Frequently Asked Questions

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Does the Dr. Brown's baby bottle really work?
Yes it does. The Dr. Brown's baby bottle features a patented internal vent system not found in any other bottle. Our bottle is fully-vented for vacuum-free feeding. We call this positive-pressure flow, similar to breastfeeding, which allows babies to feed at their own pace. As the baby feeds, air is channeled from the nipple collar (not the silicone nipple) through the vent system, to the back of the bottle. Air bypasses the breastmilk or formula which means no oxidation of nutrients. In fact a recent university study determined that our Dr. Brown's bottle helped to preserve levels of nutrients like vitamins C, A and E.

What is the difference between the Standard and Wide-Neck Dr. Brown's bottles?
All Dr. Brown's baby bottles share the benefits of the patented internal vent system. Many breastfeeding mothers prefer the Dr. Brown's Wide-Neck bottle as the nipple has a broader base, which can avoid nipple confusion for the baby. The Standard Dr. Brown's bottle carries the standard bottle nipple, which is more narrow. Both Standard and Wide-Neck bottles each come in 4-ounce and 8-ounce sizes; our Standard bottle is also available in a 2-ounce size which is ideal for premature babies.

Why is it good to prevent a vacuum from developing in the bottle?
There are two major problems associated with most traditional baby bottles: air and vacuum. Air ingested by babies can cause discomfort, sleepless nights, gas, spit-up, cramps, and other symptoms associated with colic. A vacuum in the bottle can transfer air to a baby's middle ear and can encourage fluid to be drawn in. Traditional non-vented bottles tend to develop vacuums when babies feed from them because babies need to suck progressively harder to get any liquid from them. Babies seal their lips to the nipple when they nurse, but as the vacuum increases they ingest air through a weakened nipple seal. Air enters the bottle through the vent in the nipple and aerates the breastmilk and formula.

Is that a straw in the Dr. Brown's baby bottle?
No it is not a straw. It is a reservoir tube and it's an integral part of the vent system which channels the air to the area above the liquid, keeping the air from being incorporated into the breastmilk or formula.


Is it necessary to only use Dr. Brown's nipples on my Dr. Brown's bottles?
Because the Dr. Brown's baby bottle is fully vented it requires a unique nipple. Other bottles have a vacuum inside that restricts the flow of liquid, and because of the vacuum the nipples on these bottles tend to have a very large hole. Using one of these nipples on a Dr. Brown's baby bottle could result in feeding your baby much too fast, possibly causing them to choke.

Can I use Dr. Brown's nipples on other brands of bottles?
Dr. Brown's nipples are of the highest quality. However they are specifically designed for the Dr. Brown's baby bottles and should not be used on other brands of bottles. The Dr. Brown's nipple does not have a vacuum operated rim-vent like other brands of bottles. If a Dr. Brown's nipple is used on an non-vented bottle the baby may experience feeding difficulties.

What can I do if I have lost a part of the vent?
Replacement parts are available in stores and located in the same area where you purchased your bottle. They are also available through many online retailers. If you have difficulty finding the replacement parts you need please call our Customer Service Department for a store location nearest you.

Can I use my Dr. Brown's bottles without the vent system?
The vent is an essential part of the Dr. Brown's system and is required to prevent the vacuum found in other brands of bottles and provide positive-pressure feeding.

Can the bottle be used to heat formula in the microwave?
We do not recommend using a microwave oven to heat the bottle because microwave ovens can create hotspots in milk or formula.

Are Dr. Brown's bottles and components dishwasher safe?
Yes, we recommend loading them in the top rack of your dishwasher. We also offer a Dr. Brown's Microwave Steam Sterilizer, Dr. Brown's Drying Rack, and Standard and Wide-Neck Dishwasher Baskets to help in cleaning.

Can I sterilize the Dr. Brown's bottles?
Yes, you may put them in a sterilizer or boil them in water. Be sure to follow the Instruction Leaflet that comes with your Dr. Brown's bottle. Dr. Brown’s offers a Microwave Steam Sterilizer designed specifically for our baby bottles.

Is that a leak?
Because the Dr. Brown's bottle is fully-vented it allows positive-pressure flow, similar to breastfeeding. This is essential for the baby to feed without having to suck against a vacuum. Under certain conditions the breastmilk or formula can exit through the vent. For example if the liquid is overheated the expanding air inside the bottle pushes the liquid through the vent causing leakage. Or if the bottle is shaken to mix formula, which we do not recommend, the liquid may enter the vent.

When liquid gets into the venting system, it can sometimes leak out around the nipple collar.
This can happen three ways:

  1. If you heat your bottle with the nipple collar securely in place, the liquid will be forced up into the vent as it expands. To avoid this, either heat the bottle without the nipple collar or loosen the nipple collar one-half turn after heating to allow the pressure to equalize. Then, re-tighten it before feeding.
  2. If you use powdered formula and mix it by shaking the bottle, liquid can get into the vent. The solution for this is to mix the formula by stirring it with a spoon rather than by shaking.
  3. If you overheat the liquid in the bottle, the vapor will rise and condense in the vent. To prevent this, avoid warming the liquid beyond body temperature.


What are your bottles made of?
Our Dr. Brown's bottles are made of BPA-free polypropylene plastic or BPA-free borosilicate glass. All components of the Dr. Brown's bottle, including the vent insert, vent reservoir, travel disk, nipple collar, and cap are also BPA-free polypropylene. Our nipples are made of medical-grade silicone.

Where are your bottles made?
Most of our Dr. Brown's bottles are produced and packaged in the USA. Our silicone nipples are made in Germany. Some of our products are made in China. Each Dr. Brown's package clearly notes where that product was produced.