It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Gotta get an Evenflo

Baby Lily is the sweetest little thing. Enormous black-brown eyes and a thck shock of dark, dark brown hair and a calm, observing disposition. She’s not walking yet, so she’s pretty easy to corral.

Her parents are lovely, too. Engaging and interested, and oh, so eco-friendly. Which suits me just fine.

Lily wears cloth diapers. This is not a problem. My son was in cloth. Not the fancy-schmancy easy-as-you-please pocket diapers with velcro closures that Lily sports, but the dirt-cheap big white flannel squares. Which I folded and secured with real, live diaper pins. So, pocket diapers? Even if they have velcro closures (I prefer snaps)? Nooooo, problem.

Lily’s parents — bless their hearts! — also provide flushable diaper liners, which make cleaning up solids soooooooo much easier. I love those things! (I love those things so well I bought some for Nissa, who’s also in cloth diapers (also pocket, but with snaps, yay).)

They provide organic milk in glass bottles. I like that.

They love that I buy organic produce. (Though the issue for me is not potential bad stuff in normally-farmed food, but that this way I’m buying local — but they’d like that, too!) They love that I make my own sugar-free applesauce, various kinds of bread, and sometimes even yoghurt.

In short, we get on like a house a-fire. (Which is a very weird expression.) A happy little bunch of eco-geeks are we.

Except for one teeeeny thing. This:

I really do not like this thing. I did at first. I mean, just look at it! Isn’t it pretty? I was not deceived by its shape, mind you. That thing only looks like a breast to someone who has a) no idea of the mechanics of breast-feeding and b) takes their idea of the female form from the silicone-filled jobbies in People. It’s supposed to make newbie parents think they’re giving their baby something almost like a breast, (assuming your breasts are the perfect spheres of a manga girl) but as any lactation consultant could tell you, a real, human nipple looks nothing like that, not once it’s in the mouth of a real, human baby.

But still, it sure looks nice, all those sleek curves. It feels nice, too, all soft and grippy. It practically adheres to your hand. A baby is not going to drop this thing by accident. This will not preclude them merrily flinging it across the room, but it’s not going to slip.

And to tactile me, it is a delight. I love the feel of the thing. It feels almost like it has a nap (for all you non-sewers out there: nap is what gives velvet its soft feel.) I love the look of it, I love the feel of it.

You hear the ‘but’ coming, don’t you? Now, I’m sure there are legions of people out there who use this system and love it, and to all you people, I saw God luv ya, but as for me?

This thing drives me NUTS.

You fill it from the bottom, see, which right there seems counter-intuitive, given that the top has a hole in it. But I know, there’ve been bottom-filled bottles out there for years, and there are all sorts of creative ways around that obvious design flaw.

For these bottles, it’s the cover. Snug the cover on, and it encloses and closes the nipple, so, no leaking. Just like in the picture up there.

Now, I don’t know if it’s the polycarbonate-free and bisphenol-A free P-Flex (a modified TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer)), or the equally bad-stuff free polypropylene copolymer, but the fact is, it grips like crazy.

You don’t ‘slip’ the cover on, you ‘wrangle it down’, and when you think it’s all the way down? It isn’t. Even if, like me, you shove it till you’re sure it’s down, and then give it another mightly shove or two, just to be sure. So when you slide man-handle the cover off — which is not easy, given how hard you just wedged that baby on there — the quarter cup of milk that has poured out the top while you’ve poured it in the bottom? Sloshes all down your front.

I’ve had more milk spattered across my chest this past month. It’s like those early weeks of breast-feeding all over again! Only just with the damp, sour milk shirt part and none of the fun bits.

If you luck out and manage to get the nipple far enough into the cover to seal the hole at the tip, then odds are good that, when you put it upright again, you won’t have screwed the bottom on properly, and you’ll get a half-cup of milk all down yourself. Again with the damp, sour-milk shirts.

I’m not sure why that happens. It’s probably not the fault of the bottle. It’s probably just me, though really, I’ve been screwing things all my life and never had this much trouble with it.

Wait. That didn’t come out right.

I’m not normally coordination-challenged, is what I’m saying, so, while willing to admit it could well be me being inattentive or something, it does also strike me that it shouldn’t really take that much attention to screw the bottom onto a bottle. Because, really. You’re filling a bottle for a hungry baby, who just might — it’s been known to happen! — just might be screaming their starving lungs out. It’s a tad distracting.

(Not that little Lily does that, mind you. She’s not a huge food-driven baby. She may get there when she gets upright and is burning more calories, but right now she’s pretty mellow about this whole ‘sustenance’ thing.)

But lots of babies do, is what I’m saying, and the last thing you need is a bottle that requires careful attention. You want something you can sploosh the milk into, pop the nipple on and plug into the baby, quick and easy.

And this system? For all its undeniably appealing design, both for the eyes and the touch, despite its lack of multi-syllabic Bad Things and the presence of lots of equally-syllabic Good Things, is not quick and it is not easy.

