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Baby Bottles: A Guide to Your Choices

Are Plastic Baby Bottles Safe?

They are now. In the past, some people were worried about the safety of baby bottles that contained bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used to make hardened plastic. But the FDA banned the use of BPA in 2012 from baby bottles and sippy cups.

Baby Bottles & Gear: The Dos & Don’ts

  • Don’t sterilize glass baby bottles and nipples before every use. Sterilizing bottles was only necessary in the past, when municipal water supplies were not as reliably clean as they are now. Do sterilize new glass baby bottles and new nipples by putting them in boiling water for five minutes Afterward, you can wash bottles in the dishwasher -- which cleans better than hand-washing them -- or wash by hand with hot, soapy water and rinse well.
  • Do replace baby bottles and nipples if you find a certain set just doesn’t agree with baby’s needs.
  • Do replace a glass baby bottle if it’s cracked or chipped.
  • Do replace a plastic baby bottle if it’s cracked, leaks, is discolored, or smells bad.
  • Do replace a nipple if it’s discolored or has deteriorated (a damaged nipple can be a choking hazard), or if baby formula comes out too fast. To test the flow, turn the bottle upside down. Only a few drops should come out; if more does, the hole is too big and your baby may be getting more infant formula than he can handle. Nipple packages should state the flow rate on them.
  • Don’t buy a baby bottle warmer unless you really want one. Standing a baby bottle in a glass of hot water for a few minutes is easier and less expensive. Just remember not to heat your baby’s bottle directly in the microwave, which can create hot spots in the liquid, because of a microwave’s uneven heating ability.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on April 16, 2014

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