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As my adventures in nursing come to a close, we’ve been experimenting with lots of different bottles. I’ve been searching for the perfect one for baby Clementine for months. You can research all you want but it’s really up to the baby to decide if it works or not. When we had Violet, all of the BPA info was just coming to light and it was obviously really scary, especially being new parents & having no idea what to do with/for a baby! We immediately ditched the Playtex bottles we had been given and went to glass. We ending up using Born Free bottles, one of the only BPA-free options at the time. We’ve come a long way as far as bottles (and plastics in general) go in just under 4 years.

So now, I give to you, the Littlewhirl bottle round up!

Born Free
Like I mentioned above, we used these with V because the old standard Evenflo glass bottles gave her an incredible amount of gas. They are definitely awesome, I tend to prefer bottles that have a nipple with a larger bulb, and both girls responded to those types better. They have a great anti-colic vent that’s easy to clean, and now they even come in glass! Born Free bottles will cost you a pretty penny but they are really great all around. I would have definitely used these a second time around but we were on the hunt for a cheaper option.

Green to Grow
We got a 2 pack of the 4oz. glass bottles made by Green to Grow. I love the shape of these bottles, they were super sturdy and Clementine didn’t have much trouble with the nipple (although I found that they were a bit leaky). The best part about these bottles is that they are made in the US, I love that! I do wish that we got the larger size, because Clem was drinking more than 4 oz at 4 months; so, I highly suggest getting the 8oz. size. Green to Grow also makes BPA-free plastic bottles in 5 oz & 10 oz sizes, in wide-neck & regular neck, along with a great collection of baby cloths and super cute totes.

Green Sprouts
Another good BPA-free bottle, no fancy extra pieces, a decent nipple (although we use these are our spare bottles with MAMbaby nipples). A good stand-by, we’ve been pretty happy with using these as our “back up bottles” (read: when we are too lazy to wash the other ones) now that Clem is a bit bigger. Green Sprouts bottles some in 4 oz & 8 oz sizes and cost about nineteen dollar a pack (2). Green Sprouts also makes loads of other BPA free baby cups, bibs and other feeding essentials.

Organickidz
People, these are stainless steel bottles. That’s right, *stainless steel bottles*. Organickidz bottles do not contain BPA, Phthalates, PVC’s or lead. They will not leach toxins or shatter and are made with food grade stainless steel. This bottle was nice and super light. They don’t scratch up so you never have to worry about nasty germies sticking around or hiding in them. Obviously you can’t stick these in the microwave (I usually warm water in a glass bottle in the microwave and then pour it in whatever bottle I’m using) and since they are stainless steel the embossed measurements on the side are a little useless. I also had a heck of a time getting the nipple in the ring. The top can also be used as a 2 oz measuring cup, and that I have to say, is pretty cool. This one is also a 4 oz bottle so we don’t use it much anymore; if you’re going to spring for these bottles (they’ll run you twenty bucks a pop), I highly suggest you buy the big ones.

Dr. Brown’s
I just can’t even deal with how many pieces are involved with this bottle. People love them but I don’t.

MAMBaby Anti-colic bottles
These have definitely been the standout bottle in our house, I really, really love these. MAMbaby bottles have a vented base and a really great nipple. Clementine had absolutely no problem going from breast to bottle with these. They are super easy to clean, the base detaches so I’m never trying to jam a bottle brush in there to get it clean and when I do clean them, I know they are getting really clean. Clementine is a super barfy baby and when we started using these it definitely decreased (in fairness, we also started adding rice cereal to her formula too so it would, um, stick better…). The best part about these bottles? They are cheap and BPA-free! A 3-pack of 8 oz bottles costs under fifteen dollars (they also come in a 5 oz size), you really can’t beat that. MAMbaby is so awesome. I’d be hard pressed to meet a MAMbaby product that I don’t like. Really.

What are your favorite bottles?

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Silikids

SiliskinGaqu

Silikids is a California based company pumping out all sorts of cool silicone items for children & babies. Most known for their ‘Siliskins’, these thin silicone sleeves are an almost universal safeguard for your glass bottles. Since they first started, they have expanded their line of silicone goods to include kneepads, bibs, bottles & drinking glasses.

