In this article, we shall talk about the pros and cons of glass baby bottles. Glass baby bottles were quite popular for many years before the plastic bottles came into the market.
Plastic bottles quickly gained popularity when they were introduced mainly due to their durability and being light in weight.
However, when several studies revealed that these bottles contained BPA (Bisphenol-A), a highly toxic substance, people moved back to glass bottles; and most recently to silicone bottles.
Although glass bottles are easier to clean, they are more expensive, heavier, and break easily compared to the other types of bottles. Moreover, they are harder for babies to grip. However, there are parents who will not settle for any other bottle for their babies apart from glass. Are you one of those parents? We will be glad to hear more about your experience with glass bottles in the comment section below.
The pros and cons of glass baby bottles
Let’s start with the positive features that make glass bottles more desirable than plastic bottles or silicone bottles.
The pros of glass baby bottles
1) Free of BPA
This is probably one of the main reasons why parents go for glass bottles over others.
Some years ago, manufacturers used BPA to line the inside of bottles as a protective layer. This practice was later banned by the FDA when studies showed that BPA was harmful to humans and particularly to infants.
For instance, according to a study by Mohapatra et al. (2014), exposing children to BPA leads to health complications such as liver toxicity, heart diseases, increased anxiety and depression and affects their behavioral and neural systems. Read the full study here Bottles can be Toxic
Many countries have banned the use of BPA in bottles but some manufacturers still use it in low amounts. Thus, the potential of this chemical leaking into the baby’s milk is the greatest concern with bottles that contain BPA.
Glass baby bottles do not contain BPA so you are 100% sure that your baby’s health is safe when using them.
2) Easier to clean
Glass baby bottles do not scratch so the milk does not get stuck inside the bottles as plastics do. Scratches provide a good environment for bacteria to hide and grow, which can result in health complications in your baby.
Therefore, glass bottles are more hygienic than plastic bottles.
3) Do not absorb color or odor
I once gave my son watermelon juice in a plastic bottle and it stained terribly. To date, the bottle has a reddish-like appearance even after being used and washed many times.
Glass bottles do not absorb color so they do not stain. You can give your baby watermelon in it and it will be sparkling clean after washing. The only thing you may need to worry about is the nipple because it is made of either silicone or plastic; hence, it may discolor.
These bottles do not absorb odor too as plastic and silicone bottles do. After giving my son watermelon, the bottle absorbed the odor. The absorbed odor may affect the taste of milk or formula and so the baby will refuse to drink it. With glass, no odor is absorbed so the taste of the milk or formula remains the same.
4) Microwave and dishwasher safe
There are several ways through which you can warm baby bottles. Some bottles can withstand high temperatures while others cannot.
Glass bottles can withstand high temperatures; so they can be heated in a microwave or washed in a dishwasher. In addition, they do not contain any chemicals; hence, they can be heated without the fear of chemicals leaching from the bottles into the milk.
Although most plastic bottles are BPA free, they may have traces of chemicals with Estrogenic Activity. So when subjected to high temperatures like in a microwave or dishwasher, the chemicals may leach and mix with the baby’s milk. This poses a health risk to your baby as we discussed earlier in this article.
5) Do not lose shape
I have seen plastic bottles that have lost their shape due to being subjected to high temperature. In addition, if you freeze your baby’s milk in a plastic bottle, the bottle swells and loses its shape.
Glass bottles do not lose their shape when heated. However, they may break if kept in the freezer and the cap is tightly closed.
6) Durable and environmental friendly
These bottles can last for years without changing color or getting scratches. You can reuse them for your second, third or more children and all you have to change is the nipple.
The fact that you can keep reusing glass bottles means that they are environmentally friendly than plastic and silicone bottles, which cannot be reused since they do not last long.
With plastic and silicone, all the washing with detergent and brushes, sterilizing in hot water and heating them with milk make them deteriorate very fast. Thus, they can hardly survive past one kid.
Moreover, it is recommended that plastic bottles are replaced regularly for hygiene purposes.
Cons of using glass baby bottles
1) Prone to breaking
Glass baby bottles do not break easily since they are made from tempered glass.
However, they have a higher chance of breaking when accidentally dropped compared to silicone or plastic bottles. In fact, silicone and plastic bottles do not break at all when dropped unless extraordinary force is used.
The broken pieces of the glass bottle can cause injury to the baby so you must always be very careful during feeding.
In addition, if a glass falls and chips, do not be tempted to reuse it no matter how small the size of the chipping is. It is recommended that you throw it away because it may continue to chip and tiny bits of glass may get into the baby’s milk and become a health hazard.
2) Quite costly
Glass is not a readily available material or cheap like plastic. So making glass bottles costs the manufacturers more than making plastics. This cost is passed on to the consumers; hence, making glass baby bottles more expensive.
The good thing is that they are longer-lasting, so you might use them for a long time without buying replacements. On the other hand, while plastic bottles are cheaper, they will not serve you for long so you end up spending more on new bottles.
3) Heavy in weight
Glass is heavy. This not only makes it hard for your baby to hold but also hard to travel with.
When traveling with your baby, you may need to a carry at least two bottles; one with milk and another one water and juice.
Your diaper bag will be definitely heavier when you carry two glass bottles compared to two plastic or silicone bottles.
4) Hard to grip
These bottles are not easy to grip. This is probably due to their heavyweight and smooth surface.
Fortunately, some manufacturers noticed there is a need to help babies hold their glass bottles when feeding and introduced silicone sleeves.
While some glass bottles come with the sleeves, others you will have to purchase them to help your baby to grip the bottle. This also protects the bottle from breaking when dropped.
5) Not readily available
While there are hundreds of plastic bottle brands each with unique designs, sizes, colors and patterns, there are only a handful of companies that manufacture glass baby bottles.
This means that you might not get the shape or color you desire rather you have to settle for the ones that are there. The Lifefactory glass bottles have many positive reviews, maybe you should try them.
Now that you have read and hopefully understood the pros and cons of glass baby bottles, you can make an informed decision between glass baby bottles vs plastic bottles vs silicone bottles. But remember, it all comes down to the type of bottle that your baby prefers.