BPA: The latest baby registry dilemma

This past weekend my husband and I spent the obligatory 3.5 hours at Baby’s R Us starting a baby registry. Like most of the others in the store, we looked like deer in headlights as we wandered the aisles, peering through the plastic packaging at foreign items and, finally, shrugging our shoulders and scanning the bar codes.

This time, we completely skipped the breast pump section; it was just too traumatic last time. I’m taking the advice of some of you, and waiting to see what the hospital offers and whether I even need one. I guess you could say that I am in avoidance mode.

But the rest of the baby feeding section also threw us for a loop. How are we supposed to know which of the bottles, nipples, spoons, and bowls to choose from the aisles and aisles of options? We decided to skip this section, too. We would do a little research and then make some selections in our registry online.

But my research has left me with more questions than answers. Which size bottle is best? Which shape nipple? Which nipple flow rate? Should I choose one with a vent system? Are the systems with drop-in bottle liners better than the plain old bottles?

And now the biggie — What’s the deal with BPA?

BPA, or Bisphenol A, is a chemical that is used in certain plastics, including those that are used in many baby products including bottles, cups, toys, and pacifiers. It is also used in other consumer products, including the liners of food cans (including baby formula cans.)

Bisphenol A can leach from the lining of canned goods and from polycarbonate plastic products, especially when the object is cleaned with harsh detergents, or when the product contains acidic or high-temperature liquids.

A number of studies have found that BPA can cause health ailments, including endocrine disorders, obesity, and neurological issues, when the level of the chemical in the body is higher than the determined safety level. Regulatory bodies  established these safety levels, but the accuracy of the levels is being questioned by a number of organizations, including the FDA and The Endocrine Society.

This study found that average BPA concentrations were higher in people who were diagnosed with diabetes. According to the study, “even a slightly raised BPA concentration was associated with a 39 percent increased risk of having diabetes.”

Young children and babies appear to be the most sensitive to the effects of the chemical.

Nevertheless, the jury is still out on the appropriate level of BPA. No changes to safety levels or product packaging have been enforced.

The problem, then, for stressed out parents, is that many product labels are not  clear about whether the product contains BPA. Additionally, many companies offer one or two products that are BPA-free, but several others that are not, even in the same product line. It’s enough to make your head spin.

What I have been able to find so far is that glass and silicon do not contain BPA, so if I choose glass bottles and silicon nipples, I can be relatively confident that I am avoiding BPA, at least in the bottle department. But some daycare centers will not accept glass bottles, and of course glass is heavier and more prone to breaking, which is certainly less convenient. And then there is the issue of the BPA in the liners of the baby formula cans. I did read that the incidence of BPA is less likely in powder formula than in liquid formula. Again, another inconvenience.

How do you feel about all of this BPA hype? Is it real or overblown? Do you use BPA-free bottles, nipples, and food containers for your little one? If so, which types, brands, or styles do you prefer?

Resources
Bisphenol A Free Website at http://www.bisphenolafree.org/
Bisphenol A Website, which appears to be managed by the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council, at http://www.bisphenol-a.org/index.html
Since You Asked – Bisphenol A (BPA) on the Website for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences — National Institutes of Health at http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/media/questions/sya-bpa.cfm
Research Links Plastics Containing Bisphenol A to Heart Disease and Diabetes by Natural News at http://www.naturalnews.com/024207_BPA_health_plastics.html
Bisphenol A on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol_A

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3 Comments on “BPA: The latest baby registry dilemma”

  1. sweets Says:

    I went the BPS-free route where I could. the bottles I opted for were Tommee Tippee – They have BPA free ones. They also have BPA free pacifiers, but I could never find these, so in the end I used MAM latex ones, then Nuk, and recently I bought Tommee Tippee silicone ones. I did not get a breast pump beforehand – and strongly urge you to wait. I ended up buying a manual one as suggested by the lactating consultant at the hospital, but in the end I did not get any milk anyway. We are using formula – here I have not seen any mention of BPA content in the cans. I assume they do. We do not get ready made formula here however, and I see you mention that powder containers are less likely to contain – so yay! I made the conscious decision to use BPS free as far as I could, as it could not hurt to do this. I also recently saw an article stating that in the UK for example they are trying to / or going to make it regulation that all baby products be free of any BPA.

    Choosing the right bottle etc. is also quite difficult. I have been told that some people end up going through quite a few before settling on one, as babies tend to have their own likes and dislikes when it comes to these. While my baby was still in the NICU they tried two other bottles (one was NUK), and I brought in my own Tommees – he seemed to prefer these.

    Good Luck!

  2. Katherine Says:

    I’ve been going the completely BPA-free, organic, eco-friendly route for my baby registry. It is really hard to find everything you need with these restrictions, but I found that I could register online at myregistry.com and be able to add things to my registry from any store, so that has made it easier. I just feel that it’s better not to take any chances!

  3. saffy Says:

    Oh it’s a big world of baby stuff and things to worry about isn’t it? I remember the dramas we had over choosing the ‘right’ cot mattress – in the end we went for a handmade organic coco fibre one… so I get where you’re at.

    We bought Medela bottles. Conveniently they fitted the breast pump, but also all Medela stuff is BPA free (and always has been). Your research about the connection between BPA and T1 freaked me out ever so slightly.

    It’s really tricky here to find ready made formula. When you can it’s in little single serve tetra packs. So we rely on big tins. At least they’re easy to recycle 🙂

    BTW our daughter is 7 months now and baby stores STILL leaving me feeling like the possum in the headlights 😉


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