Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Best Baby Bottles and the Story of How I Brought them to the UK

OrganicKidz stainless steel baby bottles are the best baby bottles on the UK market – they’re safer & healthier, lightweight yet virtually indestructible and their clever design ensures they will grow up with your child so they will be used daily for years to come. That’s what I call eco-friendly! And, all thanks to a chance encounter.

Ever since I started selling organic baby food through the Ulula website 10 years ago I have had so many mums and dads ask me what are the best baby bottles to complement the super quality Holle baby milks. Now I’ve finally found the answer.

Earlier this Summer I was visiting my sister in Austria – she owns a gorgeous little hotel situated at the end of an old glacial valley. It always feels like a proper holiday when I’m staying there, so thinking about finding the best baby bottles for the website was the last thing on my mind!

It just so happened that some of my fellow guests were from Canada, a lovely couple with a four month old baby girl. And, when I very first met them they were feeding their little one. I was amazed by what I saw. I never knew such a baby bottle existed!

Why Stainless Steel Makes the Best Baby Bottles

The best baby bottles? OrganicKidz baby bottles are made from stainless steel and have many advantages.This little girl was drinking her milk from a stainless steel baby bottle! Naturally, I was fascinated and got chatting with the mum (as I do!) as she let me feed her daughter – well, I couldn’t resist the offer! She told me these OrganicKidz baby bottles were invented by a fellow Canadian mum and they are now a huge hit there.

As you can imagine, as soon as I got the chance I borrowed my sister’s laptop and took a proper look at them. And, what I found was like music to my ears. I’d like to explain why I think these are the best baby bottles around and why I wanted them on the Ulula website.

The Safest and Healthiest Options for Baby Bottles

These baby bottles are the safest and healthiest alternative to both plastic and glass baby bottles.

No Chemical Nasties Leaching Into Your Baby’s Milk

Plastic baby bottles can contain some very dubious chemicals, added to make the plastic more functional or durable. For example, BPA (bisphenol A) is a chemical that is added to plastic in order to make it stronger. BPA has been linked to a number of health concerns including endocrine disruption, some types of cancers and attention deficit disorder. Other chemical nasties include PVCs and Phthalates, also known to be harmful to children’s health – not the kind of thing you want to leach into your baby’s milk, which is exactly what can happen, especially with warm liquids.

This, for me, is especially concerning given newborn and very young babies are using these products day in day out – when so many of their bodily systems are still rapidly developing. These Organickidz are the best baby bottles then because they use food grade steel – steel is an inert metal and does not leach chemicals into your baby’s milk.

By the way, because the steel used is such high quality, just like with top quality cutlery, there is NO tainting of your baby’s milk. Your little one won’t have a metallic taste in their milk.

No Scratching, No Bacterial Growth, No Staining and No Stinks!

These baby bottles are also a better alternative to plastic because, despite repeated daily use, they don’t readily scratch. The multiple micro-scratches that plastic bottles rapidly acquire harbour bacteria. Even glass scratches and chips over a short time and will also harber such bactieria. Unlike plastic and glass, steel is naturally resistant to bacteria. As a result these baby bottles don’t stain or retain odours, even after prolonged use. You can see why this chance encounter got me so excited. But that’s just the beginning.

The Best Baby Bottles are Designed to Last

Being made of steel these baby bottles are, of course, virtually indestructible and so last a very, very long time. While the little baby I was lucky enough to cuddle and feed in Austria wasn’t old enough to be mistreating her bottle, take a look at the mischievous monkey in this short clip…

Can you imagine glass surviving such treatment? Even plastic bottles get brittle after just a few months of constantly heating to sterilise them – not steel! They certainly are the most robust solution.

And, while these baby bottles are made of the highest quality steel and are so robust don’t expect them to be heavy – just the opposite. Unlike glass, these bottles are also incredibly lightweight. I couldn’t believe how light they are when our little Canadian’s bottlefeed came to an end.

A Bottle Design that Grows with Your Baby – From Newborn, to Toddler to School Child

But what makes these baby bottles so special for me is the fantastic thought that’s been put into their design. These bottles are designed to last your growing child for years, by growing up with them!

These ‘Baby Grows Up’ bottles come in kits. Your baby’s bottle will convert to a trainer cup (sippy cup as the Canadians call them) and will later convert to an ordinary water bottle for your child – the perfect size for the lunchbox when off to the childminder or nursery. That’s why we call them the 3 in 1 baby bottles.

So, that’s how through a chance encounter while on holiday I found the best baby bottle. The safest, healthiest and virtually indestructible bottle that will last your growing child for years – now that’s what I call eco-friendly!

And, that’s why, as soon as I saw these bottles in action in Austria, I knew we had to stock them on the Ulula website. They are the perfect complement to the Holle baby milk range.

‘Just Like Mum’ Teats

What makes these the best baby bottles doesn’t stop there! What happens when you let a mum design a baby bottle? She insists on inventing a teat that simulates what happens when a baby suckles on the mother’s breast.

