May 21, 2008

Solution to the Plastic Baby Bottle Problem

I haven't been completely oblivious to the whole polycarbonate BPA plastic baby bottle controversy, but since I don't use bottles I haven't been losing sleep over it, either. My mother, however, is a think-outside-the-box problem-solver, and she was ON IT.

Okay, prepare for genius: if you were using Avent bottles (the bottles have bisphenol-A but the nipples are silicone and apparently still fine to use), you can use a glass SMUCKERS JAM OR JELLY JAR as a baby bottle. I know, right??


It's the 10-ounce and 12-ounce glass jars that work, NOT the 18-ounce jars. Take out the jam (or KICK it out!), remove the label, wash the jar and lid (keep the lids), put baby formula in the jar, and put the Avent nipple/collar on the top! (My mom says that when you screw on the top, it'll kind of stop and then you need to give it another little turn---almost like you're locking it on.) OMG, glass baby bottle! Safe! Except for possible shards of glass if you drop it! But CHEMICALLY safe!

Now, my mother would like you to know that this was NOT tested on animals. No, we use only real human babies for our experiments. My mother obtained access to a baby who was accustomed to Avent baby bottles, and we arranged to secretly replace the baby's usual bottle with Folger's crystals my mother's glass-jam-jar system instead. The baby was suspicious, but unable to tell the difference.


For ounce markings, pour a measured amount of water into the jar and use a permanent marker to mark the outside of the jar at the water line. We haven't done any dishwasher testing, but in hand-washing experiments the marker was only just starting to wear off after two days' constant use (we had only one jam jar at the time). For those of you who do not enjoy math: 2 tablespoons is 1 ounce, 1/4 cup is 2 ounces, 1/2 cup is 4 ounces, 1 cup is 8 ounces. You could also fill a plastic baby bottle to each ounce marking, pour that water into the glass bottle, and mark it that way.

The jam sells for, like, $2 per jar, so this is economical, too! Dishwasher safe! BPA-free! Pure, all-natural, organically-grown glass! Reduces worrying by 95%!

Now, what are you going to do with all that JAM? Empty it into plastic containers, probably. Also, the Smucker's site has recipes! Jam meatloaf with jammed potatoes tonight, dear!

(And do I need to point out to you smart people that you should check with your pediatrician before implementing a new system? People haven't used glass jars in so long, who KNOWS what we should be aware of.)

65 comments:

Linda said...

That is truly ingenious. Bravo!

Emily said...

Why isn't your mom writing a blog? TELL ME THIS! The woman appears to be INDISPENSABLE! The Internets NEED TO KNOW!

Nowheymama said...

Smucker's needs to pay your mom a consultant fee, for sure.

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

This is genius. Pure genius! I am so going to be trying this.

Bird said...

I just went out and bought the cheapie evenflows that are BPA free--they're actually a LOT cheaper than the original ones I bought. This is a great idea for people who were using avent, though. I figure I'm probably having at least one more kid, so it's a good investment.

Does anyone know what silicone is? Apparently it's not plastic, but what is it?

Eva said...

This really is brilliant. Now we know where you get your brilliance from.

Linda said...

Are they not returning the Avent bottles in the US?

I just returned all my Avent bottles to the Toys'R'youknowwho in Canada and they gave us store credit for their value. I got $112

Although it is BANNED in Canada, not sure about the US...

Swistle said...

Bird- Why, YES! More precisely called polymerized siloxanes or polysiloxanes, silicones are mixed inorganic-organic polymers with the chemical formula [R2SiO]n, where R = organic groups such as methyl, ethyl, and phenyl. These materials consist of an inorganic silicon-oxygen backbone (…-Si-O-Si-O-Si-O-…) with organic side groups attached to the silicon atoms, which are four-coordinate. Does that clear things up? (I cheated, obv: silicone rubber on Wikipedia.)

Swistle said...

Linda- I don't think there's been a recall, or at least they're still selling Avent bottles as they are, with the BPA. But the Avent nipples are apparently BPA-free and not a problem, so this is a workaround for babies who are accustomed to them and don't want to switch to a new system.

amber said...

