Nov 292013
 


A pacifier (North American English), dummy (Britain and other Commonwealth countries), binky, or soother (in some countries) is a rubber, plastic, or silicone nipple given to an infant or other young child to suck upon. In its standard appearance it has a teat, mouth shield, and handle. The mouth shield and/or the handle is large enough to avoid the danger of the child choking on it or swallowing it.

The decision of using – or not using – the pacifier is up to you as parents. Most babies have a strong sucking reflex. Some babies even suck their thumbs or fingers before they’re born! Beyond nutrition, sucking often has a soothing, calming effect. That’s why many parents rank pacifiers as must haves, right up there with diaper wipes and baby swings. Are pacifiers really OK for your baby, though? There are many researches on this subject. The best is to decide yourself after reading enough on this.

As parents; we were not thinking to introduce pacifier to our first son. After reading a lot and talking with friends / family members, we have changed our decision. Having a pacifier around helped us a lot (sometime you don’t have enough patience to deal with little one…). However, we have never kept it around 24 hours. We had a rule; use it when it’s really needed and use it at the sleep time.Our son was allowed to keep it only in his crib. At one point, he was going back to his room ‘to enjoy’ it couple of minutes 🙂

Still we had the one big question in our mind all the time : ‘when to stop giving pacifier, and how?’. We have decided to stop it when our little one was around 18 months old. And with this incredible process, the stop was painless with NO CRY at all. Please read this for the process to say ‘bye to pacifier’ : How to stop using pacifier

We have tried to give pacifier to our second son as well; he didn’t want it. It was sad for us, because we didn’t have that great helper when we needed… But what to do? All kids have different personalities, and basically he didn’t want to have it. End of the story !

Benefits of Pacifiers

If you want a list of benefits, here it is :

  • Pacifiers might help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) – Maybe this is the most important one
  • It soothes a fussy baby
  • It offers temporary distraction (related with the previous one)
  • It might help your baby fall asleep (this was the case for us)
  • It might ease discomfort during flights
  • Pacifiers are disposable (if your baby wants to suck, s/he may start sucking his/her thumb. If this is the case, it is harder to stop this habit)



Researchers have found that use of a pacifier is associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). A meta-analytic study published by American Pediatric Association in Pediatrics in October 2005 supports this benefit to one year of age. However, other experts, while acknowledging the correlation between SIDS risk reduction and pacifier use, questioned the causality of the findings.

Some parents prefer the use of a pacifier to the child sucking their thumb or fingers.

Researchers in Brazil have shown that neither “orthodontic” nor standard pacifiers prevent dental problems if children continue sucking past the age of three years.

It is commonly reported anecdotally that pacifier use among stimulant users helps reduce bruxism and thus prevents tooth damage.

Drawbacks of Pacifiers

Of course it has some dis-advantages as well. Here are couple points :

  • Early pacifier use might interfere with breast-feeding (there’s no real proof exists for this).
  • Your baby might become dependent on the pacifier (timing is really important to stop using it)
  • Pacifier use might increase the risk of middle ear infections
  • Prolonged pacifier use might lead to dental problems (if you don’t stop it before 3 years old, this may be an issue)

It is commonly believed that pacifiers interfere with breastfeeding, by reducing milk production. However, trials have not found any effect on duration of breastfeeding from using a pacifier. It may have clinical benefits for preterm babies, such as helping them progress from tube to bottle feeding.

Research suggests that infants who use pacifiers may have more ear infections (otitis media). It is not clear, though, whether avoiding the use of a pacifier can prevent ear infections.

It is also commonly believed that using a pacifier will lead to dental problems. However if the pacifier is used for less than around three years, it does not appear to lead to long-term damage. Similarly, there appears to be no strong evidence that using a pacifier delays speech development by preventing babies from practising their speaking skills.



