Baby Bottles

Dr. Brown’s Green Vs. Blue: What’s The Difference & Does The Color Matter?

Updated on
dr browns green vs blue



Have you noticed the green and blue accessories inside Dr. Brown’s bottles? They’re not just there for aesthetics. They’re actually anti-colic vent systems.

The different colors matter. They indicate the type of vent in your baby’s bottle:

  • Blue vents are designed to stay in the bottles
  • Green vents can be removed when your baby no longer needs the anti-colic system


Recently, Dr. Brown’s also introduced new colors and printed collections. It includes pink and purple vents. These new colors changed the “green” or “blue” system, with all the vent systems now being removable when needed. But you can still find the traditional bottles on the market.

Which of these bottles is ideal for if your baby is breastfeeding? Are the color-coded vents in both narrow and wide-neck bottles? How do they meet your baby’s feeding needs?

Read on to find out.


What Does The Vent In Dr. Brown’s Baby Bottles Do?

What’s The Difference Between Blue & Green Dr Brown Bottles (Design, Structure, & Purpose)?

What Does The Green Thing In Dr. Brown’s Bottles Do?

The green ‘thing’ or accessory inside the bottles is the vent system to reduce your little one’s air intake. It’s removable.


What Does The Blue Vent In Dr. Brown’s Bottles Do?

It works similarly to the green vent (as you can see in the brand’s illustrations of each venting system below). However, the blue vents should always be used while feeding with Dr. Brown’s bottles.



What’s The Difference Between Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow & Options?

There’s some confusion between ‘Natural Flow’ and ‘Options.’ ‘Natural Flow’ is often linked with the blue Original bottles, while ‘Options’ and ‘Options+’ bottles have green vents.

However, Dr. Brown’s also markets the Options bottles under the ‘Natural Flow’ line. (see image below)

So, this means that there isn’t any difference between Natural Flow and Options. This makes sense because the ‘Options’ line refers more to the removable vent system rather than the nipple flow.



What Is The Difference Between Dr Brown’s Options & The Original?

It’s just a matter of names or labels. Original is another name for Dr. Brown’s blue bottles whose vents can’t be removed during feeding.

Note that the Options and Options+ bottles are both under Dr. Brown’s “Natural Flow” product line. “Options” is the previous version while the “Options+” version features an enhanced vent system and breast-like silicone nipples for more natural feeding.

The newer Options+ bottles also have an easy-off cap that you can remove with one hand. The brand explains that this feature was added after they received suggestions from moms who previously struggled to open the bottle cap while holding their baby with their other hand.


When Can My Baby Use Dr. Brown’s Options Bottles Without The Vent?

Some babies are more colicky than others, while some rarely experience spit-ups, colic, or reflux. You can remove the vent when you notice that your baby is no longer colicky. 

One way to check is through trial and error. If you feel that your baby is ready, try feeding them without the vent but also ensure you’re burping them every few minutes. If your baby doesn’t become fussy after feeding, the vent might no longer be necessary.


What’s The Meaning Of The Pink Dr. Brown’s Bottles?

Many of these newer bottles can be distinguished from the old ones because of their cute and playful prints. Yet you can also opt for colorful variations of the traditional styles.




Surprisingly, these new Options+ bottles are also available in blue, a color previously only used for the Original bottles, which have vents that must remain inside the bottle when in use.


While that can be confusing if you base it simply on the colors, the vent styles are different (as shown at the beginning of this article). So, these new blue Dr. Brown’s bottles can be used without the vent when your baby no longer needs it.

Recently, Dr. Brown’s added more colors to their Options+ line – and they now come in pink and purple, aside from the traditional blue and green. 



Dr. Brown’s also added an extra feature for these bottles: they convert into sippy cups by simply exchanging the nipples for a sippy spout.



