Monday, June 25, 2012

Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Bottles

Whatever. He was totally posing for this.
Will you let me eat in peace, please?
In a few past posts I've mentioned that Baba G spits up quite a bit every now and then. Since the last time I've written, guess what I've discovered? Surprise, surprise—it's all been my fault. I was using the wrong "level" of nipple on his bottle.

When trying to decide what bottle system to register for (yes, for those of you reading this site who don't have kids and are instead looking for gift ideas, there really are entire SYSTEMS for bottles, it's insane), I let others do the hard work for me. A friend of mine's husband is German and really looked into the pros and cons of the various brands and they ended up using Dr. Brown's Natural Flow bottles after initially trying Avent (which their son apparently didn't do well with).

I figured, "Hey, he's German and Germans are good with design and if they already investigated this whole thing then who am I second-guess?"

So I, too, went with Dr. Brown's, and I think they've agreed with Baba G. As you can see from the picture below of our drying rack, the bottle is comprised of a few different parts that help create the patented "natural flow" that supposedly is proven to head off colic and preserve nutrients and other miracles like that. The bottles are very, very easy to put together, so don't let the multiple parts scare you. After initially boiling them once, now we just wash them in warm water after each use and then air-dry them. I think we have six 8-ounce bottles that we cycle through, but obviously we could get away with fewer. It's nice to have the extras already clean when I'm short on time or groggy for the first morning feeding, though.

One day I'll review the drying rack because it is the best
Back section has the 5 Dr. Brown's bottle pieces, front section has various bottle caps
BG has never had any problems with these bottles . . . until recently, when he started spitting up more and more. Since I had read that babies were supposed to spit up LESS after they hit the four-month mark, I started to wonder if something was wrong. That's when I noticed a little teeny number on the underside of his bottles' nipples. They either said "Level 1" or "Level 2." I had vaguely recalled that as a baby got older they were supposed to graduate to a higher level—it had something to do with how quickly the milk came out or something like that.

So in my infinite wisdom, WITHOUT actually looking any of this up to be sure, I decided that I would only use the Level 1 parts because surely the Level 2 was shooting the milk down his throat too quickly and causing all sort of nasty things to happen to his insides.

Unfortunately, I was dead wrong. The Level 1 parts are for newborns and you're supposed to switch to Level 2 at some point around three months (BG turned five months old yesterday). Otherwise the kid is going to get all frustrated that he's trying to drink and hardly anything is coming out and he's going to start sucking in more air. And more air leads to more spit up.

See those kitchen gloves? A MUST. There's just too much washing with babies.
Time to clean the bottles! (Always.)

They COULD make this a little more obvious on the packaging, in my opinion. I've got another other crap to keep track of, seriously.

But now I've hidden all of our Level 1 parts, ordered additional Level 2 stuff (and even ordered some Level 3s in advance—those can be used from six months on) and BG has been doing much better. He still spits up a little bit, but it's nowhere near the level it was before. And thankfully his sleeping troubles seem to have passed for the time being as well. He's back to being a Buddha Baby, rejoice!

I will say that there has been one issue with the Dr. Brown's bottles aside from my confusion over the levels, and that's that they are starting to leak every once in a while. I'm not sure if this starts happening after a while no matter what, or if I'm just not putting everything together as tightly as I should, but I did a quick google search on ALL of the major bottle brands "+ leaking" and they all seem to have issues on the record. To stop the leaking all I have to do is rotate the bottle slightly, so it's really not a big deal. Certainly not a big enough issue to switch systems after BG's done so well with this one. And it APPEARS (though it's only been a few days, so I can't say for sure) that now that I've switched to the Level 2s, there's less leaking (if any). So maybe the Level 1s weren't really meant to be with the 8-ounce (the biggest) bottles. I'm done thinking about this!

I'll leave you with a random, 27-second video of BG attempting to control his bottle. He started putting his hands on the bottle before he was even four months old, and then he started doing the thing I caught on tape, which was taking the bottle in and out of his mouth. (So rest assured that is NOT me taking the bottle away and then slamming it back into his face, that's his doing.) I feel like he's very pleased with himself to know that he's behind this movement. To paraphrase a song from my high school days that I'm now ashamed to admit I actually liked, "He's got the pow-ah!"

The bottom line: I can't judge Dr. Brown's Natural Flow bottles VERSUS any other brand of bottle, since we've never used anything else. However, I will say that if we'd suspected that BG was having problems because of his bottles, I would've switched out the entire system in a heartbeat. But so far, so good. If anyone has had a positive or negative experience with this brand or any other, please leave a comment and fill the rest of us in!

1 comment:

  1. What in the heck did the poor mother's do back in the day--with just plain old glass bottles?? They were all saints, that's for sure. I'm sure they all get a kick out of these new bottle contraptions! Well, Baba G was sure being patient till you figured it out :)