If you live in North America and have an infant, chances are you are using plastics. If you are using plastics there is good reason to be informed and careful in their use.
Whenever you can opt for stainless steel or glass alternatives. That said, I use plastic and you likely will/do to. Let’s be as informed as we can in their usage.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION WHEN USING PLASTICS
Never microwave any plastic. Never cover any food to be microwaved with plastic wrap. Avoid storing babies’ food in plastic. Wash plastics on the top shelf of your dishwasher or by hand. Avoid using old and scratched plastic bottles.
Choose Glass or Stainless Steel Baby Bottles – this is your best protection against future headlines! My concern is that we’ll discover down the road that other petroleum made plastics also leach.
If you are choosing Plastic Baby Bottles, most manufacturers now make BPA-free baby plastic bottles, with all BPA headlines in the news. If you are using plastic – double check to ensure bottles you use are BPA free.
Choose bottle nipples made from silicon. They are the most durable and inert options. Latex rubber nipples can cause allergic reactions and can contain impurities linked to cancer. The same goes for pacifiers. Throw away any nipple or pacifier that is discolored, thinning, tacky or ripped.
Liners: Only use if you have a colicky baby and they’ve been advised by your doctor. The soft plastic liners may leach chemicals into formula, especially when heated. They are also a poor choice from an environmental perspective.
Glass, that is the best choice for storing & freezing pumped milk – if you can come up with a system that work for you.
The sealable plastic nursing bags designed for storing breast milk are made of polyethylene. Studies published in Early Human Development and Nutrition Review showed no chemical leaching into the milk, but did indicate that milk stored in these bags may lose some nutrients because they cling to the plastic. This is what worked for our family. I would freeze the milk flat on a box, once frozen stand it up and place at the back of the milk inventory. Thawing was very quick in warm water.
Let me know if you come up with an efficient glass storage method, I’d love to share it with my readers!
When your infant starts on their first foods, instead of plastic dishes use glass custard cups. They are durable, can be microwaved, and some even have lids. Chances are – at this stage – you’re the one doing the feeding. Why risk exposure at this very early stage?
Before you know it your baby is going to start eating real food. Chances are you will be serving most of that food on plastic dishes. my children are 3 & 4 years old, so I know why! Plastic is less likely to break when it’s tossed to the floor.
Don’t store left over foods in the plastic dishes – store the leftovers in the custard cups we were just discussing – in my books. Less time in the plastic = less time for chemical leaching.
Look for stainless steel or tempered glass bowls to use as snack containers – they are your safest option. We originally purchased plastic bowls for dry snacks and chopped fruit – my understanding is that leaching occurs most with heat and liquids, but if we could do it again, I’d choose a safer material. BTW – plastic bowls break too!
If you are using plastic dishes – move your children to regular dishes at an earlier age. My 2 year old son eats his dinner on the same plates as the rest of the family and at the dinner table drinks from a glass. We’ve only lost one plate.
Duralex glasses are extremely durable; they are tempered making them stronger than regular glass. Shopping for glasses look for Duralex if you want to keep them for a while!
Avoid polycarbonate for babies food and drinks.
Polycarbonate plastics, marked with a #7 code or PC; they are rigid, transparent and used for food storage containers and water bottles, among other things. Trace amounts of BPA can migrate from these containers, particularly if used for hot food or liquids.
IF IT MUST BE PLASTIC
Plastics with the recycling labels #1, #2 and #4 on the bottom are better choices because they do not contain BPA.
Soft or cloudy-colored plastic does not contain BPA.
FURTHER READING: BPA’s & INFANTS
Check out these plastic alternatives available at amazon:
Thinkbaby Complete BPA Free Feeding Set
These look great for on the go lunches:
LunchBots Pico Stainless Steel Lunch Container