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I have two children aged 5.5 years and 5.5 months at time of writing this review. Both children have been primarily breastfed with additional artificial supplementation.
The Dr Brown's anti-colic bottle system is the preferred choice for both my husband and myself.
There are two different shaped bottles available in the range: wide-necked and narrow-necked which are more "old-style" in my opinion. Both neck styles have their own range of teats, with the wide-neck range comprising of a wide teat and the narrow with, obviously, narrow.
There are four different teat flow rates, each is labelled as one of 1,2,3 or Y. Infants start with the slowest flow - number one, and after approximately three months move to number two. Flow rate three is appropriate for children aged six months and over. Flow rate "Y" is the fastest and I believe to be most suitable for child who are at least one year old.
The wide-necked teat is our preferred style as it is most similar to the breast shape. The silicon teats seem to become a little discoloured over time. I should point out that this is what has happened to the teats that are for the narrow-neck bottles which were bought and used five years ago.
These Dr Brown's teats are very easy to wash. We let them air dry.
In our experience, these teats work well and are only rejected by our second child when he is unwell and wants to be as close as possible to me. ie obtain food straight from the source.
These teats are widely available, locally and internationally.
When Hope was born four years ago she had really awful colic. I had no idea what it was and it made the first few months of her life really stressful. A friend recommended that we try Dr Brown's bottles and I am so glad we did as they really helped to relieve her symptoms. I didn't realise that you could buy different teats though and kept her on stage one the entire time! Now our second baby is here I am more experienced and have bought these medium flow teats which he gets on with much better and are proving to be a big success.
Colic is a build up of wind which occurs throughout the day and then comes to a head early evening. This happens because babies have undeveloped digestive systems that struggle to process properly and results in what is known as colic. The symptoms of colic can be really distressing for people especially those like me who had never even heard of it before. All Hope would do come about 6pm was scream as though in awful pain and scrunch up her little legs. This would happen every night for about 3 hours, once it went on for 7 hours and it was just unbearable. There is not much that you can do for it but just sit it out and know that eventually they will get over it. We did try to help relieve it by giving her a bath, using over the counter medicines and trying baby massage and then a friend recommended Dr Brown bottles. Hope was mainly breastfed but would have one bottle a day so we thought using a bottle which is designed to help reduce colic symptoms has got to be better than nothing.
Dr Brown bottles have a unique patented part in them which help to channel out any extra air that a baby may take in whilst feeding. It is this air that helps colic to build up so this special little filter that the bottles have is really important. It doesn't make the bottle more complicated to use, it just has two extra parts to it than a normal bottle and it is slightly more difficult to clean as the tube inside is very narrow but the bottle does come with a tiny brush to help with this. We definitely noticed a marked improvement when Hope had these bottles.
The medium flow teat
With these bottles you can replace any parts of them should you need to- y ou do not need to buy a whole new bottle so if you lose any part or you require more of something you can buy them individually. Whenever I saw packs of teats in the shops I thought they were for people who needed to replace them. I had no idea that they were actually different from the ones we had. Hope ended up staying on the first stage teat forever and i thought it was nice that she took her time when feeding, that she would finish her milk in 15 minutes compared to my friend's babies that would down it in about a quarter of that time! It was only when we had our second baby that i realised the teats must be different. When Our baby was about 7 months old I noticed he got quite frustrated with the bottle, I assumed it was because he was breastfed and preferred the breast but then I wondered if it was to do with the teat as he seemed impatient as though the milk wasn't coming out fast enough. It was then that I decided to look to see if you can buy other teats.
I found a pack of 2 medium flow teats in Boots and suddenly felt guilty that I'd never known of these before! These are designed to be used only with Dr Brown bottles and for the pack of two they cost about £2.50 which seems quite expensive for such small items but they are cheap compared to buying a whole new bottle.