Dr. Brown’s Options+ (Green Bottles)

Narrow-neck bottles:


Wide-neck bottles:


Best Features & Reasons To Buy

  • Anti-colic baby bottles with a vent you can remove when it’s no longer necessary
  • These are bottles that grow with your little one: can be used from preemie or newborn (with vents) to older baby (without vents)
  • With varied nipple flow rates that mimic a mom’s breast; ideal for breastfeeding babies


Anti-Colic Options

  • Wand-like vents that look like straw 
  • Placed inside the bottles to draw the air away from your baby’s milk or formula


Materials & Types Of Available Bottles

Plastic Bottles

  • Available in BPA-free plastic bottles (free from the potentially toxic bisphenol-A chemical)


Glass Bottles 


Other Product Descriptions & Features

Quality & Brand Reputation

  • Dr. Brown’s is a trusted brand for baby bottles and other essentials
  • These are high-quality bottles that can help reduce infant colic and reflux


Convenience & Ease Of Use

  • More complicated to use than bottles from other brands because of the additional parts in the interval vent system
  • Less convenient due to having more parts to assemble, clean, and sterilize
  • More convenient than Dr. Brown’s blue bottles when your baby no longer needs the anti-colic vent system (you simply remove the vent and use the bottle like a regular one from another brand)
  • Can be sanitized in your dishwasher (top rack only), bottle sterilizer, or a baby bottle washer


Price Considerations

  • Can cost more but can be more convenient than the blue bottles


Size & Volume Options

  • Size options include 4 oz, 8 oz, or 9 oz
  • Also available in wide or narrow-neck bottles



  • Plenty of parts to clean
  • Also has many complaints about leaking



  • None


Real Feeding Experience: What Customers Say

Positive Customer Reviews

Exactly as described, nice bottles for our baby girl. She uses them without any trouble, there is no spill if you follow the instructions correctly. We don’t use the insert because it is a pain in the ass to clean… other than that, they are fine.” – Reviewer on Amazon


Negative Customer Reviews

I bought the new option bottles about 2 weeks ago hoping that it will provide solution for the leaking problems we keep having with the original bottles. Well … surprisingly enough it absolutely does NOT. We tried all combinations, even the glass bottles, but nothing helps. It just leaks. It’s a shame. I am very disappointed.” – Reviewer on Walmart


Dr. Brown’s Original (Blue Bottles)

Narrow neck bottles:


Wide-neck bottles:

Best Features & Reasons To Buy

  • The brand’s original anti-colic bottle with a patented internal vent system for vacuum-free feeding
  • According to the brand, these baby bottles are clinically proven to preserve the nutrients (e.g., lipids and vitamins A, C, and E) of your breast milk or formula
  • They’re also designed to prevent spit-up, colic, reflux, and excessive burping by drawing air bubbles away from the fluid
  • With varied nipple flow rates that can mimic breastfeeding


Anti-Colic Options

  • Wand-style vent system placed in the middle of the bottle, and directly connected to the nipple (in contrast, other brands, such as Philips Avent, use anti-colic nipples without the wand-like vents
  • The anti-colic internal vent is designed to stay in the bottle while in use; removing this blue vent from the Natural Flow bottles can lead to leakage


Materials & Types Of Available Bottles

Plastic Bottles

  • Available in BPA-free plastic bottles 


Glass Bottles 

  • Also available in glass bottles


Other Product Descriptions & Features

Quality & Brand Reputation

  • Dr. Brown’s has a solid reputation
  • The original bottles (Natural Flow Bottles) have been proven to be effective in decreasing the fussing and crying time of colicky infants as far back as the year 2006 (1)


Convenience & Ease Of Use

  • Like the green bottles, Dr. Brown’s blue bottles are also less convenient and more complicated to use than most of the other brands due to the internal vent system
  • The blue bottles are usually less ideal than the green ones because you need to keep the vent even when no longer necessary; removing the vent usually causes leakage
  • Can be sanitized in your dishwasher, bottle sterilizer, or a baby bottle washer


Price Considerations

  • Usually pricey but can be worth your money if the anti-colic system works for your little one


Size & Volume Options

  • Available in the following size options: 2 oz, 4 oz, and 8 oz
  • Also with options for narrow and wide-neck bottles



