Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Avent Bottle Review

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Avent.

Let me start out by saying that I'm a big fan of Avent Isis Manual Breast Pump and subsequently have always used Avent bottles. So I was thrilled when Avent came out with its BPA-free bottles.

That said, I don't use bottles all that much. I often joke that my kids go straight from my breasts to sippy cups (and they really almost do).

In fact, I practice what's known as ecological breastfeeding (EBF). Which, in a nutshell, means I nurse for both nourishment and comfort without restriction. In other words: I nurse. A. Lot.

But occasionally I do cheat - like when my husband and I have an at-home date night and talk over vino or a mixed drink (my husband makes a mean mojito), and I feel I need to "pump and dump." (Then my husband gets to actually feed his offspring with a bottle.)

Just this past Saturday we decided to go on a real date night where we actually left our little ones, including M.E., my nursing baby, in the competent care of Gaba and Papa (my parents). So I got all dolled up and armed my parents with an Avent bottle and several ounces of pumped breastmilk. We kissed our older girls good-bye and left a very happy grandma who cherishes the rare moments she gets to feed her grandbabies.

Since I'm on my third baby, I wasn't too worried about abandoning my nursing babe (although I typically don't like to leave my babies much at all for at least three months). And we'd already given M.E. a bottle a few times, and she'd been quite pleased with it, actually, because it didn't spray milk down her throat with the force of a fire hose. I've been very blessed to not have any nursing problems other than just making way too much milk. I've been known to refer to my breasts as Super Soakers. But I digress. Again.

The point is I wasn't at all worried about how my baby would fare in my absence or if she would take a bottle. Plus, I nursed her right before we left, so I assumed she might not even need to eat while we were stuffing our faces with Greek cuisine and talking about politics, art, and other cerebral topics our kids.

That was my first mistake. It turns out M.E., who is just shy of three months, was not at all pleased with an MIA mom. Oh, Gaba didn't have it too awful, and she would have called if the baby had been inconsolable. Gaba just had to hold M.E. the entire time (bliss for a grandma) and walk and walk and walk and walk... (I sometimes have to march endlessly with her, too, especially when her reflux flares up). Fortunately, M.E. did take the bottle, but she only slowly slurped up two ounces or so. She kept gagging, Gaba reported.

"I don't think she was really hungry. I think she was just tired," Gaba told me upon our homecoming. Tired, she was. I nursed M.E. for just a few minutes before she went limp against me.

It seems this is my first baby who knows (or cares) when Mommy is away. My oldest didn't start the whole separation anxiety thing until much older, and she always was happy with her Gaba. My second is our laid back kiddo, and she's happy in almost anyone's arms. Just goes to show you that children of the same flesh and blood who even look a lot alike can be as similar as salt and sugar when it comes to personality.

My husband did try the bottle again, and this time she was happy. Perhaps because she knew Mom was in close quarters. And honestly, I think given my crazy milk supply, my baby can actually control the milk flow from this Avent bottle better than from when it comes rushing out of my breast like Niagara Falls. Likewise, the 11-ounce bottle fits onto my pump, so when my husband and I have "pump and dump" nights, I can offer fresh milk before I imbibe.

Also, the bottle is made of honey-colored PES material that provides "extra durability," according to its package. Avent offers five different nipple flow rates. I received the nipple with three holes and, again, considering my breasts spray more streams of milk than I can count, I think M.E. was probably relieved to be able to enjoy a more leisurely meal.

As a breastfeeding mom who only occasionally uses bottles, I'm satisfied with the Avent bottle. I'm definitely not particularly fastidious about my bottles since I don't use them much and like I said, Avent has always been my go-to brand since I've been so happy with their pump.

But enough about me. What about you? I'd love to hear from other moms out there. What's your fave bottle brand? How often do you give your bambino a bottle? Do you "pump and dump" if you feel a wee bit tipsy? (Oh, and have you heard of Milk Screen, an at-home test you can buy to detect how much alcohol is in your breast milk? I hate to waste what I call "liquid gold," so I've considered investing in this.)

Please visit Avent's Official Site for more information on their bottles and other products.

Oh and be sure to enter to win a $500 Visa gift card from Avent at the BlogHer review roundup page!

7 comments:

Mommy said...

Kate,

I used to pump and dump if needed. I actually had my wisdom teeth out when nursing my son so I had to stock up and do as much dumping as possible. I loved my Advent bottles. I used them for both kids and they both adapted to bottle feedings well.

Christina

handmaidmama said...

Kate,

I pumped from the first days of both my girls' lives because my nipples would get cracked and bleed as I started or returned to breastfeeding. Pumping would give my breasts some rest time to heal. I bought a used (from a friend) Medela pump. It came with bottles and nipples. I did buy nipples with a heavier flow when the girls got a little older. Both my girls took to the bottle easily and, as I mentioned, at an early age. I would pump and dump if I felt really tipsy, but many times, if I didn't have more than one drink, I wouldn't worry about it... all things in moderation. I did have some other random named bottles, but usually used the Medela bottles for convenience and familiarity. I haven't not yet tried an Avent bottle and had never heard of the Avent pump until this review. I would be interested in trying it for future babies, if and when my pump dies and I need a new one!

Anne

*Jess* said...

The Avent Isis is, hands down, the best manual pump you can buy. It really works well and is very comfortable to use!

Unfortunately, both my children did not like the nipple shape of the Avent bottle, so we used Playtex Nursers. But, that was just my children's preference, not mine, really. Both babies took Avent early in the game, around 2 weeks or so, but then refused anything but Playtex by 6 or 8 weeks. Jaina got a bottle once a day, while I cooked dinner. Jayce got a bottle maybe once a week, until he refused all bottles at 3 months.

Maureen said...

We loved the avent bottles because the mouth is wide enough to dump the formula in without making a mess and also for ease of cleaning.

wysong5 said...

Corinne has only had a handful of bottles, so I can't speak for her. She is currently using a sippy cup when she doesn't nurse. As far as the Avent bottles go, Landry and Nolan had a hard time with them. I found them to not be very user-friendly because you had to get the top on perfectly for it to not leak. Then again, it has been 2 1/2 years since I've used one, so I'm sure they may have changed since then.
Thanks for the review!

barbara.montyj said...

Avent is the best!
I started with another brand.
From a friend's recommendation I switch to Avent.
The baby was more comfortable with it.

Anonymous said...

I had been a big fan of Avent since my first child was born. They were the highest quality bottles. So without a doubt, when I had my 3rd child, i purchased everything Avent again, this time with the BPA free versions. To my disappointment, i noticed the new Avent bottles leaks like crazy. First I thought it was because I didn't tight them properly, but after further research online, I noticed I wasn't the only one having that problem. So I called Avent's 1800 line, they did admit there's been leaking problems with the bottles, and will provide replacement (btw, the customer reps were horrible, I was on hold for 30 min before I got disconnected). Avent does not give money back, only provide replacement with proof of purchase. I don't know if the new bottles in the mail will still have the leaking problem. Again, I am very disappointed with Avent products and will not recommend it to any one.