Thursday, 4 February 2010

Born Free Baby Bottles and Training Cups


"Born free, as free as the wind blows
As free as the grass grows
Born free to follow your heart.
Live free and beauty surrounds you
The world still astounds you
Each time you look at a star"

OK, OK, so the song was about lions, not baby's bottles, but every time I see the Born Free logo on Pierre's bottles, I always end up singing it to him and it could apply just as well to babies ! He always has a good little chortle so he obviously doesn't mind anyway !

Pierre is still on the boob juice at 6 months but is quite happy to drink out of a bottle too, as this picture shows.

So what's so special about Born Free bottles ? They did win Silver in the Best Product For Bottle Feeding category at the 2009 Mother & Baby Awards after all ! Well, the biggie is that they are 100% free of potentially-harmful nasties like Bisphenol-A (BPA), Phthalates and PVC. Umm well, aren't all babies' bottles now ? Yep, pretty much - but hats off all the same to Born Free because they did it before it was fashionable ! As they explain on their blog, "At BornFree we are very proud of the fact that we have never-that’s right, NEVER! used harmful toxins like BPA in our Baby Bottles."

OK, so Born Free bottles won't do any harm to baby but will they do him any good ? Well, yes actually, because they have a venting system, designed to reduce colic and middle ear infections. Pierre is a breast-fed baby who is now on mixed feeding at the childminder's, so he's been mainly using the special teats and bottles designed especially for breastfed babies. He was quite happy to drink from a Born Free bottle so, even if the teats look more like normal teats than the special "breastfed babies" ones, their claim of providing "an easy transition from breast to bottle" seems to be well-founded.

What I absolutely love is that they are totally leakproof, even if you shake them like a loony to get the baby cereal to mix in with the milk ! That's reassuring if you need to take them out with you and are worried about spillages in the car or changing bag. It's also handy if you have a baby who frequently likes to accidentally drop their bottle (or possibly throw on purpose, I haven't quite worked out which yet !).


Juliette was feeling left out and wanted to get involved with the testing so I let her try out the sippy cup. She may be 5 next week, but if she's feeling tired or poorly, she still likes to drink from a sippy cup snuggled up on the sofa from time to time. Like the feeding bottles, it passed the no spillage test with flying colours (luckily, because she managed to knock it on the floor in record time). What is really handy is that the handles can be twisted round once the lid is on so you don't have to worry about the spout and the handles not being lined up properly. The lid also went on at the first attempt, unlike many annoying sippy cups where the lid goes on at a slight angle and you have to keep trying to get it totally straight if you don't want it to leak everywhere.

As soon as I gave the cup to Juliette, I warned her not to chew the spout because I've noticed that the soft rubbery ones invariably get chewed within days. Sophie explained to me that it isn't because the girls chew them, it's because they have to suck so hard to get the liquid out that the soft rubber pushes against their teeth and quickly ends up splitting. Oops, all those times I've told Juliette off for chewing them when she wasn't - bad mummy ! Well, Juliette proudly showed me her non-damaged (not at all split, just slightly dented) rubber spout the other day and said "Look Mummy, I didn't break it !". From reading the little information guide that comes with the bottles, this is probably due to the fact that Born Free uses a low level of vacuum, so excessively hard sucking isn't necessary. Not only does this save on wear and tear for the drinking spouts, it also - according to the leaflet - "helps reduce gas, spit up and the risk of middle ear infection".

Something I didn't realise until I started looking around on the website is that all the different parts of the whole drinking range is interchangeable. That's fantastic news for getting baby progressively used to drinking in different ways, and also means that you can instantly replace damaged teats or spouts if necessary. The options are endless. You could use a bottle with a teat and handles, or a training cup with a teat, or a feeding bottle with a spout, with or without handles - just mix and match until you find out what baby is most comfortable with. This system also means you can replace individual elements rather than buying a whole new cup or bottle, so that works out cheaper as well as being kinder on the environment.

star rating : 5/5
for more information : http://www.babybornfree.co.uk/

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