Baby or infant feeding times can often be stressful with a fussing baby. It becomes more frustrating when your bottles from leading brands, e.g. Playtex, MAM, Avent, Tommee Tippee, Nanobee, or Medela are leaking.
Reasons for baby bottle leaks can include improper assembly, wrong nipple size, the temperature of the liquid in the bottle or even incorrect feeding position. Baby bottles can also leak because of issues with the bottle such as design flaws or product defects.
Common reasons for popular baby bottles leaking
I’d also like to emphasize that my article is the most comprehensive discussion on this unfortunate issue! Let me know if you feel I haven’t covered this topic sufficiently enough.
Realizing that the expensive baby bottles you’ve bought are actually leaking can be very annoying. In fact, you might already have quite a collection building on your kitchen counter as you try several brands to find a non-leaker!
Leaking not only wastes milk, but it makes quite a mess! As a new parent you might feel like you’re doing something wrong, but, it’s important to realize, that you’re not alone in your frustration!
There are several reasons why a bottle could be leaking. The most common of these include the following:
- Temperature: When the milk or formula is too hot, it will increase the air pressure inside the bottle. The air pressure that needs to escape will cause leaks and possible damage to the bottle and nipple.
- Nipple size: Nipple sizes vary depending on whether the nipple is suited for fast or slow flow. Ideally, fast flow is for older infants who can drink faster. If you place a fast flow nipple on a bottle for a newborn, you might end up with milk pouring out faster than your baby can drink. This will result in a huge mess!
- Age of the nipple: Despite what some manufacturers suggest, it’s a good idea to replace bottle nipples every three months. Nipples can stretch from constant exposure to heat and sterilizing agents.
- Damaged nipples: Little teeth can easily bite small holes in the nipple, which can cause milk to leak out.
- Incorrect assembly: Oftentimes, milk escapes bottles that are not assembled properly. If the threads on the cap and those on the bottle don’t line up properly when you close the lid, the bottle will leak.
- Not tight enough: If the cap or lid isn’t tight enough, milk will leak out.
- Wrong feeding position: If you’re holding the bottle too high during feeding, liquid may drip out on the sides. If the flow is fast, it could end up making quite a mess. Ideally, you should hold the bottle at an angle, so that the milk actually goes into the baby’s mouth.
- Wrong nipples: Nipples aren’t “one size fits all”. Some bottles require bigger nipples or have a wider base. If you put a non-specific nipple on a bottle that’s too small, it will create a gap that makes it easy for milk to drip out. A nipple that’s too big won’t fit firmly with the rest of the components and will also cause the bottle to drip.
Are there baby bottles that don’t leak?
If you’ve experienced leaks with a few popular brands, you might be asking if there are bottles that don’t leak? It might be easier to buy a “no leak” bottle right from the onset instead of trying to figure out why your bottle is always leaking.
But, given the factors listed above, it’s almost inevitable that most bottles will leak at some point. There are a few options though that tend to leak less than the other brands. Let’s have a look at a few of them!
Best “No Leak” Baby Bottle
Best One – Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature
My best recommendation for a “no leak” baby bottle is the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Baby Bottle. The reason this bottle is recommended by so many moms has to do with the super-sensitive nipple. The bottle screws into 3 parts for easy cleaning and sterilizing.
It flexes like a real nipple, and has a smooth silicone feel that resembles the feeling of real skin, which is the reason babies love this bottle so much! With its slower flow, it also makes it a great choice for a baby bottle for colic and reflux. While some parents have reported leaking, many moms claim it works very well if you follow the assembly instructions!
To try – Pura Stainless
Another popular option for the “no leak” choice is the Pura Stainless bottle set. Many parents believe stainless steel bottles are the way to go. The reason these bottles are considered “no leak” is the no-spill sealing disks. It also comes with everything your baby will need in the drinking department from birth till about 2 years. They can be used as sippy cups as the baby grows.
The Pura stainless steel bottle set comes with several handy accessories which include:
- X2 stainless steel bottles
- X2 fast flow nipples with an anti-colic tube
- X2 medium flow nipples
- X2 silicone sealing disks (which help prevent leaking)
- X2 XL sippy cup spout nipples
- X2 removable silicone sleeves for the bottles
- X2 silicone sleeves for the bottles (removable)
To try – Nuby (Natural Touch)
The Nuby Natural Touch Silicone Bottle is popular because it eases the baby’s transition from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding. The breast-size nipple is made with soft nubs making it comfortable to feed your baby. Silicone nipples tend to leak less and while some parents have reported some leaking, many parents have had success with this bottle!