Pacifier Guidelines

  • Let your baby to decide to have it or not. Don’t force it.
  • You can try giving her the pacifier before sleeping (But if it falls out of your baby’s mouth while s/he’s sleeping, don’t put it back in.)
  • Never tie a pacifier around your baby’s neck or to her crib! She could strangle in the cord or ribbon. It’s safe to attach the pacifier to her clothes with a clip made especially for the job.
  • Keep the pacifier clean by rinsing it with warm water. Replace it as soon as it shows small cracks or other signs of wear.
  • Don’t ‘clean’ a pacifier by putting it in your mouth (actually this is not ‘cleaning’ !)

 

After reading all these info, if you decide to have one here is the couple examples with good rating :




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Nov 112013
 

[fb_button][wdgpo_plusone] Usually we see “Bottle Warmers” in baby registry lists. However, I must say that technically you don’t need a bottle warmer. I had one and (if I’m not mistaken) I used only 1 or 2 times. Mainly because I was breastfeeding (not a real need for a bottle warmer) and when I needed to warm breast milk I used to put the bottle in hot water in a bowl and wait a couple minutes, that’s it.

However; this doesn’t mean that you won’t use it. If you want to have one, pick a cheaper one because all of them do -basically- the same thing. The price doesn’t mean that works better. Read reviews and then you will get the idea.

One very important tip: Never use a microwave to warm the breastmilk – it kills all the nutrients! If you’re breastfeeding and giving breast milk in a bottle you cannot put that in the microwave – you’ll kill off all the useful antibodies.

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Nov 042013
 

[fb_button][wdgpo_plusone] One of the items in the baby needs list (or baby registry checklist) is Bottle Sterilizers. When bottle feeding your newborn, it is important to make sure the supplies you are using are clean. There are 2 main types of sterilizers in the market :




Microwave sterilizer

This kind of sterilizer is much cheaper than the electric one. I used one of these. I breastfeed both my sons, but I gave the formula to my older one when he was 9 months old. So I used this type sterilizer at that time very often, and I was very happy. The logic is simple; you put the bottles into the sterilizer – add some water – close it and put it in the microwave. It creates steam and you receive all the bottles germ-free. This type of sterilizers are usually between $15 – $25 range.

Electric sterilizer

This also works with the steam but instead of putting to microwave you are plugging it into the electric power. Electric sterilizers are mostly around $50 – $60 range (there is more example models as well, like WABI BABY Electric Baby Bottle Steam Sterilizer and Dryer).

 

Should I sterilize baby bottles after every use?

The simple and short answer is “No”. You should sterilize them before using for the first time after buying. After that, many pediatricians feel that dishwashers or a good scrubbing with hot soapy water will do the job of getting the bottles and nipples clean and free of germs. Just be sure to place the bottles in the top rack of the dishwasher so they don’t melt. You can use a small basket for parts like the nipples. It’s not a bad idea to sterilize your supply of bottles once in a while (twice a week maybe), just to be on the safe side, and especially after your baby’s been sick (when s/he is sick, better to sterilize them after every use).

On the other hand; more and more many people thinks that sterilizing the bottles is not necessary anymore. They say; “In the old days when water supplies were not reliably clean, it made sense to sterilize baby bottles. But now, sterilizing bottles, nipples, and water are mostly unnecessary“. However, we prefer to be on the safe side, that’s why we used a microwave sterilizer.

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Oct 292013
 

[fb_button][wdgpo_plusone]At the beginning, most likely you will not know if you will breastfeed your baby, or not. You may want to do, however because of some reasons you may not be able to breastfeed. For being on the safe side, better to have bottles and bottle accessories in your baby registry.

Feeding and baby bottle accessories include more than bottles, bottle brushes and nipples. bottle carriers and bottle warmers help ensure that you will always be prepared to feed your baby whether you at home or at a playdate. Breastfeeding accessories like nursing pillow help mom and baby stay comfortable during feedings. As your infant grows, s/he will graduate to solid foods, and high chairs, food grinders and feeding utensils will become handy.