The teats worked brilliantly right away, my baby seemed so happy to be getting his milk faster. The milk does not pour out but it is a much faster flow. The first stage was more of a drip and he had to really work it to get it out but this comes out as a trickle and he seems so much more happy when feeding with this as he doesn't have to try as hard and now he is older it is fine for him to have it come out at this speed. I think if he was younger he would struggle to manage the speed of it.
Cleaning the teat is fine, I always wash it with warm soapy water and makes sure the very end part of the teat gets cleaned and then I put it in the steriliser and this cleans it fine. It has remained in really good condition, I have seen some people who's teats have changed colour slightly over a few months but these still look as good as new.
I feel guilty for never having come across these teats before. Previously it would take my baby about 20 minutes to drink 7 ounces of milk and he began to get frustrated but now it takes about 5 minutes and although I am not for rushing him with his feeding he seems so much happier with these as the milk comes out faster for him. He seems so happy with these that I don't feel the need to look at the next stage teat I think this one is just fine for him.
They are a good quality teat and fit perfectly with the Dr Brown bottles. I don't think they would work with any others.I am really pleased that we have these now for him, they were well worth the few pounds I paid for them. They have lasted about 5 months so far and despite being chewed on and used every day they remain in really good condition and like I said with no discolouration or anything.
If you use Dr Brown bottles and your baby is not a newborn then it may be worth looking into these medium flow teats. I think at first they would be far too fast for a little baby but once the get a few months old moving onto these teats is definitely helpful and more satisfying for the baby.
Dr Brown's is a brand of bottles. They help to reduce colic symptoms and we used them with our babies. We found that they worked. We also found that the teats would need replacing after a few months because they would discolour so we would buy new teats which would save us money rather than replace the whole bottle.
* What are they?
The teat is the part of the bottle which the baby drinks from. It slots into a collar before being screwed in place. We found that they would discolour after a few months so replaced them regularly.
* Different variations.
The first stage teat has a very small hole in it which makes the milk come out very slowly. This is fine for a new born who has to work quite hard to get the milk out but when the baby is slightly bigger they should move on to size two which has a larger hole in and so more milk comes out at a time.
The bottles cost about £6 each so replacing the entire collection of bottles would be expensive whereas just replacing the teats was less than half the price. We got three in a set too which made it good value for money. We found that the teats were very good quality and our babies didn't have any problems with them. Some teats of other brands are designed to feel like a nipple or to be stimulated like a breast but these are actually quite standard and never confused our baby so for us they worked fine. They need cleaning well because of the milk which could carry bacteria and it is important to replace them as regularly as you can so it is very good that you can buy them in packets like this. We bought ours from Boots.
As you may see from a recent review we have changed Jayden's bottles from Avent to Dr Brown to see if it will improve the amount of air he swallows when drinking his milk. Whilst there was a small improvement with the new bottles he was still gulping down a lot of air with his milk. I mentioned this when I took him to be weighed etc at the clinic and it was suggested that we tried the next level teat, whilst these are designed for babies a few months older than Jayden the idea was that the milk would come out of the teat faster for him meaning he would just swallow the milk and not have to keep sucking at the bottle to get the milk and in the process swallow air. I went to my local Boots to look for some new teats for his bottle as this was where I had purchased them from originally, luckily they had some in stock so I purchased enough for each bottle in the hope that they would solve the problem as swallowing the air does make him uncomfortable when feeding especially if he does not wind very well.
The Dr Brown Level Two Teats come attached to a square card, the background is white with a blue stripe going across the top, written in this is the size of the teat, how many the pack contains and also the age group that they are supposed to be for. The Dr Brown name is written down the right hand side of the card in different shades of blue and down the left hand side are stripes again in different shades of blue, the age group that the teats are for is repeated again at the bottom of the card. The amount of information on the front is quite limited, in the centre are the teats, these are covered and protected by a stiff plastic, this is moulded around the teats to form the shape of them. All of the main product information is written on the back of the card, the background again is white with black writing on it. The information consists of what to do before the first use, what to do after the first use and what to do before each use, also the information includes warnings about the product and a list of the different sized teats that Dr Brown do and what age group they are aimed at. All of the information is clear and easy to understand.
