Thursday, July 16, 2015

Anatomy of the Perfect Sippy

We have gone through a lot of bottles and sippy cups in my house.  When my oldest munchkin (now 5) was born we used BPA free bottles and sippy cups.  Then we found out that the substitute chemicals used instead of BPA appear to be just as bad or even worse at disrupting our hormones than BPA.   So we switched.  

 We switched to mostly glass (Born Free and most other brands now a days offer glass ) and sometimes Stainless Steel..... but then I realized that even those sippy cups mostly have plastic mouth pieces which go through a lot of wear and tear in children's mouths with little teeth.  So what is the ideal and safest sippy cup/ child friendly water bottle out there today?  I think I found it!  But first, let's understand what you want to look for and what you want to avoid when shopping


WHAT TO AVOID:  PLASTICS

Yes there is 'safe' plastic out there.   However, personally, I am always suspicious of plastic - I feel it is only a matter of time before new studies will prove that different kinds of plastics are harmful so I feel much better by avoiding as much plastic as possible.

BPA free plastic? Still not safe.   BPS, a common substitute for BPA is showing signs of also messing with your hormones like BPA.

Here is the low-down on different types of plastics (as identified by the number inside their recycling sign )


  • Plastic #1:  PETE, or PET (polyethylene terephthalate): Used for most transparent bottles, such as water, soda, cooking oil, and medicine bottles. Generally 'safe' to use - but meant for single use not to be reused nor heated
  • Plastic #2: HDPE (high density polyethylene): Sturdy, rigid plastic found in reusable food storage containers, milk and detergent bottles.  
  • Plastic #3:   always avoid.  (PVC) leaches phthalates which have been shown to cause developmental and reproductive damage. 
  • Plastic #4: low density polyethylene: Flexible plastic used for bags or wraps, such as produce bags.  Not designed for reuse not usually recyclable
  • Plastic #5:  PPE, aka PP (polypropolene): Pliable plastic found in squeeze bottles, reusable food containers, and yogurt and margarine tubs.  Generally 'safe'
  • Plastic #6: (polystyrene) leaches styrene which can cause nervous system effects and liver damage. Used in rigid take out containers and foam meat trays. Not safe when heated.
  • Plastic #7: Polycarbonate, one type of plastic #7 has been shown to leach Bisphenol A (BPA) that estrogen mimicking chemical we have talked about.  Used for baby bottles, five gallon water jugs, and reusable sports water bottles.

OTHER MATERIALS TO AVOID

  • Aluminum:  Often mistaken for stainless steel (which is considered  a safe material),   Aluminum is not a recommendable material to buy.  Aluminum can easily break down, exposing your child to heavy metals especially when exposed to acidic compounds (like juice).  Because of how easily aluminum breaks down, aluminum bottles have to be lined with an enamel or epoxy layer , usually made of BPA.  This BPA is then easily released into the liquid you are drinking.  Aluminum bottles are easy to identify because of the inner golden orange lining that stainless steel bottles don't have.  

SAFEST MATERIALS
  • Stainless steel:  Stainless Steel sippy cups and bottles are lightweight and are considered non-toxic.   They are quite resistant, which make them ideal for young children (stainless steel could give off tiny amounts of nickel.  Avoid if you have a nickel allergy).
  • Glass: Although not a material you would normally recommend for your children, glass is one of the purest and most natural materials.  Won't break down with heat (can be washed in dishwasher) or acidic drinks.   Luckily, many companies have created nice options for glass  sippy cups and water bottles protected by colorful and fun silicon.   
  • Plastic #5:  If your sippy must have a plastic component polypropylene plastic is generally considered a safer and non-leaching plastic.  Still, best to hand wash and not place in dishwasher


MY CURRENT CHOICE
  • Pura Kiki Stainless Sippy Bottle Stainless Steel with XL Sipper Spout, 11 Ounce, Aqua Blue, 6 Months+
  • Made of stainless steel, this water bottle has absolutely no plastic.  The drinking mechanism is stainless steel and silicon.  They come in two sizes (5 and 11 ounces) and in colors as well as plain stainless steel.  They are compatible with snouts and nipples from various other brands including Born Free, Avent, Think Baby and Dr Browns. The brand itself offers bottle nipples, straw tops, sippy spouts and adult options too.

RUNNER UPS
  • Lifefactory 9-Ounce Glass Bottle with Flat Cap and Silicone Sleeve, Grass Green Available in  4 oz , 9 oz and 22 oz, leakproof, dishwasher safe (My 5 year old and I both use this.  if you do not use the plastic sippy - which y 5 year old does not need- this is a good option.) The glass is borosilicate glass  (which is less breakable).  Their sippy caps are polypropylene ('safer') but still replace when usage is apparent and avoid placing in dishwasher.                                
  • Klean Kanteen Kid's Stainless Steel Bottle with 3.0 Sport Cap 12 oz, stainless steel, leakproof, dishwasher safe.  Their plastic sippy works well too although it does not come with a cover at the present time.  Make sure to buy a replacement sippy when you see the sippy has been used a lot.
  • Silikids Siliskin Glass Cup with Silicone Sleeve, Sea, 24 Months, 2 Count made of glass and completely protected by a silicon sleeve and silicon sippy top.   Also come in bright colors ( I love the yellow! please note the link provided is for the glass without the sippy cup top) 

Regardless of what sippy cup or water bottle you choose try to minimize the plastic.  Also, never place plastic in the microwave, or dishwasher or leave in a hot car or in the sun for prolonged periods of time.


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