Appearance: A+
Feel: A+
Functionality: C-

Lovely, simple, easy glass Evenflos are calling…

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February 11, 2010 - Posted by | health and safety, Peeve me | , , , ,

9 Comments »

  1. I use this system, and it does take some getting used to. I find that twisting the bottle as your putting it in the cover helps a lot. And I agree, the bottom does not screw on easily as one might hope. I’ve lost a lot of milk to the bottom falling off when the bottle tips over. Now, I do a visual check of each bottle before I put it in my daughter’s daycare bag. I have to take the bottles pre-filled, so my daycare providers have been spared the joy of trying to fill them.

    I found it to be worth it, though. When I had to go back to work, my daughter was only 12 weeks (I’m in the U.S., obviously) and she’d gag on every other kind of nipple we tried.

    Happily for me, little Lily will blithely slurp on anything you pop into her mouth, so I’m not restricted to this one system. And really, it’s not that huge of an inconvenience — I was exaggerating a tad for the satisfaction of venting a small aggravation. But still, it is more awkward than other bottles I’ve used, and because (unlike you!) I have no motivation to get used to it, I’ll stil be purchasing different bottles. (I have some cheapo plastic ones, but I respect her parents’ scruples enough that I’ll invest in two or three glass ones with the virtuous nipples. 🙂 )

    Until I buy those glass bottles, though, I’ll be trying out your suggestions. And who knows… if I’m slow enough getting the glass ones, maybe you’ll have converted me before I get around to it!

    Comment by Melinda | February 11, 2010 | Reply

  2. These intrigue me as a former LLL leader (in the US). We often found that bottles/nipples that looked like breasts before latch-on were completely ineffective for breastfeeding pairs (mom-baby). Of course, in Canada, mom going back to work at a year, I’m sure Lily could take milk from anything (sippy cup, hose, keg…). It’s those early bottlefeedings that are so important to get right.

    I understand the nap thing, too.

    Most of the children I care for come with bottles, but generally have transitioned to cups within the first three to six months, so yes, you’re quite right. Lily was breast-feeding exclusively until 10 months, and the nipple form is just not an issue at that late date.

    I used to teach prenatal classes. I learned to be gentle when explaining what happens to the nipple in baby’s mouth: some women found it utterly unnerving. 😀

    Comment by Bridgett | February 11, 2010 | Reply

  3. Well. This post makes me happy my youngest hated Adiri. He still prefers his bottles to look/feel completely different than his momma. 🙂

    In fact, the Adiri bottle looks nothing like the human breast and nipple — not once it’s in use for breastfeeding, anyway! The nipple, one in baby’s mouth, looks much more like this, as the suction elongates it, and the baby’s tongue presses it against the roof of the mouth.

    Oops, sorry. That was the teacher in me, getting out of control. Yes, I’d say it was just as well he didn’t like it. This system is just much more finicky than it need be!

    Comment by Alicia @bethsix | February 11, 2010 | Reply

  4. I enjoyed this post very much, but………..I’ve been dying to know what happened with the parents, you know the parents that hid the pregnancy, didn’t sign the contract, refused to pay with post-dated checks………Please tell me that you told them to hit the road. 🙂

    Not yet. I’m interviewing, though. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I find someone nice, who’s looking for full-time care, and wants to start at the right time!

    Comment by chantelle | February 11, 2010 | Reply

  5. Yeah, there’s a reason Adiri closed up shop: http://baby411.typepad.com/babybargains/2009/10/bottle-maker-adiri-calls-it-quits.html

    Comment by Nicole | February 11, 2010 | Reply

  6. First of all, I’m not at all familiar with that type of bottle, but I’m just wondering if it would be possible to put it in a larger container/bowl and just hold it down so the nipple is squished shut and fill it that way. I suppose you’d run into a problem trying to screw the bottom back on then while still holding it down enough… unless the weight of it filled would help keep it down… You know, put in into a bowl & hold it firmly down (& squashed shut) with your left hand, pour in milk w. right (still holding it down firmly), then (while STILL holding it down firmly, screw the bottom on with your right hand, then flip it rightside-up for immediate use?

    Goodness. I suppose I *could* do all that… but I don’t see how all that fiddling about could be more convenient. Well, I wouldn’t risk drizzling milk all over, of course. Any that escaped would land in the bowl. Yes, there is that.

    Comment by Ms. Huis Herself | February 12, 2010 | Reply

  7. I was going to say the same as Ms HH. I wouldn’t want to know about awkward covers – if some milk drips out into the bowl or glass, it’s likely to be less than what’s spilt and not nearly so annoying.

    At that age, I’d move a baby straight on to a sippy cup, anyway, except for a night-time drink and possibly one on waking.

    I agree. She’s not terrific with the bottle, anyway. She takes a few sucks, turns away, takes one slurp, turns away. ‘Tis a tad tedious, frankly. So yes, the better solution is likely a cup. Good thought!

    Comment by Z | February 12, 2010 | Reply

  8. Is it breastmilk that you’re spilling? I’m sure a pumping mother would make buying new bottles the top priority to ensure her hard work was not being wasted. I would go straight to the store if you told me that.

    Comment by Rayne of terror | February 16, 2010 | Reply

  9. Never mind. I see that they are providing organic milk in glass bottles, so I assume that means cow’s milk.

    Comment by Rayne of terror | February 16, 2010 | Reply


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