I recently shared an Instagram photo of my youngest daughter and many commenters asked about the metal bottle she was using. I realized I’d never written about the type of bottles and cups I use in our home for our children.
Why Not Plastic?
We’ve used BPA and plastic free options for our children since they were born and I am especially careful when they are really young to avoid plastic. As I explained before, many plastics contain endocrine disrupting chemicals that can be especially harmful to pregnant women and children.
The most well-known chemical in plastic is bisphenol-a or BPA, which has estrogen mimicking properties in the body, but there are various other plastic based chemicals that can be just as harmful, so plastic products that are just labeled as BPA free are not necessarily safe. In fact, BPA free products may still contain more harmful chemicals like:
- Phthalates– linked to immune system suppression and hormone problems (especially in boys and men)
- BPS and BPF– bisphenol-S or bisphenol-F have similar (and possibly worse) hormone mimicking and disrupting properties and are often found in BPA free products
- Polyvinylchloride– linked to cancer and birth defects
These plastic chemicals are also found in large amounts in ground water, most water supplies and even in the ice in the antarctic, indicating that plastic pollution is much more widespread than once though and potentially much more dangerous.
Plastic & BPA Free Bottles and Sippy Cups
Our whole family avoids plastics and we all use alternatives to plastic water bottles, but I am especially vigilant about plastic-free options for our babies and toddlers since they are most at risk from plastic chemical exposure.
I’ve researched dozens of alternatives to regular plastic baby bottles and sippy cups and found nine options that I am comfortable using with my own children (ranked in order starting with my favorite). For at least the first six months, our children nurse exclusively, so my preferences lean more toward sippy cups than bottles, but I’ve included the baby bottles we have used at times when I’ve pumped and they work wonderfully as well…
My favorite brand of sippy cups and the one that my little kids most often use. This bottle is stainless steel with a steel lid and silicone straw or nipple so it is completely plastic-free. It is the only completely plastic-free option I’ve found and it holds up quite well. I’ve put ours in the dishwasher without a problem. The only downside is that older children can eventually bite through the silicone nipples or sippy lids (though these are replaceable).
Important note: There have been some recent reports of lead in the bottom seal of the insulated Pura bottles only. I still love this brand of bottles but make sure to only use the non-insulated ones that have no lead. These are the ones I use for my daughter.
Born Free Glass Bottles
When we have used baby bottles, I’ve used these Born Free Glass Bottles with silicone nipples. My babies did well with them (after six months old) and I like that they are glass and easy to clean as well.
Lifefactory Glass Bottles
Lifefactory makes glass baby bottles and bottles for older kids or adults that are easy to clean and the silicone sleeve on the outside of the glass seems to reduce the risk of breakage if they drop. They are also easy to clean and can be put in the dishwasher. We have two of these (one baby bottle and one regular bottle) and have never had trouble with either one.
EcoVessel Sippy Cup
The EcoVessel is a favorite among my older kids because it is insulated and keeps drinks hot or cold for a long time. My one caution with the brand is not to put milk or juice in it, as there is a place in the lid that it can collect and it will get an off-smell from these. I stick to water in this cup. This one is also not dishwasher safe.
My husband and I used Klean Kanteen bottles for years, and they also make stainless steel baby bottles and reusable bottles for older kids. We have the stainless steel bottles that are dishwasher safe and our older kids use them for sports and camping.
Green Sprouts Glass
This sippy cup is glass with a silicone spout and sipper but a plastic outer coating to protect the glass. In theory it is great, but my one complaint is that the top is difficult to get on and often leaks if not put on exactly correctly.
Avent Glass Bottles
Another great glass baby bottle option. We’ve used the Avent Glass Bottles with natural nipples for babies and even breastfed babies seem to take these bottles easily. They are dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
Safe Sporter Bottles
These bottles are dishwasher safe, easy to clean and stainless steel. My kids love them and we have a different color for each child. My only complaint is the small amount of plastic in the lid and I still prefer the Pura bottles for this reason.
Plastic Free At Home
When we are home, we use stainless steel drinking cups instead of bottles and these small dishwasher safe steel cups are my favorite.
What do your children drink out of? Ever tried any of these options? Which would you recommend?