When our first child was born, we used Playtex Drop-Ins bottles by default.  We were given a free sample and when we suddenly realized we were not able to exclusively breastfeed, we reached for what was on hand.  When baby #2 was born, we wanted to go with something different.  We loved the Playtex bottles, but since our first child was still using his bottle, we didn't want any jealousy or confusion to interfere. 

After staring at the enormous bottle selection in the store, we settled on Dr. Brown's Bottles because they touted that their patented system would prevent air bubbles and help reduce gas.  Since our first child errupted like a volcano after each meal despite Playtex's claims that it, too, reduced bubbles, we figured the Dr. Brown's system was a good idea.  Baby F took to the bottles right away.  He had no trouble latching on, and no nipple confusion, despite the smaller nipple on these bottles.  In general, we were happy. 

Note that this section is called "Stuff I Don't Love" not "Stuff I Hate" - for many people, Dr. Brown's bottles might be the way to go.  Here is our issue with the brand:  These bottles have 5 pieces.  The bottle itself, the nipple, the nipple ring, a tube and a plug that tops the tube.  When hand washing, we were obliged to use a teeny tiny brush (included with the bottle) to scrub out all of the crevices.  As is typical of us, we instantly lost the brush (all 3 of them actually - I suspect they met an unpleasant end in the disposal).  Since handwashing became so much more difficult without the brushes (I have since been informed that you can order replacement brushes), we began tossing the bottles in the dishwasher.  In the middle of the night, when you're groggy and the house is dark, it is nearly impossible to find all 5 pieces of the bottles in a full, hot dishwasher.  We learned the hard way that without the straw and plug, the bottles leak out all the milk in about a minute and a half.  Foo.

Problem #2.  We are notorious for not bottle weaning at a remotely sane age.  Both our boys have developed nasty bottle addictions, refused to sleep without a bottle (or five) and weren't weaned to a 'big boy' cup until after the age of two. But two year old are mobile.  And Baby F has an arm like a major league pitcher.  Meaning bottles were lost all over the house and car and occasionally not found again for weeks at a time.  Not a problem with the Playtex bottles.  The liners are disposable and the nipples are easy to soak and scrub.  Unfortunately, the plug on the Dr. Brown's bottles has teeny tiny passageways through it (ostensibly to let out the air bubbles) which even the 'included' brush couldn't reach.  Meaning any plug not rinsed immediately after the bottle was finished will mildew.  After soaking several stray bottles and plugs in vinegar and finally bleach and STILL not eradicating the nasty black build up in the plug, we decided to call it quits.  We had a 'goodbye bottle ceremony' and switched Baby F to a big boy kanteen cold turkey. 

So - if you are organized, tidy and bottle wean your baby at 1 year old or around the time s/he can get around well enough to start hiding bottles, Dr. Brown's might work just fine for you.  However, if you are prone to losing tiny brushes, or let your bottles sit in the sun for a while before washing them, or your child (or fido, or whoever) likes to stash bottles behind the couch and forget about them - go with something else.  I recommend the Playtex Drop-Ins simply for the liners which can be disposed of when they become 'too gross to touch.'  But anything with a simple 'bottle, nipple, ring'  format is easy to clean, keep track of, and replace. 

When Baby L was born, we made sure to start her on Playtex bottles.  She loves them, and big brothers love pointing out all the cute designs on the side.  And I love tossing them in the dishwasher and forgetting all about them.  Win Win Win.


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