Anti-colic bottles and how they can help

There are many bottles on the market, but when your baby has colic, it’s important to try and find the right one to help reduce symptoms.

What is colic?
Colic is a condition to describe a baby who cries for more than three hours per day, for more than three days a week, and for longer than three weeks in an infant who is well fed and otherwise healthy. Unfortunately, it has become a term associated with a lot of negative connotations and fear. Parents are terrified of their baby developing colic and that fear makes it more difficult to remember that crying is normal for most babies and that they will get through it! It’s also important to note that there really is no standard of “normal” crying as all babies have various temperaments.

Colic can happen between 2-7 weeks of age due to:

  • Baby’s heightened awareness of their surroundings, which can lead them to being overstimulated by their environment
  • A developing digestive system that makes them gassier
  • Growth spurts
  • Being overtired
  • Parental anxiety
    • Baby can get stressed, which stresses the caregiver and leads to a vicious cycle of fussiness.
  • Crying, which leads to swallowing more air, and bothers their sensitive stomach leading to more crying (cue: the vicious cycle).

Choosing the right bottle can be helpful as it can help limit the amount of air in the formula or breastmilk, which means less swallowed air for baby and less gas.

Bottles with an internal vent system like Dr. Brown’s™ Anti-Colic Options+™ Baby Bottle prevent air from coming in contact with the liquid, helping to decrease oxidation of vitamins and lipids in breastmilk. This helps to preserve the nutrients of the formula or breastmilk. Eliminating negative pressure and air bubbles also helps to reduce colic, gas, excessive burping, and even spit-up, hopefully leading to a happier, less colicky baby.

Recipe: Flower Power Pizza

homemade pizza slide on toddler plate with cup in background

Pizza night for the littles doesn’t always have to mean getting a greasy pie delivered. And a homemade pizza doesn’t always have to mean an elaborate, expensive, and messy fiasco that hardly anyone has time for. In less than the time it takes for that pizza to be delivered, you could throw together a delicious, nutritious personal pizza for you, your toddler, and anyone else who has a seat at your kitchen table. The Flower Power Pizza has healthy cauliflower and broccoli as toppings, ensuring your tot gets a double helping of their daily veggies. Plus, they’ll barely notice the veggies with the yummy red sauce and sprinkled cheese to distract them.

Depending on your toddler’s taste, you can easily add in or swap out other veggies and even meat, as long as it’s fully cooked before it goes into the oven. The same can be said for the cheese; just adjust the cooking time to when the cheese in the center of the pizza is melted. With a recipe as simple and customizable as this, pizza night may never be the same.

Recipe and Quick Steps

Flower Power Pizza

Broccoli and cauliflower, shredded cheese, pasta sauce, naan bread and olive oil on white plates and bowls on top of counter.

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 5 – 7 mins

Recipe Yields: 2 Toddler Servings


  • ½ tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 whole wheat Naan bread
  • ¼ cup Marinara or pasta sauce
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 frozen microwave steam bag of broccoli/cauliflower florets


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Steam the broccoli and cauliflower mix in the microwave per the package instructions and let cool when done cooking.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil on the top of the Naan bread, spreading it around to cover.
  4. Spread the pizza sauce or marinara on the naan bread.
  5. Sprinkle half the cheese on top of the pasta sauce.
  6. Chop the cooled broccoli/cauliflower mix into tiny pieces and sprinkle a ½ cup’s worth on top of the cheese.
  7. Top the vegetables with the remaining cheese.
  8. Place in oven on a baking sheet and cook for 5 – 7 minutes or until center cheese is melted.
  9. Let cool and serve warm.

Storing Leftovers:

Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days and reheat in oven before serving

Step-by-Step Instructions

First thing’s first: Preheat that oven so it’s ready to roll by the time you get done prepping. Next, get your bag of frozen veggies from the freezer and microwave it per package instructions. As that’s steaming, place the Naan bread on a plate and drizzle the oil and spread so that the entire surface is covered. Next, pour the pasta sauce on the Naan bread from the center, using the bottom of a spoon to spread it out. Leave at least a half-inch or so uncovered so you have a bit of crust.

naan bread covered with pasta sauce on white plate

After the sauce comes the cheese. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese on top of the sauce and set the rest to the side. At about this time, your steamed veggies should be done and cool enough to not burn your fingers on the bag. Dump out the veggies on a cutting board and cut into very small pieces. Depending on your child’s age, make sure the pieces are small enough to swallow without being a choking hazard. You can put the rest of the veggies in a storage container and use it as a side for another meal.