When it comes to baby bottles, they differ greatly in regards to nipple design and bottle size and shape. Babies are often particular when it comes to feeding, and some prefer nipples that more closely mimic their mother breast. Colicky babies may be soothed by a bottle that reduces air intake while feeding. I have tried to cover this area, in my previous post : Bottle Feeding – Bottles

As one of the important accessories, drying racks have space for straws, bottles, valves and brushes, so your feeding accessories dry quickly and remain free of germs. As your baby learns to use a cup, you can replace a bottle with a spill-proof sippy cup. Toddler cups with handles help children practice their independence and feed themselves. Portable bowls with lids and disposable utensils let you bring snacks along wherever you go.

Baby high chairs come in a variety of sizes, colors and shapes (which will be covered later on in this site). If you have a smaller kitchen, you may prefer to add a booster seat to an existing chair. Those with more room can pull a high chair up to the table. Many of the booster seats and high chairs fold flat for easy storage and have easily washable seat covers. Some recline to accommodate newborns, infants and toddlers.

Here are the main items in this section :

Bottle Brush

It’s very hard to clean bottles with regular sponge – especially if you forgot to wash last nights bottles! When you wash the bottle with a brush, you will be sure that they are fresh and clean for the next feeding. Some brushes has little attach brush with that even you can reach every little space. With the brush you can reach every part of the bottle. Just keep your mind some drying racks come with the brush.

Before buying a brush you may want to check that if it is BPA Free and dishwasher safe.

Here I am listing 3 different Bottle Brushes that has the best rating on Amazon Customer Reviews.

 

Bottle nipple

The baby bottles have different kinds of nipples. In the beginning you will need slow flow nipples. Because your baby’s muscles are not strong enough to drink medium or fast flow nipples.

Selecting a bottle nipple is not an easy task. This is usually a case of trial and error. Bottle-feeding takes practice and many babies need time to get used to latching on and controlling the flow of milk through the nipple. Don’t worry about your baby going hungry while you experiment — a ravenous baby will likely drink from any nipple that’s offered (it just may not be the most comfortable feeding of his life).

Bottle nipples are first categorized by your baby’s age (generally preemie, newborn, 3-6 months, 6+ months, depending on the brand). Nipples meant for older babies allow a faster flow because they eat more at every feeding. If you see a lot of milk or formula spilling out the sides of your baby’s mouth during feedings or he’s gagging and spitting up, he might need a smaller, slower, firmer preemie nipple at first. As your baby gets older and better at controlling the flow of milk, you can change to larger, heavier-flow nipples to make feeding easier and faster.

Other things to consider are nipple shape and texture — some are angled, some are flatter, and all have different venting systems (which is fancy-speak for how many holes the nipple has to let air pass through). You may have to try different nipples until your baby has a developed a good latch. A good latch will keep as little air as possible from getting into his stomach, which could make him extra gassy.

Remember that there’s more to feeding that just the type of bottle and nipple you use. The setting and mood make a difference as well — so if your baby suddenly becomes a difficult feeder (many infants go through these phases) don’t automatically blame your equipment. For example, as a baby’s eyesight develops and he can see things farther away, he may get distracted and lose focus during feedings — and moving your rocking chair away from the window or to a more serene location may help him concentrate better on the task at hand.

Since there are many many different brands and types of Bottle Nipples, I’m not going to give you any link for a specific product. Instead, from this link you can go to that section directly and pick the right one for your little one : Bottle Nipples

Formula Mixing Pitcher (or Formula Mixer)

I never used any of these. But what I read is, it makes easy to mix baby formula. What I was doing when I was giving formula for my first one is, shaking the bottle (with formula and water in it). So if you ask me, it’s not really necessary.

 

Drying Rack

Drying racks are basically where your bottle and nipples will dry. They have space for straws, bottles, valves and brushes, so your feeding accessories dry quickly and remain free of germs. It’s not something that you have to have but it’s nice to have all bottles and accessories in one place and clean. If you will buy one; it is better to check it’s height (some has  adjustable height – so bigger bottles can fit), BPA Free or not, and dishwasher safe or not.

