Deciding between glass or plastic baby bottles for your child can be a tricky endeavor – if you don’t know what you’re getting into, that is. Many hesitate to buy glass containers due to their fragile nature. Some aren’t convinced of their convenience because glass can be heavier than their plastic counterparts. Plastic containers aren’t any different because they also have a few drawbacks. For one, they are prone to retaining stains and odors, and normally can’t be sterilized the way most glass containers can. In our article, we’ll extensively cover the pros and cons of plastic and glass containers to give you an informed decision.
Glass-Type: The Benefits
Are glass bottles better than plastic? Many mothers, even today, still use these classic baby bottles. And that’s very telling of its efficiency and convenience. Here are the pros of getting a glass container for your child:
BPA and Toxin-Free
A baby bottle glass doesn’t have any toxic chemicals, so you don’t have to worry about your child being exposed to harmful substances when using this type of container. Back in 2012, the FDA immediately banned bisphenol-A in all the manufacturing practices of sippy cups and baby bottles.
Many concerns were brought to life because this chemical used in plastics can lead to brain and reproductive system damage, early puberty, and even cancer upon exposure. Today, all containers in the US are BPA-free. However, this scare leads to many parents switching back to the safer, tempered glass baby bottles.
Color And Odor-Resistant
Plastic products tend to impart off-flavors in the liquid they’re holding. And this is the main reason why a lot of drinks are still contained inside glass bottles. Glass breastmilk storage is completely inert (like stainless steel), so you don’t need to worry about it staining or affecting the composition of your breast milk in any way.
Convenient Cleaning And Maintenance
A glass feeding bottle for babies is much more convenient to maintain and clean because they’re more durable than plastic containers in the sense that they are harder to leave scratches on. Also, unlike newborn bottles made from plastic, you can see the condition of a glass feeding bottle for babies better because they’re more transparent.
Microwave-safe And Dishwasher-safe
Adding onto the convenient cleaning and maintenance, you can easily sterilize baby bottles using a microwave or conventional warming equipment. You can even put them in a portable bottle warmer to keep your milk in a comfortable drinking temperature.
Less Prone To Losing Its Original Shape
There are some cases where plastic-made baby bottle nipples and the containers themselves losing shape when heated at higher temperatures. Some mothers have complained about plastic containers with milk swelling up when placed in the freezer. Glass containers are more resistant to losing their shape when being heated. However, proceed with caution when placing them in their freezer with their caps closed because the pressure will cause the containers to break.
Quality-Retaining And Eco-Friendly
Glass containers can be more durable in terms of retaining their original quality. So if you’re careful, your containers can last many generations. A majority of glass containers nowadays are made from reinforced glass. So, they are they less-prone to breaking. In case glass bottles break, they only disintegrate into round pebbles instead of shattering into harmful shards. Glass containers can also be easily recycled, unlike plastic ones. It makes them eco-friendly.
Glass-Type: The Disadvantages
Bottle feeding with a hands-free baby bottle made of glass comes with a few cons:
Glass has always been notoriously known for being fragile compared to other materials. However, many companies are creating a new line of a baby milk bottle and baby food bottle made from reinforced glass that’s much more durable. Some of these can even withstand numerous falls without breaking. Having a silicone-made sleeve can also bypass this issue entirely.
Glass is a material that’s not readily available, unlike plastic, and this equates to a steeper price. However, when properly maintained, they basically last forever without degrading in quality, unlike plastic containers, where you might have to replace them after a while.
Glass-made containers can be heavy, so it can make it harder for your baby to hold onto for prolonged periods. It can be a big hassle, especially if you’re traveling, so you might have to support it for them when they’re drinking. If you’re traveling with a baby, be sure to bring along at least a pair of containers – one with water and the other with milk. The difference might be insignificant – your bag with glass bottles will be a way havier opposed to plastic ones.
This type of container is harder to hold onto, and the combination of a smoother surface and heavier weight might be the culprit. Fortunately, many manufacturers have the sense to include silicone sleeves in their products to add extra gripping power. While there are products that have an included sleeve, be prepared to buy one if they don’t because it also adds extra protection from breaking.
Plastic-Type: The Benefits
What about plastic containers? Are they as dangerous as the media makes them out to be? Before you lock in a purchase, you should look at both sides fairly.
You’ll find that plastic containers can be found in a majority of your chain and local retailers, so you’d have no trouble looking for one. They also typically come in more baby bottle sizes, so you have the option of picking out the right size for you.
Much like glass, plastic is transparent, making it easier to measure. Most bottles for babies will have markings that make measuring less of a hassle. This might be different if you opt for the third option- stainless steel bottles. These bottles can be more durable but are harder to measure with.
In general, breast milk bottles under this category are much more affordable compared to glass ones. Because manufacturing them is easier. This way, you can buy a set of breast milk bottles and have money to spare for buying quality toddler water bottles.
These products are more lightweight, so it’s easier to hold onto for your baby even at a younger age, so bottle feeding baby can be a bit easier. Many parents choice baby bottles are lighter because they can be easier to travel with. You and your baby will have no trouble carrying these around.
They might not have the same lasting quality as a glass one, but they are very hard to break. And you don’t need to worry about sharp glass in case you do break them. However, some might not be resistant to heat, so be sure to buy a quality container that’s microwave-safe.
Plastic-Type: The Disadvantages
How long do baby bottles last? What are plastic bottles made of? These are the questions that are typically asked when picking out plastic containers.
Despite most plastic containers being BPA-free, a few might still contain harmful chemicals that have yet to be studied. Always be careful when buying these products. At the end of the day, it’s better to buy a more expensive brand that’s trusted and safe than save a few bucks on a cheap, unknown brand.
Some products are susceptible to scratches. These tiny scratches that are typically formed in plastic materials can harbor odors, residues, and even bacteria. However, many infant feeding bottle brands are very durable, so you don’t have to worry about any scratches.
Harder Cleaning And Maintenance
If you want to sterilize baby bottles made from plastic, you’d have to make sure that they’re heat resistant. Otherwise, they might leach out toxic substances on your milk. You can also put them in the dishwasher and not have to worry about the milky smell clinging in the bottle’s lining.
Susceptible To Staining And Off-odors
Plastic has been known to retain stains and odors, so you might have to deodorize your products. It is the most common qualm when it comes to glass vs. plastic food storage. However, there are many types of plastics nowadays that are more inert.
Glass Baby Bottles Vs. Plastic: Picking the Right Containers for Your Family
So what’s the final verdict? Glass or plastic baby bottles? Is glass better than plastic, or is it the other way around? At the end of the day, what’s the best baby bottle for us might not be the best for you. As long as you purchase safe plastic bottles or a clean glass bottle from a trusted brand and do a bit of research, you’d have no trouble picking out the right one for you and your baby.
Caring for Your Baby's Bottle
We hope that our comprehensive list has answered your questions regarding glass vs. plastic food containers. Here at Top-Mom, we always want the safest baby bottles for our readers, such as yourself. And we help by arming you with the right information. Always be sure to properly care for your new baby bottle to maintain their quality. Clean them after every feeding, dry them properly, and store them in a safe place.