Monday, July 9, 2012
Product Review: Dr. Browns Bottles Vs. Playtex VentAire
We have been exclusively bottle feeding since Annabelle was about a month old. She was a lazy eater and was not gaining weight fast enough, so I had to pump and bottle feed the breastmilk to be sure she was getting enough. We are now onto formula since my supply has basically diminished to nothing.
We started out using Dr. Brown's bottles because of the high review ratings and because they helped reduce gas and air intake, which I thought was really important.
Playtex Ventaire bottle by Playtex.
Both bottles work great for reducing air intake, but the Playtex Ventaire is by far my favorite, and this is why:
While the Dr. Brown's bottles worked great, it was a tedious job to clean them. Each bottle has 5 pieces (excluding the cap), the bottle, the nipple, nipple ring, a straw, and a the vent that attaches to the straw. Here are photos of the two pieces that make it work:
Because of the straw and the tiny holes in the vent, you have to use a special thin little brush to clean inside of them when washing by hand. If you use the dishwasher, be careful. I have lost several straws due to them falling down onto the bottom of the dishwasher during the cycle and having them or become deformed. When replacing these, they cost about $1.50 a piece, and the bottle will not work without the straw (it will leak all over you like crazy. I learned this more than once when forgetting to add the inserts in the middle of the night). One trick I found online, for the dishwasher, was to stack the bottle on top of the straw to keep it in place, which is what I did once I started using my dishwasher to wash them. It worked, but I always wondered how much water was able to get in there with the straw inside the bottle for washing.
Here are the pieces for the Playtex VentAire bottles:
There are the same number of pieces, but the difference is that there is no straw or weird valve to clean. Instead, One of the caps (the bottom side) is vented and it has a little silicone piece that sits inside of it and you screw it onto the bottle. The bottle has a cap on each side, so when open, it's like a large empty tube, which also makes it way easier to get nice and clean without having to reach the bottom with a bottle brush. Both of these pieces (all of them really) are super quick and simple to clean, and no, the cap doesn't leak like you might think it would with the tiny holes and all. The top side has the normal nipple and nipple ring.
The other thing I LOVE about this bottle is that it has an angled neck, which makes it much more comfortable to hold, and allows for her to sit up without having to hold the bottle at a weird angle. It's a much more comfortable fit in my hand.
Bottom line, while you may have the same number of pieces to clean, the VentAire is a breeze to clean compared to the Dr. Brown's bottles.
I have also noticed less leaking from the VentAire. My Dr. Brown's bottles often leaked around the nipple which was very irritating.
Already using the Dr. Brown's bottles and thinking about switching? The Dr. Brown's nipples fit into the VentAire perfectly. I kept using the Dr. Brown's nipples because she was used to the flow level already and I wasn't sure which one would be the same on the VentAire since they are labeled differently. The caps that fit the Dr. Brown's bottles also fit the VentAire, which is a plus because the VentAire does not come with caps so that you can mix formula if you are using it. They recommend mixing and then pouring into the bottle, but who has time for that when it's 3am and you are trying to make a bottle while half asleep?
Overall, I give both bottles a 5 star rating as far as how well they work, but when taking into the cleaning aspect of it and the way the pieces are designed, I would give Dr. Brown's a 3.5 rating and the VentAire a 4.75 star rating. I knocked off .25 points since they don't have caps for mixing.
For anyone out there looking for a good bottle, I highly suggest the Playtex VentAire. It's really a time saver when it comes to cleaning, and they work great and leak less.
For those already using bottles, what are your favorites and why?