Are glass baby bottles better than plastic bottles?
Glass baby bottles quickly fell out of favour when lighter, cheaper plastic baby bottles came along. But glass baby bottles are now making a comeback, not just because they look cool, but as an environmentally conscious and practical alternative to plastic bottles. So, what’s the deal on glass vs plastic for your baby’s bottles?
Glass baby bottle advantages
No need to panic when you hear ‘glass’ and ‘baby’ in the same sentence, modern glass baby bottles are a lot safer than they were back in the day. Most glass baby bottles are made from specially tempered glass, which is very hard to break and forms small glass pebbles, rather than sharp shards if it does smash. Some glass baby bottles have silicone sleeves or outer coatings to give them an extra layer of protection and prevent them from slipping out of your hands.
Glass is made without using harmful chemicals (like BPA) that could leach into your baby’s milk. (Don’t worry all Tommee Tippee bottles – glass or plastic, are BPA Free).
Unlike plastic, glass doesn’t stain or pick up odours and flavours from its environment, so you can be sure your baby is getting the great taste of your breast milk or formula and nothing else.
Glass baby bottles are popular with eco-conscious parents because glass is made from naturally abundant materials and it can be reused and recycled many times. One set of glass baby bottles can last for years through more than one child’s feeding journey, you’ll just need to change teats regularly.
When you’re done with your glass baby bottles they are 100% recyclable, with glass recycling much more easily accessible than plastic recycling.
Glass baby bottles pick up fewer scratches than plastic bottles so it’s easier to see when they are dirty. Glass can also withstand high temperatures, so you can wash glass baby bottles in hot water and sterilise them by boiling or other high heat sterilisation methods like steam sterilisers.
Unlike some plastic bottles, glass baby bottles won’t become misshapen when heated.
Glass baby bottle disadvantages
Glass bottles can add to the weight of all that baby stuff you carry around with you. Plus the weight of a glass bottle can make it difficult for your baby to hold as they grow.
Sure, individually a glass bottle is likely to cost more than a plastic one, but if you think about the cost per use, and how long they last, it may be worth making the extra investment.
Plastic baby bottle advantages
With so much stuff you need to look after your baby, anything that helps lighten the load is welcome, especially if you’re travelling, so plastic bottles are often the convenient option. Plus they’re easy for baby to hold.
You can find plastic baby bottles at many chain stores, supermarkets and local retailers. They also come in lots of different sizes.
Plastic baby bottles tend to be cheaper than glass bottles because they are easier and less expensive to produce. But watch out for quality and buy from brands you can trust.
Plastic baby bottle disadvantages
Over time, plastic can absorb odours, so baby’s milk may develop a taint from things like cleaning products or other items you wash alongside your baby bottles (Bolognese sauce flavoured milk anyone?).
Plastic baby bottles can’t withstand super high temperatures for cleaning and sterilising, and they may become misshapen and damaged over time. Small scratches on plastic bottles can also attract bacteria and odours.
Over recent years we’ve all become more aware of the problem of plastic waste. Once it’s outlived its use, it can take 450 years or more for a typical plastic water bottle to decompose, and even if it can be recycled, plastic often ends up in landfill.
What to look for when buying glass baby bottles
If you want to use glass bottles to feed your baby, then look for quality and choose a brand you can trust.
How to use glass baby bottles
You can use glass baby bottles in the same way that you would use plastic baby bottles. Modern glass baby bottles are made to withstand the odd knock, bump and even drop that comes with family life.
They are more likely to withstand higher temperatures for cleaning and sterilising, but always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you take care not to drop them from a height onto a hard surface, or crush them, your glass baby bottles should last for the whole of your baby’s feeding journey and beyond.
Are BPA free baby bottles safe?
Bisphenol A (BPA) and bisphenol S (BPS) are chemicals that can be found in plastics, particularly those used to store food and drinks. There have been concerns about the potentially harmful effects these chemicals can have on babies, and some countries have introduced laws that ban the use of these chemicals in baby feeding bottles. Because of these health concerns, many manufacturers, including Tommee Tippee have removed BPA and BPs from their plastic baby bottles and other baby feeding items.
Glass baby bottles are naturally BPA and BPS free, so there are no concerns about the potential harm to baby’s health from using them.