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I just (spoiler alert) really like LifeFactory bottles!
It took a single afternoon rid our kitchen of plastic, including plastic baby bottles and sippy cups, but it took months to find the perfect glass baby bottle.
After reading about the hormone disrupting effects of plastic (and that it makes you fat, among other things even the BPA-free stuff), the sippy cup/bottle section of my kitchen cabinets was empty, and I was scrounging for ways to hydrate our toddler.
So, we started our plastic-free journey with her sipping out of an IKEA sugar shaker (yes, I did this, don’t judge).
Which meant leakage; spills; onlooker comments; nursery worker explanations; and reminders that while the container is all glass, the top is still plastic and sharp (I know, I know, I know)!
This was my temporary, and available, solution to stop using plastic immediately (I operate best when I don’t lose momentum).
I immediately started reading up on online about glass baby bottles (probably something I should have done before I ditched the plastic), scouring review after review, and weighing out what it all meant.
Glass baby bottles turned out to be expensive! And there was not one glass baby bottle that had consistently positive reviews.
I ducked into a baby thrift store, during this early phase of the “Great Glass-to-PlasticSwitchover”, and scored two 4oz glass Evenflo baby bottles (a cheap and easy fix for my horrible sugar shaker idea).
So far so good, right? (And “earlier phase”…I like that…since it’s been all of 12 weeks since the mind-numbing enlightenment.)
Well, then I spent countless hours trying to teach our child not to throw the bottles.
Our first bottle throw-down happened while house hunting (yes, with a toddler). Muffin was so enamored with running across newly laid carpet of an empty house and ducking in and out of doorways and closets, she couldn’t be coaxed to come to the door. My husband had to carry her out. And that’s when she, bottle in hand, “protested”. One perfectly good Evenflo bottle shattered all over the newly tiled floor of a vacant listing (which meant we had to camp out there for awhile until we could bring in a broom and dust pan).
I was upset with my child and worried that my husband would say “no more glass baby bottles!” But at least it wasn’t the sugar shaker…because then I would be to embarrassed to write this post.
After that, I got a 9oz glass Born Free baby bottle from my sister-in-law to try out with our existing Born Free sippy caps. There was another Toddler Anger Management mishap. And…oops. (I’ve read that these glass bottles break often, usually when the bottoms crack off – in our case, it shattered to the four ends of the earth).
As in my teenage years when I had all the rages of acne on my upper arms (but the alabaster skin of a Greek Goddess on my face), I resolved right then and there that the trick was to never go sleeveless again.
But I’d gotten rid of everything else so there was no turning back. I stayed determined by chomping away a little bit every day at a book about plastic, and every day household toxicity, that I kept on my night stand: Slow Death by Rubber Duck. An enlightening read.
I spent hours in the throes of Internet Indecision about glass bottles WITH silicone sleeves. Should I buy more Evenflo glass baby bottles with Cozy Sleeves? No. because the sleeves don’t offer full-around coverage (so they’re not Gorilla Proof, er…uh “Baby Proof” enough for us). And the reviews say the sleeves make the caps difficult to tighten.
How about the Joovy Boob Glass Bottle With Sleeve? No. Same coverage issues and they seem more geared toward younger babies anyway.
Do I buy more Born Free bottles? And repurpose the sippy caps and venting systems from the several dozen hand-me-down plastic Born Free training cups and classic bottles from my sister?
No. We’d already had one break and they had too many reviews saying the glass bottom just breaks off with the slightest jarring. And the weird thing is they’re only sold in three packs which come with one silicone bottle sleeve. And when you spring for the extra sleeves (we’re not using anymore naked bottles!) they don’t even match.
Do I look for glass baby bottles deals on Craigslist? Sure, but no dice. Ebay? Same prices as everywhere else, sometimes higher. Amazon? Similar Story. What do people do? Pass these bottles along as family heirlooms?
Our little Muffin is a big-time water drinker so whatever bottle/sippy cup we end up with, we need to have a number of them…or we’d end up using whatever wasn’t plastic.
But I wasn’t ready to commit to a full line of bottles or sippy cups until I’d at least tried one. So I “borrowed back” a 9oz LifeFactory baby bottle that I’d gotten as a shower gift (not knowing what I had) and has passed along to another sister-in-law with the explanation of, “I know it’s pink and you have a boy, but you’re just into this kind a stuff and I’m not.” That was so last year!
