clinically Proven To Reduce Gas & Spit-Up: Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Anti-Colic Options+ Wide-Neck Baby Bottle
2. An Air-Free Bottle That’s Easy To Clean: Philips AVENT Anti-Colic Baby Bottle with AirFree Vent
3. This Cute & Collapsible Bottle With A Cult Following: Boon NURSH Silicone Pouch Bottle
4. The Award-Winning Bottle Designed To Prevent Nipple Confusion: Comotomo Baby Bottle
The Anti-Colic Bottle Clinically Proven To Reduce Gas & Spit-Up
This tried-and-true Dr. Brown
anti-colic vent bottle has a clinically proven venting system to prevent gas, spitting up, and colic. The BPA-free plastic bottle uses a vacuum-free, contoured silicone nipple that allows for a consistent flow and the colic inserts can be removed if a baby outgrows the need for it. The bottle is safe to boil and use in the dishwasher, as well as in electric and microwave bottle warmers. The wide neck makes it easier to clean, but reviewers do warn this is a bottle with a lot of small parts to wash. Even still, one fan reported: “It was a total game changer.” It comes with nipple level 1, and you can buy more sizes as baby grows.
Helpful Review: “[…] I switched from another well-known anti colic bottle at my pediatrician’s recommendation, and Dr Brown’s works SO much better. Within a week my colicky, fussy and generally miserable newborn was like a whole new baby. She had these ‘episodes’ where she would scream with gas pain for hours (and nothing helped), she spit up constantly, so we switched to these bottles and everything was better. She gets gassy still occasionally, but gas drops and tummy massage take care of it — no more hours-long scream sessions.[…] If you have a little one struggling with gas pains, constant spit up and general fussiness during/after eating, I say give these bottles a shot. For me and my baby, it made a difference.”
Material: Polypropylene and silicone | Sizes Available: 5 Oz., 9 Oz. | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Available Styles: 1
The Award-Winning Comotomo Bottle Designed To Prevent Nipple Confusion
Comotomo baby bottle keeps things simple without any extra parts, with two leakproof vents directly on the nipple to prevent baby from getting gassy. The bottle’s award-winning design is made of soft, squeezable food-grade silicone, and the rounded design is supposed to make it easier for babies to transition from breast to bottle. It features a wide-based nipple to improve latching and avoid nipple confusion and a wide-neck bottle for easier cleaning. It’s safe to use in microwaves, dishwashers, boiling water, bottle warmers, and sterilizers. The featured 8-ounce bottle comes with a medium-flow nipple, and the 5-ounce bottle comes with a slow-flow nipple; you can also buy more nipples.
Helpful Review: “Best baby bottle ever! […] This bottle has a nipple that is shaped like the breast and feels like a breast so my son had no problem using it. […] doesn’t leak and the BEST thing about this bottle is the anti colic system. It is better than any bottle I have ever tried. Usually you have to take the bottle out of babies mouth to let the air bubbles come out ..but you don’t have to lift a finger with this bottle. NO air will ever get in, so you don’t have to take the bottle out of babies mouth during the entire feeding. Great for colicky babies and babies with reflux. I’ve tried many anti colic bottles and they all still get air bubbles..this is the only one that doesn’t. Worth every penny.”
Material: Silicone | Sizes Available: 5 Oz., 8 Oz. | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Available Styles: 2
The Anti-Colic Bottle With An Easy-To-Clean AirFree Venting System
If you’re looking for a highly rated Philips AVENT
anti-colic bottle with fewer parts to clean, this may be the bottle for you. Reviewer after reviewer on Amazon reported the magic of the green part of the venting system, noting that it has fewer parts than other brands with an internal venting system, making them faster and easier to clean. The BPA-free plastic bottles can be used without the venting parts once your baby has outgrown the need for them. What makes this bottle great is that the vent holds the milk in the nipple, making it easier to feed a baby upright without them accidentally sucking air. This pick comes with a level 2 nipple, though you can buy other nipples.
