How To Choose The Right Baby Bottle

Trying to figure out how to choose a more sustainable and non-toxic baby bottle? In this guide, we go over the pros and cons of plastic, glass, silicone and stainless steel baby bottles as well as what you need to consider when choosing nipples, shape and size!

Mom feeding baby using a Comotomo non toxic baby bottle

When it comes to choosing a baby bottle, parents often find themselves asking questions like:

Should I choose a plastic, glass, stainless steel or silicone baby bottle? Do I want latex, silicone or natural rubber nipples? How many do I need? 

Navigating the complex world of baby bottles can make labor seem like a walk in the park (hahaha… just kidding).

Don’t worry! In this non-toxic baby bottle guide, we’ll go over:

  • Baby bottle materials and how safe they are for your baby
  • Baby bottle shapes, sizes and other options to consider
  • The different types of baby bottle nipples
  • Our favorite non-toxic baby bottles
  • The accessories you’ll need to make bottle feeding easy

Scroll down to learn more!

 

Baby Bottle Materials

Baby bottles come in four materials – plastic, glass, silicone and stainless steel – that each have pros and cons.

 

Plastic Baby Bottles

 

Plastic is the most common material for baby bottles. It’s lightweight, shatterproof and inexpensive, but it’s not the safest option. Although the Food and Drug Administration banned the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) from baby bottles in 2012, equally damaging chemicals such as phthalates and bisphenol S (BPS) can still be present in them. Endocrine disruptors have been shown to cause a range of health issues from birth defects and infertility to diabetes and cancer. 

 

Avoiding microplastics and chemicals in plastic baby bottles

 

At The Tot, we never use or recommend anything that hasn’t passed The Tot Test. This means we’ve looked deep into third-party testing, examined ingredients lists and asked in-depth questions about a product’s composition to ensure it doesn’t contain any of the chemicals we avoid. 

When it comes to baby bottles, we’re particularly fussy because they’re a product intended to be heated, which makes them more likely to leach microplastics, which are tiny particles of plastic that flake away as plastic degrades, and other potentially harmful chemicals into our baby’s breastmilk or formula.

According to reporting done by NPR, “A new study in the journal, Nature Food, suggests that bottle-fed infants around the world may be consuming more than 1.5 million particles of microplastics per day on average.”

While this figuring is confronting, not enough research has been done to show the true risk of ingesting microplastics. As parents who like to err on the side of caution when it comes to what goes onto and in our bodies, we try to avoid plastic, especially for food preparation, when possible.

If you do opt for a plastic baby bottle, ensure that it is free of:

  • BPA + BPS
  • Phthalates
  • PVC

 

Glass Baby Bottles

 

Glass bottles won’t leach toxic chemicals into your baby’s milk and they last longer than plastic, but they’re more expensive, heavier and may be prone to shattering (depending on the brand). The good news: you can buy silicone sleeves that slip over the bottles to help prevent breakage.

 

Silicone Baby Bottles

 

Silicone bottles can be hard to find and pricey, but they’re light, unbreakable and toxin-free. While silicone MIGHT leach chemicals when exposed to very high temperatures, they don’t seem to with regular use. Our advice: choose bottles made from food-grade or medical-grade silicone.

 

Stainless Steel Baby Bottles

 

Stainless Steel bottles are free from toxins, shatterproof, light and long-lasting. The only downside is that they can be expensive.

 

Baby bottle shapes, sizes and other options

Once you’ve decided on the material, there a few other options to consider:

  • Disposable inserts: Some plastic bottles can be used with disposable sterilized liners that are thrown away after each feeding. They’re convenient because they cut down on cleaning time, but they’re expensive and bad for the environment.
  • Bottle shape: Baby bottles come in a variety of shapes that have different advantages. Standard bottles are straight-necked and fit into most bottle warmers and cupholders. Angled bottles have a curved neck that reduces the amount of air your baby swallows. Wide-neck bottles have wider nipples that mimic human ones and can help reduce nipple confusion in breastfed babies.
  • Venting: Different types of venting systems help minimize air bubbles that can cause painful gas. If your baby seems fidgety or cries after feeding, a vented bottle may help.
  • Size: Small bottles hold 4 or 5 ounces, while large bottles can hold between 8 and 10 ounces. Start with small bottles and switch to bigger ones around four months or whenever your baby’s appetite increases.