The Dr Brown Teats are silicon teats which are BPA free which basically means they are free of Bisphenol-A, I have never heard of this before but I assume it is a good thing that the teats do not contain this. Appearance wise the Level Two Teats look just like any other bottle teats, although these ones are described as wide neck which is the case with the bottles, these too are wide neck. When I compared the Level Two teats to the Level One ones which had come with the bottle they didn't actually look any different making me question whether the correct ones had been put inside the packet, however before I went back to the shop to say I thought the teats were wrong I did a bit of research online and discovered that the teats still have just the one hole in them (I was expecting two as this seems to be what a lot of teats have when you go up a level) but the hole is a little larger and it is the flow of milk that is different, the slightly larger hole allows the milk to flow faster. The Level Two Teats work in exactly the same way and combined with the bottle help to reduce the amount of air your baby takes in which in turn reduces wind and colic and helps with winding. The teats feel of a reasonable thickness which gives them impression that they are strong and will not split easily, or at least I am hoping this is the case, however I have not had any problems with the Level One teats so far and these are made from the same material so I am hoping the Level Two teats will be just as strong. The Dr Brown Level Two Teats are actually aimed at babies 3 + Months, Jayden is only 6 weeks and has been moved onto these, however this is following advise from a professional I would not have moved him up to these without checking first.
Before the First Use
One the back of the packaging you will find instructions for what to do before you use the Teats for the first time, these instructions consist of
* Use clean hands and clean surfaces when handling
* Place teat in an open container of boiling water for 5 minutes, boiling for any longer could cause damage to the teat
Make sure the teat hole is clean
After First Use
Again directions for what to do after the first use can be found on the back of the packaging, this is quite self explanatory but tells you that the teats can be sterilised using an electric or a microwave steriliser or even the top rack of a dishwasher but the water should not exceed 60 degree. I personally after washing them put them in a microwave steraliser with all the other parts of the bottles and so far have had no problems in doing this.
Before Each Use
Again this is information that can be found on the packaging, this sections exaplains how you should pull on each teat to make sure it does not tear. If there are any signs of wear like cracking or change of shape they should be replaced immidatley as small pieces can be inhalled and cause serious injury. This section also states that you should remove the teat from your babies mouth when they are not feeding.
The warnings are the final section described on the packaging of the Level Two Teats. This consists of
* Always use under adult supervision
* Never use feeding teats as soothers
* Continuous and prolonged sucking of fluids can cause tooth decay
* Check food temperature before feeding
* Do not turn teats inside out
Price and Availability
Dr Brown Level Two Teats are available in various shops such as Boots and Superdrug as well as online. I purchased my pack of two teats from my local Boots as I knew they stocked Dr Brown products as this was where I bought Jayden's bottles from. Each pack of two teats cost me £3.79, I thought this was reasonably value for money especially if they worked and helped when it came to feeding time. The teats were a little more expensive than some brands you could purchase, however you have to use the Dr Brown Teats with the Dr Brown bottles as they bottles and teats may not work properly.
We have used the Dr Brown Level Two Teats for several feeds now and there is a definite improvement in the amount of air Jayden is swallowing with his milk. The first time we used them he did look a bit surprised I think because the milk came out faster than what he was use to, this did cause a few problems until he got use to them, however by the end of the first bottle he was managing fine with them. As I have said I expected there to be two holes in the teat but this is not the case, there is just one larger hole although when I squirted some water out of a Level One Teat and then out of a Level Two Teat I didn't really notice a lot of difference, although I assume there must be a difference if you are drinking from them. I would recommend the Dr Brown Level Two Teats if you use the Dr Brown bottles, however the Level Two Teats are for babies older than Jayden and I have only purchased them after being advised to, you should stick to the right teat to match your babies age, before moving onto the next level early you should check with your doctor or health visitor first, but in terms of quality I have been pleased with the Dr Brown Teats and would definitely say they are worth the money.