Are Glass or Plastic Baby Bottles Better?
For any parent currently feeding their baby with formula, you are likely living the non-stop merry-go-round of washing and finding space for bottles. Although so much focus is placed on the formula itself and exactly what nutrients we are feeding our children, the bottles themselves are often overlooked. There are so many different products and brands to choose from in the baby bottle market, including squeezable bottles, bottles designed to reduce gas, and bottles made to work alongside breastfeeding. However, the main question we have to answer is… what is the best type of bottle, plastic or glass?
Let’s start with plastic…
Plastic baby bottles are light, they don’t break, they are cheap, and they are easy to find in just about every local store. They also don’t make a mess if you drop them during a tired late-night feed. Instead of sweeping up broken glass, all you have to do is rinse off the plastic bottle. On the surface, they seem like the perfect option, however, there are some issues.
Plastic bottles are created using petroleum and carcinogenic substances and are not always able to go through the dishwasher. While they are cheaper, that often means they simply do not last as long, as the plastic degrades over time.
What you should know about plastic bottles –
The most important thing to know before using a plastic bottle is: is this product safe for my child?
Older plastic bottle products may still include something called Bisphenol A or BPA, which was an industrial plastic introduced and widely used back in the 1960s. Unfortunately, over the past 50-plus years, it has been linked with behaviour and brain development in babies, kids, and fetuses. In 2013, the government actually banned BPA as a material for all formula packaging and bottles. However, anything made before 2013 may still contain BPA, so make sure to double-check before using them.
In general, plastic bottles that are free from BPA are safe to use on your baby. However, some have claimed that chemicals can leak into the formula in non-BPA bottles too. If the bottle has been sat in the sun, you should avoid feeding your child from it.
If the bottle was made after 2013, it is guaranteed to be free from BPA due to US law. If there is no way for you to tell what year the bottle is from, play it safe and throw it away in exchange for a new one. BPA bottles are often marked with a ‘PC’ mark for polycarbonate plastic or a number ‘7’.
We recommend washing the bottles by hand with a bottle brush in warm water – but not hot water due to the non-BPA plastic and any potential chemical leaking.
Never store baby formula already in the plastic bottle as there is a chance chemicals could leak into the formula.
What to know about glass bottles –
Glass bottles also come with a number of pros. They are free from all plastic, they can be put through the dishwasher, and they are very effective. Just watch out if your baby develops a taste for throwing their bottle as glass does not react well to a drop from height.
Most glass baby bottles are made with tempered glass, which makes it far stronger and less likely to smash. You can also add a rubber cover to the bottle to protect it further.
Can glass baby bottles be put through the dishwasher?
They can indeed! They are far easier to keep clean than plastic bottles for this very reason.
Can glass bottles reduce colic?
It is not factually confirmed, but some brands and products do claim to reduce gas and spitting up. Even if these claims are true, it is more than likely a design feature, not a material feature.
Can I store formula in glass baby bottles?
Yes, you can! It is perfectly safe.
Should I use a glass baby bottle or plastic?
It really depends on what you are looking for from your baby bottle. If you want something that is easier to clean, better for the environment, and free from plastic chemicals, then glass is your best option. If you are looking for something cheap and light that won’t break, then plastic could be for you. It also depends on your child and their feeding habits. If they are feeding themselves, then the safety of plastic may appeal. The same goes for babies who like to throw their bottle around. But if you are feeding your child yourself, then glass may be more effective.