It’s no top secret that plastics and consumables do not gel together. Plastics primarily constitutes of BPA that leaches into the food that we eat. It is even more concerning using plastics with babies and infants. It is highly advisable to use Plastic free baby bottles because these bottles are reheated multiple times with milk. There are a lot of safe non-plastic baby bottles available are on the market today.
If you are not sure what‘s the deal with using plastic bottles for your baby, let me explain you the ABC’s of BPA.
Plastic bottles essentially made of BPA, Bisphenol A—which is a hormone disruptor. BPA can leach into food when the plastic bottles are heated, microwaved or even from repeated use and scratches.
It can be potentially dangerous and can cause some severe health problems like cancer.(Source).Babies and infants have developing body systems that are very fragile, and BPA can affect the physical and neural development of your baby.
For this reason, FDA banned the use of BPA in 2013, and so now all the baby feeding items like bottles, sippy cups, etc. must not contain BPA. That’s why you see a “BPA Free” label slapped on to all the baby products in the baby aisle
But are BPA free baby bottles really safe?
That’s the million dollar question! Manufacturers are very sneaky, and they seem to have substituted BPA with BPS. Sounds similar right? Apart from sounding similar, they also have similar physical and chemical properties. While there is no concrete human evidence to prove how much BPS enters the human body, it is better to be cautious when it comes to the health of our babies.
So, what are the Plastic free baby bottles available?
When I was looking for plastic-free options for my babies, I thought glass would be the only option. I was surprised to see other options like stainless steel and silicone bottles on the market.
Glass Baby Bottles:
Glass bottles were pretty much the only option before plastics took over. Glass baby bottles are by far the safest option for your baby because glass doesn’t leach into food AT ALL. Most of the glass baby bottles in the market are made of the highest quality Borosilicate glass. This family of glass material has the lowest thermal expansion meaning it can be heated and cooled immediately without prone to breakage. These type of glass bottles endure high-temperature changes, can be thrown in the dishwasher or in a microwave.
Glass baby bottles are recyclable than its plastic counterparts. Glass bottles can be recycled multiple times without losing its purity. Hence glass baby bottles are better for the environment.
The only problem with glass that you can be concerned of is breakage. Glass bottles are often durable and not easily breakable. I have dropped some glass bowls from my kitchen counter and never seen them break. All said and done, glass is still glass, and there are chances that it might break and hurt your baby. Many glass bottle manufacturers are aware of this risk, and they have come up with silicone shields that go over the bottles to provide better grip for tiny hands. Silicone also minimizes the risk of glass pieces shattering out in case of breakage.
For the same reason, many child care facilities and schools may not allow glass bottles. Since there is always a risk of glass bottle slipping out of hands, hitting the ground and shattering to pieces, I highly advise using Silicone shields or be extra careful while using these bottles.
Pros & Cons of Glass baby bottles
- Extremely safe to use with milk and liquids as they don’t leach chemicals into the food.
- Very durable and can be recycled many times
- Resilient to high temperature changes, can be microwaved and safe in dishwasher
- Prone to breakage.
- May not be allowed in schools and daycare facilities.
Best Glass Baby Bottles:
- Avent glass botless
- Dr. Brown
- Life Factory
- Born Free Breeze
Stainless Steel Baby bottles:
You must have seen stainless steel adult bottles in your life. Have you ever seen a stainless steel baby bottle? I didn’t know these existed until I seriously started searching for plastic free options.
Stainless steel is also a very durable and practical option for baby bottles. The most common question that comes to your mind when using stainless steel bottles is, do they change the taste of the milk? My answer is NO! personally, I did not notice any change in the taste of the milk (Yes! I drank out of my kid’s bottle to make sure it didn’t taste weird)
The brands that make stainless steel bottles ensure that highest quality food grade material is used to make these bottles. They call this type of stainless steel a 304 grade (18/8 or 18/10) stainless steel. This type of stainless steel is safe to use because they are inert to the acid present in milk, fruits, and other juices. Stainless steel bottles do not react with the food or leach any chemicals into the food.
Food grade stainless steel is very durable and corrosion resistant. Unlike glass, there are no risks of shattering and breakage. These bottles can be washed by hand, boiled or in a dishwasher. Most brands are only top rack dishwasher safe, so check your manufacturing instructions before washing or sanitizing them.
Stainless steel is a good conductor of heat, that means, you can literally burn your hand when washing these bottles in hot water. There is also a silver lining to this when you are pouring warm milk into the bottle. You can simply do a ‘touch test,’ if the bottle is too hot to touch, then it is definitely too hot for your baby to drink.
Stainless steel bottles can be expensive. But most of the brands have come up with a ‘Grow with me’ style bottles that justify the initial cost. You can use the same bottle and convert it to sippy cups or water bottles by purchasing the spouts individually.
Stainless steel cannot be heated in a microwave like glass baby bottles. This can be a minor set back for some. I usually warm my baby’s milk in a glass tumbler and transfer it to the steel bottle. On the other hand, you can simply hold the water under the running hot water to warm it up.If you are like me and don’t like wasting water, then fill a cup of hot water and let the bottle sit in the cup for a few mins until the milk is slightly warm.
Pros and Cons of Stainless Steel Baby Bottles:
- Durable, lasts longer and corrosion resistant
- Will not break like glass baby bottles
- Safe to use because it does not react with acids in food or leach chemicals into the food.
- Easily to clean and sanitize. Depending on the brand, can be dishwasher safe.
- Cannot be microwaved.
- You cannot see through the milk inside the bottle.
Best Stainless Steel Baby Bottles:
- Pura Kiki (This is what we use and love! Read my review HERE)
- Klean Kanteen
- Think Baby
Silicone Baby Bottles:
Silicone is a non toxic man made polymer made from silica (sand). Silicone is essentially inert and heat resistant. They are found to be safe to use with food as they are not expected to react with food to leach chemicals. manufacturers only use high quality silicone when it comes to baby bottles and some even go an extra step and use medical grade silicone to make baby bottles. Medical grade silicone are the highest quality approved by FDA for biological use (implantation etc.,) Be careful not to buy bottles made of cheap silicones as they might be adulterated with ‘fillers’ .
Silicone baby bottles have seen an increase in the recent trend because of it’s plastic like easy of use without all the toxicity of plastics. They are very durable and can be recycled. They don’t shatter like glass bottles and microwaveable unlike stainless steel bottles. Silicone baby bottles are also see through so it will be easy for your to measure milk , see the amount of left over milk, etc.,
Pros and Cons of Silicone baby bottles:
- Does not shatter like glass bottles.
- Can be microwaved and washed in a dishwasher
- Durable and can be recycled
- Transparent that allows see the amount of left over milk
Best Silicone Baby Bottles:
- Comotomo baby bottles
- OlaBaby Gentle Baby Bottles
- Mimijumi Breastfeeding baby bottle
So here it is. All the current non=plastic baby bottles options that are currently on the market. Personally, I choose stainless steel bottles (Grow with me style) for my kids as that seemed like the safest and the most economical choices for us.
I would love to hear what worked for you and your baby. Leave me a comment and share with me your favorite non-plastic baby bottle brand. You might help parents find sustainable and safe feeding options for their baby by sharing your experience 🙂 Oh, and don’t forget to pin and share this post with your friends.