Zero Waste Baby: Bottles

I’ve been trying to find a starting point for discussing raising a ZW baby, and with so many topics I’ve had trouble just jumping in. Done is better than perfect though, so let’s just get going! This one is a softball, but I’ll tell you what I’ve learned about bottles!

Yes, we have been fortunate enough to nurse full-time thanks to the extensive education we received during pregnancy and our amazing support system postpartum. This is not an option for everyone though, so we each work with what we’ve got. Obviously nursing creates less waste than the formula cans which is great. Buying formula in bulk plastic tubs that can be recycled is a good less waste option if formula is required. Those of us who nurse may want/ need to use bottles for a plethora of reasons, and of course anyone who is on the exclusive pumping track is going to need a solid set-up. So whatever the reason, if you, like me, find yourself trying to make ZW bottle choices, here’s what I’ve done, learned, and would do differently…

We chose to go with Avent Natural glass bottles. After much research, I thought I would like the Avent Double Electric breast pump best (I didn’t) and it’d be convenient to pump directly into bottles (it is).  As it turns out the Avent bottles are compatible with the Spectra pump which was awesome- glass Avent bottle shown above with the Spectra attachment. The larger bottles with the sealed cap are great for transporting milk if you need to pump at work like I did briefly before deciding to stay home. We are currently in the sippy cup phase and I loved that the bottles could easily transition into sippy cups with the sippy nipple, handles, and silicone sleeve. My baby has also recently started learning about straws so I’ve used the larger bottles with a lip and a glass straw to feed him smoothies. This requires assistance though, and I wish I’d chosen something where a straw version was an option.

I love that glass is infinitely recyclable unlike plastic which can only be downcycled a limited number of times before going to the landfill. I also prefer for my baby not to be drinking from warmed plastic. If I could do it again, I would have chosen the Pura stainless steel system below! My glass system will get us through toddlerhood to cups, and can be used by any other babies we have and passed on to friends/family before being recycled, but this stainless steel set can last through childhood before being passed on and eventually recycled. I’m not certain about pumping directly into it for serious pumping moms, but as a very part time pumper, this would have been a better solution for us.

If you are wanting to pump directly into bottles or you prefer a more common bottle for registering, loads of mainstream brands are now putting out lines of glass bottles. Including Dr. Browns, Tommee Tippee, Evenflo, and Life Factory pictured here. These are even available at our local Target and Babies R Us.

Finally another option I love and would have liked to have considered is putting a nipple directly onto a ball jar! We use the 4oz jars (pictured right) for breastmilk storage and it would be super easy to slap a nipple on one and feed baby. I don’t know if there is any compatibility with pumping here, but the endless reusablility and recyclable jars make up for that in my opinion.

So there are loads of alternatives available, and if you are looking for lower waste solutions this is what I’ve got! What have you used for Zero Waste baby bottles? Are there any major players I’m missing here? Share your thoughts and experiences please!


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