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Oct 212013
 

[fb_button][wdgpo_plusone]Usually, one of the main items in most of the Baby Registry Checklists are bottles. However, you may not need to have bottles at the beginning. If you ask me formula feeding is way too complicated than breastfeeding. Because you need to choose right bottle, right formula, and when you find it you need the warm water every time and you need to sterile bottles and nipples every time… Lots of hassle.  If you have the option of breast feeding, go for it – there are many advantages of it. (Unfortunately) because of some reasons / conditions some mommies can’t feed their baby with breast milk; and as a result they need to use formula. In such cases, it’s good to have the option.

You’ll use a bottle the most in your baby’s first year. After that, you may decide to transition to a sippy cup. In fact, that’s an ideal time to wean your baby from a bottle or at least start attempting to do so. At that point, cow’s milk will probably be a diet staple, possibly in combination with breast milk.

You will need some basic stuff when you will start the bottle feeding :

  • Bottles
  • Bottle accessories
  • Sterilizer
  • Warmer

Let me start with the bottles :

In the beginning don’t stick with one brand and buy many of the similar bottles. There are many brands out there (AVENT, Dr. Brown’s, Eventflo, Playtex, Breastflow etc.), with many different options (Glass, Plastic, Anti-colic, Wide mouth, Angled, Non-Drip, BPA Free, PVC Free, Latex Free etc.). Better to buy a couple of different brands to test. You never know what your baby will like / want (for example; if your baby will be colic you will need to use some other special brand/type to reduce the gas etc.).

In my opinion; you can buy 2 or 3 bottles in different brand (that means different nipple types) at the beginning. To select the first 2-3 options, you can go online and find the brands selling the most. To save money while you’re experimenting, start with a lower-priced bottle made without BPA, such as Evenflo, and see if your baby likes it. If so, you’ve got a winner. Some babies accept any bottle. Other babies prefer one type of nipple over another. If feeding doesn’t go smoothly, just try another type of bottle or nipple made without BPA. I will try to list some most-sellers below. When you figure out which one fits the best to your little one, you can buy or order online more. In this way, you won’t need to throw away many ‘unused’ bottles.

Brands :

Philips Avent

What it is: Easy to clean and BPA-free, the new Avent bottles are a big improvement on earlier models that had parents complaining about leaking and BPA. Parents now rave about how easy the bottles are to assemble and how well the adapter ring guards against leaks. The ring also cuts down on gassiness and symptoms of colic by keeping air bubbles in the bottle and out of your baby’s stomach.

What to watch out for: The bottles will leak if an adapter ring isn’t inserted to act as a seal before the top is screwed on.

Best sellers with best reviews:

Playtex VentAire

What it is: Many bottles claim to cut down on colic, gas, and spit-up, but moms say this model from Playtex actually does as promised. They also like the curved shape, which makes it easier to feed your baby.

What to watch out for: Washing all the pieces can be a pain.

Best sellers with best reviews:

Dr. Brown’s

What it is: While pretty much every baby bottle on the market claims to relieve colic, Dr. Brown’s are often recommended by parents who’ve been there. Designed by a doctor in 1996 and patented in 1997, Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow is the only baby bottle to feature an internal vent system. Dr. Brown’s bottles come in glass or plastic and have been BPA-free since before anyone even worried about BPA. With a vent system that keeps air from getting into the milk, these bottles are great for reducing colic, gas, burping, and spit-up.

What to watch out for: Because the little tube in Dr. Brown’s venting system requires a separate pipe cleaner, washing can be a hassle.

Best sellers with best reviews:

Born Free

What it is: Like Dr. Brown’s, Born Free bottles have always been BPA-free, are available in both glass and recyclable plastic varieties, and come with an anti-colic venting system. Bonus: They have fewer pieces to clean and assemble than Dr. Brown’s. Parents say these bottles reduced their babies’ spit-up, gas, discomfort, and other symptoms of colic. The bottles’ leak-proof design is also a hit.

What to watch out for: Born Free bottles are more expensive, but fans say they’re worth it.

