As your baby enjoys Bambino’s Organic Baby Food, and even before he/she’s ready for solid foods, he/she will probably need bottles, sippy cups, and pacifiers. In this post, our Bambinos team will share:
The pros and cons of different types of bottles to choose from for your baby because chemicals may hide in plastic bottles.
Tips for cleaning bottles, sippy cups, and pacifiers
Bottles and Sippy Cups—Plastic or Other?
Plastic baby bottles and sippy cups are light and inexpensive, but there is more than weight and cost to consider when choosing a bottle for your baby. Cleanliness and health are two essential factors.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in many plastics that may cause harm to your baby. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the use of BPA in baby bottle and sippy cup manufacturing in 2012, but please take these additional precautions to ensure your baby isn’t being exposed to BPA in his/her bottles:
- Use bottles and sippy cups that are certified BPA-free.
Use bottles and sippy cups made of opaque plastic (polypropylene or polyethylene) instead of clear plastic (polycarbonate).
Use bottles and sippy cups with the recycling number 2 or 5, not 7.
BPA, however, isn’t the only chemical you have to worry about because many other plastics also leach chemicals. A piece of plastic could have between 5 and 100 chemicals in it. These chemicals are often released when heated, so any plastic you put in the microwave, or a hot dishwasher cycle could leach chemicals.Here’s how to protect your baby from those other chemicals in his/her plastic bottles:
Don’t heat the plastic bottle or sippy cup in the microwave.
Don’t put very hot liquid into the plastic bottle or sippy cup.
Don’t use scratched or cracked plastic bottles or sippy cups.
If you choose to forgo plastic bottles altogether, there are a couple of other options. Glass bottles are BPA-free and last a long time, but they are heavy and can shatter. Silicone bottles or stainless steel bottles are also BPA-free. Unlike glass, they are light and unbreakable. However, they are also more expensive than both plastic and glass bottles and can be hard to find.
How to Clean Bottles and Sippy Cups
Sterilize before your first use. Repeat sterilization once per week. Don’t hesitate to sterilize more often if you use well water and, of course, every time after your baby’s been ill.
To wash a bottle or sippy cup, you can put it in the dishwasher if it’s dishwasher safe. Otherwise, wash your hands, and then use hot and soapy water for the bottle. Scrub it with a bottle brush that you use only for that baby’s bottles. Use a thin brush for straws. Take the bottle or sippy cup completely apart to wash its separate components; milk or juice can become stuck in hard-to-clean places and grow mold, which can foster illness. Rinse with hot water to get all the soap off, then dry the bottle completely because moisture will breed bacteria. Make sure also to wash any other equipment, such as spoons or measuring utensils.
If your baby doesn’t finish a whole bottle in one feeding, don’t save it in the refrigerator for later. Any bad bacteria in his/her mouth can migrate onto the bottle, survive after refrigeration and reheating, and then multiply.
Even with careful attention and washing, bottles and sippy cups eventually wear out. If the bottle has scratches, cracks, or other damages, it’s time to replace it. Bacteria can hide in the crevices, and, in plastic bottles, it may be easier for chemicals to leach out.
A Note on Pacifiers
If your baby uses pacifiers, the cleanliness guidelines are similar to cleaning bottles. They need to be washed often. Studies by Richard Thomas Glass, D.D.S., Ph.D., a professor at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, found fungi and bacteria comparable to E. coli on used pacifiers. Follow these guidelines:
- Wash pacifiers daily or whenever your baby drops them.
- Throw away pacifiers that have stains, discoloration, cracks, holes, and tears.
- Store pacifiers in a plastic Ziploc bag to keep more bacteria off them.
- Never let children share pacifiers.
While you focus on finding the best bottle for your baby and keeping it clean, our team at Bambino’s Organic Baby Food is focusing on providing your baby with clean food. We only use certified natural and organic ingredients. Our vegetables are grown in Alaska’s pure and untainted soils; you can always trust in the food you’re feeding your baby. Here at Bambino’s, we create delicious, easy-to-serve, balanced meals for your baby no matter their growth or development stage. Browse our store to find the best foods for your baby.
American Academy of Pediatrics
U.S. Food and Drug Administration