I swear, you think of everything! (and your mother! wickedly clever!) Great idea, I'm telling my sister - she's a new mom. You're a fountain of knowledge!

Jennifer said...

WHOSE BABY IS THAT!? Adorable!

Yet another post bookmarked for my as-yet-to-be-conceived children!

You and your mom are terribly wise!

Clarabella said...

I "believe" (please don't berate me for not checking; it's been a long day) that the FDA recently said it is not concerned enough with BPA to recall anything OR to even insist it (BPA) is harmful for babies/toddlers/adults. I think I saw that on the news. Or it could be the result of an over-stressed mind. If it IS true, though, would be why nothing's been recalled or banned here in the US.

Swistle said...

Clarabella- Would Swistle berate? Certainly not! Especially because Swistle has almost no idea what's going on with the BPA thing, and in fact had to look up what the three initials were. Also, why is Swistle referring to herself in the third person? She will stop now.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

Whaa? This is is an incredible hack! Awesome!

Marie Green said...

Ha, ha! So funny, and useful!

I've been looking into getting aluminum (are they aluminum??? or some other kind of "metal"?) sippy cups... know anything about that? (I don't think giving a TODDLER a glass version would be a good idea, but I'm open to ideas...)

Swistle said...

Marie- I've not yet panicked about BPA, so I'm still using the plastic sippee cups I bought for Rob when Rob was a baby. Metal sounds cool, though! They could do some serious high-chair-tray noises with metal!

Stimey said...

Dude. You are so smart. I wish I had a baby to use this with.

Annie said...

Your mom aka Carol Burnett is a wizard and a genius. What an awesome, awesome idea!

Melissa H said...

love ya, swistle. This is GREAT and now I am totally regretting getting rid of all the avent stuff i had (not that I need it currently but one never knows....)

drowninginlaundry said...

In Canada they are giving people their money back for all the BPA plastics. I scored myself 90$ returning the Dictators bottles last week at Toys R Us. This week I have a stack of Nuby cups to go back as well to Sears.

BPA hasn't actually been banned in Canada yet, they are calling for a ban but it exists in so much more then baby bottles (the shiny lining of tin cans, lining of FORMULA containers, some brands of plastic wrap) that banning it all-together right now is too hard and would leave us with nothing to purchase in the stores.

Here is a good article from GreenMom (a Canadian group) about BPA that came out a while ago:

http://www.greenmom.ca/glife/0408BPA.html

The interesting part? I purchased Avent bottles specifically because they were made in England, that way I could dodge some sketchy Chinese made products - and guess what? Avent bottles in many studies have shown to be the highest leaching bottle of BPA's. Go figure.

Slice of Paradise said...

So who can I ship my $200 worth of Avent bottles to?! I'll split the $ with you! LOL

On the other hand - $40 worth of jam & I have a whole new set of bottles for Baby New Year! WooHoo!

MH said...

Oh, oh AND, the plastic BPA FREE Evenflo bottles (2.99 for a 3 pack) fit with all the parts of those Dr. Brown bottles that have to be thrown out. Just throw out the actual bottle but keep the funnel, rubber thing, nipple, and screw on top. To buy ONE new Dr. Brown BPA free bottle is 4.99- savings- approx. $4 per bottle!

Alice said...

this is SO CLEVER. practically makes me wish i had a baby!! :-)

Natalie said...

Your mother is a genious. That, I'm sure you already new! I will pass her "discovery" on!

I read, somewhere, that as of 2009 Wal-Mart will no longer sell baby products with BPA. I'm willing to bet that the US will follow Canada soon. Nalgene is putting out a BPA-free sippy cup and has a new BPA-Free line coming out. Dr. Browns either has or will have a BPA-Free line soon and so on and so forth.

BPA-Free days are on the horizon. Then, something else will be announced as possibly dangerous and "green" companies will make money on promoting another safe "alternative." It's a vicious cycle and so hard to keep up with it all. Where should we draw the line?

Anonymous said...

If you are a person who is concerned about BPA, you are unlikely to be much comforted by aluminum.

Not that I personally know anything about the former or really believe in the latter.

Kristi said...

What a smarty smartypants!

Bunny said...

Absolutely ingenious! (Isn't there some sort of redneck joke in here somewhere?)

the new girl said...

