For such a small little person into the world, our small babies make a surprising amount of noise. It is often a veritable cacophony of bubbling and other sounds that get new parents concerned for their new edition to the family. The sounds are often playful in nature, but sometimes are a result of built-up gas that the baby wants to pass. Infants and young toddlers alike often have difficulty getting used to passing gas successfully which causes them distress.
How to Spot a Gassy Baby
Obviously, our babies are unable to communicate clearly when they have gas to pass. When they’re in minor distress, it’s often a case of elimination of potential causes to reach a proper conclusion of what’s upsetting them. Have they eaten already? Have they put something they shouldn’t have into their mouth and tried to swallow it? Has something new caught their eye?
It might not be that obvious, but it’s a fair comment that every baby is a gassy one. The reason is pretty simple: They never stop eating. The normal eating causes the bowels to be almost constantly in motion which in turn produces the gas. As such, gas in itself is no reason for alarm.
Fussy babies are just as often seen as sweetie-pies. But some little ones just want to complain about almost everything, making it harder to notice when something is wrong. However, one tell-tale sign is a more boisterous baby than normal for that time of the day or current activity. Waving their arms and legs around is sometimes their way to help gas pass as they’re still figuring out how to do that easily.
Handling the Problem
There are several gas-inducing techniques that parents can try to help relieve the gas and resolve the problem. After doing so, they should become less gassy for a while and display less spirited antics too.
Stomach rub – The first technique is to place the baby face down on their stomach, then lift them up and begin to rub their stomach.
Bicycle ride – The second technique involves placing the baby on their back, and moving the arms and legs in the rotation, just like riding a bike.
Both of the above techniques help to encourage the air bubbles to burst and release the gas.
Warm bath – The third technique is a warm bath to get the baby to move around which also works well for dislodging stubborn air bubbles.
There is also anti-gas medication in the form of drops (commonly including simethicone) for severe gasses.
However, baby bottles also contribute to gassy babies and much can be done when selecting the right bottle to avoid the problem in the first place.
How Does a Baby Bottle Stop Gas and Colic?
One of the most obvious issues that cause problems is either a milk allergy or simply an intolerance to milk. Either one is capable of causing both colic and gas. Whether this is the case or other reasons, finding the best baby bottles for gas is a good way to help stop the problem before it happens.
The way that many baby bottle manufacturers have attacked the issue is to redesign the shape of the bottle to stop air going through the nipple at the same time as the milk does. It is always a good idea to change up the milk formula to see if they just don’t like or are reacting to it inappropriately, but after two or more brands have been tried, it’s time to look for a different baby bottle too. There are many best baby bottles for gassy babies which offer a good range of choice for new parents.
Understanding Types of Baby Bottles
It is often a surprise for new mothers and fathers that baby bottles aren’t all the same shape. Both safety and innovations in gas prevention have causes both the bottles and their attached nipples to change design several times over the years. To help you understand the main differences, here is a short guide about different bottle types:
Regular baby bottle – This one has a straight neck and appears as one would imagine a baby’s bottle to look like. It is the simplest to clean and keep sterile. It also fits just about every bottle warmer too. With that said, there is zero protection from air bubbles passing through with the milk leading to gassy problems.
Wide-neck baby bottle – Looking less tall than a regular baby bottle, and wider with a bigger neck and large nipple too, this type looks quite different to the regular one. The usefulness of the wide-neck is that the nipple is similar in size to a woman’s nipple making it an easier transition for the baby or when regularly switching from the mother’s breast milk to the baby bottle.
Natural-flow baby bottle – The natural flow design is intended to stop air focusing around the nipple area when the baby is suckling on the bottle. Air bubbles fall to the bottom of the bottle and settle there. There is an inner vent present in the bottle design – either a valve or straw – to release air bubbles periodically to avoid the baby taking them in with the milk.
Angled neck baby bottle – This bottle has a curve to its neck. The idea here is to permit the nipple to fill up with milk, preventing air bubbles from taking up part of the space. With this design, fewer air bubbles get consumed by the baby. Babies feeding at an angle – instead of only upright – works better with this type of bottle shape.
Baby bottle with disposable liner – This bottle is very different to the others. It has a pouch, usually plastic, that lines the interior of the bottle. The liner, not the bottle, fills up with milk for the feeding. The liner collapses inward as the milk empties out of it as the baby sucks on the bottle’s nipple. The use of the liner avoids the buildup of air, but the liner is only for single use and needs replacing each time. However, the bottles don’t need to be cleaned quite as often.
Bottle Nipples Vary as Well
Along with thinking about the best bottles for colic and gas, it’s also worth paying attention to the bottle nipple too.