Not to try – aMACEing Zero Leak Baby Bottle with Anti-Colic Vent and Variable Flow
The aMACEing Zero Leak Baby Bottle has been mentioned in a few forums as a zero leak option. However, I’ve also seen a few moms mention that the quality isn’t as great as the Tommee Tippee Close to Nature or the Pura stainless. I would suggest you do some of your own research on this option.
How do I stop my baby bottle from leaking? Each Brand Analyzed
Baby bottles differ with each brand. Designs, types of nipples and bottle shapes all vary making it difficult to label leaking problems for just one reason. When I found out Dr Brown bottles leaking, I decided to dig deeper to see how other brands are doing in this respect.
On some brands, it might be a design flaw while on others it might be the way you put the nipple in.
To get a more accurate picture of the different reasons for bottles leaking, we’ll have to analyze each brand and see what the specific causes are. I’ll also give you some tips on how to avoid these leaks from happening.
Playtex Ventaire bottles leaking
Feeding babies who suffer from colic can be very difficult. Known for their anti-colic design, Playtex Ventaire bottles reduce air ingestion and make feeding babies with colic much easier. Another feature that makes Playtex a popular option, is the bottle’s ergonomic and angled design which facilitates semi-upright feeding. Pediatricians recommend this type of angled design to prevent ear infections. I also recommend it in my comparison Avent vs Playtex.
Despite the benefits of Playtex, leaking from the bottom is a common problem on many parenting forums. According to Playtex, the best way to avoid this is to follow these few simple steps:
- Completely disassemble the bottle when it’s time to clean.
- Water tends to build up between the plastic ring and the bottom and without taking the bottle apart, the water will just lie at the bottom.
- Many users are unaware that there’s a plastic ring at the bottom, and ensuring this is dry when assembling the bottle makes all the difference!
Comotomo bottles leaking
Comotomo baby bottles are one of the most popular products on the market because it’s easy to clean and it closely mimics the feel of a mother’s breast. On the other hand, this bottle is susceptible to leaking, especially at the top.
Leaking can occur if the nipple isn’t inserted into the ring correctly. You should also make sure the ring is screwed on tightly. Sometimes leaks can come from either side of the nipple which can be caused by clogged vents. Simply rinse the vents out with hot water to unclog them.
Here’s a video that explains how to overcome the Comotomo leaking issue:
MAM bottles leaking
Another bottle used by parents dealing with babies suffering from colic is the MAM Easy Start bottle. 80% of babies have shown a reduction of gas and reflux because the vented base design allows liquid to be released slowly. The elongated nipple shape resembles mom’s nipple and makes it easier to switch between breast and bottle.
However, MAM bottles are notorious for leaking! The first major reason is the temperature of the milk. The second major reason is the components not being screwed together tightly. Unlike other types, MAM bottles really need to be screwed in tightly.
Some tips from parents who use MAM include the following:
- Push the white rubber part straight into the base and ensure it’s in firmly.
- Screw it together tightly. You’ll know it’s tight enough when it’s not overly simple to open again.
- Shake the bottle from side to side. Sometimes, a side-to-side movement works better than an up and down movement.
- Take the cap off immediately to allow pressure release.
- Not doing this will cause the bottle to leak at the bottom.
- If there’s still a leak at the bottom, wrap a towel around the base of the bottle to avoid getting milk all over the baby.
Avent bottles leaking
Many parents are opting for Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottles because the natural nipple shape makes it easy to combine bottle feeding with breastfeeding. A wide breast-shaped nipple encourages a natural latch-on. The integrated airflex valve makes it easy to eliminate reflux issues by venting air away from your little one’s tummy.
When I compared Avent vs MAM bottles, I found that Avent has its issues, too. If your Avent Natural bottle is leaking, you should try the following steps:
- Ensure that the screw is sufficiently tightened on the bottle.
- Make sure it’s not over tight as this will damage the threads.
- Make sure you’re using the nipple with the correct flow for your baby. Smaller babies require a slower flow.
- Use the cap and double-check that it’s placed on correctly when shaking the bottle to prepare food.
Here’s a great video by Philips on how to prevent an Avent bottle from leaking.
