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One of the best things about the childcare industry today is the choices. There seem to be endless options for clothing, food and equipment to make life with a new baby a bit easier. This can, however, be a touch frustrating, with so many options now available.

This is why we’re continuing to compare some of the most popular — and necessary — items on your shopping list when preparing for the arrival of your baby. Next on the list: baby bottles. Baby bottles aren’t just needed for women who are using formula instead of breastfeeding, which is why they’re an essential that every expectant parent should stock up on, so they’re ready to go once the baby arrives.

When it comes to bottles, there are two main options: glass or plastic.

Glass bottles are a more traditional choice. Parents who prefer glass bottles choose them because they don’t contain any chemicals that could potentially transfer into the child’s food. They’re also solid and make it easy to adjust the temperature of the milk or formula contained within. We’ve always loved the bottles with the 2-piece internal vent system, which closely mimics breastfeeding and now they are available in glass too.  However, glass bottles can be heavy to carry and, of course, are breakable.

Plastic bottles, on the other hand, have been more popular in recent years because of convenience. They are also less expensive.  Lighter in weight and not breakable like glass, plastic bottles can be more easily carried around. However, the chemicals used to make plastic, like bisphenol A (BPA), became a cause for concern because of its ability to be absorbed into liquids stored within the bottle. Thankfully, legislation has been put in place to prevent the usage of BPA in the production of bottles and sippy cups today. So you can now rest easy if you choose plastic.

Now, there are also two forms of plastic bottles to consider: plastic, reusable bottles and plastic, reusable bottles with disposable liners. This second type of plastic bottles means you get a fresh liner in the bottle every time you feed. For some parents, this provides an added sense of comfort in knowing their baby’s food isn’t coming into contact with a bottle that has been washed several times. However, it does mean carrying something extra with you.

In terms of cost, plastic bottles are the least expensive, typically followed by plastic bottles with liners and then glass bottles. When choosing the right bottle for your baby, make sure to keep your budget in mind. Most experts recommend having six to eight 4-ounce bottles with nipples in the appropriate sizes and six to eight 8-ounce bottles with nipples as well. However, we suggest you buy less than this number until you are sure which are the right ones for you and your baby.  

Once you choose the right bottle to help you feed your baby, make sure to take the proper steps to keep bottles clean and sanitary for safe daily use. Whether you go with plastic or glass is about your preference, your budget, your comfort and convenience as well as your baby’s, and you may find that you prefer different bottles in different circumstances. You won’t know until you try.

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