BRILL.

Dr. Maureen said...

Your mom is a genius, and here's my suggestion since you already explained what Silicone is: Use an *industrial* Sharpie to make the volume marks. Those things don't come off EVER. But don't get any on your skin, because you'll just have to wait until you shed that layer of skin.

Swistle's mom said...

Slice of Paradise, I recommend trying one jam jar first before investing in $40 worth of jam! I find the fit absolutely fine, but as Swistle mentioned, it does go on slightly differently than with the Avent bottle, with a little "bump" at mid-turn rather than one smooth turn. Make sure that doesn't bother you before going all out.

By the way, one thing I checked was the flow out of the nipple, comparing the original Avent bottle with the jam jar. I uesd warm water, holding them upside-down and watching how long the water squirted before dripping. They seem identical. Also, the baby herself sucks with the same rhythm. She clearly didn't notice any difference at all.

kristine said...

Genius! We've continued using the Medela bottles that go with my breast pump, even though we're beyong breastmilk at this point. but this is still good info to have.

fairydogmother said...

I don't even have kids, and the genius of this still blows me away!

Do let us know how the jam meatloaf with the jammed potatoes went over if anyone jumped on that idea as well!

skiplovey said...

Brilliant! Where were you six months ago though? Keep up the good work.

SieraKiera said...

Ingenious your mother is! Here in Canada BPA is a big issue and Health Canada has said that BPA is harmful etc. Retailers have voluntarily recalled any BPA products off their shelves and most will take back BPA products without a receipt Advent included. (Which is suppose to be the best bottle for switching from breast to bottle. Not that is an issue for me as my guy is so finicky when it comes to bottles!) Here is a good blog resource for BPA products. http://zrecs.blogspot.com/2008/02/z-report-on-bpa-in-infant-care-products.html or google "Z report BPA" It's the first hit.

Jennifer said...

So SMART!

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

Wow, I'm in awe of the smartness of this idea.

I sent this via email to a co-worker of mine (hope you don't mind, Swistle!). He and his wife just had their second baby in April, and he was talking about how they didn't know what to do with all their Avent baby bottles (because their other son is just going to be two this July, so they have lots of baby bottles they planned to re-use with #2!).

They bought another brand that is BPA free (Medela? I think?). But when I mentioned your idea he seemed interested because he said the bottles he's using keep leaking and aren't so great (and they are a softer plastic since they're not the so-called "harmful" plastic, so they are really flimsy!).

I don't know for sure that they'll try this, but I figured I should pass along the ingenious idea since I know they had a ton of Avent bottles at one point! LOL.

Reading these comments however, I'm going to tell him he should find out if he can return his Avent bottles and get some money back. We're in Toronto, and I don't think he knew that was a possiblity. I'll pass that idea to him as well!

EMama said...

That baby is so beautiful.

Jeninacide said...

OMG that is freaking awesome. I have TONS of stupid Avent bottles and nipples sitting around right now...

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Your mom rocks!

When I was small, we had glass bottles. That is, until I chucked them across the room to hear them shatter....

Eleanor Q. said...

This was too funny! I love home science!

Erin said...

I totally read that one paragraph in a whispered tone, just like the commercial. Hilarious.

desperate housewife said...

My solution to this problem has thus far been to put my hands over my ears and hum "la la la." But I figure it's not a huge deal now since Addy's almost phased out sippy cups, and Eli refuses to drink out of pretty much ANYTHING other than Nature's Perfect Nipple. However, I WILL keep this in mind when at some mystical point in the future I find myself offering him cups of milk on a regular basis.

Andy said...

Do we know if the jars work with Avent pumps too?? While I used only Avent with DD #1, I've never pumped yet for DD #2 (been way too lazy) but will have to soon, and I just can't afford to go out and get a new pump.

Swistle said...

Andy- That we don't know. And our test baby's parents don't use one, so we don't have test equipment to try it out on.

Andy said...

I'll have to test it out and report back. Thanks for an awesome idea though!

Garifalos said...

That's a great idea. I'm a bad mother and I'm still feeding him out of Avent bottles, most of which have already been used by two other kids. I did buy new nipples though.

samanha jo campen said...