Helpful Review: “My daughter has bad acid reflux and it was hard finding a bottle for her. I came across this one day, and decided to try it and let’s just say, we’ve been loving it ever since! The tool/spoon that came with it, helps with the flow of the milk, not too fast. Just perfect! I would get this again for my next baby! It is easy to clean too”
Material: Polypropylene and silicone | Sizes Available: 4 Oz., 9 Oz., 11 Oz. | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Available Styles: 3
A 3-Pack Of Cute & Collapsible Bottles With A Cult Following
The stylish Boon NURSH
silicone pouch bottles collapse as a baby drinks for a totally air-free feed. The milk only touches the silicone nipple and bottles, which are PVC- and BPA-free, too. This popular bottle has over 14,000 five-star ratings, with parents pointing out that a collapsible silicone bottle could be squirted by babies, but not this one. This model cleverly has an outer cup to prevent babies from squeezing and making a mess. Plus, it keeps it steady on tables and in stroller cup holders (yes, it fits!). The limited number of parts on this model also makes it easy to clean — it’s dishwasher-safe and can be microwaved, frozen, or boiled for sterilizing. This 8-ounce bottle features a stage 2 medium flow nipple, but you can buy other nipples, too.
Helpful Review: “My baby having been a preemie always struggled with some reflux. Right out of the NICU we eventually transitioned from the enfamil hospital provided nipples to the first stage of these bottles. To tell you we never struggled with reflux again would be an understatement. He was like a new baby I definitely 100% recommended these bottles to any mom out there looking to help their baby with reflux. Baby is also able to start easily holding the bottle with the help of the gaps in the plastic shell of the bottle.”
Material: Silicone | Sizes Available: 4 Oz., 8 Oz. | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Available Styles: 7
A Set Of Glass Bottle That Reduce Gas Without Extra Parts
The NUK Simply Natural
glass bottles pair a dishwasher-safe glass bottle with a vented silicone nipple that has multiple holes for more natural feeding. One reviewer raved that it helps “avoid baby swallowing air without having to deal with […] extra contraptions.” The glass doesn’t hold odor or residue like other materials can and reviewers say the glass has proven durable and isn’t too heavy. One clever mom noted the glass bottles can also be used for other purposes later on, like a baby food jar. This bottle comes with a medium flow nipple but slow flow nipples are available as well. You can also get this bottle in a p lastic version.
Helpful Review: “We have four kids and have used several different brands of glass bottles for breast-milk feeding over the years. This is the first brand and design we’ve used that doesn’t leak from some unidentifiable crevice. Wish I’d discovered these before our fourth baby and saved ourselves a lot of mess and frustration over the years. Best of all it’s three simple parts – a bottle, a nipple, and a ring – and you don’t have to deal with all the ‘anti-colic’ extra pieces like those funnel-and-straw looking inserts that alway leak and are such a pain. […]”
Material: Glass and silicone | Sizes Available: 4 Oz., 8 Oz. | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Available Styles: 2
The Most Budget-Friendly Anti-Colic Bottles
These highly rated Tommee Tippee
anti-gas baby bottles utilize a three-piece anti-colic system to reduce air intake, and according to the brand, 84% of moms said it reduced colic in their babies. This budget-friendly set works out to less than $5 per bottle. These BPA- and phthalate-free plastic bottles have a special color-changing system on the anti-colic vent within to warn you if the milk is too hot. The silicone nipples are tapered to flex and feel like a real breast, and the wide-neck bottle is safe in sterilizers, dishwashers, and microwaves. Each of the three bottles comes with a slow flow nipple and you can buy , others.