Best sellers with best reviews:

MAM Baby Bottles

What it is: Babies used to breastfeeding alone have been known to transition to the MAM bottles, made of the softest silicone, more easily than other brands. Parents and babies give the BPA-free MAM bottle’s nipple a major thumbs-up. The MAM bottles are vented to prevent air bubbles, reducing colic, gas, and fussiness. When assembled correctly, MAM also gets high marks for being leak-free.

What to watch out for: Like Dr. Brown’s, these bottles break down into five not-so-easy pieces and require a pipe cleaner for a thorough scrubbing. They’ll also leak if not put together just right.

Best sellers with best reviews:

Playtex Drop-Ins

What it is: These BPA-free bottles come with a disposable plastic liner you fill up with milk or formula and simply drop into the bottle, then toss after the feeding. Cleaning’s a breeze, since the inside of the bottle stays dry and the only thing that really needs to be scrubbed is the nipple. The walls of the liner collapse to mimic the natural process of breastfeeding and keep air from reaching your baby’s stomach.

What to watch out for: Convenience comes at a price: You have to keep buying more drop-ins, which can get costly – and creates waste.

Best sellers with best reviews:

Types :

Standard Bottles

There are two basic sizes of this classic shape with straight or slightly curved sides: 4 or 5 ounces for infants and 8 or 9 ounces for older babies, in glass or plastic, including non-polycarbonate plastic. Some brands are available in 7-ounce (Dr. Brown’s) or 11-ounce (MAM and Avent) sizes as well. The Gerber First Essential bottle by Nuk ($1.39), shown here, for example, is available in blue-tinted BPA-free plastic, in a 5-ounce size. Evenflo makes a clear plastic bottle in 4- and 8-ounce sizes. A three-pack of 8-ounce bottles, with different colored protective nipple covers is $3.50.

Pros:These bottles are easy to fill and hold, can be used repeatedly, and allow you to accurately gauge formula amounts. They can also be simple to clean. Most breast pumps and baby-bottle warmers are designed to be used with standard bottles, although you can easily transfer pumped breast milk from a standard bottle to a disposable.
Cons:Some bottles have a valve on the bottom and vents in the nipple that manufacturers claim minimize air intake during feeding. For example, the Evenflo bottles come with “sensitive response nipples with micro air vents.” We found no independent evidence that such designs actually minimize gas in a baby’s tummy.

Angle-neck bottles

These bottles are bent at the neck, making them easier for you to hold in a comfortable position. The Playtex VentAire Natural Shape, shown here, for example, is an angled 6-ounce bottle with a bottom vent ($13 for a three-pack.) Evenflo makes another kind of angled bottle with a vent, the TruVent ($9 for a three-pack).

Pros:Their shape causes formula or breast milk to collect at the bottle’s nipple end, so your baby is less likely to swallow air, according to manufacturers. The shape may work well for feeding your baby while she lies semi-upright, a position that may help prevent fluid from collecting in her ear canals, which can lead to ear infections. The VentAire type has a vent at the removable bottom of the bottle that is designed to keep air out of the liquid so your baby will drink virtually bubble-free.

Cons:Angle-neck bottles can be awkward to fill. You must hold them sideways or use a special funnel to pour in liquid.

Wide Bottles

Some baby bottles have a wide neck, and they’re slightly shorter and broader than standard bottles. Brands that offer them (in plastic or in both plastic and glass) are Dr. Brown’s, Born Free and Avent. A 9-ounce, glass Born Free wide-neck bottle shown here (about $11), for example, can be used with a variety of nipples.

Pros:Manufacturers claim that wide-neck bottles and wide nipples feel more breastlike to babies and are a good choice for “combo moms,” those who switch back and forth from breast-feeding to bottle-feeding. Wide bottles are available in 4-, 5-, 8-, and 9-ounce sizes and come in glass and in plastic made without BPA, in angled or straight sides, and with or without bottom venting. Wide nipples are available in slow, medium, fast flow, and Y-cut (a nipple with a cross-cut opening.)

