Best Formula, Bottles, And Drops For Colic Relief (2020 Guide)

Best Formula, Bottles, And Drops For Colic Relief (2020 Guide)

Most new babies cry a lot. But when my son turned a month old, my husband and I noticed that he became inconsolable for hours.

In fact, between the hours of 5-7 every evening, he cried straight through, and we were left feeling helpless and defeated.

After consulting with my pediatrician, my son was labeled as “colicky.” I had no idea what that really meant, and how I could help him.

I later found out that colic was common (about 1 in 5 infants are considered colicky), and with the right formula, bottles, and with the help of colic drops, things turned around, and I had a much happier baby on my hands! 

7 Signs Your Baby May Have Colic

Turns out, there are things I could have looked out for that would have tipped me off to the fact that my son suffered from colic and needed some help.

Here are the major signs and symptoms to keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for:

Excessive crying. As I’ve said before, colicky babies will cry for hours on end. This is the biggest indicator that your baby is colicky. Non-colic babies will definitely cry, but not for consecutive hours. You will also notice that the majority of the crying occurs in the late afternoon into the evening. Pediatricians also classify the crying as colic is they cry with this intensity for at least three days a week, for three weeks in a row.

Redness. Your baby will be very red and flushed in their face (and even all over their body) during their crying bouts.

Uncomfortable body language. Your little bundle of joy won’t look so joyful. Your baby’s fists will clench up while crying, and their back will usually arch. Some babies writhe around, and even bring their knees up toward their belly.

Passing a lot of gas. Your baby may experience an increased bowel activity or even pass a lot of gas during (or after) an intense crying session.

Eye warnings. Your baby may open their eyes widely as they are crying, or even cinch them shut them tightly to demonstrate that they are in pain.

Overactive. A colicky baby will continuously kick, scream, and move their body about in a way that nothing can calm them or even keep them still.

A hard tummy. Your baby’s abdomen will feel hard and solid, mainly from all the air they are sucking in as they are crying.

Why Switching Your Formula May Help

I never understood how switching a formula could help my colicky son. After all, my pediatrician told me that colic was not a disease or a diagnosis, but a combination of baffling (but common) behaviors.

She suggested I try a formula that had proteins that were already broken down. Some babies’ gastrointestinal systems are still fragile, and they are unable to break down their formula in a timely manner, resulting in pain from gas in their intestines.

She also mentioned that my son could have some issues with acid reflux, and that could also lead to colicky behaviors.

There are many formulas designed to help colicky babies calm down and eat with ease, and eliminate gas from forming in their sensitive tummies.

Best Formula For Colic

#1. Gerber Good Start Soothe

Gerber Good Start Sooth (click here to check the price on Amazon) is the formula that really helped my son—and my sanity!

He took to it right away, mostly because I feel it is so gentle (hence its name).

It has a special probiotic called L. reuteri in it that has been shown to reduce crying time (nearly half the amount).

This Gerber formula is designed for infants, all the way up to 12 month olds. It also has something called comfort proteins that are easy to digest and they have a smaller amount of lactose to help ease fussiness and stop gas.

I also loved it because it was non-GMO (not made with genetically engineered ingredients) and that it has DHA in it (not all formulas have that).

It's a fatty acid that is found naturally in breastmilk that supports brain and eye development.

Plus, it wasn’t astronomically priced, so all in all, I really liked it (and so did my fussy son).

Why Switching Your Bottle May Help

I had no idea, but my doctor told me I could be contributing to my son’s colic episodes because I may have been using a bottle that didn’t cooperate with him.

Naïve, new mom me thought a bottle was a bottle.

But there are certain bottles designed to deliver the least amount of air and bubbles to the baby as possible.

The right bottle can help ensure the formula goes down smoothly, so your little one doesn’t fuss around feeding time (or after for that matter).

Best Bottles for Colic

#1. Dr. Brown's Natural Flow

I ended up using Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow bottles right away (click here to check the price on Amazon), and I'm really glad I did.

And, after a few feedings, I really did notice a difference in my son—he seemed more at ease and comfortable after feedings.

He also had less gas (hardly any at all), and his crying bouts were reduced (keep in mind—nothing cures colic but time, but the bottle and formula really turned things around).

The bottles have a unique and intricate design, helping it act like a vent system.

So, it removes air from the milk, but leaves all the good stuff like the vitamins. It also has something called a positive pressure flow, which mimics the act of breastfeeding.

The Dr. Brown's bottles also help prevent fluid from developing in ears (because an ear infection is the last thing you want on top of colic) and the bottles are safe and sturdy.

Their wide neck and nipples also discourage nipple collapse, so your baby can eat with ease.

The bottles do have a lot of parts, so a special brush is included in each bottle set to help you get into the nooks and crannies of each part.

Everything is also dishwasher safe, so you can always put them in a special bottle dishwasher case to keep all the parts together as they get cleaned).

Overall, the bottles were pretty affordable and highly effective.

#2. Comotomo Baby Bottles

Also highly recommended for colicky babies, the Comotomo Baby Bottles (click here to check the price on Amazon) work really well for fussy feeders.

They too have a wide neck design (which is also really easy to clean), and their own anti-colic design (but with hardly any parts to piece together).

This bottle combats colic by boasting a dual anti-colic vent to get rid of excess air in the milk. This will reduce the amount of spit up, crying, and gas that your baby has.

In addition, the Comotomo bottle itself is made out of silicone, so it’s soft and squishy, making it easy for restless babies to grip and concentrate on.

