Your Guide To Silicone Baby Bottles 

In recent years, silicone has grown in popularity as a safe alternative to plastic.

There are silicone feeders, bibs,spoons and even bowls and plates.

Among the many silicone products to flood the market, silicone baby bottles are perhaps the most new and most inventive.

As parents who take seriously the job of keeping our children safe we ask,

What are the benefits of using silicone bottles?

Is silicone really as safe as they say?

Are all silicone baby bottles made the same? 

Benefits of using silicone baby bottles

1.Silicone is non-toxic.

While your baby’s breast milk or formula should not be exposed to a temperature higher than body temperature, or about 98F, her bottles will be exposed to other high temperature conditions such as boiling, sterilizing, washing in the dishwasher, or warming milk in a bottle warmer.

It’s worth noting that some studies indicate that exposing silicone to temperatures above 300F or storing high fat foods in them for a long period of time can release siloxanes, which can be toxic to the reproductive and endocrine systems. 

For comparison:

  • Boiling water is 212F. 
  • Bottle sterilizers heat water to about 212F in order to create the steam that kills bacteria.
  • The average temperature of dishwasher water is 102F.

To avoid the release of siloxanes, make sure to wash silicone bottles often and thoroughly with dish soap that is free of oils and fragrances.

Likewise, avoid extreme heat conditions.

It is equally important to choose silicone baby bottles that are made of 100% food grade or medical grade silicone.

Less quality products often contain fillers which can pose risks to your baby’s health. 

A quick test to see if a silicone product contains fillers (if you can’t find the information on the company’s website) is to pinch one part of the bottle and twist it.

Pure silicone will not change color; silicone with fillers, however, will show a white streak when twisted.

2.Silicone feels softer (better for breastfed babies)

One other important advantage of silicone baby bottles is that they tend to feel more natural to babies because of how soft and malleable they are in baby’s hands.

They are able to be gripped, squeezed, and held in a way that hard materials like plastic, glass, and stainless steel do not allow.

In such, they are ideal for breastfed babies who are accustomed to the feel of mom’s breast and skin!

 

3.Silicone is safer and more durable than plastic.

When I was growing up, most of the plastic products – including the bottles and dishes my mom used – contained Bisphenol A, or BPA.

Nowadays, almost every label for plastic products assures you that they are “BPA free.”

So what happened with BPA? If it’s so dangerous, how was it ever in baby products in the first place? 

BPA had two wonderful qualities that made it ideal for heavily used products like bottles and toddler dishes.

First, it strengthened the plastics composition allowing it to last longer.

Second, it inhibited the growth of bacteria, protecting products that frequently held food and heavy liquids like milk. 

But BPA, like many chemical substances, was introduced to the market in the 1950s with too little research to validate its safety.

Numerous studies in recent years have shown us that BPA is toxic to human health, and for babies in particular, whose developing immune systems are weaker than ours.

BPA is known to cause many issues for our bodies, but the most noticeable is endocrine disruption, with adverse effects on reproductive development, immune function, and signals to and from the brain.

But here’s where it gets tricky.

Even though BPA has been removed or banned from all plastic products in most countries, recent scientific studies indicate that the chemicals which replaced BPA in plastics, namely blesphinol S (BPS) and blesphinol F (BSF) carry with them similar dangers to the human body – especially the tiniest of bodies. 

While some companies have managed to create plastic products free of these common toxins, using silicone baby bottles can be a stress-free alternative for the health-conscious parent.

Are silicone baby bottles safe?

Unlike plastic, silicone is naturally free from chemicals like BPA (and its equally toxic substitutes), phthalates, and other chemical substances that rank highly toxic on the EWG’s website. 

A silicone baby bottle has the advantage of being toxin-free while also being easy and comfortable to use.

The research is somewhat limited on silicone, but studies today show that it is a safe and durable alternative! 

Best Silicone Baby Bottles

These recommendations are based on comprehensive study of the silicone baby bottles on the market which meet the following criteria:

  1. The products are independently tested to verify safety, validate useability, and find any flaws.
  2. The bottles meet or exceed safety standards established by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) and ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials).
  3. The companies conduct follow-up tests on products at periodic intervals to compare against updated scientific findings and new research.

 

Comotomo Silicone Baby Bottles

Pros: 

  • Safe in boiling water, dishwasher, microwave and sterilizers
  • Soft, squeezable body that feels like mom’s skin and nipple that mimics the breast
  • Wide neck design is easy to clean
  • Made of medical grade silicone

Cons:

  • Can leak easily if plastic ring is not tightened well since the bottle and nipple are silicone
  • Hard to see the number of ounces on the bottle because they are almost transparent
  • Falls over easily since the base is made of silicone

What parents are saying: 

  • Easy to clean
  • Great for a breastfeeding baby 
  • Doesn’t seal well and leaks often

Nuby 2 Piece 360 Comfort Silicone Bottle

Pros:

  • Weighted straw design helps curb gas and colic symptoms (and can be removed)
  • Comes with dual-vent anti-colic valves
  • Great for breastfed babies or transitioning from breastfeeding to bottle use

Cons:

  • More parts than other silicone bottles, including a straw, so it takes more time to wash
  • Milk can pool in the nipple due to straw feature
  • Formula should be mixed before adding to bottle (shaking in bottle can disassemble straw)

What parents are saying:

  • Easy for my baby to hold and feed himself
  • Older babies can squeeze milk out of them when not feeding
  • Must be careful not to overfill or it will leak

 

Ola Baby Gentle Baby Bottles


 Pros:
  • Off-center nipple design mimics natural breast for easy latching
  • Dual-vent anti-colic system for babies with reflux
  • Wide neck is easy to clean
  • Soft skin-like bottle is easy for babies to hold