I was in love. LifeFactory bottles come with a silicone sleeve, have pretty good reviews and are available at The Bread Beckers where I’m trying to shop. So after I sheepishly tracked down my previously unwanted gift, I bought three more.
The hiccup is that all LifeFactory baby bottles come with Stage 2 (3-6 months) nipples which don’t provide enough flow for a toddler. So being the awesome mother that I am, I didn’t immediately go out and buy sippy cap sets for our new bottles, I just cut down into the tip of each nipple with a pair of scissors until it seemed about right. This worked until I found not one, but two, nipples with missing pieces. So for all my trying to keep my daughter from merely drinking out of plastic, I’ve enabled her to chew and probably SWALLOW silicone!
Great…I’m writing this and thinking I should probably quickly Google: “Does swallowing silicone…?” Which led me to a New York Times article and Poison Control and a nice conversation with Shawn who said he said he is a physician, dad, and 15 year poison control specialist and our baby Muffin will not end up with systemic toxicity…
At least not because of this:
Panic averted. Back to my story…
I went back to the Internet and read many LifeFactory Sippy Cap reviews that almost deterred me. People say the plastic caps break easily on impact (ruh roh) and the suction is so strong that it cuts off the flow and frustrates the kids.
I decided to take the plunge anyway and popped on Amazon for set of sippy caps. Which do not come in colors that match your bottles. Just go with it. I had a plan for the stingy silicone inserts that arrived a few days later, and true to everyone’s word, had a suction so fierce that not a drop of water would release from the bottle.
But I took those little suckers right out of the package and sliced their openings a little wider with a brand new straight edge razor blade. And when that seemed to be working, I eased them open just a little more for good measure.
Wala! The perfect glass sippy bottle!
(They still get stuck…just only ever other day or so…which is frustrating to my 2-year-old . . . but now, instead of screaming, she just says, “It broken” and hands it over.)
I had daydreams of writing the company to tell them how to “fix” their silicon inserts. Which would result in immediately being flown First Class to Sausalito (I’ve been there and it’s beautiful at night to look back over the bay at San Francisco) to show them in person. I would of course come home with a lifetime supply of product.
Then, in the midst of my musing, instead of breaking a cap…we break a bottle!
So I’m holding off on contacting LifeFactory’s higher ups until I can cook up an award-winning product tweak that will involve doubling up on silicone sleeves (I have the luxury of an extra one now). They’ll likely bring me on as a product advisor for a specialty line for Gorilla toddlers like mine and later applaud me for single handedly phasing out their need for advertising glass replacement bottles.
You heard it here first.
I also plan to introduce the glow-in-the-dark sleeve and find-the-bottle clapper. Because I really want to make the LifeFactory bottles work for us. I like them, they’re pretty. We’re $70 in and, aesthetically, I’d like to keep buying more of the same so it all will match. If anything, just so we don’t have to keep resorting to this…
But my commitment was tested when I spotted Dr. Weil glass Baby Bottles at a thrift store yesterday.
I quickly Googled on my phone whether they sold silicone covers (yes!) had sippy caps (yes!) and if I should snatch them up at $3 each (hmm).
Several reviews said they leak and then I ended up on another Internet Rabbit Trail and found a bunch of scary reasons to not use Tritan (which is primarily used in Dr. Weil non-glass bottles, but also used in their silicone nipples and sippy caps).
Those bottles stayed on the shelf for the next mama.
Then there was more wavering (about my commitment to LifeFactory) when I stumbled across the ever-so-cute Silikids SiliskinSippy Cup that comes out next month (November 2014) for $12.95.
All good, except for the disclaimer: This product does not prevent breakage. The Siliskin Sippy Cup should be used at the table under adult supervision at all times.
We definitely need something durable!
So I kept searching for glass baby bottle options on the Internet and finally thought I could slip a Baby Ba (an orb like silicone sleeve that supposedly works with any size bottle) over the top of our LifeFactory sleeves…
But then that would add another $20 per bottle. No dice.
Whatever glass baby bottles we end up with (in bulk) need to be affordable!