  • Based on customer reviews, these bottles can leak, even though it’s designed and marketed as ‘leak-proof’
  • Complicated to assemble, use, and clean



  • None


Real Feeding Experience: What Customers Say

Positive Customer Reviews

These bottles work great and I love that they are made of glass. There is a disc inside that ensures the bottle doesn’t leak during travel, and when it’s time to feed, just remove the disc and you’re ready to go.” – Reviewer on Amazon


Negative Customer Reviews

Got these for my baby twins. And they leak everywhere! With or without the little inside pieces. Very confused because we’ve used dr browns bottles forever and this has never happened. Only filling to 4-5oz and leaks from the lid area badly.” – Reviewer on Amazon


Things New Parents Should Know

Which Dr Brown’s Bottles Are Best For Breastfed Babies?

The wide-neck bottles mimic the shape of a mom’s breast, making them more suitable for your breastfed baby. Slow-flow silicone nipples also create a movement similar to breastfeeding.


How To Choose The Nipple Size Or Level For Dr. Brown’s Bottles

As a rule of thumb, the smaller and fewer the nipple holes, the more suitable they are for younger babies, especially newborns and preemies. The nipple code number increases for older babies.



Although these are the manufacturer’s recommendations, you don’t need to switch to the next level as soon as your baby turns that age. 

Consider your baby’s preference because your little one might like taking their milk or formula slower or faster than others in their age group.

Some signs that the nipple might be too slow and need to be changed:

  • Your baby becomes irritated or fussy during feeding
  • Your baby falls asleep every time they’re feeding
  • Your little one takes too long or much longer than usual to finish feeding


However, these can also be signs of other problems (e.g., they might be sick) or not ready to feed yet. But if it happens regularly, even if your baby seems hungry or isn’t sick, then maybe it’s time to upgrade to a faster nipple flow.

The brand also recommends the Y-cut if your pediatrician suggests thickening your baby’s formula with cereal or using a thicker liquid.


Assembly, Preparation, & Washing Of Dr. Brown’s Bottles

Always clean and sanitize your newly-bought baby bottles

Check the manufacturer’s guide for instructions on assembling and disassembling the vent system. Don’t force the parts to open or close tightly unless they’re meant to, as this can damage the anti-colic vent.


Are Dr. Brown’s Bottles Dishwasher Safe?

Yes. Place the bottles on the top rack of your dishwasher.


How To Sterilize Dr. Brown’s Bottles & Prevent Mold?

Use a cleaning brush to remove milk stuck on the spout or the nooks and crannies of your baby bottle. Mold and other pathogens can grow in unclean areas and might make your baby sick.

It’s essential to keep your baby’s bottles and all parts clean, sanitized, and ready for the next use. We recommend getting an automatic baby bottle washer to help reduce your cleaning time.

Other options to sanitize the bottles include using any of the following:

  • Electric steam sterilizer
  • Microwave steam sterilizer


The cold water sterilizing system uses a concentrated solution (either in liquid form or a tablet dissolved in water). The bottles are dipped or soaked in this liquid. If you’re using this method, Dr. Brown’s suggests leaving the bottles soaked only for the recommended time (check the sterilizing system’s instructions). Remove them as soon as the time is over.

Reminder: Please wash your hands (with soap and water) before handling the sanitized baby bottle parts, particularly the vents, as they may come in contact with your baby’s milk or formula.


