Preparing for a plastic-free baby environment

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Picking out your “must-haves” for baby ranks as one of the most frustrating and confusing aspects of preparing for motherhood. Everyone is quick to share their, “Buy this, but avoid that,” advice. If avoiding plastics or bisphenol-A products ranks high on your list we’ve got you covered. From baby bottles to baby plates to sippy cups and diapers, it’s hard to do the research to keep up with what plastic-free products are the best and most user friendly. First let’s cover the basics:

Why ditch plastics?

BPA is the main concern found in plastics. However, recently there has been a move to reduce plastics exposure particularly for infants and children. The Centers for Disease Control does a decent job of breaking down BPA health concerns for parents:

Bisphenol A can leach into food from the protective internal epoxy resin coatings of canned foods and from consumer products such as polycarbonate tableware, food storage containers, water bottles, and baby bottles. The degree to which BPA leaches from polycarbonate bottles into liquid may depend more on the temperature of the liquid or bottle, than the age of the container. BPA can also be found in breast milk.

It’s best to make your own informed decisions when choosing to limit or avoid BPA products. For more information, check out the CDC’s BPA fact sheet.

Read more: Pregnant? Kick BPA out of your kitchen

Plastic free baby-feeding registry suggestions

Glass Bottles: Advancements in baby bottles abound, from BPA models to stainless steel to sturdy, silcone-sleeved glass options. We’ve tested the latest on the market and share a handful of our favorites in our latest issue. Look to brands such as Dr. Brown’s, Life Factory, and Mason Bottle, the last of which transforms any kitchen Mason jar into a safe bottle for baby.

Plates and bowls: Companies are making it easy to avoid plastic these days, with plentiful and stylish eating sets for baby. We love the all-in-one silicone placemats and plates from ezpz and the adorable, eco-friendly bamboo options from Petal and Post.

Eating utensils: There’s no need to settle for plastic forks and spoons when you can opt for natural silicone, stainless steel, and bamboo options. Check out healthy alternatives from companies such as Bambu and Munchkin Silicone Spoons.

Sippy cups: Ditch plastic sippy cups in favor of glass alternatives. These are durable and often include a silicone sleeve in case the cups hit the floor. Take a look at options from Green Sprouts and BabyCup.

Simple tips for steering clear of plastics

In addition to choosing plastic-free registry items, there are a couple ways you can impact your family’s exposure to plastic by doing these simple things:

  1. Use reusable stainless steel or glass water bottles
  2. Opt for glass jarred foods
  3. Store leftover foods in glass storage containers
  4. Reheat foods in glass containers
  5. If you do use plastic water bottles, be sure you store them in a cool, dark environment and don’t be tempted to wash and reuse, recycle them instead.

Make a plan and then breathe

Okay, let’s face it, it is hard to avoid all plastics, so our advice is to focus on what you can and let the rest go. We may opt for metal straws at home, but don’t fret when we use plastic straws when going out. Or we may skip plastic bottles at home, but relax when served a plastic cup when eating out. It’s all about balance and controlling what we can while letting go of the rest–or else your sanity may be hanging on by a thin string! Although we think making a conscious effort to limit plastic exposure is important, we feel your sanity is more important; so, keep everything in perspective and choose your battles.

Now, it’s your turn: Share your thoughts with us and other new moms and moms-to-be in the comments below. Are you concerned about BPA exposure? In what ways are you looking to minimize exposure to this potentially dangerous chemical? Pipe up below! 

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