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Why Do Dr. Browns Bottles Leak?

My grandson, a preemie, required Dr. Brown bottles. The longer nipple just seemed to work with him. We tried the Playtex bottles, but he refused.

He wouldn’t take a single bottle except for a Dr. Brown bottle. We happily obliged and purchased several of them. We had no problems with our four-ounce bottles. Perhaps because they were older and were hand-me-down bottles.

The new eight-ounce bottles leaked the first time that my daughter used them. As soon as we would tip them up, formula slowly spilled out of the side.

We had no choice but to use Dr. Brown bottles, so we had to find out why the Dr. Brown bottles were leaking. If yours are leaking, you can usually trust that it’s an easy fix. 

Use A Towel While Figuring Out Why Your Dr. Browns Bottle Is Leaking

Figuring out why Dr. Brown bottles are leaking is a bit of a trial and error process. There are several things that can cause leaking. The problem is that while you might be trying to figure it out, your little one still needs to eat. 

Personally, I tucked either a dishtowel or several bibs in between him and the bottle. Then, I made larger bottles to accommodate for the amount that leaked out. This kept him nice and dry as I figured out the secrets to using Dr. Brown’s bottles. 

Dr. Brown Bottles Leaking Due To The Vent System

Dr brown vent system

The ventilation system in these bottles consists of two parts that fit perfectly inside the bottle.

This system pushes air to the back of the bottle to help prevent gas, and therefore reducing fussiness in babies. While this is the main appeal behind these bottles, it’s also the primary reason that they are prone to leaking. 

The Bottle Collar Needs To Be Perfectly Tightened

The bottle collar cannot be too loose or else the bottle will leak. On the other hand, if it’s too tight, the bottle will still leak. This is because the vent seal will be broken.

This is the seal that’s between the round part of the vent system and the bottle collar.

You Have To Use The Vent System In Some Bottles

The older bottles we had worked perfectly fine without the vent system. The newer ones, however, did not. When we attempted to use them without, they started leaking.

This was the first leaking issue we had with Dr. Brown bottles. If you’re trying to use them without the vent system, put the vent system back in them to determine if this was the problem. 

Is The Dr. Brown Leaking Because It Was Heated With The Vent System In?

While you’re not supposed to heat bottles in the microwave, occasionally we’re in a hurry or, for whatever reason, there’s no hot water.

Heating the formula in the bottle on the stove can have similar results. If the formula gets too hot and rises into the vent system, it can cause a leaking issue.

If you heated the bottle with the vent system in place, try pouring the formula into a different bottle. Next time, don’t heat the bottle with the vent system in the bottle.

Instead, heat up the formula, then put the ventilation system in the bottle before feeding your baby. 

Dr. Brown Bottle Leaking Because Formula Was Mixed With Ventilation System In

Most of us mix the formula in the bottle by putting in the water, putting in the scoops of formula, and then shaking up the bottle. With Dr. Brown bottles, we often put in the ventilation system and then shake up the bottle. 

This normally turns out fine, but it can cause the occasional problem in Dr. Brown’s bottles. If the formula gets stuck in the vent system, it can result in your Dr. Brown bottle leaking.

Instead, mix up the formula without the vent system in place. Then, replace the vent system before feeding your baby. 

Use The Proper Nipple

nipple bottle

It seems as though almost anything can break the vent seal and cause leaking, and a lot of things can. One of those things is using a nipple that makes the baby suck harder than they normally would.

If your baby is ready for a medium-sized nipple yet they are still on a slow flow nipple, it can result in them sucking harder, breaking the vent seal, and the bottle leaking.

Double-check the age on the nipple size that you’re using. You can also watch for signs that it’s time to switch to a different nipple size. 

Allow Plenty Of Time To Dry To Prevent Dr. Brown Bottle Leaking

Let’s face it: it’s impossible to get the tiny components of the ventilation system dry with a towel. However, if they’re not completely dry, it can result in the bottle leaking.

Because of this, it’s important to make sure that every component has plenty of time to dry. Pick up a bottle rack to make sure that there’s plenty of airflow getting to all the parts of the bottle. 

Pay Attention To The Fill Line

It can be easy to mess up this part. If you fill the bottles up to eight ounces and then add powder, the end result is that the formula winds up going past the fill line.

It’s important to pay attention to this if your little one is drinking larger bottles. You may have to make them two separate bottles to avoid overfilling Dr. Brown’s bottles. 

The Vent System For The Dr. Brown Bottle Needs Replacing

There was one particular bottle that leaked on a consistent basis. We used the same vent system with it, and it leaked.

When we used a different vent system from another bottle, the bottle worked perfectly fine. You can contact the company for a replacement. This might require sending the old vent system in for a replacement, but it usually does not. 

My daughter threw out the vent system after we realized that it was the problem. However, this was before we discovered that we could not use the bottle without the vent system.

Then, I simply ordered a replacement on Amazon. They’re cost-effective, so it wasn’t a big deal to simply buy another one. 

In Conclusion

Dr. Brown bottles seem to be known for leaking, but this is often caused by a problem in the vent system.

Make sure that they’re properly tightened and completely dry before using them. This includes making sure that there is no milk or formula in the vent system. This should solve your leaking problem!