With the vast amount of baby bottles available on the market it is very easy to feel clueless and overwhelmed. It is even more frustrating when you are a mom who is using bottles to supplement to nursing. Many bottles are just fine if your baby is feeding from a bottle exclusively. Nursing moms who breastfeed need to take care to choose a bottle that works for their baby to not become a detriment. Every baby and every mom is different. Even the situation with each child changes from your first born to second born. Of course nursing your baby is best, but there are times that you need to bottle feed your child. I like to think of my babies as hybrid babies; they are fed by nursing and bottles. With both of my children I was nursing and terrified of lowering my milk supply in my quest to supplement my babies with an extra baby bottle here and there. So with my guinea pigs, our first and second born I learned the hard way and the easy way what works best. The contenders were Avent, Playtex VentAire, and Playtex Drop-Ins bottles.
I had registered for Playtex VentAire bottles when I was expecting my first born. I liked the fact that they were advertised as the best bottle for semi upright feeding with no bubbles going into your baby’s tummy causing less gas. The cost of the BPA VentAire 3 packs runs around $12.99 for a 3 pack of 9 ounce bottles. Replacement nipples cost around $2.99 for two. The VentAire bottles worked fine, I just found my first born was confused between bottle and me. For that reason feeding him was more painful. My first born liked VentAire but after some time they leak. Playtex VentAire bottles come apart from the top and bottom for easy cleaning. They also have a little silicone disk at the bottom of the bottle that takes away the air bubbles from your child’s milk. The down side to the bottles is that they leak. My first born has used VentAire in the original form and in the BPA free form. We found that the Playtex VentAire bottles without BPA started to leak within a month of using them. The problem got worse when we heated the bottles. On the flip side the older bottles didn’t start to leak for a year. VentAire bottles are pretty affordable and not that bad if your child can switch with ease between nursing and bottles.
Playtex Drop-ins cost $11.99 for three bottles. The liners cost $9.99 for 100 Drop-ins refills. The Drop-ins bottle nipples cost $4.09 for two nipples. We tried the drop-ins and returned them the next day since the slow flow was too fast for my first born. Sure the bottles were cute, and I potentially would have only had to clean the bottle nipple between feedings. I wasn’t happy that my son was getting too much milk from the slow flow. If you have an older child who can handle the fast flow this may work for your child. In our situation I would not purchase Playtex Drop-ins again.
My husband and I used Avent with our second child. We got two four ounce Avent bottles with an Avent hand pump I bought before going on an international flight. In my opinion Avent is best since my newborn has been able to switch from me to the bottle with no pain to me. Another thing that I noticed as a difference between Avent and Playtex VentAire bottles is that the Avent bottle nipple is easy to manipulate, but not so easy that your child prefers bottles over nursing. My first born found bottles so easy to drink from compared to the effort nursing took. For that reason I found the Playtex VentAire bottles to be a challenge as a nursing mom. To contrast my second born child has been using Avent bottles and she hasn’t shown a preference towards the bottle specifically since it’s easier. She is happy with both nursing and bottle feeding as long as she gets fed on time. My first born did have some challenges but I did stick with nursing for 18 months.
What I like about the Avent bottles is that they can transition to the sippy cups by using the nipple and threading onto the sippy cup. The sippy cups cost $7.99 for two cups that come in four ounce and nine ounce sizes. The four ounce size come with the soft spout, and the nine ounce size comes with the hard toddler spout. The sippy cups come with one handle per two pack. My first born really liked the Avent sippy cups since you can change the sip spout from a soft spout to a hard toddler spout. Replacement spouts come in two packs for $4.50.
I’m planning on either just using the larger size sippy cup for my second child or buying a pair of bigger Avent bottles. Avent bottles run from $13-$20 for two four or nine ounce bottles depending on where you buy them. My second child has used the silicone nipple since she was born and may need to change soon. I got four and a half months out of two bottles and she doesn’t get fussy or gassy with them. The replacement nipples cost around $4. What is nice about Avent is that they also sell replacement dome lids in case you loose a bottle cap. Although the Avent bottles are pricey they have been durable with no additional costs in the first four months of my second born’s life. I like the system’s interchanging style that allows children to transition to sippy cups when they are ready. Best of all the bottles are BPA free and microwavable.
Winners and Losers
From my point of view Avent has won my heart hands down. The cost did bother me when I found out I’d be paying $18.99 for two new bottles. I nearly had a heart attack when I dropped a bottle at a restaurant for that reason. Luckily the bottle was just lost in layers of blankets. I like the idea of being able to transition from bottle to sippy cup. The fact that I can microwave the bottles and steam sterilize in the microwave is another plus.
Playtex VentAire bottles have been great from my first born with great pain to me, not my wallet. If you are on a budget and plan to use bottles this isn’t a bad option. Just beware of the mess that awaits you as you are taking bottles around in cups to avoid leaks. Unfortunately I also found out much too late that Playtex recommends you don’t microwave their VentAire or Drop-Ins bottles. I personally will never purchase Playtex Drop-ins, and the newer BPA free VentAire bottles have just frustrated me with lots of leaks. I will be using Avent from now on. On the bright side the Internet has also made it a bit easier to find better bargains on Avent bottles. In the long run spending a bit more for a long term investment is much more beneficial with the Avent bottles.