So then I wondered if I should revisit my first glass baby bottle, the Evenflo, and simply double up on generic silicone bottle sleeves from ebay for more coverage. And just live without sippy caps.
(Meanwhile crossing my fingers that I don’t promote orthodontia issues or smoker’s cheeks in my toddler from using a nipple. Which I may be doing anyway with my not fully resolved Lifefactory’s sippy cap issue.)
Evenflo seems like the most economical option – if we’ll be Gorilla-slamming anymore bottles. (Which we will.)
But what am I thinking? What if she does this anywhere but a vacant house? Broken glass in the nursery? (I think they’d page us and kindly enforce some type of insta-policy about glass baby bottles. And I wouldn’t blame them.)
Not gonna work.
I know, I know, stainless steel is the obvious solution. You’re probably shouting at the screen by now, like duh!? I’m not so far behind you. My husband and I use Klean Kanteens, the only stainless steel water bottles I trust, but I still like the idea of glass for the baby. And our painted Klean Kanteens have eventually peeled, which is not something I want for my baby.
I need to research and think on it a little more. (It’s in the queue, believe me.)
But all these decisions have left me wondering if I’ll figure out and settle on the “perfect” non-plastic baby bottle before our little Muffin is driving herself to school.
Or maybe I should throw in the towel and drive up to the Goodwill and buy back all our plastic 😉
What do you think? Have you tried any of these glass baby bottles or sippy cups? Have you found the “perfect” alternative to plastic? Please share!
Update: July 2016: We’ve been using a Stainless Klean Kanteen “CamelBak” for more than a year now and it is Muffin’s favorite water bottle and the one she asks for and selects over numerous LifeFactory bottles with sippy caps that still get stuck on occasion (but that this mama still prefers).
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After three kids, and our fourth just born, I’d say that Lifefactory bottles are still the best decision ever, not only because we’ve yet to break one but because they are lead free and tempered. I’ve been through the ” no plastic bottles” stage since before my first was born seven years ago. We’ve seen em all, broke them all, except Lifefactory. The canteen ones offer little ones hands no protection from either cold or hot beverages, it’s instant temperature transfer and they hate it. My oldest now either uses recycled glass voss water bottles for his beverages or Lifefactory adult bottles. We also learned with our first to never ever buy jar baby food, pouch food, plastic tray foods, or pretty much anything geared towards toddler eating if it wasnt freshly made by us because of the mold issues and plastic issues. Instead we went to world market and bought their stainless steel appetizers silverware, so tiny it’s perfect for toddlers, and ordered toddler stainless steel food trays and bowls from the Internet. That way if they get tossed to the floor, no chance of them breaking. We switched out using plastic straws for stainless steel straws and glass dharma straws as well and switched out our plastic seran wrap for the “beeswrap”. sunsella makes a really awesome silicone Popsicle gadget for kids. The transitioning your home from plastics to glass and stainless is an expensive and endless journey, and when you add organic vegan food, clothing and blankets, etc on top of it all, especially with a newborn, it’s REALLY expensive. If you can buy something weekly, then that’s a good start. But overall, four kids in and no broken Lifefactory bottles to date.
Wow Cora! It sounds like you’ve had quite the journey yourself! Thanks for sharing. I’d never heard for the “beeswrap” before and I’m excited to check it out now! DrinkMate glass water bottles (12 oz. I think) were recently found at Atlanta area Wal-Marts for $3.95! Wow! I’ve posted an update at the end of the blog above with a picture in case you want to check it out for yourself.
I’m late to this post but we LOVE life factory, not least because they replace the glass bottle insert for just the cost of shipping it! Also can convert to a sippy or even (with no top), a standard (but small) water bottle for whoever in the family needs it. Thanks for the post.
You’re welcome! We still love them too! Just hunted down one of our long-missing bottles at the grandparents over the weekend and felt like I won the lottery 😉
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post! You truly have a gift for writing! 🙂
My baby is only 2 months old but I’m trying to be as prepared as possible for things to come. Thanks for all of your input and entertaining details 😉
Thanks! I’m glad it was both helpful and entertaining 🙂
Larry J. Gidney
What a nice post this is! I liked the information that you share it helped a lot of people.Thanks for shearing this article.