 

Types of baby bottle nipples

You’re not finished making decisions just yet! Here are your options when it comes to nipples:

  • Material: Latex nipples are inexpensive and more flexible than silicone, but they’re not as durable, they may leach carcinogens called nitrosamines and some babies are allergic to latex. While the firmer silicone nipples aren’t as popular with the little ones, they last a lot longer and they’re toxin-free (make sure you choose food-grade or medical-grade silicone). Natural rubber nipples are also free from harmful chemicals, and they’re softer and more resistant to bites than silicone.
  • Shape: Traditional nipples are long and skinny. Wide nipples mimic the shape of a breast and may be more easily accepted by breastfed babies. Orthodontic nipples fit the shape of your baby’s palate and gums, promoting heathy oral development and digestion.
  • Flow: Nipples come in three flow speeds: slow (stage 1), medium (stage 2) and fast (stage 3). Preemies and newborns will start with the slow flow and move up to faster flows at their own rate. The suggested age ranges are just general guidelines, so move up a size when your baby seems to be struggling to get milk out of the bottle. If your baby chokes or splutters, the flow is too fast and you should go back down a size.

 

The Tot’s favorite baby bottles

All Tot Tested and Approved, here are our favorite non-toxic baby bottles.

 

Hevea Glass Bottles

 

A baby using a hevea glass baby bottle

 

These 100% borosilicate glass bottles are resistant to heat and thermal shock, free from toxic chemicals and come with 100% natural rubber nipples.   

Hevea Glass Bottles

Hevea Glass Bottles (4 oz) – 2 pack

 

$26

BUY NOW

 

 

Olababy Silicone Bottles

 

 

Olababy’s Gentle Bottle is made from medical-grade silicone, 100% toxin-free and sustainably produced.

 

Olababy Silicone Bottles

 

$28.95

Available in more colors

Available in 4 oz and 8 oz

BUY NOW

 

 

Olababy Bottle Transitional Set - Mint

 

Olababy Bottle Transitional Set

$39.95

Available in more colors

BUY NOW

 

 

Comotomo Silicone Bottles

 

These medical-grade silicone bottles feature a wide-neck design, dual anti-colic valves and a natural, skin-like feel. 

 

Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottles (5 oz) – 2 pack

 

$22.99

Available in more colors

BUY NOW

 

 

Comotomo Pink Baby Bottles Silicone

 

Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottles (8 oz) – 2 Pack

 

$23.99

Available in more colors

BUY NOW

 

 

Natursutten Glass Baby Bottles

 

With their borosilicate glass construction and all-natural rubber nipples, Natursutten bottles are free of BPA, PVC, phthalates and chemical softeners.

Natursutten Glass Baby Bottles – 2 pack

 

$30 – $34

Available in 4 oz and 8 oz

BUY NOW

 

 

 

Bottle-feeding Accessories

While you may have your bottle game sorted, don’t forget about cleaning.

We find it really helpful to have an easy to clean drying rack as well as a steam-free UV sterilizer. Scroll down to learn more about these bottle-feeding accessories!

 

Boon Lawn Drying Rack

 

Sleek and stylish, the Boon Lawn Drying Rack looks great in any kitchen AND is free of BPA, BPS, Phthalates and PVC. Easy to clean and designed for fast drying, it’s a must-have for washing up bottles.

 

Boon Lawn Drying Rack

Boon Lawn Drying Rack

 

$24.99

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Wabi Touch Control Dual Function UV Sterilizer & Dryer

 

Wabi Touch Control Dual Function UV Sterilizer & Dryer

 

If you’re looking for a steam-free sterilizer, the UV Wabi is for you! We also love it because it has a drying function!

Wabi Touch Control Dual Function UV Sterilizer & Dryer

 

Wabi Touch Control Dual Function UV Sterilizer & Dryer

 

$289.99

BUY NOW

 

 

 

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