This unique ‘just like mum’ design and ultra soft and flexible silicone allows your baby’s mouth and tongue to move in a natural, wave-like motion to contort the teat into the best position to form a vacuum – this leads to more comfortable feeding for your baby.

The integrated venting redirects air away from the liquid and allows your baby to drink continuously without taking in air bubbles which reduces the chances of gas or colic.

OrganicKidz unique teat design perfectly complement their baby bottles

Every ‘Baby Grows Up’ 3 in 1 baby bottle set comes with three such teats – one slow flow, one medium and one fast flow. So again, all you’ll need to last your baby as he or she gets older. Then they’ll move onto the included silicone trainer spout and you’ll attach the included trainer handle to convert the baby bottle to a trainer cup. What a brilliant idea!

The Real Test – One Mum’s Findings

As I sat with my sister’s laptop I’d pretty much made up my mind to stock these unique baby bottles on the Ulula website. This amazing coincidence of meeting this young Canadian couple with their baby provided me with the answer I’ve been struggling with for the last ten years to the perennial question – what are the best baby bottles?

As we were chatting I thought to myself, I have an opportunity here to ask a totally independent buyer exactly what she thought of her baby’s bottles. So, that’s what I did (thanks to Clara from Ottowa):

“I’ve used the OrganicKidz  Baby Grows Up bottles with my little girl since the day she was born and I’ve only ever been impressed. The bottles look stylish, they’re really hard wearing and, most of all, I know our precious baby is safe. I love that the bottles will grow up and adapt with my daughter and will last her for years as a water bottle later. I’ve only bought two bottles for my baby – that’s all I’ll ever need!”

Bringing the Best Baby Bottles to the UK

You won’t be surprised to hear that as soon as I got back from visiting my sister I got in touch with the good people over at OrganicKidz. The rest, as they say, is history!

I am really pleased to be able to not only now recommend what I genuinely believe is the best baby bottle range available on the market, but to actually sell the very same bottles. The OrganicKidz stainless steel baby bottles are now exclusively available in the UK through Ulula.

So, what exactly does the OrganicKidz 3 in 1 baby bottle set come with?

Each of these super sets includes:

  • 1 x 270ml stainless steel bottle (available in blue or lavender)
  • 1 x stainless steel snug fitting protective lid
  • 3 x Accordion Flex peristaltic teats (slow, medium and fast flow for each stage of bottle feeding)
  • 1 x easy to grab trainer handle
  • 1 x soft, non-spill silicone trainer spout
  • 1 x leak-proof cap to turn the bottle into a lunchbox friendly water bottle.

All in all the OrganicKidz 270ml 3 in 1 baby bottle set costs £28.42 (inc. VAT) and is available for immediate UK delivery.

And That’s Not All..

I don’t have the space here to tell you everything about these baby bottles. I haven’t even mentioned the separate THERMAL BABY BOTTLES that will keep your baby’s drink warm or cold for 6+ hours. Brilliant for taking a prepared bottle of formula along when you’re out with baby!

Visit the new BABY BOTTLE AND TEATS page on the Ulula website for more information about the bottle range and spare teats. And, while you’re there take a look at the most environmentally friendly BABY BOTTLE STORAGE RACK you’ll ever see.

So, not only have I found the best baby bottles around – I’ve brought them to the UK for you. These safe, hygienic and robust bottles are the longlasting, eco-friendly complement to your Holle organic baby milks and formula. And, you know that you just need the one bottle to grow with your baby – no separate trainer cups to buy and your child has a gorgeous water bottle for later. Isn’t that amazing!

Vegetarian Baby Milk & Infant Formula

Holle Organic Goats Milk Baby Milk and Infant Follow On Formula 2 are the only organic vegetarian baby milks currently available and approved on the UK market.

Vegetarian baby milk and vegetarian infant formula are frequent topics in my email inbox. Many parents who would like to bring up their baby to be vegetarian are concerned that they cannot feed their newborn or older baby a baby milk or infant formula that is suitable. This isn’t a new topic here on the Ulula blog (I wrote about vegetarian baby milks a few years ago now) and I’m sure it won’t be the last time we address this issue. This article, however, provides an important update.

Holle goats milk is the only organic vegetarian baby milk on the UK marketHolle goats milk is the only organic vegetarian baby milk on the UK market

Vegetarian Baby Milks – the Journey to Wider Approval

In 2012 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published an opinion on the suitability of goats’ milk as a nutrient source for baby milks and follow-on formula. This opinion drew on all relevant and available scientific evidence and examined not just compositional data but considered studies relating to health and development outcomes of babies fed goats milk based formula.

The panel concluded that babies fed on goats milk formula did not show statistically significant or clinically relevant differences on major health and development ‘markers’ compared to babies fed on cows milk formula. The panel further concluded that protein from goat milk can be suitable as a protein source for baby milks and infant formula, provided the final product complies with the compositional criteria laid down in the exisiting strict regulations governing the manufacture of baby milk.

As a result, the EU’s infant formula and follow-on formula directive was amended in February 2014 permitting goats milk based baby milks (suitable from birth) and follow-on formula (suitable from 6 months) to be sold on the UK market. Previously, manufacturers such as Holle were only permitted to produce ‘goats milk nutrition’ labelled as suitable from 12 months old and onwards. Other countries permitted the sale of such milks as suitable from 6 months onwards – much to the joy of many vegetarian parents who wanted to buy vegetarian baby milk and infant formula.

