Avent bottles work incredibly well for breastfed babies and pumping moms, but that doesn't mean the feeding system doesn't have merit for formula-fed babies. Are these popular bottles the right choice for you and your baby?
Avent Bottles Features
- Wide silicone nipple with anti-colic Air Flex valve
- Nipples have ribs to prevent collapse
- Wide neck for easy cleaning
- Available in 2-ounce, 4-ounce, 9-ounce, 11-ounce
Avent makes two versions of their bottle in BPA-free plastic. The Anti-Colic Bottle (Buy on Amazon) has the ridged nipple with an Air Flex vent, which vents air away from where baby is drinking to reduce the likelihood of gas and discomfort. The Natural Bottle (Buy on Amazon) nipples also have the ridges to prevent collapse, but they also have comfort petals and are shaped to mimic a mother's breast. That makes them a great choice for those who switch between breast and bottle. The Natural Bottle is also available in a glass version (Buy on Amazon).
Air Flow Valve
The Avent anti-vacuum valve reduces the amount of air baby can swallow during feeding. That should also reduce the chance of developing painful gas or colic. It's nice that the vent system is built right into the nipple! That means you don't have to remember extra parts in order for the bottle to work properly, and you don't have an extra piece to wash.
The nipples are available in slow flow, medium flow, fast flow and variable flow, meaning there is a speed that will work for almost any baby. Slow drinkers don't have to gulp down their meal, and babies that prefer a faster flow won't have to expend as much energy and frustration at meal time.
Wide Mouth Bottle - Easy to Clean and Fill
Avent's bottles are dishwasher safe and they hold up well through many dishwasher cycles without cracking or becoming discolored.
There are times, though, when you may need to hand-wash a bottle. In those cases, the wider mouth on the Avent bottles is very handy. You don't need a special bottle brush to clean these bottles, just a regular long-handled dish scrubber will work. There are no grooves or pockets on the inside of the bottle to trap germs. The wide mouth is also easier to fill, whether you're using breast milk or powdered formula. When your baby is old enough to hold a bottle, the wide shape is much easier for little hands to grasp.
Convenient for Pumping Breast Milk
If you are planning to pump breast milk, Avent's Comfort double electric breast pump (Buy on Amazon) attaches directly to these bottles for added convenience. The breast pump flanges have petal inserts that are very similar to those on the Natural Bottle nipples. The whole system is well-designed to mimic breastfeeding on mom's side and baby's side. Those same comfort petals are present on the Comfort manual pump (Buy on Amazon), which is one of the best single manual breast pumps available. The Comfort single manual pump plus the Natural Bottles are a nice, inexpensive, effective system for families that occasionally need to pump and bottle-feed breastmilk.
The bottles come with sealing discs that fit in the ring in place of a nipple if you need to refrigerate or freeze formula or breast milk. That means you could pump directly into the bottles and never need other containers if you have enough bottles to accomplish that. If not, you can pump the milk into storage bags, and the wide mouth of the bottles makes it easy to pour in the milk later on. When your baby is ready for a sippy cup, Avent also makes sippy spouts for these bottles, so they can be used much longer than some other bottles.
Babies Have Preferences, Too
Remember that no one bottle will meet the needs and preferences of all babies. No matter which bottle system you think you might like, buy only a few bottles to begin with. See if your baby will use them before buying any more. Too many parents buy a whole set of bottles and nipples that go to waste when their newborn refuses the shape of the nipple or any other feature.