By ethicalDeal guest blogger Terri Coles
Whether you breastfeed, use formula, or mix the two, you’re likely to need baby bottles at some point in your parenting adventures. Choosing the right type is difficult enough with all the options out there — how do you know the bottles you’re selecting are also safe for your baby and friendly to the environment? This baby bottle review will help!
To begin with, this is the best tip I’ve received so far about baby bottles: all babies seem to prefer different ones, in terms of the speed of flow and the shape of the nipple, so don’t stock up until you know what your own particular baby will like best. It makes more sense to have one or two of a couple of different types of bottles on hand for when you need them, and then buy a full complement when you know what your baby prefers, than it does to stock up on one brand only to find that your baby hates it!
Here are the three main types of baby bottles you’ll come across:
Plastic baby bottles
Plastic bottles are inexpensive and easy to clean, but many people have concerns about the safety of bisphenol-A, which is sometimes used to make polycarbonate (hard) plastics. If there is a #7 on a bottle’s recycling code, it’s made with BPA-containing plastic. There is some research indicating that bisphenol-A or BPA has estrogenic properties that could act as an endocrine disruptor in humans, and infants would be more susceptible to harmful effects from this.
In 2008 the Canadian government banned the use of BPA in polycarbonate baby bottles becoming the first country to make that move, and BPA was added to the country’s list of toxic substances in 2010. However, you may still come across bottles with BPA if you reuse someone else’s plastic baby bottles or if you buy them from a non-Canadian retailer.
Fortunately, if you prefer to avoid BPA as much as possible but like the convenience of plastic bottles, there is now a wide variety of BPA-free products available, including at major retailers. Look for bottles with the recycling codes #5 (polypropelyne) or #s 1, 2, or 4 (polyethylene). Here are some brands that offer BPA-free plastic baby bottles:
As for bottle nipples, ones made with #3 PVC plastics may contain phthalates, which have shown harmful reproductive effects in animal studies. If this concerns you, look for nipples and other baby products made from silicone instead.
There are a couple other things to watch with plastic bottles. Heating them in the microwave can lead to hot spots where the milk is above the preferred temperature for babies. As well, bacteria can live in cracks and scratches on plastic bottles or nipples, so proper sterilization is important.
Glass baby bottles
Glass bottles are classic, and there’s good reason — they’re durable, they last for ages (meaning you can use them with multiple children), they’re recyclable, and they’re known to be safe. Glass bottles can be tempered or untempered; untempered bottles should not be heated. The biggest disadvantages of glass bottles is that they cost more, are heavier, and can break — some bottles come with silicone sleeves to help prevent the latter problem. There are many options out there for glass bottles, including some of these brands:
Stainless steel baby bottles
Just as stainless steel makes a great choice for reusable beverage containers for adults, it’s also used for baby bottles. These bottles are free of BPA and lead, and lighter than glass bottles (unbreakable too!). They’re also recyclable and dishwasher safe, but they are not microwaveable. These brands make stainless-steel baby bottles:
A final note: if you are pumping breast milk to store it, you may want to use storage bags, but you may also be concerned about waste and the possibility of chemicals from the plastics. Fortunately, you have an option here as well — HoneySuckle milk storage bags are oxo-biodegradeable and free of BPA. Alternately, some breast pumps allow you to pump directly into bottles for storage.
Did I miss any of your favourite products? Share your suggestions in the comments!
About the author:
Terri Coles is a freelance reporter specializing in health and lifestyle topics who lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. She contributes regularly to Pawesome, The Teal Cat Project, and Vegansaurus, and is currently blogging about her experience as a pregnant vegan at Veggo Preggo.
Tags: baby bottle review parenting terri coles