BPA-Free Baby Bottles and Sippy Cups
With the Canadian government banning all baby bottles made with Bisphenol-A (BPA), and Wal-Mart pulling some BPA bottles off their shelves, you're probably confused about just how you're supposed to safely get drinks into your kid's belly. BPA, the controversial chemical in question, is used to produce polycarbonate plastic, the material from which many clear, hard plastic baby bottles and sippy cups are made. BPA has been shown to cause health problems in animals, and tests have found that after repeated use small amounts of BPA can leech into the milk, juice, or water in bottles. However, there's no conclusive data yet on BPA's effects on humans.Read more about BPA and baby bottles here.
Still, many experts agree that it's a good idea to avoid feeding your kids from bottles or cups made with BPA. To set your mind at ease, we've rounded up great bottles and sippy cups that are all completely BPA-free.
What it is: It isn't called the "Natural Nurser" for nothing. Designed to look and feel just like, well, a boob, the Adiri Natural Nurser is safe for the dishwasher and comes with one of three nipple flows: slow (0-3 months), medium (3-6 months), and fast (6-12 months). Just place the bottle nipple-side down in the leak-proof cover, fill the bottle, twist on the cap (make sure you screw it tight -- since the opening's on the bottom, a leak means catastrophic spillage) and let baby go to town.
What we love: The Natural Nurser is super-soft and simple to use once you get the hang of it. It also comes with a special vent system that lets air flow steadily into the bottle as baby drinks for less gas, which means more milk stays in baby's tummy and not on your shirt.
What we don't: Does your babe like dinner served warm? That gets a little complicated. Since using a bottle warmer or submerging in water is not recommended, warm up the bottle in running water, pinching the nipple to prevent leakage. Or heat the liquid in another container before pouring it into the bottle. A cap, sold separately, will be on the market soon to make this process easier.
What it is: Artfully crafted from a single sheet of aluminum, the super-durable, Swiss-made SIGG Kids Bottles come in three sizes and dozens of kid-cool designs.What we love: Not every sippy can boast a place in New York's Museum of Modern Art, but then again not many are as gorgeous as these. Celeb kids have already given their seal of approval: Madonna's youngsters, Lourdes and Rocco, have been spotted toting SIGGs.What we don't: The attached pop-off cap on this pricey bottle means it won't go MIA, but it takes a bit of practice to hold it back while drinking (the cap can also break when dropped -- replacements can be purchased separately). Also, you can't just toss a SIGG into the dishwasher; hand-washing is recommended.
What it is: Ditch plastic altogether and opt for good old-fashioned BPA-free glass. Due to popular demand, Babylife recently reintroduced their 9-ounce wee*go glass bottles, available in six colorful hues.
What we love: There's no need to worry about breakage, thanks to the bottles' protective, mod silicone sleeves. You can also pop the bottles into the dishwasher or even boil them -- and they fit on most breast pumps too.
What we don't: If you're planning to use them on the go, know that they are heavier than plastic in the diaper bag -- and that their 9-ounce size might be overkill for a wee one. Cool comes at a cost, too; wee*go bottles are pricier than many traditional plastic bottles.
What it is: With one of the most extensive BPA-free inventories around, BornFree offers 5- and 9-ounce BPA-free plastic and glass bottles, as well as sippy cups.
What we love: Whatever your preference, there's a dishwasher-safe BornFree bottle for you. Each of the bottles comes equipped with a specialized air vent system that minimizes spit-up -- and you can buy slow, medium, fast, or variable-flow nipples. And when your baby gets a bit older? Move her up to a BornFree trainer or drinking cup -- they're all also BPA-free.
What we don't: Some parents complain that these bottles are leaky.
What it is: Thinkbaby's dishwasher-safe 5- and 9-ounce bottles are made of BPA-free and phthalate-free plastic, and their soft silicone anti-colic nipples come in three sizes.
What we love: Kevin Brodwick, a Texas-based father, founded the company after working in a laboratory and seeing how many potentially dangerous chemicals are present in common products. His keep-it-simple bottles work just like the plastic bottles you're used to, and don't require parents to, uh, think twice.
What we don't: Our mom tester got a defective nipple in her 2-pack -- double-check yours before you end up with a frustrated baby.