Slow flow nipples – The slow flow nipple is one that doesn’t have additional air holes within the nipple. Without the extra air holes, the flow of milk is slower which a newborn or infant can handle better.
Variable flow nipples – The various flow version has additional perforations that allow for a greater flow of milk. Older babies are ideal for this type which want to suck more milk down faster. The point where one should consider changing from a slow flow to a variable flow nipple is 3-4 months old.
Here are the Best Baby Bottles for Gas:
The Dr. Brown’s Original Bottle Newborn package comes with three 8-ounce regular bottles, two 4-ounce regular bottles, two level two nipples (silicone), two travel caps for storage, and three brushes to clean the nipples fully. The bottles are made of Polypropylene, with the nipples using silicone to provide the positive flow.
A built-in patented venting system avoids air building up inside the bottle which would feed through the milk to the baby. The materials are all BPA, lead, PVC, and phthalate free. Positive pressure is used in the feeding through the silicone nipple which feels more like breastfeeding with the natural flow of milk that’s released.
The bottles are designed expressly to reduce colic, burping, bubbles, and other signs of gas. The vitamins contained in the milk is also preserved to ensure the baby receives the right nutrients for their growth and development. They are harder to manage than simpler designs because the cleaning process is more time-consuming and difficult to get right.
For parents who want the best solution, often this one is found to be just that, but parents who need a faster solution between feedings may wish to look elsewhere.
Dr. Brown’s products have been around for many years and are well respected by parents who swear by them.
- Positive flow similar to breastfeeding delivery for the baby
- Silicone nipples to avoid air bubbles
- Three 8-ounce bottles, two 4-ounce bottles, two silicon nipples, travel covers, and more
- Free from lead, PVC, BPA, and phthalate free
- The Natural Flow product requires parents to be extra mindful of their battle washing process, sticking to a single milk formula, how they heat up milk, and verifying that the bottle is fully sealed
- Vent system requires careful cleaning to ensure the bottle is actually clean
- Special cleaning brushes are needed to clean the vent properly
The Philips Avent Classic Plus Baby Bottles is a continuation of the Avent series that Philips have been offering for several decades. This version is available in clear, blue and pink colors. It is sold in a pack of two 9 ounce bottles, a pack of three 4 ounce bottles, and a pack of two 4 ounce bottles, along with seven other size/pack combinations too.
Clinical tests have indicated that these bottles reduce colic and increase comfort with the baby. The valve placed in the nipple passes air inside the bottle rather than through the nipple and into the baby which reduces air bubble issues. A slow flow nipple is included in the package which is suitable for babies one-month-old and older.
The Classic+ is a reinvention of the original Classic which had four parts. The additional part was a sealing ring that prevents leakage. The company believes that they have solved the problem of needing a separate seal to prevent milk and air leakage and the result was the Classic+ release in January 2015.
Philips have been making the Avent series since 1984. Their wide range of Avent products are made to be interchangeable, so swapping out nipples is possible here. Free from BPA and other unwanted substances, these products are safe for both baby and mother alike.
- Classic+ bottle design with colic prevention
- Clinically tested to confirm less disruptive to the baby
- Have zero leaks
- No problem to clean the bottles and nipples between feeding times
- Only three parts for easy disassembly and cleaning
- Silicone, slow flow nipples just like mom
- Without BPA and other harmful substances
- Safe to use in the dishwasher and microwave
- New design is supposed to be leak free, but sometimes it still leaks. It doesn’t have the sealing ring included as the 4th part to avoid leakage any longer
- Wider nipple product prevents spillage should the baby irritably push the bottle away
The Dr. Brown’s original wide neck bottle is sold either singularly or as an affordable 3-pack. The eight-ounce size is sizable for a feeding and avoids running out of milk in the middle of feeding your baby which could cause tantrums.
The natural flow nipples use a positive flow that feels similar to the infant as sucking on his mother’s nipple. The nipple does not collapse in as the supply (or availability) of milk reduces or ceases. Each bottle is made from Polypropylene and is supplied with a Level-1 silicone nipple and a handy little brush for cleaning. The bottles are phthalates free, and also free from PVC, BPA and lead.
The bottles themselves have a 2-part venting system that aims to expel air bubbles before they mix with the milk and get taken in by the baby. With the improved venting, the amount of colic, burps, and spitting out of milk is minimized.
The wider neck with these bottles helps when scooping milk formula into it. A slimmer scoop is not needed because the neck is large enough to accommodate it without spilling powder on the kitchen counter. There is a measurement list written on the side of the bottle, but the print is rather small to see at a glance.
