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What To Do With Used Baby Bottles?

What To Do With Used Baby Bottles?

I think we are finally done with baby bottles… forever! I have to admit I am more excited about this than I ever was about the prospect of being done with diapers (probably at least another year or two away for us). But here’s the thing: I have an enormous number of used baby bottles. Between my son and daughter, honest to goodness, I think it’s possible we have more than 50  used baby bottles.

So, what do we do with them? The newer ones my son used are really in rough shape. They are all cloudy and scratched up, and I would find it hard to give to a friend or relative. And does anyone really want to use someone else’s used bottle nipples? If I wouldn’t give them to someone close to me, it also doesn’t seem right to give them away to those in need. I’d rather buy news ones to donate. I went online for ideas about what to do, and it took a while, but after a lot of searching, I got a few small suggestions.

Used Baby Bottles: Ways to Use Them

  • They may be recyclable. Check the number on the bottom and throw them in the curbside collection box.
  • Use them as traveling snack containers.
  • Turn them into art supply containers or for rinsing out paintbrushes.
  • Donate them to a local animal shelter, hospital or zoo. I think they’re probably less picky about the condition.
  • Give them to the kids to use with dolls.
  • Use them as measuring cups for liquids.

baby drinking a bottle at daycare

I am really hoping ours are recyclable (turns out you can call the manufacturer to find out), because I know I can’t re-use them all – and getting rid of them is what I’m so excited about. I really need to reclaim the counter and cabinet space they are taking up. But if you have any ideas about what to do with used baby bottles, share them here. What have you done with your old baby bottles?

Editor’s Note: If you enjoyed this post, you might also like Media Mom’s sweet ode to her son’s infant teacher.



  1. ProgressiveMom November 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I love the idea of donating them to an animal hospital or shelter if that’s allowed. That’s what we do with our old blankets. I think I just recycled all of mine. I wonder if a battered women’s shelter would take/need them.

  2. MediaMom November 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I just sent and e-mail to Tufts vet school and they are going to check with their hospitals to see if they can use them… I’ll update here when I get a final answer. My Dr. Brown’s bottles don’t seem to be recyclable (no symbol on the bottle). And they are really in yucky looking shape cosmetically. For totally different reasons both of my kids had extra stuff added to their bottles to increase the calorie content, and the bottles are super cloudy and don’t look clean, even after several washes. So I think I may buy new to donate to a women’s shelter, but I don’t feel right about donating these to people given their condition.

  3. Charileen Dicken March 21, 2013 at 2:04 am

    I also agree the idea to donate them to an animal shelter in this idea you can help the zoo especially the animals. By the way your post was great.

  4. michael smith October 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Instead of throwing baby bottles away or recycling them;have local children fill them with pocket change,(pennies,nickels,dimes and quarters;maybe even dollar bills) for a needy family, like my girlfriend and I did a long time ago; for a family with 6 children. though it may not have gone far there were 25 bottles filled with change and the family who we helped ate for 2 weeks thanks to friends who helped.

  5. A mom of Two kids May 8, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    I actually buy secondhand bottles. I just buy new nipples, and disinfect the bottles really well before use (soak in bleachwater, boil, hand wash, AND dishwasher). It’d be good to either donate them to a mother in need, or organization, or sell them at a yard sale. My sister also bought a potty from a yard sale. She just disinfected it really well with bleach (although it was practically brand new), and it’s been great!

  6. sara May 4, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I’m searching the web trying to figure out what to do with all mine too and an idea popped in me head: sensory bottles!

    By the time babies are done with bottles it’s about the time they’ll enjoy them. They could just have beans or something to make them like rattles or you can make them with all the same color items to teach colors. Then once they get older you can make a list of things they can find in the bottles. There’s lots of ideas for sensory bottles online.

    Just need to glue plastic to the cap and glue the caps to the bottles after you fill it and they’ll last forever. Then you can gift or donate them as toys eventually.

    Hope it inspires someone 🙂

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