You get two 8 ounce bottles, and they are slightly more expensive than Dr. Brown’s, but they have fewer parts.

They also look modern and come in different colors (if that is overly important to you).

Both the Dr. Brown's and Comotomo bottles are ideal for feeding colicky babies, so it’s really up to your personal preferences.

Why Using Colic Drops May Help

When your baby is colicky, as a parent, you literally will try anything to calm and soothe them.

One thing I turned to was anti-colic drops.

I’ve experimented with a few brands and found two that really worked for my son.

You should consider anti-colic drops because they are known to reduce the amount of gas your little one has, or they help relive any kind of digestive issues that is putting them in pain and making them uncomfortable.

Most anti-colic drops contain a probiotic, which eases these tummy issues. Anti-colic drops have also been said to cut colic crying time in nearly half.

Because they are safe to use, I never left the house without them!

Best Colic Drops

#1. Gerber Soothe Colic Drops

The Gerber Soothe Drops (click here to check the price on Amazon) work really well for a lot of babies with colic.

Best of all, they go hand-in-hand with the Gerber Soothe formula.

These drops use a safe probiotic (same as their formula—L. reuteri), which helps promote the good kinds of bacteria in your baby’s system.

To use, you simply turn its bottle on an angle until it forms a drop.

Moms who are nursing can put the drop on their breast, mix it in with a bottle, or even give it in on a spoon.

Babies can have up to five drops a day.

I always gave my son a drop right before I knew his colic time was about to begin (about 5 pm). I also gave him a drop in his morning bottle, and as needed throughout the day.

After about only a few days of use, I definitely noticed that he seemed more comfortable.

For a 0.17 ounce bottle, expect to pay a pretty penny—no, these drops aren't cheap.

However, if you are a parent of a colicky baby, there really isn’t an amount that I wouldn’t pay to calm him and cut down on the excessive crying.

#2. Mommy's Bliss Gripe Water

Another anti-colic remedy I liked a lot was gripe water, and the one by Mommy's Bliss (click here to check the price on Amazon) is my favorite.

It’s highly recommended by pediatricians because it is made with organic fennel and ginger, so it’s totally safe to give to your baby. I ended up signing up for a subscription to save money, but all in all, the gripe water is pretty affordable.

Much like Gerber’s drops, Mommy Bliss’ drops relieve gas and stomach pain caused by hiccups, as well as other colic symptoms.

My son really like the flavor and I ended up giving it to him as is, rather than mixing it in with his bottles.

I even used it later on, once his colic bouts were over to help him if he seemed irritated from teething.

The main thing that I liked about this product, other than being all natural, was that it didn’t need to be refrigerated, so it made it easy to pop it in my diaper bag and go.

I even kept a bottle by his crib for overnight issues.

It had a helpful table to follow with regards to the amount I gave him, and I never exceeded the recommended dosage (6 times max in 24 hours).

Other Colic Remedies You Can Try

From one colic mom survivor to another (it will be over soon!!), here are some other things I did that were really helpful!

Use a pacifier. I’ve always had issues with pacifiers. I didn’t want my baby to turn into a four year old walking around with a paci, so I vowed to never give it to my son at any other time than bedtime. That went right out the window when he became colicky. The simple act of sucking on his pacifier really did soothe him and helped to stop him from gulping in air.

Stay in motion. I used to joke and say that between the hours of 5 and 7 was my exercise time. This is because I stayed in constant motion while my son was crying. I swung him, rocked him, bounced him, walked around with him—you name it, I did it. But, the constant movement seemed to really settle him. When my arms couldn’t take it anymore, I put him down in a vibrating swing, which also helped to settle him.

Use a sound machine. As my son started to near the end of his colic phase, I found that background noise was really soothing to him. So, when he started one of his episodes, I turned on the sound machine. It was as if magic happened right before my eyes. Sitting your baby near a running dishwasher or table top fountain as they are crying also helps. I even ran an air purifier at night, or a fan to soothe him with sound.

Put baby on her belly. Some babies prefer to be on their belly when they are colicky. I used to hold my son (and simultaneously move with him) by laying his belly across my interlocked arms. I spent many an evening watching my favorite TV shows like that!

Try a swaddle blanket. If your arms or body are getting tired from holding and rocking your baby, give a swaddle a try. Some babies like the snugness and security from a soft and cozy swaddle.

Pump out gas. Before my son’s colic hour (and even after), I made sure to lay him down and do bicycle pumps with his legs. This help his belly by getting those air bubbles out.

Switch formulas. I hate to break it to you, but my son was on six (yes, six!) different formulas before finding the magic one. This may not be the case for you, but if you’ve given a formula a week and you still don’t see any improvement, you can strike up another conversation with your pediatrician about how it’s not working, and they can suggest another one to try. Sometimes, a last case resort (a.k.a. a $40 formula) is the only thing that will work, but it’s worth it in the long run.

Wrapping Up

If you think your baby is colicky, I feel your pain and frustration.

But, there are many things you can do and try to alleviate symptoms.

With the right formula, the right bottles, and the right drops (not to mention trying out the list of suggestions above), you will definitely see an improvement with the amount your baby cries.

And, while it seems like an eternity, always know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and your baby will not be colicky forever.

Hang in there and be patient!


Hi there, I'm Kate! I started Maternity Glow to be a place for new and expecting moms to come to for practical pregnancy advice, parenting tips, and baby care tricks.

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