- Wide necked bottles with positive flow nipples
- Easier to scoop formula into the bottle without it hitting the counter because of the larger neck opening
- Sold in different pack sizes
- Bottles made from Polypropylene and nipples from Level-1 Silicone
- Free from phthalates, PVC, BPA, and lead
- The size of the print of the measuring guide shown on the side of the bottle is rather small; good eyesight or updates spectacles are needed
- Leaks for some new parents
- Time-consuming to clean, especially the two-part venting system
- More expensive than some other brands
The Philips AVENT Classic Plus Newborn Starter Set comes in clear, blue and pink color and is available as a gift set or as a gift set with a sterilizer too. The gift set includes two 9-ounce Classic+ bottles with slow-flow nipples and two 4-ounce Classic+ four-ounce bottles with two nipples for infants. There is a brush to clean the bottle, a trainer system, a dispenser for the formula, and a convenient pacifier suitable for newborns (it’s orthodontic with a shape that suits the early growth of gums, palate, and baby teeth).
The supplied formula dispenser has three pre-measured sealed sections to hold portions of formula. The cleaning brush has a curved head to help it get into small spaces.
A valve is built into the Classic+ bottles to avoid air reaching the baby’s stomach which prevents colic and indigestion. This is one of the key design traits of this product that helps minimize colic, bubbles and other signs of gas buildup in the child.
The bottles are made from Polypropylene. Everything is free from BPA and other potentially harmful substances.
- Starter set for new parents with 2 x 4-ounce bottle, 2 x 9-ounce bottle, Level-1 nipples (slow flow for newborns), cleaner tool, trainer, formula dispenser, and a pacifier too
- Dishwasher safe
- Valve system to expel air from the bottle before the baby sucks it down
- Soft nipple and spout which feels similar to the mother’s nipple
- Ideal gift set for baby showers
- Free from BPA, and other potentially harmful substances
- Breaks apart for cleaning very easily
- The 4-ounce bottles are only helpful in the first couple of months; after this time, the 9-ounce is needed due to the greater appetite of the baby
- Occasional leaks are experienced
- A level 2 or level 3 nipple is required after three months to increase the milk flow up from a single stream
The MAM Anti-Colic bottle is designed with a blue accent for baby boys. There are two 9-ounce plastic bottles included in the package, complete with MAM soft silicone nipples and secure caps. The softness of the nipple provides an easier natural transition from breast to silicone nipple for the baby boy.
The wider opening of the bottle makes it less problematic to scoop milk formula into the bottle without wasting any with spillage on the countertop. The bottle has a helpful measuring guide printed on the side of each bottle that is printed large enough to read clearly (unlike some other brands that try and fail with this aspect).
There is a ventilation system hidden in the base that ensures better milk flow while avoiding a buildup of air passing up through the bottle and into the nipple.
- Wide neck baby bottle that lets scoops of milk formula in without spillage
- Very soft MAM silicone nipples with medium flow that feel just like mom; for babies who won’t accept other silicone nipples, these often bring success
- Patented ventilated bottom that keeps out the air
- BPA free
- Protective plastic cap to ensure the nipples stay clean between feedings
- Simple assembly and disassembly for cleaning
- Leakage is occasionally an issue
The Playtex Baby Ventaire Anti-Colic baby bottle is packaged as a gift set with five wider bottles (two 9-ounce and three 6-ounce), NaturaLatch nipples (slow and faster flow provided), caps for the bottles, and venting disc replacements.
The bottles have an upright and curved design which looks unusual. The design is intended to provide a partially upright position for feeding that avoids possible ear infections.
The VentAire system uses tiny channels to vent air bubbles and requires replacement discs every so often to accomplish this. The bottom venting system provides the greatest distance from the end of the bottle and the top nipple.
There are both slow and faster flow nipples included in the package. The slow flow nipples are suited to newborns and infants up to 3 months old. The faster flow nipples are for slightly older babies who can handle milk more quickly without coughing it up again.
- Anti-colic bottles with wider necks
- NaturaLatch nipples made from softer material
- Feels natural making it easier to switch between bottle and breast feeding
- Angled design ideal to avoid ear infections and feed almost upright
- Three 6-ounce VentAire wide bottles, two 9-ounce bottles, three fast flow and four slow flow nipples, venting discs, and bottle caps
- Grippy texture on the bottle to avoid bottle drops
- Free of BPA, PVC and other harmful substances
- Not compatible with all breast pumps from popular brands like Spectra and Medela
- Some parents find these bottles too large
- Occasional unexpected bottle leaking
There are many considerations for new parents. Baby bottles are a surprising one because whoever knew it was so complicated? We hope that our guide has been helpful to avoid gas with your baby. Beyond the preventative measures as outlined in the early part of this guide, selecting an appropriate baby bottle also helps to prevent a gas buildup during their regular feeding. While different bottles are needed for newborns and older infants, there is still a good range of choice to help select the best bottle for your little one.