So I just spent a bajillion dollars on the Born Free bottles when I could have stylish glass jelly jars?

*clenches fist in the air*

You and your mom = deadly combo of genius.

sandyshoes said...

Not aluminum... stainless steel.

I think. Hard to keep track of the multiple and overlapping hazards.


Great idea, gorgeous baby!

Harmony said...

Awesome!! Thanks :)

Katrina said...

Brilliant! Gonna pass this tip on to my paranoid, er, concerned friends.

Deb said...

LMAO!! That is brilliant.

Kristin said...

great idea, thanks!

Sadiebug said...

That is great! If it doesn't leak, that will be better than our original Avent bottles. How did you come up with this? --Sadie's Mom

Swistle said...

Sadiebug- My mom is ALWAYS coming up with stuff like this. She's good at (1) spatial relations and (2) "outside the box"-type thinking. I am good at (3) neither of those things.

Anonymous said...

Be aware of negative pressure****
DO NOT USE JARS AS BOTTLES
it can cause irreversible damage to your baby's ears.

Swistle said...

Good point, Anonymous! Be sure to check with your pediatrician before switching to glass, just in case there are issues we aren't familiar with: plastic bottles have been the norm for so long, there might be problems with glass we're no longer aware of. It seems like a hard plastic bottle and a glass bottle would be similar, issue-wise, but I don't use any bottles at all so what do I know?

DecemberMama76 said...

I hate to agree with the anonymous posters, but it's true, by promoting the use of a jar as a baby bottle you are putting hundreds of baby's at risk for serious harm in the form of irreparable ear damage and it's not something to scoff at! I really hoe you aren't continuing the use of this "product," for your sons sake.

DecemberMama76 said...

Just to clarify it has nothing to do with it being glass/hard plastic, it has to do with the shape of a jar, speaking of which, have you ever heard of the glass jar breast pump? all it is is a jar, when placed ver your breast it created "negative pressure" and draws milk from your breast. The glass jars create a heavy suction when emptied, they are not designed to be used as baby bottles (glass baby bottles usually have a notch or two to help release pressure when emptied). I remember when I was a kid I (finally) got my hands on one of those glass coke bottle from the gas station, I suck it down so fast it sucked my tongue right into the bottle and boy did it hurt! You see, whe a baby suck s the breastmilk/f out of the bottle they suck deeply and continuously with the nipple of the bottle deep in their mouthes, the pressure grow and grows and creates a suction in the jaws causing the ears to "pop."
I really hope you get the jist of what I'm saying, I know it seems like a really awesome idea, but keep in mind what I have written.
-jyl

Swistle said...

DecMama76- As I said, people should check with their pediatricians. Thank you for your concern about my son's health, but I don't use bottles at all---glass OR plastic.

Samsonite1979 said...

I just want to let all of you know that Babies R Us is giving merchandise credits for bottles containing BPA. Full Credits!!! In the USA! I live in the suburbs of Chicago and was lucky enough to hear about it through one of my "mommy" groups. I returned all of my Dr Brown's bottles and a few Avent bottles for a full refund (in store credit form, of course). No reciept was necessary, I just had to have all components to make a complete bottle. So, gather your ba-bas and head to BRU!!

Samsonite1979 said...

OOPS! Sorry for the receipt typo.

anne said...

What a fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing it!

alycat said...

yup, great idea! I have been taking advantage of this idea and using the glass bottles for approx FIVE months now! It was my mom who "discovered" this idea as well, but she let me know that it wasn't her idea, in fact it has been all over the web for many months.... but don't tell your mom :) I am sure she is proud to claim the idea as her own! Just Google "Avent Smuckers" ..... My mom was concerned about the chemicals and stumbled upon it.... are you sure she didn't do the same? (not that it matters, really) Keep spreading the good word for the babes!! :)

Swistle said...

Alycat- Yes, I think I won't point out to my mom that she wasn't the first one to think of it. It's a buzz-kill---and, as you point out, an unnecessary buzz-kill.

Emmy said...

Be aware of negative pressure
DO NOT USE JARS AS BOTTLES
it can cause irreversible damage to your baby's ears.