Do anti colic bottles work? To unravel this, lets look at what colic is.
Colic is a bit of a mystery. Colic is the constant crying of a healthy, well-fed baby, crying for more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week, for more than 3 weeks. This is very challenging for parents, so when you have two or three babies suffering with colic, its not surprising new parents worry that they can’t cope !
One of the toughest things to cope with when you have twins or triplets is the lack of sleep….. well I think its probably just as bad for a parent of a singleton too, lack of sleep for me felt like a form of torture ! I was in a daze most of the time and remember going to the opticians because I thought there was something wrong with my eyes only to be told that it was lack of sleep that was causing my visual worries! So anything that will help your babies to settle to sleep has got to be a good idea !!
Colic usually starts around the age of 2 weeks ( a little later if babies are premature) but it is short-lived and will last only 3-4 months. I say short lived but for a parent of multiples, this is a very stressful time. Babies not settling at night, crying constantly, parents permanently shattered. Trying to carry on a semblance of a normal life whilst going through the weeks of colic with twins or triplets is no laughing matter. It doesnt matter if your babies are boys or girls, birth order, breast or bottle fed – none of this changes the occurrence of colic and children who were colicky babies are no different to children who were not so its not something that will permanently change your babies into irritable toddlers or bad tempered children! My triplets were premature, they were in NICU for over 10 weeks and were in a good feeding routine when they came home. I thought we had bypassed the colic stage, thinking they were beyond it…. oh how I was wrong ! We had our fair share of colic, it was not something that I really ever want to repeat and will certainly make me more tolerant and helpful when my children have their own children.
What Causes Colic?
Babies cry when they’re hungry or wet or frightened or tired but once all those things have been addressed its likely to be colic, particularly if it starts suddenly and stops as quickly, usually starting later in the day and into the evening.
Its not exactly known what causes colic, which is why its a bit tough to help. Some feel that it could be a growing digestive system, gas, hormones that give baby stomach pain or an unsettled behaviour, oversensitivity to light or noise, a nervous system that is still developing.
But as a parent you do need to be vigilant as some conditions can seem to be colic when theyre not. If you are worried about your baby, your doctor can do an examination to rule out any other cause for your baby being unsettled or crying. It might be that they have an ear infection or acid reflux or a number of other things but safer for your doctor to check your babies over first, give you peace of mind that you are only dealing with colic.
How Do Anti Colic Bottles Work?
There are a few varieties of baby bottles around that use different systems to vent air back into the bottle whilst baby is sucking, to balance the vacuum being created behind the milk.
In regular bottles, this most likely would happen by the baby stopping feeding because the teat has collapsed and no more milk can be sucked , air rushes into the bottle, bubbling through the milk and making it frothy and full of air bubbles for the baby to swallow in the next mouthfuls.
Vents in Nipples/Teat – The little vent in the nipple or teat of the bottle allows a constant bubble of air to vent back into the bottle, replacing the milk being sucked out. It ensures the flow of milk without a vacuum build up.By having the constant little bubble of air venting back up the side of the bottle, the milk isn’t aerated, filling with tiny bubbles that will fill up your baby’s tummy and lead to colic. Brands such as Avent, MAM (base of the bottle) are vented this way.
Straw/Tube Venting System – With this system, a little straw/tube runs from the back of the teat to the base of the bottle. It is attached behind the nipple/teat and allows air to flow through the straw, rather than through the milk and avoid a vacuum buildup within the bottle leading to an even flow of milk and no swallowed bubbles. There are usually a few parts to this sort of system that require washing and sterilising. Brands such as Dr Brown or Tommee Tippee work on this system.
Suction System – Some anti colic bottles work on the system that as the baby sucks, either the inside of the bottle collapses (a disposable liner) or the base of the bottle moves up. Either way the space within the bottle gets smaller, collapsing as baby sucks the milk out of the bottle, so again no vacuum. Brands such as Bare (base moving up) and Playtex (disposable liner)
If you would like to take a look at my reviews of anti colic baby bottles, follow the link – Best Anti Colic Bottles