Should you really choose glass baby bottles over plastic?
Many moms are wondering which is better – glass baby bottles or plastic? As a parents, all the decisions and options we have regarding baby essentials can be overwhelming. So let me try to make this one decision a bit easier for you!
When I started to look into decreasing the toxic products in my house, one of the first things we did in the kitchen was to get rid of all those cheap plastic containers. We replaced them with glass and loved it! It became so much easier to reheat leftovers (whether in the microwave or oven) and it actually ended up decreasing our dirty dishes.
But when it came to the baby, we still had the plastic bottles. We’ve always used Avent because it’s worked for us and I like the bottle nipples. But if we had switched over to glass for our food, I felt that I owed it to my babies to do the same with their bottles!
Safety Issues with Plastic Bottles
The FDA in 2012 did ban the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in the manufacturing of baby bottles and other plastic-based dishware. While this was a great move to eliminating babies’ exposure to this toxic chemical, there are other reasons to be concerned when using plastic products. Various studies have suggested that even BPA-free plastics pose a potential health risk. This NPR report states that most plastic products will leach estrogenic chemicals into food and drinks.
Our family decided the risk wasn’t worth it when we had safer options available to us. We decided to look closer at what are options were for which baby bottles were the best to use.
Non-Toxic Baby Bottle Options
I initially wanted to avoid glass bottles for fear that they would break too easily. We explored various toxin-free options for baby bottles: silicone, stainless steel, and finally, glass.
Silicone baby bottles: Silicone baby bottles are better than plastic but probably not as safe as stainless steel or glass. Silicone may leech at high and low temperatures, so you would need to avoid putting hot liquids in them or freezing them. While studies are limited on this, we just skipped over this option in general.
Stainless Steel baby bottles: Stainless steel bottles are becoming a popular choice among more natural-minded, eco-friendly parents. Many parents are choosing stainless steel baby bottles since they are 100% recyclable and aren’t considered as “breakable” as glass.
Glass baby bottles: Glass baby bottles are considered to be the classic and ideal choice for beverages. Everything tastes better from glass, which is one reason parents will choose glass baby bottles over stainless steel. While glass bottles are breakable, modern silicone sleeves offer a good amount of protection against damage.
After researching the different kinds of baby bottles, we chose to invest in the pricier glass baby bottles with silicones sleeves. The benefits to using
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Benefits to Using Glass Baby Bottles
1. No Toxic Chemicals
Using glass bottles ensures that no toxic chemicals or nickel (from stainless steel) will leech into your baby’s milk. Even with BPA-free plastics available, other chemicals are present that mimic estrogen-like hormones. And I definitely do NOT want my baby drinking those chemicals!
2. Cleans Easier
Glass bottles are so easy to clean! Plastic bottles get that filmy residue inside that is very difficult to clean. Glass bottles are dishwasher safe and parents can be assured that the surfaces are bacteria-free.
I get asked this question all the time: How durable ARE glass baby bottles? In my experience, they have been very durable! A big reason for that are these bottle protectors. These things are amazing! They are dishwasher safe, so you can put the whole bottle in the dishwasher without having to remove the cover every time. The cover slides on and off pretty easily when wet; it can be trickier if you try putting them on dry! They dry with the cover on if you don’t use a dishwasher. My bottles have rolled out of the car onto the cement ground, dropped out of my baby bag, slipped from the counter top onto the kitchen floor, and have been tossed out of the crib by my babies. The glass bottle itself is so durable and then add these silicone protectors and the things are practically indestructible. Plus, they come in fun colors!
4. Easier to Use
It is so much easier to heat up breastmilk in a glass bottle. I have had the worst luck freezing my milk in bags – the bags seem to always get holes and leak when I defrost my milk! And yes, I have cried over lost and spilt milk (it’s liquid gold, haven’t you heard?!). Not only can you freeze milk in glass bottles, but you can heat the milk up by placing the glass bottle in boiling water without it breaking. Since you want to avoid heating breastmilk in the microwave, being able to quickly warm it up in hot water has been so hepful.
5. Best Sanitization and Taste
I was close to choosing the stainless steel baby bottles, but I didn’t like how I couldn’t see the liquid inside. All my older kids do get stainless steel sippy cups when they graduate from the bottle. For my babies though, I’ve kept with the glass for its functionality. As mentioned above, glass can withstand various temperatures making it ideal for freezing and heating up. You can fully sanitize glass by boiling in hot water or cleaning in the dishwasher. Also, I just never felt comfortable having my milk in stainless steel, in case it absorbed a weird taste (that may totally be in my head!).
Popular Glass Baby Bottles
There are a number of glass bottle options to choose from.
Philips Avent Glass bottle has been our choice of baby bottle. It comes in a 4-ounce and 8-ounce bottle, making it perfect for newborns and older babies. The Philips Avent nipples also grow with baby as they come in four different stage flow-rate sizes. We have loved these bottles and the silicone protectors
Having glass bottles has given me a piece of mind when it comes to toxic chemicals. I can rest easy knowing that nothing harmful is getting into my baby’s milk every day. If I don’t want to use plastic for my food, why would I want it for my baby either? (and yes, I know they all say BHA-free but there are other toxins out there that they use to create plastic products).
What have you found to be the best system when it comes to keeping your baby’s bottles toxin-free?