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5 Things to Know About Your Baby’s Bottle
Updated on
September 11, 2023

5 Things to Know About Your Baby’s Bottle

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5 Things to Know About Your Baby’s Bottle.
5 Things to Know About Your Baby’s Bottle

Baby bottles seem straightforward enough. Liquid goes in. Liquid comes out. Everyone is happy. Right? But when you’re standing in the aisle of your favorite store, trying to figure out which bottle your baby will like best, the slightest curve of a nipple can feel like a significant decision. And with all kinds of features to help your baby transition between breast and bottle or fight colic, it’s not always easy to figure out what the difference between all those bottles even is. So we’ve partnered up with NUK to share some of the basics of baby bottle anatomy and how they impact your baby’s feeding experience. Here’s what to look for in a bottle, from A-Z.

The ABCs of a Standard Baby Bottle

Anti-Colic Valve: You may have noticed a small hole on the nipple of your bottle (well, a different hole from where the liquid comes out), and then probably ignored it like the rest of us. But that hole is actually pretty important—it’s a special valve that allows for better airflow so your baby doesn’t accidentally gulp down a bunch of air and get uncomfortable gas pains (you’ll find it on bottles like NUK’s Simply Natural series).

Advanced Venting System: Some babies need more than a simple valve, though. If you notice your little one is extra fussy, gassy or uncomfortable, you may need a bottle with an advanced anti-colic system (because sometimes that little hole can still let air in, and some babies are just more sensitive to it than others). An advanced venting system like the one on NUK’s Smooth Flow Pro Anti-Colic Baby Bottle usually involves a straw-like insert that helps draw air toward the bottom of your baby’s bottle and away from their mouths. (You can see how it works in the video below.)

The only downside to those advanced venting systems? They can mean extra parts to clean. But NUK designed their anti-colic bottle to have fewer pieces than other advanced anti-colic systems you may have seen out there—which makes a difference when baby is going through 8-12 bottles a day! Also, the straw can be removed later if baby outgrows the need for it.

Bottle: The base of your baby’s bottle has a simple function: hold the liquid. But some have really unique features. For example, NUK has a special temperature indicator on the side of their Smooth Flow Pro Anti-Colic Baby Bottles and Simply Natural Bottles with SafeTemp that helps protect your baby from overheated milk. It looks like a little thermometer and fades when milk is too hot, reappearing when milk has cooled and is safe to drink.

Collar: On most bottles, the collar and nipple are two pieces that separate for cleaning (the collar is what connects the nipple to the bottle itself, creating a seal so milk doesn’t escape). But on NUK’s advanced anti-colic bottle, the collar and nipple are actually one piece so that you have fewer parts to clean. This design also makes the bottle leak-proof.

Nipple: Even though some nipples might look the same, there’s a very important very tiny difference that can make a huge impact on your baby’s comfort level: flow rate. That’s the speed at which milk flows out of the bottle. Younger babies need slower flow rates while older babies can handle a faster flow rate. On NUK’s Simply Natural bottles, you can tell how quick the flow rate is by how many holes are in the nipple (three for slow flow, six for medium and nine for fast).

But on their Smooth Flow Pro Anti-Colic bottles, the nipple automatically adjusts the flow based on how your baby drinks, adapting to their suction strength. That way, they’re always getting exactly the right amount of milk and you don’t have to buy extra bottle parts as they get older.

Bottles have come a long way since we were fed as babies. And thankfully that means a much better feeding experience for your little one. So even though it might seem like there are a million different choices to make in the bottle aisle, none of them should feel intimidating. At least, now that you know what to look for. And if you think you might want an anti-colic bottle for your baby, check out our video demo of NUK’s Smooth Flow Pro Anti-Colic Baby Bottle.

This post is sponsored by NUK. Babylist’s free site, apps and emails are made possible by our sponsors. We limit our sponsored content to relevant partners that offer products and services we believe in and use ourselves.

Babylist Staff


Babylist editors and writers are parents themselves and have years of experience writing and researching, coming from media outlets like Motherly, the SF Chronicle, the New York Times and the Daily Beast, and the fields of early childhood education and publishing. We research and test hundreds of products, survey real Babylist parents and consult reviews in order to recommend the best products and gear for your growing family.

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