There are a variety of options and factors to consider when choosing which type of baby bottle is best for your new born. In many cases, Dr. Brown bottles fit your need – this was the case for my daughter who handled gas much better under the Dr. Brown versus Medela, Playtex, and Avent brands. These other brands have their perks, but it’s entirely based on the situation and the baby’s reaction to each bottle.
One potential drawback for using Dr. Brown bottle is the maintenance and cleaning. There are extra parts with Dr. Brown bottles, as opposed to the more traditional bottles that just have a nipple, ring, and bottle. Dr. Brown bottles include the above elements but also contain a straw and valve – meant for limiting the air intake during feedings, and thus minimize gas.
The Dr. Brown bottle’s extra parts can be daunting to clean, especially by hand. If you buy a value-pack of bottles, there is usually 3 sizes of brushes included to clean all of the crevices in the valve and scrub the entire straw.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, then hand washing these components with the brushes will be your life for the next 1-2 years. Buy some good hand lotion.
For those of us lucky fathers with a dishwasher, here is my recommendation for the most efficient, space-saving, and clean way to wash Dr. Brown bottles.
Nipples, rings, caps, valves – not much of a trick here, you should place these items in a good dishwasher basket. For best basket, see this article… Don’t overload the baskets, as that may prevent a full cleansing effect of the dishwasher nozzles. To me, the nipples and the valves are the most important part, so try to keep those off to the side in their own basket. Many baskets have a nipple shelf in the basket where the nipples sit on top of miniature handles to ensure full exposure to the water and soap.
The bottle and straw is where the real lesson can be learned. Originally, I had a tough time trying to figure out the best formation for the straw and bottle to ensure they both get clean and take up the least amount of room. I tried different custom dishwasher baskets, but that was more work than I needed. Ultimately, I spoke to a friend at work with the following recommendation:
- leave the straw inside of the bottle and position them together on one of the many securing arms on the top rack of the dishwasher.
- the arm on the top rack will support the the straw, which sits inside of the bottle, thus securing both the bottle and straw and exposing both pieces to the full effects of the dishwasher nozzles.
With this layout, the bottle and straw will get plenty of water and soap, end up getting clean and sanitized and take up a minimal amount of space in the dishwasher.