Cons:You might pay more for a wide plastic bottle compared with a standard plastic bottle, both made without BPA. And even with a wider feel, there’s no guarantee that your baby will take to this style of bottle and nipple. But it’s worth a try, especially for “combo moms.”

Bottles with disposable liners

With these bottles, a disposable plastic pouch, or liner, fits inside a rigid outer holder, called a nurser. The top edge of the liner fits over the nurser’s rim. You pour in formula or breast milk and hold the liner in place by fastening the lid (a nipple and bottle ring). The liner collapses as your baby drinks, reducing the tendency for air bubbles to form. Some brands that make nurser systems claim their liners are BPA-free. The Playtex Nurser shown here, for example (about $4 for an 8-ouncer), uses drop-in liners that are BPA-free, according to the manufacturer, and come in different sizes. A box of 50 disposable Playtex liners for 8- to 10-ounce bottles, for example, costs about $5; you can also buy them in a 4-ounce size. An 8-ounce nurser (available in different colors) is $4.

Pros:Collapsible liners are designed to prevent air from collecting as your baby sucks. Cleanup is easy: You just remove the liner, wash the nipple, and you’re done.

Cons:You’ll need to buy liners continually, which adds to the cost.

Natural-flow bottles

Natural-flow bottles, such as those made by Dr. Brown’s, have a two-piece straw-like vent system in the center of the bottle. Dr. Brown’s says it’s designed to eliminate the vacuum that can form when a baby sucks, so there are no air bubbles, reducing the possibility of colic and gas. It makes polycarbonate, polyethylene, and glass baby bottles with this feature.

Pros:The design may just work.

Cons:Compared with other bubble-reducing bottles, such as angle-neck models, these have an extra piece or two to wash, and the straws can be hard to clean. You’ll need a tiny brush, which comes with the bottles. Replacement brushes are available where baby bottles are sold. Dr. Brown’s bottles, shown here, for example, are available in BPA-free plastic and glass. A two-pack of 7-ounce Dr. Brown’s Standard Feeding System Glass bottles (for infant to toddlers) is $25 and fits different types of nipples. A three-pack of 8-ounce Dr. Brown’s polyproylene bottles is about $15.

Premium bottles

These eye-catching bottles, such as the Adiri NxGen Nurser shown here (about $11) are often characterized by their unique design. Adiri has a “breast-shaped” design and, according to the manufacturer, is made of a BPA-free polycarbonate.

Pros:The nipple and bottle come as a unit, so there are fewer pieces to clean and keep track of.

Cons:The 5.5- and 9.5-ounce bottle/nipples come in four color-coded flow rates: white (stage 1, birth to 3 months, newborn flow); blue (stage 2, 3 to 6 months, slow flow); pink (stage 3, 6-9 months, medium flow), and white (stage 4, 9 or more months, fast flow). You change bottles to change the flow. At $11 per bottle, stocking up will cost you a bundle, although you might be able to find them for less if you shop around.

Glass bottles

Manufacturers are offering lots of choices in glass bottles these days. Some people prefer glass, especially if they are concerned about BPA or because they think glass is easier on the environment than plastic when recycled. As we’ve noted elsewhere, Dr. Brown’s offers bottles in glass or plastic. Evenflo also offers several styles of glass bottles, including the Evenflo Classic Glass Bottle, shown here. A three-pack in an 8-ounce size is $9.

Smaller companies also offer glass bottles. For example, 5 Phases offers an 8-ounce glass bottle that comes in a clear plastic sleeve. The sleeve, which is BPA-free, according to the manufacturer, helps contain the glass if it shatters. And at $20 a bottle you don’t want them to break!

Stainless steel bottles

Some manufacturers have introduced stainless-steel baby bottles. The Kid Kanteen Baby Bottle shown here, for example, is made by Klean Kanteen, which is known for its line of water bottles. The Kid Kanteen (5- and 9-ounce bottles) comes in an hourglass shape. It can be pricey, costing about $20. Kleen Kanteen offers nipples in three different flow rates. They cost $7 for two.