What it is: The feeding mavens at Medela offer a wide range of BPA-free products, from bottles to breast pumps.
What we love: Bottlefeeding mamas need not worry when using a Medela product -- the company's bottles have never contained BPA. That goes for all feeding accessories too -- basically, anything and everything that breast milk could possibly touch is BPA-free.
What we don't: The nipple collar has to be tightened just right -- not too loose or too tight -- or else they may leak.
What it is: Constructed from stainless steel and BPA-free plastics, Thermos' futuristic-looking Foogo sippy cup is virtually unbreakable.
What we love: The Foogo has a spill-proof valve that keeps recent bottle-to-sippy converts from getting the dribbles. It's also great on-the-go: the Foogo comes outfitted with TherMax vacuum technology, which keeps liquids cold for up to six hours (it's not recommended for warm drinks).
What we don't: The cup gets awfully heavy when filled to capacity. And with the hefty price tag, you're probably not likely to stock up on multiple Foogos for all your kids.
What it is: The 12-ounce Klean Kanteen sippy cup/bottle is made from stainless steel and can be outfitted with four different caps, depending on your kid's age.
What we love: The surprisingly light bottle is specially crafted with ridges to make it easy for little hands to hold. And since it doesn't look like your typical sippy cup, the Klean Kanteen won't be rejected later when your no-longer-a-baby only wants big kid stuff -- just swap the sippy mouthpiece for a sports or loop cap.
What we don't: The bottle becomes uncomfortably cold when filled with a cool drink, but a cozy tote, sold separately, can solve that problem. The Klean Kanteen's also the priciest sippy on our list.
Playtex Drop-Ins System
What it is: Playtex's BPA-free Drop-Ins System consists of a bottle, disposable liners and a nipple. To use, just place the liner in the bottle, fill it up, screw on the nipple, and squeeze the bottom of the liner to push out excess air.
What we love: Since you toss the liner after each feeding, there's no need to sterilize bottles. And the bottle part is dishwasher safe.
What we don't: The liner doesn't always collapse as it should, allowing more air into the bottle. And we feel kind of bad about the extra waste.
What it is: Available in glass and BPA-free polypropylene, Dr. Brown's 3.5-, 7-, and 8-ounce dishwasher-safe bottles are known for their unique venting system that minimize spit-up.
What we love: These bottles really do help what goes down stay down. Plus, the polypropylene bottle takes very little time to heat up, which can be a lifesaver at 3 a.m. when your baby wakes up hungry.
What we don't: The glass bottles can be pretty heavy in the diaper bag and don't come with protective sleeves.
MAM by Sassy
What it is: These cute and colorful bottles are made of BPA-free polypropylene plastic and soft silicone nipples. The 5- and 8-ounce MAM Anti-Colic bottles have special venting valves at the bottom of bottles, while the 11-ounce MAM Nourish bottles vent through the nipples.
What we love: These short, stout and dishwasher safe bottles have wide bottoms that let moms grip them comfortably.
What we don't: Despite the venting system, bubbles sometimes form in the bottle during feedings.
What it is: Made of non-leaching stainless steel and BPA-free plastics, the Safe Sippy lives up to its name.
What we love: This hip sippy's thermoplastic rubber sleeve keeps the cup from getting too cold and also protects it from dents. The double-handle makes this dishwasher safe sippy easy for little kids to grip and sip, but comes off when your kid becomes too old -- and too cool -- for a handled cup. And we're digging the three mod color combos.
What we don't: The Safe Sippy's leak-proof spout prevents liquid from escaping, but the seam between the handle and body isn't as tight--the cup gets a little wet if it isn't upright. Also, the removable valve seems destined to get lost (replacements can be purchased).
What it is: Nuby's colorful 7- and 11-ounce Non-Drip bottles are available with wide necks or standard necks, and with or without handles.
What we love: Nuby's dishwasher- and microwave-safe bottles have an anti-colic venting system, valves in the nipples that allow baby to control the liquid flow, and teething nubs that massage baby's gums. The bottles have wide bottoms and narrow middles, making them easy to hold.
What we don't: The nipple can collapse a bit during feedings.
Copyright © 2008 Meredith Corporation. Updated 2010
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