How to fix leaking Avent bottles

When it comes to Philips Avent bottles, it seems moms either love them or hate them. I am firmly in the “love” camp, and Avent is still my bottle brand of choice for my second baby. The bottles, with their wide necks, are very simple to keep clean, and they’re comfortable for both moms and babies to hold.

Avent has introduced a new part since my first son was a baby, but they still involve relatively few parts and pieces, and no tiny valves or tubes that require extra time or special tools to clean.

Avent bottle parts

Avent Bottles Leaking

I read lots of Avent bottle reviews before deciding to use them, and one of the most frequently cited problems was leakage. After careful consideration, I chose to use Avent bottles despite the potential problems. I was very surprised one day when a bottle did leak, and it was every bit as bad as the reviewers made it out to be!

My son’s peaceful bottle feeding was interrupted as he was absolutely doused in formula pouring out the special air vent. I had purchased eight rather pricey bottles and was dismayed that I may have wasted my money. Between the money I spent and the fact that I really did like the bottles for a variety of reasons, I decided to search for a solution instead of tossing them out.

Philips Avent Baby Bottle

Avent introduced an extra part, the adapter ring, to cut down on the leakage problems that plagued their classic bottles years ago, but once in a while leaks still happen. I’ve found that the same advice that worked with the old bottles still holds true today.

To make sure that the bottle top is tightened “just right”, use the bottle cap to tighten the nipple ring in place. We all know that the bottle will leak if it’s not tight enough, but over-tightening can also present a problem as it can cause the seal to fail.

Here’s how to put Avent bottles together so you can enjoy worry-free and leak-free feeding:

Avent Bottle Assembly Instructions

1. For best results, both the nipple (or teat) and nipple ring should be wet before they are fastened together to ensure an airtight seal. I usually reassemble the rings and nipples together right after washing them so they’re ready to go when I need them.

2. Place the adapter ring with the blue side down into the neck of the bottle. Make sure it’s firmly in place and level with the top of the bottle. If you mix formula in the bottle, make sure you insert the adapter ring before adding formula powder, otherwise formula powder can come between the bottle neck and the ring, interfering with the seal.

Avent adapter ring helps prevent leaks

3. Place the nipple assembly over the bottle, but don’t tighten yet.

4. Next, pop on the clear plastic bottle cap. To screw the nipple onto the bottle, make sure you hold it by the cap and turn it by the cap only. As soon as the cap turns independently of the ring, the assembly is tight enough.

Avent bottle cap helps tighten bottle top

Simple, right? I was delighted to find this solution, and it has worked the vast majority of the time for me. On the rare occasion that a bottle does still leak, completely unscrewing the cap and refastening, repeating the steps above, will do the trick.

To further prevent leaks, it is best to avoid mixing formula in the bottle. It can certainly be done (and in fact I do it all the time), but small amounts of formula may splash out. If you do choose to mix formula in the bottle, just wrap a cloth around it as you’re shaking.

Until you get the hang of it, you may want to test the bottles prior to feeding them to your baby.  Hold the filled bottle upside down for a few seconds, and then turn it right side up.  A properly sealed bottle will not leak.  Another indication that your Avent bottle is sealed properly will be the tiny air bubbles that appear (making a quiet “buzzing” sound) on the surface of the liquid near the nipple ring as you feed your baby; this indicates that the “Air Flex” system is working as it should.

Despite the somewhat quirky vent solution, I am still a big fan of Avent classic bottles.  I think the simple design really does work, and unlike Dr. Brown bottles or other alternatives, there aren’t tiny parts to keep clean.

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