It’s been a while now since I last shopped and cleaned baby bottles since my first born no longer uses them. But now that I am going to have my second child, I’ve suddenly found myself checking out baby stuffs and gadgets again whenever I have the chance especially feeding bottles.
I was browsing the net last week looking for some different brands of bottles out there to compare and learn about their features, prices and credibility or effectiveness based on reviews/tests. I remembered typing this very general and wide-ranging word “baby bottles” in a particular search engine that I was surprised to find a glass feeding bottle included in the result. I honestly did not know it still exists up to now. I have heard stories from my mother and sister about the old fashioned jug but that’s more or less the extent of my knowledge about it. I wasn’t able to do my research on bottles before because I don’t have the available resources and the time to do so. I just depended on what the stores has to offer.
So for those expectant mothers and other “clueless” young (and young at heart) parents out there like me, here’s some information plus some tips that could be helpful in choosing the kind of bottle we want our babies to use:
It is very obvious that the problem with glass baby bottles is that it breaks. One drop and you will have broken pieces of glass scattered everywhere, additional workload is involve cleaning it. Not to mention also that it is a bit weighty. However, the upside of using glass bottles is that it is durable/hard- wearing and most of all it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals that could end up in the milk.
Plastic bottles on the other hand, are lightweight and unbreakable—a total opposite of the glass counterpart. But there have been concerns about the chemical called Bisphenol A or (BPA) which can be found in polycarbonate type of plastic. Majority of plastic baby bottles are made of polycarbonate and BPA’s are not only found in baby bottles but also elsewhere as long as the container of certain products used polycarbonate, like some linings in the can. The thing is, high levels of BPA are leaked out when the bottles are heated and five (5) “popular” bottle brands are guilty for it as per a 2007 report by the Organization Environment California.
Just to give a brief overview of the chemical BPA, Bisphenol A affects fetal and infant brain development and behavior, obesity, cancer, thyroid problems, reproductive system anomalies/dysfunction, heart disease, liver problems and diabetes to name some of its negative health risks as per my research from Wikipedia . Try to do some in depth research too about this hazardous chemical. To know those top five (5) brands that were investigated and accountable for the high levels of BPA in their products, Click TOXIC BOTTLES and you would also be shocked like me. I mean who would have thought, right??? So buying expensive stuff doesn’t always guarantee quality. To think that I plan to buy/use one of those brands with my next baby.
But let us not panic and be terrified altogether just yet. I found this statement in WebMD concerning baby bottles that states …“The government health officials don’t believe that the amount of BPA in baby bottles and other consumer products is dangerous. After reviewing research on the plastic, the FDA stated that based on its ongoing review it believes the amounts of bisphenol A that find their way into food and drinks are too low to cause any real health effects in humans. However, the agency is continuing to look into the question of BPA safety, and for now, the issue remains unresolved.” –Let’s just all hope for the best but considering that a lot of babies have already used these brands in the past and they seem to be perfectly normal growing up and not even showing signs of the negative effects, so…let’s see-however, it never hurts to be cautious anyway.
SELECTING BABY BOTTLES
There are basically three (3) types of baby bottles, Plastic, Plastic with disposable liners and glass;
Since there is still the concern in BPA, avoid products that have them. Watch out for the #7 or PC recycling symbol found in the bottom of the bottle because usually it contains BPA (but not all the time). Look for brands that have BPA-Free labels or tags. Although major brands like AVENT, DOCTOR BROWN’S NATURAL FLOW, EVENFLOW, FIRST ESSENTIALS, GERBER, MUNCHKIN, NUK, and PLAYTEX claimed they have already stopped manufacturing their baby bottles with BPA since 2009. So I supposed this should be a good news from the results that the Environment California have reported with five of these top name brands. But at the same time, would it be a bit puzzling that parents who bought their products before 2009 really does contains BPA? Hmm…I guess we’ll just have to wait for those babies to grow and show (or not) some of the bad effects. Good thing, I couldn’t afford those top brands when my first child was born, but who knows, the unpopular and less expensive known brands might have BPA on their products as well. I hope not.
But there are also available bottles in the market that are NOT made from polycarbonate type of plastic, so it means it doesn’t have BPA. They’re made of polyethylene (look for #1, #2, or #4 recycling symbols) or polypropylene (#5 recycling symbol). Non-polycarbonate plastics are also a good option when your child uses a sippy cup.
PLASTIC WITH DISPOSABLE LINERS & GLASS
With disposable liners, the downside is that it is expensive as you change and buy the liners more often. The upside is less cleaning and less bottles (you can even just have one if you want). Especially for on the go moms and those moms who would be travelling with their babies for long hours or even days. I remembered the time I flew with my daughter (who by the way is only 7 months old that time) non-stop for 17-18 hrs flight bound to LA really took a toll on me. I carried around 8-10 bottles with me since I can’t wash bottles in the airplane every after feeding, I tell you it’s messy, sticky, bulky and flying cabin class, seated on the window side of a three seater and carrying your baby on your lap with all your hand carry bags with you (including a laptop), then two other strangers besides you who appears to be annoyed having to be seated beside a passenger with a baby who they thought would disrupt their sleep with all the crying and fussing and the stewardess not attending or helping you is I have to say…. the cherry to my ice cream, only that my ice cream is not at all sweet and wow what a very unforgettable experience that was. But all of it was worth it when my daughter and I were reunited with my husband. Looking back, if only I have plastic bottles with disposable liners that time, it could have helped me even for a bit. This time, for my second child I will definitely consider using it but only if we are going to travel.
Going back, the glass bottle on the other hand will always be breakable and a bit heavy but some companies make silicone sleeves that go over the bottle to protect it. And I think they already came up with a way to somehow make the bottles less weighty than it once were some years ago. Plus, glass bottles are GREEN or environment friendly since they would last very long, long enough for all your children to use until of course it’s broken.
SOME HELPFUL TIPS
– Never store breast milk or formula in plastic bottles. Pour it into the bottle just before the baby is ready to eat. Throw out anything that is left over.
– Heat and wear can both increase the rate at which BPA leaks out of the plastic. Heat polycarbonate bottles in warm water (not boiling), rather than in the microwave. Microwaves should also be avoided because of the risk of burning baby’s mouth.
– Throw out any polycarbonate bottles that are scratched or cracked and even nipples.
– Don’t use hot water or a harsh cleaner on polycarbonate bottles because this also can cause the plastic to break down more quickly. Instead, use gentle cleaner and warm water.
– Replace any glass bottles that have cracks or chips in them.
– When considering giving baby formula milk, do get/buy powdered milk formula than the liquid ones. The lining inside the can of a liquid formula contains BPA and it might get into the milk, while the chances of BPA leaking in the powdered milk formula is less likely.
Now it is up to us parents to decide which one is best for our babies. But for me, I’d probably have both at first just to compare and when the need arises (especially when you travel or go out), then maybe later on I’d go with one type only. I’m really intrigued about the glass bottles more and how they would fair/play out.
Try to do your own research as well to be further informed and don’t forget it is still highly recommended to drink milk at least 2-3 times a day baby or not.