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Similac SimplySmart Bottle Review

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

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Similac SimplySmart Bottle
Photo courtesy of Pricegrabber.com.
Similac SimplySmart bottles are designed for formula-feeding families. The nipple has a vent to help reduce fussiness from swallowing air, and there's a silicone mixer piece inside the bottle that breaks up formula clumps. The SmartClose ring has little windows on each side to tell you when the bottle is closed properly, to help avoid leaks.

These bottles are available in 4-ounce and 8-ounce sizes. The bottles can be purchased as singles or in 2-packs, as well as in starter sets with four or more bottles. The nipples are available in 2-packs that are slow flow, medium flow, fast flow or y-cut for thicker formulas. The bottles cost $3 to $5 each, depending on how you buy them. The nipples cost about $4 for two. You can also purchase a formula container cap separately for about $3.

What I Like About Similac SimplySmart Bottles

The simplicity of these bottles was the first thing that made me want to try them. Some anti-colic bottles have a lot of parts and pieces to create the vent system that reduces the amount of air your baby swallows. The vent system on the Similac SimplySmart bottle is built right in to the nipple. There's a small, triangular notch on one side of the nipple. That's it. And it worked well for my son, who is pretty sensitive to swallowing air. He was happy and relatively burp-free after using these bottles, just like he is when we use the more expensive bottles with more pieces.

In addition to the vent, these bottles help reduce air bubbles through a mixing piece, too. It's a long, silicone flap that hangs from a plastic ring, which fits inside the bottle rim. When you mix up formula in this bottle, you can just swish it back and forth or swirl in circles, and this silicone piece breaks up formula clumps, so you get well-fixed formula without the extra air bubbles that come when you have to shake a bottle to mix it.

Though I think the mixing piece works very well, I also love that you don't have to use it. The bottle works just the same whether you put that extra ring in or not. I prefer to take fewer pieces with me when I'm out of the house, and I hate having to find a place to set the bottle parts if you have to take them out to prepare the bottle. When I'm going out with my son, I like that I can skip the mixer piece and just take the bottle. Many anti-colic bottles require you to use all of the pieces, every time, or the bottle will leak or malfunction in some way.

The wide base on the nipple is nice if you're switching between breast and bottle. I like that the manufacturer considered the needs of breastfeeding moms, too, even though the bottle is designed to help you mix formula.

Some bottles are tricky to get closed properly. The little windows in the side of the ring on the SimplySmart bottle let you know instantly that the ring is closed right. There are blue triangles on the bottle itself, and they appear in the windows on the ring when it's locked in place. If the ring is misaligned or not tight enough, you won't see all of the blue triangle. This system is easy, even in the middle of the night.

The bottles are very easy to clean because they're wide and have fairly straight sides. They do well in the dishwasher, and it's simple to hand wash them with a bottle brush, too.

The price is right. These Similac bottles are inexpensive and easy to find in stores, or online.

What I Don't Like About Similac SimplySmart Bottles

I've had some trouble with leaks on this bottle, and I'm not sure why. I do notice more leaks if the nipple vent is pointed down while my son is drinking from it, but there are times when that isn't an issue and we still get leaks. It's not a consistent problem, though, so it wasn't enough to make me switch away from these bottle entirely.

The nipple sometimes collapses as my son is drinking from it. Eventually, the suction becomes so great that he can't keep the nipple in his mouth, and he has to wait for me to take off the lid to break the suction. This is a common problem with wide-base silicone nipples.

You can push the nipple all the way down into the bottle from the top. Why is that a problem? Because babies are smart and may figure out how to do that when the bottle is full. I had to clean a car seat full of formula the day my son discovered that trick. The nipple also can be pushed into the bottle if the bottle is dropped. I have a bottle-throwing baby, so this, too, has happened to me a few times.

The formula container cap broke after only a few uses. I really liked that extra cap, until the whole top of it came off in my diaper bag. Not only was the entire formula powder portion lost, but I had to clean said formula out of my bag and off of all of its contents. The flip top needs to be attached in a more secure way.

There are many things I like about these bottles, and they do work well in some situations. They are inexpensive, which makes some of the potential problems more forgivable. It isn't the perfect bottle, though, and can be unpredictable when it comes to leaks.

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