Feeding Tips With Dr. Brown’s Bottles

  • If possible, slightly recline your baby’s upper body so they aren’t lying flat while feeding.
  • Always check if your vent is properly assembled and attached to the bottle (especially if your baby uses the blue bottle).
  • Check that your baby has properly latched on the bottle nipple and that it doesn’t cover their nose (especially for smaller babies using a wide-neck bottle).
  • Check that your baby is using a nipple flow suitable for their age and feeding preference (i.e., slow or fast). If milk regularly flows outside their mouth while feeding, the flow is too fast. Switch to a gentler, slower nipple until they’re ready for a fast one.
  • Never leave your baby unattended while they’re feeding (regardless of the bottle brand they’re using). Milk can get into their nose or ears, potentially causing serious emergencies.
  • The brand doesn’t recommend shaking your baby’s bottle to dissolve the formula because doing so can add more air to the mixture or cause liquid to go to the vent. Instead, you can use swirling motions.
  • To further reduce clumping or leaving undissolved milk in your baby’s container, you might consider using Dr. Brown’s Formula Mixing Pitcher. It can help you prepare up to four 8-oz bottles at a time without adding more air into the formula.
  • It’s also important to ensure that the end of the vent’s reservoir tube is out of your baby’s formula when feeding. The brand recommends holding the bottle at a 45-degree angle to avoid leaking during your baby’s feeding session.
  • Consider getting a starter kit. It usually includes bottles and nipples of varying sizes, pacifiers, and a cleaning brush. Other starter sets include the brand’s bottle warmer and some formula dispensers for feeding on the go.


Bottle Feeding FAQs

Why Do Dr. Brown’s Bottles Leak & How Do I Fix It?

There can be many reasons why Dr. Brown’s bottles leak. 

The brand doesn’t recommend heating your baby’s formula beyond body temperature. Vapor from the heated fluid can go to the vent when the bottle collar is secured or closed. This can lead to leakage.

If you prefer to warm your baby’s formula, the brand recommends doing it without the internal vent system in place.

Did you know that the brand doesn’t recommend over-tightening your bottle’s collar? While many parents might assume that a tighter collar reduces possible leaking, the brand explains that it can create pressure build-up inside the bottle. Instead of doing it too tightly, twist the bottle collar enough to close it.

So, whether the liquid is warmed or not, it’s ideal not to close the collar too tightly.

In addition, shaking the bottle to dissolve powdered formula can send fluid into the vent, leading to possible leakage. Dr. Brown’s recommends using a spoon to stir the fluid or preparing your baby’s formula in the mixing pitcher.


Where Can I Get Replacement Parts & Are They Easy To Find?

Contact Dr. Brown’s customer service team in case you lose some parts or they need a replacement for other reasons:

  • Official website (US):
  • Toll-free phone number: 1-800-778-9001
  • Fax number: 314-773-9273


What Types Of Liquids Can You Put In Dr. Brown’s Bottles?

  • Formula
  • Breastmilk
  • Water


Thickened formulas and other liquids are also suitable with the green bottle but only for use without the vent. It’s ideal to use the Y-nipple or the sippy spout for these fluids.


Are Dr. Brown’s Bottle Nipples Compatible With Other Brands?

No. Although they might still fit bottles, they don’t have the vacuum-operated rim design used by other brands. Even if they work, your little one might experience feeding difficulties and discomfort. 

Dr. Brown’s explains that the use of incompatible nipples and bottles might also increase the risks of colic, instead of trying to prevent it.


Can I Heat My Baby’s Formula In The Microwave Using Dr. Brown’s Bottles?

No. We don’t recommend heating your baby’s formula in the microwave. Recent studies have shown that microwaving plastic containers can release millions of microplastic particles into the food, which can possibly harm your baby’s kidneys. (2)

Also, microwave heating can create hot spots in the fluid that can scald your baby during feeding.


Dr. Brown’s Bottles Vs. Other Brands

Here are some of our reviews on Dr. Brown’s bottles with other popular baby bottle brands:


Bonus: Other Dr. Brown’s Baby Essentials

  • Baby formula dispenser
  • Sippy cup
  • Bottle brush
  • Pacifier
  • Teether
  • Baby toothpaste
  • Baby toothbrush
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby medicine dispenser
  • Baby lotion
  • Diaper cream (to help prevent diaper rash)
  • Baby bath toys
  • Baby nail cutter
  • Humidifier (for your baby’s nursery)
  • Bath thermometer
  • Bottle and dish soap
  • Deluxe bottle warmer


Recent Baby Product Recalls & Safety Warnings

Stay informed with the latest news by signing up for our regular Motherhood Community recall alerts so you never miss an important recall.

Check these comprehensive lists of product recalls by category:






– Motherhood Community is reader supported. When you buy through links on our site we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More