Avent Anti-Colic Leaking
The Avent Anti-colic bottle is designed to reduce the three biggest issues caused by feeding. Reflux, gas, and colic often make feeding times very uncomfortable. But, with this bottle’s air-free vent, the nipple is kept full of milk and not air. As a result, your little one isn’t swallowing too much air during feeding. A range of nipples with increased flow rates is also available as your baby grows.
Avent Anti-Colic bottles are also subject to leaks if the threads aren’t aligned properly. It can also happen when the formula builds up in the threads as you’re mixing the formula. Follow these steps to avoid leaking:
- Avoid mixing formula in the bottle. This will keep the threads free of buildup.
- Ensure that the formula isn’t too hot when placed into the bottle. Hot milk can sometimes enter the air hole on the screw ring which causes a leak
- Make sure the bottle is completely disassembled, cleaned, and dried before assembling to add the formula
- Make sure the threads on the cap are aligned with those on the bottle to ensure a tight close. Doing this will ensure the nipple fits securely and eliminates gaps where milk drips out.
- Don’t over tighten.
Watch this short clip to see just how easy it is to prevent your Philips Avent Anti-Colic bottle from leaking!
Tommee Tippee leaking
The breast-like nipple shape on the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature makes for an easy and natural latch. Many parents have reported that their babies respond exceptionally well to this type of bottle. The nipple has a very-sensitive slow flow and flexes like mom for a comfortable and relaxing feed. In addition to a soft silicone feel, the bottle has a venting anti-colic valve for less air intake.
If your Tommee Tippee bottles have a leaking problem, it can be fixed quite simply! In most instances, the leakage comes from the water being too hot when you put it into the bottle. Milk then enters the straw and travels up to the air hole on the screw ring. This obviously causes a leak.
Some moms have also suggested either mixing the formula before putting it in the bottle or alternatively shaking the bottle gently from side to side rather than up and down. Doing this is a common tip for preventing liquid from going up the air hole.
Nanobebe bottles leaking
A brand that’s gaining a lot of popularity with new parents is the Nanobebe Bottle Set. A big reason for this is the breast-shaped bottle! The baby instinctively connects to the bottle which goes a long way toward reducing fussing around feeding time. Since the bottle warms twice as fast, the baby doesn’t have to wait long, which ultimately means much less fussing!
Nanobebe bottles often leak from the pop-off bottom of the bottle. This happens when the bottom of the bottle isn’t screwed on tightly. According to Nanobebe, five easy steps should stop the leaking.
- Clean and dry all the bottle parts before assembly
- Make sure the nipple and storage cap are OFF the bottle body before attaching it to the base
- Press the bottle body tightly onto the base and ensure it’s sealed tightly ALL the way around the base
- It’s essential to warm the milk WITH the nipple on, NOT the storage cap. Warming with the storage cap on creates an air pressure buildup that can cause an opening in the base. Ventilation in the nipple will prevent this.
- When you attach the nipple, ensure the threading is aligned properly. Screw on tightly.
Medela bottles leaking
Physicians across the U.S. recommend the Medela breast milk storage bottle for breastfed babies. If used together with the Medela breast pump, you’ll only need one container to pump, store and feed!
Medela bottles tend to leak when the bottle is inverted for feeding. A few points to remember with this bottle include the following:
- Use the nipple specifically designed for the Medela brand because it has an especially wide base. A different type of nipple will create a space wide enough to mess a lot of breast milk or formula!
- Ensure the lid is properly aligned and screwed on very tightly to keep the nipple securely on the bottle.
Munchkin Latch bottles leaking
Many doctors recommend using the Munchkin Latch Anti-Colic bottle for healthy feeding. With its stretching nipple, it ensures a perfect latch every time! The anti-colic valve is uniquely located at the bottom of the bottle to reduce gas.
Some parents have had issues with minor leaks but these can easily be resolved by ensuring the bottom is completely disassembled, dried, and reassembled before use.
Lansinoh bottles leaking
Many babies struggle to switch from drinking from the breast to drinking from a bottle. This happens mostly because of “nipple confusion.” That happens when the bottle nipple is very different from the breast and the baby struggles to associate the two. As a result, the baby might end up rejecting the bottle altogether.
With Lansinoh Baby bottles you won’t have that problem! Your baby can easily switch between bottle and breast without any issues because of the NaturalWave nipples.
