Sunday, August 06, 2006

Topic: Bottles

When I had Darth A., I started out with the playtex bottles with the disposable inner liners. I thought that they would save time, by not having to wash bottles. But I was wrong on that count: being the paranoid yiddisha mamma that I am, I washed the liner holders (nursers, I think they're called?) after each feeding. So at the end of the day, I was still washing nipples, nipple rings, and bottle nursers, but I was also paying extra for the liners.

That system didn't last very long.

I quickly switched over to the Avent bottles. Darth A. did well on them, and we used them with Darth B., as well.

So when I was about to deliver with Darth D., taking my history into account, I decided to have some bottles in the house, you know, just in case. And I bought the Avent ones.

But once I started exclusively pumping and feeding Darth D. by bottle, it quickly became obvious that he wasn't doing so well with the Avent bottles. He kept choking on the milk, and was getting a lot of gas. A lot. I think any parent will say that listening to their newborn baby screaming for hours because of gas is just about one of the worst experiences to have to go through. It definitely adds to the whole "WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING WHEN I HAD A BABY?" mentality.

Then I read about the Dr. Brown's bottles, how they have a reputation for helping babies with gas, so I went out and bought a few. And you know what? They did help. Darth D. started falling asleep after feedings, instead of screaming in pain. I had been skeptical about buying them, but they actually made a huge difference.

Now that he's four months old, however, I would love to switch him back to the Avent bottles, since there are some very clear advantages to them. And he doesn't seem to be suffering from the gas like he did as a newborn. But he WON'T SWITCH. It's the most annoying thing. He's the most stubborn baby out of all three of my kids. When I try to offer the milk in an Avent bottle, he just spits the nipple back out, and razzes at me. Cute, but annoying. So here are some differences between the Avent and Dr. Brown's bottles:

Avent bottles are available in most stores. They have a lot of accessories available, including manual and electric pumps, bottle brush, sterilizer, warmer, etc., all specifically designed for the Avent bottle system. The bottles themselves come in multiple sizes, including an 11 ounce size bottle. They are easy to clean.

Dr. Brown's, on the other hand, are harder to find. They do not have a whole "bottle system" available, so you'll be stuck using a warmer and/or sterilizer designed from a different company. The bottles only come in 4 or 8 ounce sizes, and if you fill them above the marked line, they WILL leak. They come in tall or wide bottles, but the wide ones are even harder to find. The bottles have more parts to them, so they take an extra few minutes to clean. BUT! They probably will reduce gas in your baby, which means fewer hours of agonized screaming, and anything is worth that.

If I had to do it all over again, I definitely would have gone with the wide Dr. Brown bottles, since the nipples are so much closer in shape to the Avent nipples (in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if you could alternate between the two). Then I wouldn't have such a problem switching over to the Avent bottles, which are so much easier to clean.

Of course, there is a HUGE selection of bottles out there these days, coming in a much wider selection of shapes and sizes than when I had Darth A. (God I feel so old). I'm only sharing my experience here with the kinds that I have tried. For the whole, you know, DON'T DO WHAT I DID WRONG thing. But if you are using a different kind of bottle system, and have anything good or bad to say about it, then please comment. I'd love to hear what kinds of bottles other parents have tried and liked (or hated).


Blogger Ann said...

My oldest son, who's now 17 so this was the dark ages, was breastfed and when I went to give him a bottle the only nipple he would take was the nuk nipple. I think it was because it was like his pacifier. We tried the playtex bottles and gerber bottles. He would take the gerber bottles only if they had a nuk nipple.
My daughter, had a cleft palate so she couldn't suck at all. We used the medela bottles that came with the breast pump because they were a little softer and easier to squeeze with the regular hospital nipples. We tried the Dr. Brown bottles after her cleft repair but she never liked the bottle all that much after the surgery so we moved on to straw cups pretty quick. She was completely off the bottle by 10 months.
My younger son, who was also breastfed, loved the Dr. Brown bottles so we never tried any other bottles with him. In my opinion, the Dr. Brown's are definitely worth the extra money and the little brush thing that came with them is great for cleaning sippy cups and straw cups now.
Hope that helps.

11:11 AM  
Blogger ClousePhoto said...

A friend of mine used the Playtex VentAire bottles and they leaked. I have looked into the Evenflo Elan bottles to use when munchkin arrives as it is a one piece system for the air bubbles vs. a two piece system for the air bubbles on the VentAire bottle. Also the nipples on the Elan bottles are more like your breast. I am still debating on the breastfeeding but the Elan bottles are also compatible with the Elan Breast Pump. Not sure if they have a bottle warmer for them or not though. Just my 2 cents.

12:03 PM  
Blogger laura said...

Good to know. I use Avent, and my daughter has THEWORST gas. My son doesn't, so who knows. Perhaps I'll try the Dr. Browns. Thanks for the comparison.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Blossy said...

Dang, I had no idea it could have been the BOTTLE that caused my 3 1/2 month old to have so much gas his first couple months! *bangs head repeatedly on table*

I'm an exclusive pumper, too. I never did any comparison bottle shopping. When I was pregnant, my cousin gave me her old Avent hand pump so I just got the bottles that matched it. Had I known I would a) NEVER USE the hand pump and b) the bottles were going to cause Baby such excruciating gas, I would have switched to something - anything - else.

As it is, we feed Baby gas drops like they're candy and it seems like he, too, is starting to outgrow his gassy phase. Now he sometimes he even burps on his own after feedings!

Sorry I don't have any suggestions on how to get Darth D. to switch. My son's been slightly more agreeable about switching nipples (which happens when we can't find any Soothie pacifiers and have to use the Avent ones we bought before he was born).

8:49 PM  
Blogger Aliza said...

I've been trying to breastfeed (as you know) for over 4 weeks now after 3 weeks of traumatically painful breastfeeding (pain for me, trauma for baby). I've been pumping but not religiously - just enough to get breastmilk for all but 2 or 3 of baby's meals (formula for nighttime meals). We've been using a finger feeder (Hazelbaker) and SNS (supplemental nursing system) to avoid a bottle all this time. Baby will nurse on a nipple shield with the SNS threaded in to increase the supply.
So today, I decided to buy a bottle. We are all exhausted from the nursing strike and I'm toying with the idea of introducing a bottle if we don't have success with breastfeeding at my next meeting with the lactation consultant.
Not knowing a damn thing about bottles, I read the boxes for all of them and it was between the Avent and Dr. Brown's. I picked Dr. Brown's. Then this evening I thought I'd stop by to see how you are doing and if I can glean any advice and voila! A plug for Dr. Brown's. The bottle currently sits in its packaging on the counter as we discuss our next steps. Also today, baby latched on and sucked for nearly 10 seconds before screaming. It was a total shock to me since the most she has done since going on strike is the occasional 1 second suck and scream. So I am still really hopeful she will take the breast. Fingers crossed.

6:54 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

One more great thing about Dr. Brown's regular bottles is that they fit on all the Medela pumps so you can pump right into them.

8:56 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

The other great thing about D. Brown's regular bottles is that they fit all the Medela pumps to pump in them directly.

8:57 PM  
Blogger The Colourful Baby said...

Nice meet admin.
Informal post for parents.
by the away the colourful baby USA here wih some reviews.
best bottle warmer for breastmilk by colourful baby

10:17 AM  

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