Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Baby Bottles & Sippy Cups

A Little Bundle of Joy, Big Situation, and an Enormously, Easy Fix!

So you have just welcomed a new baby in your life, and one of your first jobs as a parent is to get to feeding! Whether you choose to breast feed or use infant formula, you are likely to use a baby bottle at some point—if not all the time. As your baby grows older, the next step is a sippy cup, and we all know how important these are to help avoid spilling, yikes!  But with feeding your little bundle of joy (a constant task—they are always hungry it seems!) there comes a big situation: BPA in plastics, which some scientist believe may have harmful effects on your child’s health.  Luckily, there is an enormously, easy fix!  In this article we talk about the potential dangers of exposure to BPA and how you can help prevent exposure in your child’s life, helping you promote a non-toxic lifestyle from the very beginning.  Read on… J

The Big BPA Situation

Up until 2007, 90% of baby bottle were made out of polycarbonate plastic.  Unfortunately, polycarbonate plastic contains the dangerous chemical called BPA, which can leak (also referred to as leach) into the liquid stored in your child’s bottle or cup.  A bottle filled with room temperature water will leach BPA, but add boiling water to the bottle and the leaching rate increases 55 times as much! With BPA in your baby’s bottle or cup, there are various potential dangers your child is being exposed to. Several recent animal studies have linked low levels of BPA to issues such as hyperactivity, learning disabilities, increased diabetes risk, early onset of puberty, and certain types of cancer.  It has also been confirmed that most babies, as well as adults, have low levels of BPA in their systems, which is why we are here to help give you an option to avoid exposure in the first place.

The Enormously, Easy Fix

At this point, scientists are still debating the seriousness of the effects BPA may have on humans, but as my mother always says, better safe than sorry!  In order to be proactive with this information, I have listed some tips below on how to reduce the BPA in your child’s system.

If you already have bottles at home:

·         Get rid of your old and worn bottles and sippy cups.  Overly used bottles will leach BPA at a faster rate than newer bottles.
·         Don’t heat your bottles.  If you have polycarbonate plastic bottles at home, never add boiling water to them because that will drastically increase the rate at which BPA leaches out of them.

If you’re going bottle and sippy cup shopping:

·         Some plastics are safer than others.  If you are looking for plastic baby bottles, try to get bottles with the following codes punched on the bottom: LDPE #4, PP #5, PA #7, or PES #7. (although I would suggest trying to avoid plastics as much as possible!)
·         Use drop-in liners with your plastic bottles.  These liners are made of safer plastic, but you will have to replace them. (again…I personally still want to avoid plastic!)
·         Get glass bottles.  Glass bottles do not have BPA in them so they are a much safer option.  There is always the fear that glass bottles may easily break, but Lifefactory has some great bottles made from borosilicate glass, which is more resistant to breakage, and has a silicone sleeve to protect the bottle when dropped.
·         Stainless steel bottles.  This material will not leach, so it is another safe option.  It’s also lighter than glass! Klean Kanteen has a new line of stainless steel baby bottles coming soon. In the mean time, their stainless steel sippy cups will do!
·         Nipples made of medical-grade silicone.  Silicone is BPA free and it is durable and dishwasher safe.  Both Klean Kanteen and Lifefactory use nipples made from medical-grade silicone.
·         Avoid aluminum.  Some low end aluminum cups may be lined with a resin that contains BPA.
·         Avoid polycarbonate plastics. This type of plastic is a #7 plastic and can leach BPA.
·         Double check that all parts are BPA free.  That means the caps, sippy caps too! BPA can be in more than just the bottle or cup itself.

By using BPA free baby bottles and sippy cups, you will be giving your child a safer option. You’ll no longer have to worry about BPA leaching into their drinks and feel confident in their health.  Avoiding plastic and opting for glass or stainless steel bottles and sippy cups is also better for the environment. Plastics are often made from petroleum, so by using glass or stainless steel, you will decrease oil consumption. Additionally, glass and stainless steel products are reusable and recyclable, which help minimize waste in our environment.

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