The transition to a sippy cup is a big milestone. Your little baby is no longer so little and if she’s anything like my daughter, she is a very active, slightly reckless, and carelessly carefree toddler.
In the hands of a toddler, choosing a plastic sippy cup makes sense.
Plastic sippies can survive a year old’s rough handling including drops from the high chair, stroller or top of a slide and are cheap to replace if left on the playground or chewed up by the dog. Plus, you can get them in every color of the rainbow to appease your picky child.
The benefits of a plastic sippy are strong, but the risks are stronger.
Don’t let your guard down around all of the packaging on those brightly colored sippies that scream “BPA free.” While the FDA has banned BPA from sippy cups (as well as baby bottles and formula packaging), you should still avoid plastic sippy cups, and here are the three main reasons why.
In the United States, the chemicals regulation system works a bit like the judicial system – all chemicals are considered innocent until proven guilty. And it takes strong scientific evidence until a chemical is proven guilty and federal regulations are put into place.
According to The Environmental Working Group, there are about 85.000 chemicals approved by the federal government and only a few hundred that have been reviewed to date. Did you know that the U.S. did not ban lead-based paints until 1978, 70 years after France, Belgium and Austria banned them and almost 40 years after many other European countries did the same?
That lack of standards in what goes on the store shelf and consequently into my family’s bodies leaves me to create my own standards. With that, my goal is to make smart decisions and minimize my exposure to those questionable chemicals as much as possible. Cutting out plastic is one of my huge undertakings to do just that.
Cumulative Effect on Little Bodies
When our babies are born, they seem so delicate and fragile. As they grow, start walking, and develop vibrant personalities, it is easy to forget that they are still small and need us to protect them. Studies have shown that fetuses and young children’s bodies are the most vulnerable to the impact of chemicals. Today, babies are born with traces of hundreds of chemicals in their umbilical cord. We are already starting our little ones off with a toxic load of chemicals, and the amount will only increase as they grow up.
Many chemicals have a cumulative effect on the body so while a plastic sippy may not wreak havoc on our children’s endocrine system, all of the exposure she gets adds up. This may include eating food packaged or stored in plastic and chewing on plastic toys throughout the day. The more we can do to help our children, they better off they are in the long run.
The BS of BPS
In 2012, Bisphenol A (BPA) was banned from sippy cups because studies showed that BPA was leaching from plastic into our food and the chemical was disrupting our sensitive endocrine systems. Companies didn’t miss a beat to create BPA free sippies and plaster “BPA free” all over their packaging. But let me tell you – it is nothing more than Marketing 101. Those words make shoppers focus on what’s missing instead of what is still in the plastic.
BPA helped make baby bottles and sippies hard and durable. That property needed to be maintained in BPA free products so scientists had to come up with a substitute. Bisphenol S, otherwise known as BPS, replaced BPA because it helps harden plastics and supposedly does not leach as much as BPA. However, studies have shown that it leaches more than anticipated, sometimes even more than BPA! and can disrupt our bodies in ways similar to BPA. I call BS on BPS.
BPA was approved by the FDA for food packaging over 50 years ago. They only saw it fit relatively recently to study its effects, and honestly, the FDA’s response to ban BPA isn’t because they see it as dangerous. They are just paying lip service to consumers who are demanding changes because they know that their health is at stake. The switch the BPS is not a healthier solution and I’m not holding my breath for when the FDA studies and bans BPS.
Alternatives to plastic sippy cups exist, and they are glass to boot!
You probably won’t believe me when I say that my daughter has been using/abusing her glass sippy cup at home, daycare and on numerous family trips for the past five months, and it remains intact. I thought it was going to be unrealistic to find a glassy sippy for her but resilient glass sippy cups do exist, and they are pretty amazing!
Green Sprouts Glass Sip ‘n Straw Cup
I cannot sing enough praises for the Green Sprouts Glass Sip ‘n Straw Cup. It looks like an ordinary plastic sippy because the outside shield is plastic but everything that touches the liquid is glass or silicone. The plastic exterior and shock absorbent rubber base have helped our cup survive numerous drops and throws from way up high. It comes with two types of tops, a spout and a straw, both of which my daughter has loved. Spillage from the spout was actually nonexistent until she chewed a small hole into it. Before we could get a replacement, she mastered the straw top, and we haven’t looked back. (FYI-If you want replacement sippy tops, straws, or glass inserts, you can get them on the Green Sprouts website.) It is easy to clean and if you’re not a fan of the green color, it comes in pink and aqua as well. The only thing I would change about my experience with this sippy cup is buying it sooner for my fickle, bottle-hating baby.
I included Lifefactory glass bottles as my only bottle choice on my registry because they were multipurpose, convertible to sippy cups with just a new top. I love all of the different colors these bottles come in and the feel of the silicone that wraps and protects the exterior of the bottle. They are extremely durable; I often give them to my daughter to play with when I need her out of my hair in the kitchen, and they are all intact. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to use them as a sippy yet because my little one likes to play with water. That means pouring water out of whatever container it is in and spreading it on whatever surface the H2O has landed. In the meantime, I use them to hold extra water and snacks. If you’ve got a non-water player, check out these bottles. FYI – sippy spouts are sold separately from the bottles which come with nipples or just a plain cap.
GoGlass Borosilicate Glass Baby Bottle
What I love is that this bottle was created by parents who wanted a chemical free bottle for their son. Once your babe has outgrown the bottle, The GoGlass bottle easily turns into a sippy cup by switching out the tops (which you can purchase here. It is made of a durable borosilicate glass (i.e., Pyrex) that is virtually unbreakable and comes with a medium and a slow flow anti-colic nipple. Plus, GoGlass offers a 365 day guarantee. That gives you enough time to try it out through many stages of your baby’s development. You can get it in a green (frog) design as pictured or pink (elephant) design.
Runaby Glass Baby Bottle with Silicone Sleeve
Like the GoGlass bottle, the Runaby Glass Baby Bottle can be used as a bottle and then converted to a sippy with sippy tops. While it is not the best looking belle at the ball, it has a big advantage that the other sippies do not. It is designed to be compatible with nipples and sippy spouts from other brands like Dr. Brown’s, AVENT, NUK, MAM and more. This is a big deal when your baby is not taking a nipple, and A) you don’t want to buy every bottle under the sun to try different nipples and B) you don’t want to resort to plastic bottles. If you are battling a non-bottle abiding baby or one who really wants to hold the bottle but doesn’t have the dexterity yet, the Runaby Glass Baby Bottle should be in your Amazon cart. The silicon sleeve and borosilicate glass allow this bottle to take a beating and remain intact. Also, it can go from freezer to boiling water without any issues. Of the sippies in this article, the Runaby is the most reasonably priced. You can get it in blue, as pictured, or pink.
Did you know that there are glass sippy cups that could survive your toddler’s rough hand? What are you biggest concerns about glass sippies? If you are use glass sippies, I’d love to hear what kind and your experience with it.