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Wednesday, Jun 7, 2023

Oh Baby, Are These Some Bottles

The organic food trend has made moms conscious of what they feed their babies. But what if chemical leaching baby bottles are a problem too? That’s the question Christine Barlow asked when she had a 26-week-old premature son – an experience that inspired her to create a line of glass bottles that eliminate the potential leaching of chemicals from plastic baby bottles. Those chemicals include BPA, which has been linked to reproductive disorders, infertility and cancer. “I started doing a lot of research on environmental factors and how it affects our children,” said Barlow, 48, a Thousand Oaks resident and United Airlines pilot. Barlow’s company, 5 Phases, sells shatter-free glass bottles that do not seep chemicals into the baby’s drink. The bottles can also withstand low temperatures to freeze pumped breast milk, as well as boiling temperatures to warm the milk. Barlow started the company with her husband in 2010 a few years after giving birth to her son, Jake Barlow, who weighed 23 ounces at birth and spent three months in the hospital. The couple dipped into their savings and partnered with a friend who had a manufacturing company in China. After several prototypes, she settled on her current line: a 4-ounce glass bottle that sells for $16 and an 8-ounce bottle that sells for $21. Barlow started out at trade shows and began receiving offers from retail shop owners to sell her bottles in stores and websites. Edward Olshansky, owner of eco-friendly baby store The Green Cradle in Sherman Oaks, said that after hearing Barlow’s pitch, he decided to give the bottles a try. “She is the only one in the market where you can actually put breast milk in a glass bottle and freeze it,” he said. While 5 Phases has won shelf space in a few upscale outlets – including Green Cradle, Zoolikins in Arizona, Butzie Covers in Tennessee and TheGreenCupboard. com – it has struggled to win wider distribution. Barlow has hired a social media expert, a graphic designer to work on logos and packaging, a public relations agency and a distribution consultant. Thus far, she and her husband have spent more than $300,000 of their savings. “I believe in it enough to put that kind of money into it, and I’m hoping someone else will see the value in it as well,” said Barlow, whose premature child is now 9-years-old and thriving. – Champaign Williams

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