Trying to decide which type of bottle you should be using to feed your baby? It’s been a topic of debate amongst parents for a while now, with many unsure which is actually better. At one time, baby bottles were simply made from glass – there were no alternatives. Now, there’s a range of plastic and glass varieties available, so how do you know which is better?
Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about both plastic and glass bottles to help you make the best decision.
Plastic Vs Glass Bottles – The Pros And Cons
As with any type of product, there’s pros and cons associated with both plastic and glass baby bottles.
Glass bottles are sturdy, but they’re also heavy and potentially breakable. They’ve been used for decades, but they’re definitely not as popular now as they once were. This is largely because, compared to plastic, glass bottles just aren’t as convenient to carry around.
Plastic bottles, on the other hand, are lighter and won’t break easily. This makes them easier to take with you when you’re out and about. However, they do have one major potential problem – they can contain BPA.
Understanding The Dangers Of BPA
BPA (Bisphenol A), is a chemical that’s been widely used over the years to make polycarbonate plastic products harder and resistant to rust. It’s also good for keeping bacteria out of food, making it popular for use in the lining of food cans. It was also used for a long time in plastic baby bottles until it was discovered to be potentially unsafe for humans.
In 2009, six of the biggest baby bottle manufacturers stopped using BPA and in 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the use of the chemical in all sippy cups and baby bottles. While there’s no real evidence BPA is damaging to humans, it has been shown to be harmful in animal studies.
The main concern is that BPA could be linked to certain types of cancer. It can also trigger early puberty and cause changes within the reproduction system, as well as the brain. So, does this mean you should avoid plastic bottles completely? The good news is, all plastic baby bottles manufactured today do not contain BPA. There’s also different types of plastic which don’t pose the same risks.
How Does BPA Get from The Bottle Into Baby’s Food?
If a baby bottle or sippy cup does contain BPA, the chemical can seep through into the liquid. Whilst only a small amount of BPA will typically seep through, it’s enough to cause potential problems for baby; especially as they have an underdeveloped immune system.
Generally speaking, the higher the temperature of the bottle, the more BPA will be released. So, if it’s placed in the microwave, for example, this would cause more BPA to seep out into the milk.
Is BPA The Only Chemical You Need To Worry About?
Health and environmental experts have recognized that BPA isn’t the only potentially harmful chemical which can be found in plastic products.
A study carried out in 2011 and published in the Environmental Health Perspectives, looked at 500 different plastic food-storing products. It discovered some products which were advertised as being BPA free, contained other chemicals which were potentially more harmful than BPA.
There’s anything from 5-30 different chemicals in a piece of plastic. So, when you take baby bottles, which have numerous different parts, there could be as many as 100 different chemicals. Most are considered safe, but when you’re a parent, it can be shocking to discover your baby could be exposed to any type of chemicals when you feed them.
Choosing The Best Baby Bottle For Your Little One
As newer plastic baby bottles are safe from BPA, there’s no need for parents to avoid plastic bottles altogether. However, caution should still be followed when it comes to choosing the best bottle to feed your little one.
If you do want the lightweight convenience of plastic, there’s certain types considered to be safer than others. Polypropylene plastic bottles aren’t linked to issues with BPA for example, so bottles made from this material would be a better option than the polycarbonate bottles. You can see which type of plastic the bottle is made from by reading the label. Different types of plastic are represented by different numbers. The potentially harmful polycarbonate baby bottles will typically have #7 or PC on their label.
Glass bottles are also worth considering. While they are a little heavier, modern variations are more lightweight than they used to be. They provide you with total peace of mind, as no glass baby bottles have ever contained BPA and there’s no risk of chemical exposure. If you’re worried they might break, there are silicone sleeves available which fit over glass baby bottles.
When making your final decision on which baby bottle you should invest in, don’t forget to take into account your own preferences too. A couple of tips to help you ensure the bottle is good for you and baby to include:
- Choose one with as few parts as possible
- Pay attention to the nipple
The more parts a bottle has, the more difficult it’s going to be to clean. It also makes it more difficult to use, which isn’t something you want. However, sadly a lot of the better bottles do have a lot of parts and that’s because they’re designed with internal vents to prevent babies from developing colic. So, a good idea would be to start out with a non-vented bottle with few parts, then upgrade once you’ve got the hang of how to use it.
You’ll also want to pay attention to the nipple of the bottle. They actually come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. You’ll find some bottles feature either a latex or silicone nipple. The latex varieties do tend to be a little cheaper, but they also break down a lot easier. So, it’s worth investing a little more into the silicone varieties.
Overall, newer plastic bottles are typically safer than older varieties. However, if you want a complete piece of mind, glass bottles are considered the safest option when it comes to potentially harmful chemicals. Although, as long as you choose to buy from a reliable supplier and avoid polycarbonate bottles, you won’t need to worry about the dangers of BPA.
BPA is very dangerous chemical so we as parents should choose the right feeding bottle for our babies. Glass bottles would be the safest but proper handling is required at the same time it is not as convenient specially when travelling. Plastic bottles nowadays is BPA free. It is usually labeled at the bottom of the feeding bottle. If you’re not particular about BPA, you can always ask the person incharge or salesperson. Safety should always be our priority. This article is very reliable and impormative that helps first time mothers and soon to be. Thank you.
Indeed, when it comes to our kids, safety should be the number one concern. Parents should make a conscious effort about products used by their kids. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
One thing that I like about some of the developed countries is their passion to reduce children deaths and this is an evidence of that. I wouldn’t have known that plastic bottles ever has BPA as one of the components used in making them. However, it’s commendable that it has been stopped for production of those bottles and that will reduce worries by nursing moms.