V just tried out a siliskin glass which is a new item of theirs. It’s a great ‘big kid’ cup, a 6 oz. glass which is the perfect size for little hands. The thin silicone layer makes for easy gripping which means a lot less spills. And because it’s glass & silicone it holds up incredibly well in the dishwasher, I hate when V’s cups start to get all dingy looking from multiple uses. Once V is a bit more proficient with a glass, I think we’ll be ordering a few more of these.

Silikids was started in 2006 just as the whole BPA scandal was hitting the news. Already in use for nipples and pacifiers, it seemed obvious that it would have many more uses. Silicone is non porous, has a high temperature resistance & is very pliable. Silikids offers more info about silicone here & ordering information can be found here.

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Tinytongs

4pack-1 LR

Violet is currently fascinated with chopsticks right now. She has a tiny pair that she wants to use all the time & honestly, it drives me batty. I don’t have the patience to use chopsticks 9 times out of 10 & I certainly don’t have the patience to teach a 3 year old how to use them. So the next best thing? Tinytongs.

Tinytongs are the creation of Carys Bice & her husband Justin. Carys was looking for something to bridge the gap between finger feeding and utensil using for her little ones and Voila! Tinytongs were born. Tinytongs are child sized, soft, silicone tongs that are lead, BPA & Phthalate-free; they have all these neat little grippies so they stay in your little ones hand and they are very simple to use (& they are dishwasher safe!). V thinks these are the coolest & they have quickly become her go-to utensil. They open just enough so that she can’t cram huge amounts of food in her mouth and she loves to ‘pinch’ her food. I have a feeling these will be really great when it comes time to teaching Clementine how to eat as well as help her develop coordination. Since V is 3 she picked them up very quickly but I imagine it would be just as easy for a smaller child new to solid foods.

For more information about Tinytongs, check out www.tinytongs.com Save 20% on any order with the code: lw20

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waterMango_500

Ever since V started playgroup last year I’ve been pretty obsessed with finding the perfect lunchbox. I love packing lunches, I would probably do it all day if I could. Heck, if I had the dough, I’d probably be a crazy bento-mom with a million little sauce containers and shape cutters. However, all those little pieces would drive me insane I’m sure.

A few months ago, I stumbled upon the Planetbox, a single unit stainless-steel lunchbox that has a bunch of nifty compartments, cool magnets & a sweet carrybag made from recycled polyester. I was in love. So you can imagine how excited I was when I found out that one was on it’s way to our house.

Planetbox is the creation of Robert & Caroline Miros. Robert is an engineer who has designed consumer and medical products for the past 15 years. Caroline has worked extensively on children’s health education and environmental programs. They have 2 daughters, 4 chickens and a passion for promoting the health of children & the environment (and they are super nice folks as well!).

Safe & Non-toxic, Planetbox is made of 300 & 400 food grade stainless steel which means no leeching of nasty chemicals into jr.’s lunch. It’s also waste free, our kit came with a big dipper & little dipper container that can be used for messier treats like yogurt, hummus or pasta. So all we really need is a spoon, fork & a cloth napkin! Planetbox comes outfitted with a sweet set of magnets for the front, one even has room for a name, which we all know is helpful among the pre-school set. V *loves* her kitty magnets and is pretty enamored of the whole box itself. She’s fascinated by the latch & loves how it folds out into a ‘special tray’ keeping her lunch tidy, net and unsmooshed. I love having only one piece to wash, it’s so much better than cleaning out piece after piece of tiny tupperware & then dealing with finding a lid for said tupperware, which is like finding that lost sock that you *know* was in the dryer. Planetbox also helps to escape the headache of how-am-I-going-to-cram-all-of-this-into-my-kids-lunchbox?, it’s all laid out, easy as pie. I know that I’m not over or under feeding V, which I really like. I love our Planetbox, it makes for headache free lunch packing and I know it will last forever! Caroline has even made a really nifty ‘how-to’ video for first time Planetbox users. For more information & ordering, stop by www.planetbox.com, it’s well worth the investment!

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Klean Kanteen

klean_kanteen_sippy

In light of the recent SIGG not-so-BPA-free-after-all scandal*, lets talk about how awesome Klean Kanteens are, shall we?

