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Eco-friendly baby bottles are naturally something many green & naturally-minded parents wonder about when they get pregnant.
It doesn’t help that there are SO MANY different kinds of bottles out there!
Does it matter which type of bottle you pick? Are there certain things to avoid or look for in a baby bottle?
Many people believe that people only want to avoid plastic food and drink containers because of BPA. However, the FDA banned the use of BPA in baby products several years ago. So if baby bottles are made from BPA-free plastic, isn’t that safe? Why do some people still avoid plastic bottles?
For starters, many products labeled “BPA-Free!” still contain trace amounts of BPA, especially if they were imported from certain countries.
Second of all, when BPA is taken out of plastic products, another plasticizer needs to replace it. There are concerns that many of these other chemicals aren’t any better for you than BPA!
Even if you don’t completely buy into this, the point is that minimizing exposure to BPA and other harmful plastic additives is actually quite easy to do.
We can’t completely eliminate BPA or other harmful chemicals from our lives as they show up in a lot of places (food packaging including baby formula, canned goods, etc). But we CAN take really simple measures to greatly reduce the exposure to these chemicals. If we know they’re bad, why wouldn’t we do what we can? Especially if it’s a pretty easy swap?
Enter glass bottles!
Why Choose Glass?
Glass bottles are practical, easy to clean and sterilize, can be heated and cooled, and are perfectly safe for drinking or eating. Glass is also easily recyclable, unlike all plastics. With proper care, they could be used for a LONG time– with multiple children, and then even passed on to other expecting families.
Some of you might be cringing at the thought of a glass bottle for a baby. Won’t they shatter? Surely broken glass is more harmful to a baby than plastic.
Baby bottles aren’t like a champagne flute. They are more durable than that, and many of them take measures to be as shatter resistant as possible (you can see how in my recommendations below).
I did not use glass bottles with my first two kids because back then, I figured BPA-free was good enough. However, I plan to use glass bottles with #3. I need new bottles anyway since I recycled our old ones after my youngest weaned (they were dingy, stained from the dishwasher, had a plastic-y smell, and I knew it would be quite a few years until we needed bottles again–so in the recycling bin they went).
Without further ado, here are some of the best non-toxic baby bottles recommendations.
Best For Colic & Gas
The standard Dr. Brown’s bottles have been a go-to for us. With my first, I just decided to take no chances with gas or colic, so despite the extra pieces I would be cleaning, I was sold on them (this was before the “options” version came out).
With my second, Dr. Brown’s is a commonly recommended bottle for cleft babies, so we kept on keepin’ on with them. I also loved their bottle warmer, and the standard tall bottles fit great in it.
While it’s harder to find the standard Dr. Brown’s bottles in glass now, you can easily get Dr. Brown’s “Options” (with the green insert instead of the blue). The “Options” bottle means you don’t HAVE to use the vent if you don’t want to (you had to in the original bottles or they would leak). Best of both worlds!
On top of being great for babies with colic, they are thermal-shock resistant, too, making them safe for fast heating.
You can also get the popular wide-neck Dr. Brown’s bottles in glass.
Best For Safety & Pumping Compatibility
I love Lifefactory glass bottles because not only do they have a standard neck that is compatible with most breast pumps, they are covered with a non-slip silicone sleeve! This helps with gripping the bottle and helping it be more shatter-resistant if it gets dropped (which unfortunately I have dropped a bottle or two when finagling with the pump).
They are thermal-shock resistant, and the silicone sleeve does not need to be removed for washing. They’re pretty awesome.
The 6-bottle starter set comes with four 4-oz bottles and two 9-oz bottles.
One downside of these bottles is that the liquid markings can be hard to see.
It’s no secret that glass bottles can be a little more expensive than their plastic counterparts. However, Evenflow offers a 6-pack of glass bottles for under $20 (at the time of this post). That’s an awesome deal!
The narrow body of these bottles makes them easy to hold and store. They come with the patented Pro-Flow Venting nipples that Evenflow is known for. These nipples help reduce the number of bubbles in the milk or formula that end up in your baby’s tummy.
Another perk is that these are standard screw-top bottles, so they should work with most breast pumps!
The price, pump compatibility, simple parts, & easy-to-clean narrow body might make the Evenflow glass bottle one of the best eco-friendly baby bottles on the market!
Simplest To Use
The Avent Natural is a popular bottle choice due to how simple it is. There aren’t any extra pieces to clean or maintain, and it has been a popular option among babies. If you’re not concerned about some of the other features that come with fancier bottles, Avent Naturals are a great choice. Like the others, they are thermal shock resistant and safe for fast heating and cooling.
Mason Bottles are a simple & convenient bottle–they are simply a mason jar! You can purchase a set that includes the jar, nipple, and ring, or you can just purchase the bottle nipples if you already have mason jars and metal rings of the right size.
These bottles are ideal for people who plan to wash in the dishwasher. They are wide enough to get clean without any bottle brush!
A bonus to the Mason Bottles is that you can repurpose the jars once you’re done with the bottle stage–including with silicone sippy lids.
Don’t Get Too Set On One Kind
If you are pregnant and completing a registry right now, you may be tempted to choose the one you think is best and register for a ton of them. Most likely that would be okay, but some babies do get particular about bottles and you have no idea how your baby will be until he or she is here.
You may want to get a few different kinds to start with and then invest in more after your baby is here and you tested them out.
Neither of my kids was particular about bottles (and they were breastfed, too, but I was a working mom), but wow, did my youngest sure get particular about pacifiers!
He would only take one kind out of several brands, and after a couple of months, he refused them all together. My oldest also refused all pacifiers, though he did right from the start.
So while I had good luck with bottles, any time you use a nipple of sorts, you risk some pickiness.
Have you tried any of these environmentally friendly baby bottles? If not, would you give them a try? Let me know in the comments!