Anti Colic Bottles vs Regular Ones – Complete Guide

Balint Horvath, PhD

Writer, parent, and veteran of baby feeding battles.


Dealing with a colicky baby is distressing and exhausting for both the infant and the parents! Fortunately, there are baby bottles specifically designed to reduce colic symptoms in fussy babies. But when comparing anti-colic bottles vs regular bottles, which are really better for your little one?

Anti-colic bottles include features and designs to reduce airflow and ingestion during feeding which is proven to minimize colic and gas symptoms. Normal bottles are suitable for babies who aren’t fussy and can be used for older infants with a developed digestive system. 

Key takeaways

  • Anti-colic bottles are best for babies who battle colic, gas, infant reflux, and spit-ups.
  • Not all anti-colic bottles can be used as normal ones!
  • Symptoms such as clenched fists, relentless crying, and a red face could be signs that your baby is battling colic.
  • Baby bottle brands use different features for normal and anti-colic bottles. 

Do you need anti-colic bottles?

Anti-colic bottles help babies who display signs of colic such as relentless crying, clenched fists, or red faces. These bottles reduce the amount of air ingested by the baby during feeding which helps to minimize the onset of colic symptoms that are painful and uncomfortable. 

Can you use anti-colic bottles as normal bottles?

Yes, you can use many anti-colic bottles as normal bottles. You need to check on a case by case basis if you can remove the vent from anti-colic bottles. You may also simply keep using a bottle with anti-colic features as a normal one because your baby will just get less air during feeding.

Using Tommee Tippee anti-colic bottles as normal bottles?

Tommee Tippee Advanced Anti-Colics bottles can’t be used as normal bottles. Its 3-piece venting system is specially designed to draw air away from the milk which reduces colic and infant reflux symptoms

Using Philips Avent anti-colic bottles as normal bottles?

The Philips Avent anti-colic bottle with its unique AirFree vent can be used as a normal bottle. If your baby has outgrown colic and doesn’t present with wind or gas symptoms, you can remove the vent when feeding. 

Using Dr Brown’s anti-colic bottles as normal bottles?

Dr. Brown’s Anti-Colic Options baby bottles come with an advanced internal venting system to reduce colic, spit-ups, gas buildup, and burping in babies. As your baby grows older and their digestive system develops, you can use the anti-colic bottle as a normal one. 

Are anti-colic bottles better?

Anti-colic bottles are better for little ones who struggle with colic, gas, infant reflux, spit-ups, and uncomfortable belching after feeding. The following bottle features help reduce air ingestion during a feed:

  • Venting and valve systems
  • Vents that reduce the amount of air in the teat
  • Angled bottle shape
  • Reduced milk flow in nipples

Minimizing the amount of air swallowed during a feed has been shown to reduce painful symptoms associated with the buildup of gas bubbles in your baby’s tiny tum. 

How do I know if my baby needs anti-colic bottles?

If your baby displays any of the following signs during or after a feed, an anti-colic bottle could help to reduce uncomfortable or painful colic and gas symptoms. Note that you should really analyze these symptoms if possible with a GP and these might arise in combination with one another:

Differences between these brands’ normal and anti-colic bottles

Bottle TypeNormalAnti-Colic
Philips Avent– Non-removable anti-colic vent in the nipple
– Paced feeding
– 5 flow rates
– Removable AirFree vent in the teat.
– 4 flow rates
Tommee TippeeAnti-colic valve in the nipple– A powerful anti-colic venting system
– Built-in heat sensor
Dr. Brown– Non-removable internal vent
– Blue ventPlastic bottles
– Removable internal vent
– Green ventPlastic and glass bottles

What is the difference between Philips Avent Natural and anti-colic?

The main difference between Philips Avent Natural and anti-colic bottles is the AirFree vent which is used in the latter design. Each bottle has its unique nipple design with the Natural bottle allowing your baby to feed at their own pace. Both bottles have a wide neck for easy cleaning.

The Philips Avent anti-colic baby bottle with its unique AirFree vent is designed to keep the nipple full of milk even when your little one is feeding in the upright position. By drawing air away from the nipple, the AirFree vent reduces colic, gas, and reflux symptoms. The teats are designed to not collapse during feeding, making it easier for your baby to latch. 

What is the difference between Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature and anti-colic bottles?

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottles, also known as the original breast-shaped bottle, comes with soft, silicone nipples for easy latching. The teat includes an anti-colic valve to reduce excessive air intake during feeding. The BPA-free wide-necked bottle is easy to clean and can be sterilized in the microwave, dishwasher, or bottle sterilizers.

The Tommee Tippee Advanced Anti-Colic bottle uses powerful technology to draw air away from the milk, preventing it from going into your baby’s tummy. The venting system includes a built-in heat sensor for testing the milk temperature. 

What is the difference between Dr Brown’s Natural Flow and anti-colic bottles?

The main difference between Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Anti-Colic bottles and Options+ Anti-Colic design is that you can’t remove the internal vent in the former bottle. Both bottles are designed to reduce airflow during feeding. Decreasing colic, gas, and burping symptoms. 

The colors of the vents differ too with it being green in the Options+ bottle and blue in the Natural Flow bottles. The Options+ bottles are available in both glass and plastic material. The Natural Flow bottles are only available in BPA-free plastic

Using these brands’ bottles without the vents?

Can you use Dr. Brown’s anti-colic bottles without the vent?

You can use Dr. Brown’s Options+ anti-colic bottles without the vent when your baby’s digestive system is more developed. Knowing when to stop using Dr. Brown’s vent depends on when your baby stops displaying colicky or gassy symptoms. 

Can you use Tommee Tippee anti-colic bottles without the vent?

Tommee Tippe anti-colic bottles can’t be used without the internal vent. The main problem will be the bottles leaking during a feed. The Advanced Anti-Colic nipples also can’t be used interchangeably with other bottles. 

Can you use Philips Avent anti-colic bottles without a vent?

The Philips Avent anti-colic bottle with the AirFree vent can be used without the vent when your baby’s colic and gas symptoms ease. This normally happens as they get older and their digestive system matures.

Can you use anti-colic teats on normal bottles?

Most brands recommend not using anti-colic teats on normal bottles as they’re specially designed to fit anti-colic bottles. These nipples are often not interchangeable between different brands either. If not used correctly, the anti-colic design can malfunction or the bottle will start to leak. 


Anti-colic bottles are highly recommended for babies battling colic, gas, spit-ups, or infant reflux. You can use anti-colic ones for a surprisingly long time. You can switch to normal baby bottles when your little one no longer displays symptoms associated with these conditions. 

Anti-colic bottles have their pros and cons and therefore make sure to read my separate article on that topic.

Did you know you can use bottle liners with normal bottles when you’re on the go which is an alternative to using anti-colic bottles?

Photo of author


I’m Balint, founder of this site and a father (and dad) to a baby-turned toddler. I found the world of babies so fascinating that I started a blog dedicated only to that topic. By the way, I studied physics, engineering (PhD, MSc), and therefore I do a thorough research when I write about something. Since it’s a blog, of course I also write about my personal experiences.

Leave a Comment