The Playtex BPA-Free Drop-Ins Premium Nurser combines a disposable inner liner with a permanent nipple and outer bottle. The main advantage of this system is convenience, but many reviewers say it reduces colic and reflux. The drawbacks are the expense and the ecological impact.
Playtex Drop-Ins Premium Nursers are BPA-free bottles that use disposable liners with silicone nipples. The basic assembly includes the bottle, liner, nipple and nipple ring and protective cap. There are no small parts to present a choking hazard. The liners, on the other hand, can present a choking hazard if not disposed of properly. Always dispose of the liners immediately after use.
One other safety caveat: Playtex is one of the few brands to give consumers a choice between latex and silicone nipples. Their products come with silicone nipples, but latex nipples can be purchased separately (*Est. $4 for a pack of three). Silicone nipples are clear and firmer than latex. Latex nipples are amber in color, softer and more flexible. The concern with latex is that latex allergies are very common, and there is a possibility of having an allergic reaction or developing an allergy by repeated exposure, for both mom and baby. In addition, latex, because it is softer, can be bitten through more easily, possibly posing a choking hazard. Most manufacturers have eliminated latex in baby products.
The point of the liners in the Playtex bottles is not necessarily to make them easier to use. Unlike most bottles, formula can't be mixed in the disposable liners, it has to be mixed separately, but can be stored in the liners. Breast milk can also be stored in a sealed liner. The manufacturer recommends securing the liners with rubber bands or twist ties. Playtex also sells a Drop-Ins Breast Milk Storage Kit (*Est. $9) with caps for securing the liners and the Playtex System Petite Double Electric Breast Pump that is directly compatible with their bottles.
Since the liner holds the liquid and is then disposed of, the bottle does not have to be sterilized, just the nipple and cap components. The bottle can just be washed in warm, soapy water or put in the top rack of the dishwasher. The holder, ring, cap and nipple are all dishwasher safe on the top rack.
Playtex Drop-Ins bottle systems get a lot of criticism from environmentalists due to the waste inherent in the disposable liners. They are made of recyclable No. 4 plastic, which is not accepted by the majority of curbside recycling programs, but may be at other community locations. Drop-Ins also cost more over the long run than most traditional bottles, because the liners have to be continually purchased. The bottles themselves are relatively inexpensive, but you can expect to spend, conservatively, another $150 on liners over the course of a year.
Most parents don't seem to care about either of these issues, saying that the convenience and the air-reducing properties of the Drop-Ins system outweigh all other concerns. Many reviewers praise these bottles because the disposable liner makes them great for travel. They stick a few pre-filled liners in a cooler and drop them in the bottle when it's feeding time. Moms who breastfeed say their babies experience less nipple confusion than with other nipples. The collapsing feature of the liner helps reduce air in the liquid, which many moms swear is the only system that works with their colic- or reflux-prone children.
Playtex Drop-Ins Premium Nursers are easy and comfortable to hold thanks to a curved design, and several nipple options are available, including latex instead of silicone.
Playtex disposable liner bottles are one of the most popular bottles, ever. Those who use them swear by them; those who are strongly bent toward environmentalism would like to see them banned and can get quite nasty toward users. Our take: You can't argue with success. If they help your baby have a more comfortable eating experience, ignore the naysayers and go right ahead.
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The Playtex Drop-Ins Premium Nurser earns an average of 4.1 out of 5 stars in more than 185 reviews. Parents love the convenience and air-reducing properties of the bottles. A few complain that their child has trouble latching on to the nipple or say it leaks around their baby's face.
Review: Playtex 3 Pack Baby Drop-Ins Nurser, Contributors to Amazon.com
Target.com is another retail-based site that allows consumers to post reviews of products they've used. More than 70 caregivers have offered their feedback, most of it very positive. While parents say the liners are expensive, most seem to think the convenience is worth it.
Review: Playtex Nurser Starter 3-pk. - 4-oz., Contributors to Target.com
The Playtex Drop-Ins Premium Nurser earns a 92 out of 100 from more than 880 reviews. Owner feedback is overwhelmingly positive: Parents especially like the convenience of the liner system.
Review: Playtex Drop-Ins Premium BPA-Free Nurser Plastic Baby Bottles Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com
ToysRUs.com doesn't have as many consumer reviews as Amazon.com or Target.com, although the reviews here are in line with reviews on other sites. The handful of owner reviews says the Premium Nursers are convenient, easy to use and do a good job of preventing gas.
Review: Playtex NEW Premium Nurser Newborn Gift Set with Drop-Ins, Contributors to ToysRUs.com
In this review of the 15 top baby bottles and sippy cups, Heather Eng says the Playtex Drop-Ins System is easy to use, because the bottles don't need to be sterilized. However, she notes that the liners are both added expense and waste.
Review: 15 BPA-Free Baby Bottles and Sippy Cups, Heather Eng