Helpful Review: “These bottles have saved mine and my newborns life! My 6 week old was absolutely miserable due to colic, his belly always hurt him and he was so gassy. He was so unhappy and cried and cried all day, we started using these and could tell a HUGE difference within a day! We was all so much happier, if you have a fussy baby, GET THESE. I cannot say good enough things about them”
Material: Plastic and silicone | Sizes Available: 9 Oz. | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Available Styles: 1
A Set Of Vented Silicone Bottle With An Extra-Stable Base
Parents rave about these
silicone baby bottle with anti-colic vents that are placed around the nipple so a baby can’t accidentally cover them all up. And you’ll appreciate the wider yet flatter base that makes the bottle stable and resists tipping better than rounder or narrower bottles. Non-collapsible ridges in the nipple maintain flow and help keep a baby latched; and you can add snap-on handles down the road to transform them into sippy cups. One thing to note: because silicone resists heating, the brand recommends heating milk before it’s placed in this bottle, rather than warming it directly in the bottle. This 5-ounce bottle comes with a slow flow nipple and you can buy other nipples.
Helpful Review: “My baby has reflux, bad colic, bad gas and spit up issues so we have been looking for a good bottle to help her with all her issues. We had tried a few different bottle before coming to these. We love the 360 holes for venting air they help with the gas and colic. These are easy to clean, don’t have a lot of small parts to deal with, stand well (unlike other competitors) and are soft to touch for baby. I completely recommend these bottles!!”
Material: Silicone | Sizes Available: 5 Oz., 9 Oz. | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Available Styles: 6
A Pair Of Collapsible Air-Free Bottle That Makes Pumping So Much Easier
If your gassy baby drinks pumped milk, consider this two-pack of
breast milk feeding bottles that is about to make your life so much easier. You can directly pump into these leakproof milk storage bags (sold separately) that then attach directly into the bottle case — no transfer of milk needed. The textured, oval nipple also eliminates air and the milk bag is air-free, collapsing as your baby drinks to reduce gas and reflux. The BPA- and phthalate-free set includes two bottles, a slow flow nipple and case, and a medium flow nipple and case. Parents rave about the ease, convenience, and efficacy of this product, and it is consistently highly rated.
Helpful review: “This is a great product – especially if you’re nursing. We tried several kinds of bottles and this one definitely helped eliminate gas and was easy to pump into and keep for storage with the adapter in the first kit we bought.”
Material: Plastic | Sizes Available: 6 Oz., 8 Oz. | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Available Styles: 1
The Bottom-Venting Bottle That Can Self-Sterilize In A Microwave
The MAM Easy Start
anti-colic bottle vents from the bottom of the bottle instead of the top, with a built-in valve releasing the air at the base of the bottle as a baby drinks. This system has been clinically proven to work, according to MAM, during market research that shows 80% of mothers verifying a reduction in colic symptoms in their babies. A flattened, textured nipple mimics the breast. This bottle can self-sterilize in the microwave (yep, no other special bags or accessories needed), and the cup is designed to work as a measuring cup even for small amounts of formula. This BPA-free plastic bottle does have a lot of parts, but the removable bottom and wide neck make this easier to clean; it comes with a slow flow nipple and other nipples are available.
Helpful Review: “These bottles are the favorite out of all of the brands that we have tried with our baby girl. […] She takes this bottle the best and has much less tummy upset and has significantly reduced colic. They are easy to clean and the base can be used to sanitize the nipple or a pacifier in the microwave. If you’re looking for a great bottle, I would never recommend anything else over these.”
Material: Polypropylene and silicone | Sizes Available: 5 Oz., 9 Oz. | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Available Styles: 6
Also Nice: The Bottle Brush Set That Looks Good Enough To Leave Out On The Counter
It’s rare a piece of baby gear is cute enough to make us want to leave it out 24/7. Anti-colic baby bottles often involve extra bottle parts, making having useful tools to clean them even more critical. The Boon Cacti
bottle cleaner set comes with four cactus-handled brushes that rest (and drain) in a “pot.” The variety of sizes and shapes mean this BPA- and PVC-free set can clean any bottle, nipple, or pump part. This isn’t just a pretty impulse buy either — this set is tried and true with over 19,000 five-star reviews.
Helpful Review: “Has the necessary brushes to clean all the different baby bottle parts for various brands. I love that it doubles as a cute plant display for my window sill instead of another hideous brush to add to the sink clutter.”
Jean S. Moorjani, MD, FAAP, is a board-certified pediatrician at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).