You won’t need the entire bag of veggies to cover the pizza, so chop about one cup’s worth, and sprinkle it on top of the sauce until it’s covering most of the saucy area. If needed, chop some more, about a quarter cup at a time. Next, grab your baking sheet. You can cover it with a sheet of parchment paper to minimize clean-up, but with a non-stick baking sheet, you don’t have to spray it to prevent sticking. For baking sheets without the non-stick, use some parchment paper or non-stick cooking spray.

Top the veggies with the remaining cheese and place it in the oven. Set the timer for about 5 – 7 minutes, or until the cheese in the center of the pizza is fully melted. When it’s done, take it out and let it cool for at least five minutes. Make sure to test the temperature, particularly of the sauce, in several places before cutting and serving.

And, suddenly, it’s dinner time! Enjoy!

10 Ways Partners Can Help with Breastfeeding and Pumping

Breastfeeding and pumping are demanding – both physically and mentally! Being a source of nutrition for your little one can be taxing on the brain and body. Plus – as the breastfeeding/pumping parent, you’re often unable to do other tasks simultaneously! With a new baby, this means that self-care can be hard to fit in between feeds. Here are 10 ways the non-breastfeeding/pumping partner can help!

Words of encouragement

A little encouragement, positivity, and appreciation goes a long way! Often, the breastfeeding/pumping parent feels that they are enduring the majority of the “baby work” in the feeding department. This is a BIG job and can often feel lonely! Reminding your partner of how proud you are of them, what an amazing job they are doing, and that you support them validates their efforts and lets them know you are present.

Preparing and offering meals

Feeding by breast and/or pumping takes time. Many times, it feels like you’re feeding the entire day! Meals can be accidentally skipped. The non-breastfeeding/pumping partner can prepare a meal (it can be as simple as TOAST!) to have hot and ready when the baby is done eating. Offering nutrient dense and easy-to-prepare snacks such as sliced apples and nut butter will help fulfill the proper calories needed while breastfeeding/pumping and can be eaten quickly.

Making sure the water bottle is full (with a straw!)

Did you know that breastmilk is almost 90% water? Hydration is so important and it’s easy to forget about as a breastfeeding/pumping parent. An extra-large insulated water bottle with a straw will cut down on the trips to the sink.

Washing, drying and reassembling pump parts and breastfeeding items

Oh, the DISHES! As if breastfeeding/pumping isn’t exhausting enough, the parts, bottles and accessories that need to be cleaned add to it! As the non-breastfeeding/pumping partner, make it your responsibility to pick up this task. Cut down on time by using the dishwasher or steam sterilizer to your advantage. Assembling the parts once dry is a HUGE help!

Be on diaper duty

Changing the baby’s diaper can be a great way to take some of the caregiving load off.

Take over a feeding

Sleep is a huge factor in supply AND mental health. Take over one feeding a day at the same time every day. For example, the early morning feed or the middle of the night feed and allow your breastfeeding/pumping partner to sleep through. Feed the baby in a different room than where your partner is sleeping so they can really rest. If your partner is pumping, make it your task to feed while they pump so you can cut down on time. This feed doesn’t necessarily have to be breastmilk – it could be formula! I’m a big believer than formula extends breastfeeding and total amount of time baby receives breastmilk because it gives the breastfeeding parent a physical and mental break, decreases stress and anxiety, and so much more.

Be supportive of what works for your family

If you notice that breastfeeding/pumping is taking a toll on your partner and/or family, have an open and honest convo with your partner. Breastfeeding can look very different for many families – and if this includes formula and/or weaning feeds or weaning completely, support your partner in making a decision together. Breastfeeding doesn’t have to be all or nothing!

Reach out to lactation services if needed

Having a professional opinion and eye on the breastfeeding/pumping experience can make a world of a difference. Assessing latch, form, supply, and properly fitting parts can help the breastfeeding/pumping partner have a new lease on the feeding experience. The earlier, the better! Offer to call the professional yourself and set up the appointment. And a reminder – asking for help and/or using formula does NOT mean you have failed! Fixing and addressing issues early can turn your experience around.