In as much as I don’t have much fear for the plastic feeding bottles, I would rather settle for the new light glass feeding bottles instead.
It’s commendable that people in charge of health and safety are doing their job in ensuring we have safe products in the market. Still, it is always best to check items before letting our kids use them. For me, I would rather be paranoid and always careful rather than trusting because not everyone complies with product safety.
I agree, I would rather be paranoid and careful. It is not enough for me to find a product in the baby isle. One would assume all baby products sold in stores area safe, but we know this is not the case. I personally take time before going to the store to research a product or a brand and if I’m already in the store I search for product information online.
I’ve always been skeptical about using plastics due to their high concentration of chemicals. Phthalates is one very present chemical on plastics which can be daming to the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system. But BPA, BPA on baby plastic bottles is just heartbreaking.
unfortunately very few people know about BPA on babys’ plastics. What makes it even worst is the fact that 95% of people prefer plastics to glass when picking a baby’s feeding bottle. But as you’ve said, it’s a little reassuring knowing that products like this have been looked into with certain controls put in place. Nevertheless, articles like this needs to be publish to a larger audience so people can be aware of the potential harm their preferd choice might have on a baby.
You’re right, Rumu. Education is the key to letting people know the harmful effects of products. Utmost concern would be products used by babies and older kids. Parents should be very diligent about product ingredients/materials when purchasing items for kids because there are a lot of toxic items on the market. I would say plastics are on top of the list.
This was something I worried about when I was expecting my first child. I think it was learning that there are more chemicals than BPA found in baby bottles, and plastic baby plates, etc that made things a little overwhelming.
I ended up getting a BPA, and two other chemicals I can’t remember, free bottle. It brought peace of mind to know my daughter would not be exposed to chemicals from her bottle.
What you did should be followed by other parents – to be vigilant and knowledgeable about materials used on baby products. We are the primary protector of our kids from harm so we should be very careful about the products we choose for them. Kids are defenseless against harmful products so we should be their first line of defense.
Well, to be honest here, glass can break, assuming it’s not a real tough type. In that case, glass may not be all that it’s cracked up to be (pun intended). I mean, glass can cut their body and they could possibly swallow pieces of it, which considering how little they are, might do more damage.
However, though, plastic, as the article noted seems dangerous. In that case, I’m wondering if there is a middle ground between plastic and glass?
Yes, you had me thinking of an alternative to plastics or bottles, too. I can’t seem to think of any, haha. I would say I’d prefer plastics over glass because as you mentioned, they could break and could injure a baby. It’s also heavier as compared to plastics. I think the best safeguard to using plastic products is to check that they do not contain any BPA and other harmful chemicals.
I agree with this. I would be extremely paranoid of a glass bottle breaking. As long as you’re using a BPA-free bottle, plastic should probably be fine.
whoah this blog is magnificent i love reading your articles. Keep up the great work! You know, a lot of people are looking around for this information, you could help them greatly.
Thank you, Cassandra. We truly appreciate the positive feedback. Bless you.
We do our best to keep coming up with helpful articles so we could educate more people and keep our precious ones safe and healthy.
I have always considered plastic bottles to be for babies and maybe because they can’t break. But after learning about the BPA and possibility of other harmful chemicals being present in the plastic bottle, I also agree that glass bottles are the safest.
Your post has also reminded me of a plastic bottle I have currently. It is green in colour but emits a bad smell especially when I close the bottle for more than 24 hours. It smells like something that is burning and you would think I left it under the sun. I will dispose that plastic bottle because I now think that it could be producing those harmful chemicals.
Since babies are vulnerable, I believe glass bottles are the best and we shouldn’t worry about breakage as long as we try to be more careful. And the silicon sleeve you suggested is really a nice idea. I will also search for the polypropylene plastic bottle. 😀
You definitely have to get rid of the bottle you mentioned because your baby could ingest harmful chemicals. Learning about BPA and other harmful chemicals is truly scary! I wasn’t aware of this too when I was still nursing my kids. I just hope all the plastic bottles I had them use were BPA-free.
We have one child. And she is turning one this coming November thanks to GOD, and she is purely breasted since birth so we haven’t really experienced breastfeeding in a glass or plastic bottle yet. But if i have to choose between plastic and glass bottles, I’d say i would go for the plastic bottle simply because of durability reasons. Glass bottles may easily break and you don’t really know if it already has a crack within it’s body because of continued use and abuse. Which posts a lot of health and security concerns for our loved once. Yes, plastic bottles do have it’s fair share in that department, but, it’s a lot safer and durable than glass bottles. You just have to make sure that there are no harmful chemicals were used in making the plastic bottles that you are about to purchase. So one must really do research before buying plastic bottles. It’s always better safe than sorry.
Yes, breastfeeding is the best solution to feeding babies, but there would be times when we would need to use formula milk like when we need to go out and leave the baby to a nanny for several hours.
Yes, like you, I also feel that plastics are safer alternatives to glass bottles as long as they’re BPA-free. We just have to be vigilant about what we buy.
Whether it is liquid food, solid food or semi-liquid food, we food our baby with a silver spoon. Therefore, we don’t have to think a lot about whether plastic bottles are safe or glass bottles are safe. having said that this was an informative post. I did not know much about this subject. So you say plastic bottles are not safe because they contain chemicals that ultimately harms our body.
Glass bottles might be safer, however, it is difficult to handle glass bottles.