When I had V in 2006 the BPA scandal had just hit so of course, every parent I knew was panicking & searching the world for BPA-free bottles of all sorts. After we made a healthy investment in Born-Free bottles, as V got bigger we needed a sippy cup option. One of the first things that attracted me to the Klean Kanteen (besides the obvious BPA, phthalates, lead & toxin free-ness) was that they use Avent sippy spouts, which aren’t hard plastic and they were really easy for V to get used to. Klean Kanteens are made of 18/8 food-grade stainless steel so they don’t retain or impart any taste. My husband is one of those total freaks of nature that can taste anything in anything and he seems pretty happy with the Klean Kanteen. He always complained about the SIGG, I should have known! The mouth on the Klean Kanteen is wide enough that they are easy to clean and you can totally fit ice cubes in there, thank goodness because V *loves* her ice cubes. Since we first got ours, Klean Kanteen has started making their bottles in really sweet colors and have a slick new logo to boot! Just recently they launched a new ‘wide-mouth’ bottle. The 12 oz. kid sippy runs about 20 bucks, which is a little pricey but when you think about how long it lasts and how many crappy plastic bottles you ‘ll save from the landfill, it definitely seems worth it.

Lastly, I really love when I find out just how awesome a company is. Klean Kanteen is partnered with a bunch of great charities and they are also members of 1% for the planet. They practice fair labor standards & are sure to visit the factories that craft Klean Kanteens regularly. Read more about that here. Lets help them kick the disposable water bottle habit!

* for those of you who haven’t heard, if you have a SIGG bottle that does not have the new eco-care liner, they are offering an exchange program. All you have to do is ship them back at your cost. MOre information about that can be found here.

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bowls

I just need to take a minute and say how thankful I am for the Munchkin & The First Years Brands. Up until yesterday, I had a cluttered drawer with all kinds of sippy cups, bowls, plates etc. and I finally decided I couldn’t take it anymore. We’ve been fans of The First Years ‘Take & Toss’ line for a while now, I love that not only are all the drinking & snack cups stackable, but they are cheap, dishwasher safe, BPA free & recyclable! They’ve been so handy for lunches & general wear and I’m not up all night kicking myself if I misplace or loose one. The come in all sorts of shapes & sizes and have recently started sporting different children’s characters. A 4 pack of 10 oz. drinking cups cost about 5 dollars, just to give you an idea how how cheap they are.

Last night I went through V’s drawer and got rid of (almost) everything & then I went out and got her two sets of Munchkin brand Multi bowls & two sets of Multi Plates. Holy cow, what a difference! Bowls & plates run about 5 or 6 bucks for 5 and are made of safe, non-toxic plastic. They are dishwasher safe (top rack only) and can even venture into the microwave.

So now, thanks to these guys we now have a rainbow-riffic and very organized feeding drawer for V. Yay!

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feedingset_online

I am a stickler for buying eco-friendly cups, bowls, etc. for my daughter. When Think Baby came out with their feeding set, I was beyond thrilled. The 6 piece set is free of BPA, phthalates, nitrosamines, lead, melamine & PVC. So you can have total peace of mind while serving up or storing your baby’s favorite food!

My daughter was extremely pleased with the orange color and seemed to love having her own ‘set’ of things at the table. We’ve starting using these for school lunches too, as the bowls & bento come with lids. I am so impressed with how versatile this set is, & you can start using it at almost any age. I think we will definitely be owing a couple of these.

Think baby also makes baby bottle & sippy cups as well as sport bottles for grown-ups. Think Baby was founded by Kevin Brodwick to address the growing concern for safer products. After working with a laboratory funded by the National Institute of Health (specifically focused on testing products for estrogenic activity – largest type of endocrine disruptor), Mr. Brodwick became aware of extent to which harmful chemicals were present in everyday products. After unsuccessfully convincing several large companies to alter formulation, Mr. Brodwick took it upon himself to create an alternative line of consumer products.

A portion of all purchases of Think Baby products benefit the nonprofit organization, Healthy Child Healthy World, and the packaging is made from recycled paper. A great green company in my opinion. Please go to http://www.thinkbabybottles.com & check them out.

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