There are a million different baby products out there on the market and sometimes it’s seems hard and almost impossible to decide what is going to be best for baby. Just go stand in the baby bottle aisle at your favorite retailer and see how many choices of this product alone there are to choose from. It can be downright overwhelming to pick something as simple as what to feed your baby with, especially if you’re new to the baby scene. There are so many options to choose from, from vented to wide-mouthed to drop-ins to double-nippled. How is one going to make sense of it all and decide what is best for baby, and secondly, best for you.
In this particular article, I’m going to address just one basic component of the bottle; what it’s made of. The most common types of bottles are made of either glass or BPA-free plastic. Are you trying to decide between the two? I personally have used both glass and plastic, so I will give a break down of what I liked and disliked about each and conclude which I like the best.
First of all, the plastic bottle I first used for my son was the Breastflow bottle by First Years. The makers of this bottle claim that it helps support breastfeeding by mimicking the feel and flow of a breast. My son took to it right away and had no problems switching back and forth between bottle and breast. I also have used the plastic bottles that came with my Medela Freestyle breast pump, mainly for milk storage. So what did I like best about using plastic bottles? Probably what attracts most moms to plastic; I liked that I didn’t have to worry about them breaking when dropped. As baby gets older and is able to hold his own bottle, it will be nice to know that the dropped bottle won’t have a chance of shattering. It’s a safety thing. No one wants to put baby in harms way. Another plus is that plastic is light-weight. When hauling around a diaper bag on your shoulder a good part of the day, it’s nice to have the lightest items possible, and plastic obviously wins in this respect.
So what are the disadvantages of plastic? At first I didn’t notice so it so much, but the more I used the bottles, they seemed to form a permanent film on the inside that cannot be removed with scrubbing. To make things worse, scrubbing oftentimes scratches the bottle. Plastic is very susceptible to scratches and dings. For those of you who are clean freaks and perfectionists, you will probably not like the way your once perfect bottles look after a couples months or even weeks of use. Also, plastic bottles like to bounce around the dishwasher for those who like to wash their bottles in this fashion. Another disadvantage of plastic is the possible leaking of chemicals when the bottles are warmed. By now we have all heard of the BPA scare, a chemical that used to be in plastic baby bottles that was afraid to cause a number of hormone issues in rats and possibly humans. Yes, BPA has now been removed from plastic baby bottles, but who is to say that there isn’t another possibly harmful chemical in the plastic that we don’t know about yet? Plastic definitely has it’s drawbacks.
Now to evaluate glass. I have also used the Evenflo classic glass nursers. They are a basic glass bottle, with no bells or whistles, for a very reasonable price. My son has had no problem with their design. One of the biggest advantages to glass is clean-ability. There never is, and never will be, any built up residue from milk, even after months of use. Every time they are cleaned they come out looking as good as the day you bought them. They are also scratch resistant. You can use a bottle brush on them all you want and there will be no scratching. Another advantage with glass is that you don’t have to worry about any chemicals leaking into the milk, which is an added bonus to parents out there who are extra careful about what is put into baby’s body. Glass also holds heat longer than plastic, so warmed milk keeps its temperature longer.
The disadvantages to glass are quite obvious. Glass is heavy, and glass is breakable. Babies using glass bottles may have a little more trouble learning to hold their own bottle since it is heavier for them to hold. And of course glass always has the ability to break, although most glass bottles are made heavy duty and don’t break very readily. Silicone bottle sleeves are also available to protect bottles from breaking.
Having personally used both glass and plastic bottles, I have found that I am most into glass bottles. Although they are not perfect, I love the fact that they are perfectly clean and perfectly safe for baby. I haven’t had a dropped bottle break yet and I love their classic simplicity.
I would recommend, for those who are unsure of whether glass or plastic is best, to try out both and decide what works best for your baby and your lifestyle. Clearly there are advantages and disadvantages to both glass and plastic. What is best for baby, and you, is what features you place as the most important. There really is no right or wrong answer. Just find what is right for you and your baby.
Do you prefer glass or plastic baby bottles? Why?
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