Any reflux momma will tell you how important it is for reflux babies to avoid air in their bottles. Both a proper suction, and regular burping can significantly help being thrown up on moments after a bottle/nursing.
So– my reflux guy was bottle fed. It was easier for me to control how/what he was eating. Our first bottle was Avent, and let me tell you, those suckers filled my little guy with bubbles. You could actually see the bubbles he was sucking in while he was eating.
We switched to a Dr. Brown bottle very quickly. These bottles WORK, but the pieces and cleaning process is seriously daunting. I had to have 20 bottles just to get through two days, because each time you go to wash these bottles you’re easily devoting about an hour of your day. It’s not just the number of pieces, but also the complexity in cleaning. You take the bottle apart and have to use a small brush to get into all of those nooks and crannies. Even after scrubbing, I never fully felt like the bottles were clean because there are areas you can’t easily see. Below is an example of all of the pieces. The “disk” is just for travel to keep fluids in the bottle, so you’re not necessarily cleaning that piece every time.
Here are the inner workings of the Dr. Brown bottle (we just used the plastic version. Anywhere from $7-$8 each, or sometimes you can find 3 packs for $15-$17.) These also come in a smaller, 4 ounce size– but we used the 8 ounce.
So while the Dr. Brown bottle worked and helped reduce the air, I was seeking a solution for the hour spent at the kitchen sink washing these suckers. After some research and time spent on the Reflux Rebels page, I discovered MAM bottles. I’d never heard of them. Thankfully, I had a friend that let me try one free before purchasing them. The bottle has several pieces, as well. However, they are vastly easier to clean. No pipe brush to get into crevices. It was straightforward and the inner workings made bottle making much faster. The bottle appears very similar to your typical one, the difference is that MAM controls air with a seal in the bottom to suction out the excess air. I LOVE these bottles and use them every day now. I ended up purchasing 8 of the 9 ounce bottles, which gets me through about 2 days now. The really cool feature about these? They can self-sterilize if you’re travelling and need to quickly clean one. You need access to a microwave, and it takes about 2 minutes to clean and another 3-5 to cool down. Here is how to sterilize if you aren’t washing them:
You can also see all of the parts in this image. The base has the suction, and the collar and nipple are standard. So no air vent or air vent cap.
These bottles are about the same price as Dr. Brown’s. Running anywhere from $6-$7 a bottle most often.
The cons of Mam: I’ve found that if you don’t get the base screwed on really well, it can leak. Easy solution? Make sure you use some torque and you’ll be in good shape.
There are some other bottles out there on the market for reflux babies, but these are the two most proven, reviewed bottles out there. We will use our Mam bottles until we switch over to whole milk this winter!