With its gently sloping nipple, Lansinoh bottles tend to leak less than most other brands. The only real advice you need with these bottles is to ensure the lid is screwed on tightly. Always use the correct nipple.
Joovy (glass) bottles leaking
The Joovy Boob PPSU Glass Bottle has a unique nipple design that prevents nipple collapse and easily promotes accurate latching. It makes it easy to switch between breast and bottle or bottle and breast. Additionally, the stage 1 slow flow nipples make feeding newborns much easier.
Joovy bottles tend to leak because the vent ring inside shifts if the collar isn’t secured properly. The easiest way to prevent this is to follow these steps:
- Put milk or formula in the bottle.
- Put the vent ring on and ensure it lies EXACTLY in the grooves.
- Assemble the collar, nipple and lid.
- Place the assembled collar on top of the bottle/ring.
- Slowly screw it on till it feels tight but be careful to not overtighten.
- Don’t unscrew till AFTER feeding, not even for venting.
Spectra bottles leaking
One of the factors that make Spectra Wide Neck Baby Bottles so popular is that these bottles are advertised as being “made for moms, by moms”. They’re compatible with all types of Spectra breast pumps and many other brands. The good news is they don’t require an adapter. They’re easy to store and comfortable to hold, making feeding time a breeze.
Spectra bottles don’t leak as much as some other brands. Parents who have reported leaks say the leaks don’t happen often. So, they chalk it down to the way they’re sitting or holding the bottle during feeding.
Evenflo bottles leaking
The Evenflo Feeding Classic Tinted Bottle is designed with only 3 pieces making it easy to disassemble between feedings. These classic bottles have a new ergonomic shape that’s easy to hold. An added plus point is that the Evenflo Feeling’s Patented Micro Air Vents prevent nipple collapse. It’s also easy to pump directly into the bottle eliminating the need for more than one container at a time.
Despite their basic design, Evenflo bottles still leak! The main reason for this is mostly attributed to the way the bottle is venting. The good news is, this can be easily fixed by following a simple process.
- Make sure you use the right brand nipple and cap ring. Different nipples will cause a gap and cause leaking. It might be a good idea to buy a few extra nipples when you purchase the bottle.
- Use your fingers to pinch the vent on the nipple to ensure it opens before placing the nipple into the cap ring.
- Place the nipple into the cap ring and inspect it to ensure that the underside of the nipple is laying flat against the ring cap.
- If the nipple bunches, the venting will cause nipple collapse.
- Screw the nipple and ring cap onto the bottle but ensure it’s not too tight.
- Tip the bottle on its side to make sure it doesn’t leak.
Baby Brezza bottles leaking
Another popular glass bottle is the Baby Brezza Two Piece Natural Glass Baby bottle. This particular bottle is unique in that it features a 2-piece design which makes cleaning and assembly so much easier. The Truflo anti-colic system is built into each nipple so that your baby doesn’t swallow air while drinking. This goes a long way in preventing acid reflux and gas.
Like so many other brands on our list, the Baby Brezza is prone to leaking if the threads aren’t completely dry and clear. In most cases, powder formula may cause a small buildup in the threads of the cap and result in leaking. Mom’s also reported that powdered formula tends to clog up the vent.
Eliminate leaking by following these simple tips:
- Always make sure the bottle, cap, and nipple are cleaned and dried thoroughly before use.
- Ensure you mix the baby formula to ensure there are no powder clumps
- When screwing the lid on, make sure the lid is properly aligned to the threads
Pigeon bottles leaking
Interestingly, parents who buy bottles from this brand say that such products show minimal leakage. I was quite surprised to find that out when I compared Pigeon to Avent bottles, such as the Pigeon Breast Milk Heat Glass Bottle.
No matter what type of bottle you’re using, e.g. Tommee Tippee or NUK, or any other brand, there’s always the possibility of leaking. And as you’ve seen from this article, there can be many reasons for this. Always ensure you use the right nipple and follow the instructions for each specific type of bottle. If the leaking is caused by not screwing tops on correctly, some practice will definitely help.
The good news is, with the tips I’ve shared, you should be able to eliminate most of the leakage! You don’t have to fill your kitchen counter with a whole variety of different brands in an attempt to find one that doesn’t leak. Bottle time doesn’t have to be frustrating and messy! Keep testing different brands – you may do so as many times you can exchange your bottle with another brand.
Last update on 2023-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API