Vegetarian Baby Milk – Now Available in the UK

Holle’s goats milk products have always been suitable for vegetarians. As I wrote previously, while Holle have and continue to make every effort to ensure their cows milk based baby milks are suitable for vegetarians they cannot always guarantee the source of the whey that they use in the high organic standard they demand. Consequently, they do not claim their cows based infant formula are suitable for raising vegetarian babies.

With their goats milks on the other hand, for technical nutritional reasons their ingredients lists are a little different and the same issue does not occur. Hence, both the Holle Organic Goats Milk Baby Milk and Goats Milk Infant Follow On Formula 2 are suitable for vegetarians. We have been in touch with the company nutritionists and quality control departments and have been assured that both of the Holle baby milks are suitable for vegetarians and, of course, meet all the strictly regulated compositional criteria for baby milks and infant formula as laid out in the relevant EU regulations.

I know, for many parents, the availablilty of properly regulated and manufactured vegetarian baby milk is an enormous relief. And, as the major Holle supplier here in the UK I am both pleased and proud to stock both the Holle Organic Goats Milk Baby Milk and Goats Milk Infant Follow On Formula 2.

Goats Milk Based Baby Milks and Dairy Allergies

The EFSA paper referred to above looked at the scientific evidence for the suitability of goats milk as a baby milk for babies with no other health issues, that is ‘normal, healthy babies’. Subsequently the regulations were amended to allow the manufacturer of goats based baby milks and formula from birth onwards (and hence Holle’s vegetarian baby milk).

The opinion paper also looked at the suitabilty of goats based baby milks for the 1.9% to 4.9% of babies who the World Health Organisation estimate as having a cows milk protein allergy. As you can imagine, this is a complex issue for an article about vegetarian baby milk and infant formula to go into any detail here. It is important though that I tell any parent who wishes to feed their little one a vegetarian baby milk based on goats milk that, if their baby has a known allergic reaction to cows milk, then they should seek medical advice before starting to feed any goats milk based formula. I can’t do better to highlight this issue than to quote directly from Holle:

The composition of Holle Organic Goat Milk Follow-On Formula 2 corresponds to a follow-on milk which is suitable for infants from 6 months of age who are already taking one solid meal a day. Should a child have an allergic reaction to cow’s milk, he or she may be able to tolerate goat’s milk as an alternative. Goat’s milk can, however, also cause allergies since some of the protein structures contained in cow’s and goat’s milk are the same. Key here is which protein the child has an allergic reaction to. This should, in all cases, be diagnosed by a doctor in order to clarify whether Holle Organic Infant Goat Milk Follow-On Formula 2 is a suitable alternative for your child.

Similar advice applies for goats based baby milk from birth. For the reasons outlined above the UK’s Food Standard Agency (FSA) in March 2014 issued advice that “goats’ milk infant formula and follow-on formula is not suitable for infants with a cows’ milk protein allergy, unless directed by a healthcare professional.”

I should emphasise to parents wanting a vegetarian baby milk that, unless your baby has such a cows milk protein allergy, you can feed him or her the Holle goats based baby milk or infant formula with peace of mind – it meets all evidence based EU regulations and is the only approved organic vegetarian baby milk on the market.

Best Quality Vegetarian Baby Milk

Not only are the Holle goats based baby milk and infant formula certified organic, they use milk from biodynamically raised goats on farms and smallholdings in the German Black Forest region. So, not only can your little one have vegetarian baby milk but you can rest assured that it is produced from only the best quality goats milk. Biodynamic agiculture is considered the highest form of organic and there are stringent regulations that govern both growing and production methods. The starting point is a healthy soil that is full of vitality. Biodynamic farmers use compost, hand made herbal and mineral preparations as well as green manures to strengthen and enrich their soil. Plants grown in such a healthy environment thrive, just as nature intended. They are able to take up the maximum amount of nutrients which, in turn, are passed on to your baby. Not only that, mums and dads consistently tell me their baby’s milk taste delicious – “just like milk should taste”.

The use of chemical and synthetic pesticides and fertilisers and GM technology are strictly prohibited in biodynamic agriculture. Biodynamic agriculture generally is proven to be extremely environmentally friendly and the Holle vegetarian baby milks are, as I mentioned, derived from goats raised in the Black Forest and so do not have all the high associated negative environmental footprint impacts that lesser quality milks flown in from across the other side of the world might have.

To summarise, mums and dads looking for a vegetarian baby milk for their little one now no longer need to compromise their ethics. Holle currently produce the only organic vegetarian baby milks available and approved on the UK market. Goats based baby milks are approved for all babies except for those with a medically diagnosed cows milk allergy. So, if you are rasing a vegetarian baby who has such allergies then there are still some difficulties – I said at the beginning that this won’t be the last time I’ll need to address this issue. If you would like any further information please feel free to get in touch and I’ll gladly answer any questions.