Similac Simply Smart bottles were designed specifically for formula-feeding families. The nipple has a vent to help reduce fussiness from swallowing air, and there's a silicone mixer piece inside the bottle that breaks up formula clumps. The SmartClose ring has little windows on each side to tell you when the bottle is closed properly, to help avoid leaks. Simply Smart bottles have been discontinued by the manufacturer.
However, they can still be found in some stores.
These bottles were made in 4-ounce and 8-ounce sizes and came as singles or in 2-packs, as well as in starter sets with four or more bottles. The nipples are available in 2-packs that are slow flow, medium flow, fast flow or y-cut for thicker formulas. You can also purchase a formula container cap separately.
Similac SimplySmart Bottle Pros
The simplicity of these bottles is a standout feature. Some anti-colic bottles have a lot of parts and pieces to create the vent system that reduces the amount of air your baby swallows. The vent system on the Similac SimplySmart bottle is built right in to the nipple. There's a small, triangular notch on one side of the nipple. That's it. Many parents report that this simple vent works as well as more complicated systems.
In addition to the vent, these bottles help reduce air bubbles through a mixing piece.
A long, silicone flap hangs from a plastic ring, which fits inside the bottle rim. When you mix up formula in this bottle, you can just swish it back and forth or swirl in circles, and this silicone piece breaks up formula clumps. The result is well-mixed formula without the extra air bubbles that come with shaking.
Though the mixing piece works well, it's nice that you don't have to use it. The bottle works just the same whether you put that extra ring in or not. When you're headed out of the house with baby, you may prefer to skip the mixer piece and just take the bottle. Many anti-colic bottles require you to use all of the pieces, every time, or the bottle will leak or malfunction in some way.
The wide base on the nipple is nice if you're switching between breast and bottle. The manufacturer clearly considered the needs of breastfeeding moms, too, even though the bottle is designed to help mix formula.
Some bottles are tricky to get closed properly. The little windows in the side of the ring on the SimplySmart bottle let you know instantly that the ring is closed right. There are blue triangles on the bottle itself, and they appear in the windows on the ring when it's locked in place. If the ring is misaligned or not tight enough, you won't see all of the blue triangle. This system is easy, even in the middle of the night.
The bottles are very easy to clean because they're wide and have fairly straight sides. They do well in the dishwasher, and it's simple to hand wash them with a bottle brush, too.
Similac SimplySmart Bottle Cons
Some parents have trouble with leaks on this bottle, particularly if the nipple vent is pointed down while baby is drinking from it. It's not a consistent problem, though.
The nipple sometimes collapses. Eventually, the suction becomes so great that baby can't keep the nipple in his or her mouth, and must wait for the caregiver to take off the lid to break the suction. This is a common problem with wide-base silicone nipples.
You can push the nipple all the way down into the bottle from the top. Why is that a problem? Because babies are smart and may figure out how to do that when the bottle is full. The nipple also can be pushed into the bottle if the bottle is dropped.
The formula container cap is incredibly handy but breaks easily. Having the lid come apart in a diaper bag is seriously unpleasant.
Not only is the formula powder portion lost, but you have to clean said formula out of the bag and off of all of its contents. The flip top needs to be attached in a more secure way. Another bottle to consider for formula feeding families is the Mixie Bottle.
There are many things to like about these bottles, and they do work well in some situations. They are inexpensive, which makes some of the potential problems more forgivable. It isn't the perfect bottle, though, and can be unpredictable when it comes to leaks. Now that the Simply Smart bottles are discontinued, they're not widely available.