As if The Great Wall of Bottles at Babies R Us wasn't long enough, late 2007 brought us yet another bottle system: The Adiri Natural Nurser. This beautifully bulbous, BPA-free back loading baby feeder resembles something from Woody Allen’s 1973 classic, Sleeper. Compelling really.
So is this medical innovation or marketing marvel? Is exquisite form met with exquisite function? It’s unclear.
Once beyond the wow factor, parents have to make the decision about whether this bottle will actually make a difference in what’s important: air swallowing. Remember that one of the most important factors in choosing a bottle is a baby’s capacity to sustain a comfortable, air-tight latch. In many cases this can only come through trial and error since an infant’s palate and latch will vary from child to child. What works for one baby won't work for the next.
While parents can feel empowered that they have yet one more option to consider when playing bottle roulette, only time, research and maternal testimony will tell us whether Adiri’s function exceeds what’s currently available on the market. For parents, change to meet what your baby needs and remember that in many cases, chaotic feeding is a consequence of acid reflux and other treatable conditions.
For Adiri, here’s what I would do:
Get research. The bottle’s website has a conspicuous absence of any peer-reviewed literature suggesting that this bottle performs differently than other bottles. A new study from Boston Children’s Hospital published last year suggests that the liner systems such as that found in the Playtex Drop-in System beautifully replicate the swallowing and breathing pattern seen in breast-fed babies.
Take a better position. It’s unclear how this bottle is different. Why as a pediatrician should I recommend this bottle to my patients? My grandmother used to tell me that looks are only skin deep. I need more.
Dump colic. Finally, I might suggest avoiding the term ‘colic’ in marketing materials. Nothing is as unmistakably 20th century as indiscriminate use of the c-word. If you're confused, pick up a copy of Colic Solved.
Give your publicist a raise. They’re doing a remarkable job. This thing’s had more press than Britney Spears and Barack Obama combined.