We’ve all heard it said that there are no rules to parenting. And while this may be true in most cases, when it comes to baby bottles, there are plenty of rules. Naturally, part of baby bottle safety is proper preparation and use. The other part, though, that can be harder to learn, is picking the right bottle.
The guiding rule for choosing safe baby bottles and other food containers is: the simpler the better. Sure, there are plenty of bottles out there that boast of new fancy innovations, from self-warming bottles to bottles shaped like teddy bears. While these may sound fun and convenient, often “add-ons” to baby bottles come with increased risk. Here, we’ll walk you through what to avoid when picking safe baby bottles and food containers.
Of course, the best way to avoid burns is by ensuring that you never let your child near milk or other food that is too hot. However, accidents do happen, so it’s important to ensure that your bottles and other containers are extremely stable and will not tilt and spill, especially before the liquid has had time to cool down.
Plain, normally-shaped baby bottles are best to avoid spills. When bottles get too complicated, the risk of spills (and of burns) can increase. For example, in May 2022, one baby bottle with a “bumper” on the bottom (a circle of rubber intended to provide grip and ) was recalled; exposure to hot liquids caused the bumper to shrink, causing the bottle to tilt and spill. Some bottles may have fun shapes or add-ons, but these can be top heavy or more prone to spillage. For example
As you know, one of the main baby rules is to keep small objects away from their mouths! While most baby bottles don’t include any small parts that pose a choking hazard, some water bottles meant for older children may. Make sure that any bottles you give your child are durable and do not have any small parts, like a spout, that may break off.
Avoiding chemicals is one of the most-discussed areas of concern for baby bottles. With so much conflicting information out there, it can be difficult to know how to make sure your bottles, utensils, and food containers are actually safe.
First, buying bottles and food containers that aren’t made out of plastic is the best way to avoid these nasty chemicals. Plastic bottles can contain several scary chemicals, including phthalates and BPA, hormone disruptors (although the FDA banned BPA in baby bottles in 2012). In addition to these known chemicals, there are many chemicals used to create plastic food containers whose health effects are still unknown. Finally, plastic bottles can shed tiny plastic particles into the liquid they store, especially when the bottle is shaken, which your baby then ingests. While the health effects of microplastics are still being studied, there’s certainly cause for some concern.
If you do use a plastic bottle, make sure never to store breast milk or formula in the bottle, as the plastic can leach chemicals over time. If your bottle is cracked or worn (which sometimes looks cloudy, rather than clear), it’s time to get a new bottle, as these can leach chemicals more frequently. It’s also important to buy containers that have undergone food container testing to make sure that they’re durable and chemical free. Finally, never heat your plastic bottles in the microwave or wash them in hot water or in the dishwasher, as this can cause them to degrade.
Many companies these days are choosing to create baby bottles made of glass, which are not only non-toxic, but are also much better for the environment. Of course, glass does pose a risk of breaking, so many bottles come with a plastic or silicone outer layer; the glass keeps chemicals out of the bottle on the inside, while the plastic surrounding keeps the bottle crack free. You can also choose to buy BPA-free bottle liners that are disposable.
There are also a number of non-breakable options for non-plastic eating utensils, plates, and containers that are still safe for your kids. One great material is stainless steel, which is fully non-toxic and food safe. For example, our stainless steel flatware is designed for your baby to develop their fine motor skills, and even has fun animal designs! Stainless steel is also a popular choice for lunch boxes and food containers.
So, if you’re a first time parent or just restocking your collection, keep simplicity in mind next time you buy baby bottles or food containers for your kids. Simple materials and simple designs will help keep your child safe, happy, and well-fed!