 

Shopping tips

If you’re having a baby shower, register for a few starter bottle kits from different brands. They come with several of various sizes and nipples. If your baby keeps spitting out or battling with a bottle, or is especially fussy after eating, offer a slower or faster nipple. If that doesn’t work, try a premium bottle, such as Born Free or Adiri.

If your baby shows signs of intolerance, such as gas, a rash, persistent vomiting, diarrhea, talk with your pediatrician. You’ll probably need to switch formulas, not bottles or nipples, if your baby is formula-fed. If you’re predominantly or exclusively bottle-feeding, six 4-to-5-ounce bottles will be a good start. If you’re supplementing breast milk with an occasional bottle, you may need only one or two bottles. Once you settle on a nipple, buy about half a dozen.

Most nipples are made of latex or silicone; stick with silicone. Buy silicone nipples only if they’re clear or brightly colored, not brownish. Silicone is less problematic than latex, because some babies develop a sensitivity or allergy to latex. Clear, odorless, taste-free, and heat resistant, silicone is also less porous than latex, so a silicone nipple may be better at resisting bacteria, which can settle into any textured material. Neither silicone nor latex is made with BPA.

Note : BPA is banned from bottles

In July 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the use of bisphenol A in baby bottles and sippy cups nationwide. The FDA ban came about nine months after the chemical industry petitioned the FDA to ban such uses on grounds of “abandonment,” meaning that no one was using it for that purpose anymore.

BPA was used in baby bottles made of polycarbonate, a hard, translucent plastic that can be clear or colored. To be sure you are not using bottles that contain BPA, don’t use bottles that are marked with the number 7, a group that includes polycarbonate.

Safety Tips

DO:

  • Wash your hands before preparing your baby’s bottle or before breastfeeding.
  • If you are breastfeeding and want to begin using a bottle, have someone else introduce your baby to the bottle. Your baby may associate you with breastfeeding and resist if you try to give her the bottle yourself. Jatinder Bhatia, a neonatologist and chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition, recommends starting that process about four weeks before you want the baby to rely on a bottle. So, for example, if you know you are going back to work and putting your baby into a daycare, start introducing a bottle about a month before.
  • Get tough with glass. Thoroughly clean glass bottles by washing them in the top rack of a dishwasher, or wash them in hot tap water with dishwashing detergent and rinse them in hot tap water. You can also use a sterilizer or boil glass bottles in water for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Thoroughly clean plastic and polycarbonate bottles by hand with hot soapy water, not in a dishwasher. Bottles may be labeled “dishwasher safe,” but polycarbonate ones can leach BPA after been exposed to high heat.
  • Also avoid putting any plastic product into a dishwasher, a bottle sterilizer, or microwave.
  • Wean your baby from a bottle by 12 months, if possible. By that time, he will be ready to drink from a sippy cup (just make sure it’s not made with polycarbonate). Prolonged bottle use (after 14 months) can cause your baby to consume too much milk and not enough food, cause cavities, and delay the development of feeding skills.
  • If you use formula, protect your baby’s teeth by wiping them with a washcloth or gauze pad after every feeding so that a layer of dental plaque doesn’t form.

DON’T:

  • Heat formula or breast milk in a microwave.
  • Give your baby a bottle of milk or formula to suck on during the night or at naptime. The habit can cause baby-bottle tooth decay, which is painful and difficult to treat and can cause problems for permanent teeth. Give your baby a bottle only at feeding times and don’t allow her to associate bottles with being in bed.
  • Prop your baby with a bottle (and let go). This feed-yourself practice can lead to choking, ear infections, and tooth decay as well as less cuddling and human contact, which all babies crave.
  • Give your baby a bottle to carry around and “nurse,” especially a glass bottle, even with a silicone sleeve. It’s dangerous (babies have been known to throw their bottles) and can lead to tooth decay, drinking too much, and sharing bottles with little friends, increasing the risk of colds and other infections. And the contents of the bottle can spoil, which can cause a foodborne illness, such as a stomach bug, which is no fun for your baby or for you.

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