Check in with the breastfeeding/pumping partner, because, HORMONES!

Breastfeeding/pumping is hormonal but is also physically and mentally taxing. Society has created a push for feeding at the breast/providing solely breastmilk, and it’s not realistic for many families. The pressure to breastfeed/pump, both that the partner puts on themself and that society does, can make the partner feel the guilt to continue. Remind them that they are the most important in this process (along with the baby being fed) and it’s OKAY to back off.

Cut down on the To Do list

We all have a running “To Do” list in our heads as parents! Be proactive – ask and predict what needs to be completed, even if it’s as simple as doing the dishes or walking the dog. Set up delivery services to cut down on the through process and energy of going to the store in the first months. This allows your partner to feel less stressed and promotes the time you spend together as a family.

Balancing Bottle and Breastfeeding

Triple feeding and combo feeding are two options that many parents choose to help incorporate both bottles and breastfeeding in baby’s feeding journey.

To start with, triple feeding is when you feed baby at the breast, pump and then offer pumped breastmilk or formula to top off baby. This is used as an option to help maintain milk supply if you are seeing a stark reduction. When feeding baby by bottle, be sure to give them enough ounces until they show signs of fullness. When using the triple feeding method, one option is to feed baby on one breast and use a hand or electric pump to pump the other side. This can save time in the feeding process. Another option is to feed baby on both breasts and then pump both breasts when they are finished eating.

Though these methods can seem exhausting and time consuming, either can be a great option to build supply and nourish baby while continuing to breastfeed. Though these feeding options won’t last forever, it’s still important to have a good support system. This team will look like a lactation consultant and a partner or other caregiver who can help you bottle feed baby, clean pump parts, or do diaper changes, as you may need additional help during this time-consuming process so you can be supported and get rest when needed.

Combo feeding is when you feed your baby both breast milk and infant formula. Combo feeding without pumping is a great option if your breastmilk supply is adequate, the baby’s latch is good, and although you don’t want to pump, baby is not feeling completely satisfied after feeds. In this method, you may see a slight reduction in breastmilk production, but you will continue to produce milk.

Here are some options to make combo feeding happen:

  • Breastfeed when at home with baby and feed baby, use formula when you are at work
  • Bottle feed baby with formula most of the time but breastfeed baby to sleep or at certain times
  • Mix in 2-3 bottles of formula in between breastfeeding sessions

Depending on your production of breastmilk, time, and resources, you can choose to give baby any combination of breastmilk and formula as long as baby is gaining weight and it works for you.

A few tips on combo feeding and pumping:

  • Try feeding baby a bottle with both breastmilk and formula. This combo can help your breastmilk supply last longer. There is no perfect ratio here—it’s all about how much milk you can produce. You may need to do a little math to see how much milk you regularly pump, how much baby eats at each feeding, and then add the difference in formula to each bottle.
  • If utilizing combo feeding with one bottle, make sure to mix the formula first (the water and powdered formula) and then add breastmilk.

How will you know how much milk to give when combo feeding? It’s all about finding your baby’s happy spot. There are fancy calculations you can try, but I recommend feeding on demand. You can start by making a bottle with 1-2 ounces of milk and then adding to it as needed based on their hunger and fullness cues. As baby grows, the volume of milk they will need increases. If you are feeding baby at the breast and supplementing, the amount they drink via bottle could vary at each feed; sometimes they may take several ounces and other times just a little, depending on how much they got from the breast. I usually recommend not feeding for more than 30 minutes total at the breast to practice the latch and promote milk production before supplementing. Any longer than 30 minutes can tire the baby out.

There are many ways to feed your baby. Whether you feed via breastfeeding, pumped milk in a bottle, formula, or any combination of the three, fed is best. Look for baby’s cues to ensure they are satiated and talk with your pediatrician to ensure proper weight gain.

Portioning Food by Age, 6 – 36 Months

As parents and caregivers, it’s our job to prepare healthy, well-balanced meals for our children. We plan, we prep, and we cook, but then comes the hardest part: Portioning. How do we know how much food to serve? If we serve too little, will they go hungry? If we serve too much, will we teach overeating?

It’s common to worry about how much or how little to feed your child, but these simple guidelines should put your mind at ease.

Portioning by Age, Step 1
Portioning by Age, Step 2
Portioning by Age, Step 3