Cons:

  • On the expensive side for both bottle and replacement nipples
  • The nipples are slower flow that most other brands
  • Not good for mixing formula in the bottle because it tips easily

What parents are saying:

  • This is the only bottle my exclusively breastfed baby would take. 
  • We noticed that our baby spit up much less with this bottle.
  • Leaks often from the vent holes

 

Boon Nursh Silicone Baby Bottle

Pros:

  • Reusable silicone pouch inside bottle which collapses as baby drinks preventing the ingestion of air
  • Can be boiled, microwaved, sterilized and frozen
  • Reasonable price for design and quality

Cons:

  • The ounce numbers on the side of the bottle are transparent and can be difficult to read
  • Silicone is relatively thin compared to other brands and may suction in as baby drinks.
  • Silicone pouch liner must be lined up and sealed under lid very well or it will leak

What parents are saying:

  • If you remove the bottle from baby’s mouth to burp, the silicone pouch will sometimes collapse and fill with air once baby starts drinking again.
  • Nipples tend to be a little harder than other silicone nipples and makes it harder to latch
  • Not designed well, and silicone pouch does not seem to prevent air ingestion

 

Haakaa Silicone Baby Bottle


Pros: 
  • Nipple is very soft and naturally shaped to mimic breastfeeding
  • Anti-colic holes and vents on the top of nipple to prevent air intake
  • Bottle is shorter and thicker than most with a wide base design that makes it more stable on surfaces
  • Compatible with other Haakaa brand attachments, including the manual pump

Cons:

  • Nipple is so soft that it collapses frequently
  • Pricey for just one bottle (how it’s usually sold)

What parents are saying:

  • Very handy to use with the Haakaa pump
  • Easy for my baby to hold independently
  • Very quality and worked great for my exclusively breastfed baby

Perry Mackin Silicone Bottle

Pros:

  • Can purchase a straw and handle to be used as a sippy cup
  • Anti-colic air vent is integrated into the nipple so there are fewer parts to clean
  • Contoured structure provides for a good grip for both mom and baby

Cons:

  • On the expensive end of silicone baby bottles
  • Top-heavy design so may fall over easily
  • Numbers for ounces are transparent and hard to read

What parents are saying:

  • Easy for my baby to hold and feed on his own
  • Does not leak like most other bottles we’ve used
  • Nipple shape is not quite as natural as other silicone bottles

Flipsi

bPros:

  • Microwave, dishwasher, sterilizer, boiling water, and freezer safe
  • Silicone flips inside-out for easy cleaning and drying
  • Flexible silicone sides collapse inward during feeding to prevent air intake for babies with reflux or colic

Cons:

  • One of the more expensive silicone bottle options
  • Bottle lid has a tight fit and can be difficult to unscrew, especially after use
  • Not ideal for babies under 6 months old due to size

What parents are saying:

  • No venting system so easy to clean and keeps air out with collapsible sleeve 
  • This bottle relieves my baby’s gas and burping as compared to others we’ve tried.
  • Harder to hold because the outside plastic is shorter than the silicone sleeve

Silicone Vs Glass Bottles:

While glass has stood the test of time as the safest feeding option in terms of leaching toxins or harboring bacteria, it is also the most heavy and, of course, breakable.

For babies learning to hold their own bottle or moms preparing that 3:00am bottle, this is the downside of the glass bottle, whereas silicone bottles are lightweight and easy for the baby to hold.

Stainless Steel Vs Silicone Bottle:

Then, there’s stainless steel which is durable and resistant to bacteria same as glass.

And while it is not breakable, there are still some downsides to stainless steel baby bottles, including not being able to measure baby’s intake (since you can’t see through the bottles) and finding stainless steel bottles which are made with 204 grade steel and have been electro-polished (see this post for more info). 

Advantages to using silicone baby bottles?

  1. Silicone is non-porous, so it doesn’t harbor bacteria, retain odors, or stain.
  2. The material is flexible to it is easy to grasp with tiny hands and easy for mom to clean.
  3. Unlike other materials, silicone resists oxidative deterioration, which means that it doesn’t break down like other materials. Quality silicone products can withstand sterilization, washing with hot water, and changes in temperature (such as when it’s accidentally left in the car) as long as those temperatures don’t exceed 300F.

General FAQ’s:

Can I microwave silicone baby bottles?

The best answer is – it depends.

Since microwaves have different settings, the temperature inside the microwave is determined by the wattage.

Technically, microwaves do not generate heat like an oven, stovetop, or fire.

They heat food similarly to the way the sun heats your face – through waves of electromagnetic energy.

This is also why using a microwave creates hot spots and is not generally recommended for warming breast milk or formula.

As mentioned, it’s best not to heat silicone products to temperatures above 300F.

If you choose to use a microwave, check the settings for the internal temperature. 

Can I put silicone baby bottles in the dishwasher?

Yes.

Washing your silicone baby bottles by hand with mild soap free of oils and fragrances is a great way to ensure their lastability.

But the top rack of dishwashers are safe for silicone baby bottles as the temperature is appropriate for silicone!

How do I sterilize silicone baby bottles?

The bottles you choose will typically come with a set of directions best used for that specific product.

But as a rule of thumb, you can boil silicone baby bottles in a saucepan or steamer on stovetop at temperatures up to 212F.

Baby bottle sterilizers are also designed to steam clean your baby’s bottles at the right temperature. 

Conclusion

Silicone baby bottles make a great and comfortable alternative to glass, stainless steel, and plastic baby bottles because they are toxin-free, flexible, easy to clean and sterilize, and feel natural in your baby’s hands – and we love products that make life easier for both mom and baby!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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