How Long Can Baby Bottles Be Used? - An Expiration Guide
Do baby bottles expire? For every parent, baby bottles are considered a necessity that complements breastfeeding. You might be bottle-feeding your child for months now and wonder when it is the ideal to replace them. When you think how often a baby bottle gets into your baby's mouth, you might probably wonder how often you should replace your baby's bottles. You will get all the peace of mind when you know you are safely feeding your baby. Read on to know how long a baby bottle can be used.
Basic Types of Baby Bottles
There are three basic types of baby bottles available, and each has its advantages and drawbacks. Different babies and particular parents prefer different shapes, sizes, and textures, and it can be hard to know which one will work for you until you use it. Understanding different types of baby bottles will answer your question on how long a baby bottle can be used. Here are the different basic types of baby bottles:
Plastic Baby Bottles
Plastic baby bottles are by far the most commonly used type. Plastic a cheaper option, and they are lightweight. They won’t break if dropped. Plastic baby bottles also come from different designs and colors. Plastic is also the softest of all baby bottle materials, but it can easily be scratched when cleaning. Bacteria can hide in scratches and can be missed during the cleaning process. Plastic baby bottles are the most difficult to clean and can even start to smell after continued use, but thorough and frequent cleaning saves them and makes them safe. They are recommended to be changed after a few months. For health benefits, you have to make sure to get a BPA-free plastic bottle.
Glass Baby Bottles
Those who are more concerned about BPA issues in plastics choose the glass bottles. Eco-conscious parents also want glass over plastics because they are fairly made from natural materials. Glass bottles have an entirely smooth surface and make cleaning an incredibly easy task. You need not spend more time scrubbing them than plastic ones, and there is no worry about unknown chemicals leaking into your baby's meal. On the other hand, they are breakable and fragile. If a glass is dropped, it could break and may cause harm to children. You don't have to change them often unless they chip or break.
Stainless Steel Baby Bottles
Stainless steel is the least commonly used baby bottle of the three types. They are sleek, sturdy, and frequently insulated to keep milk at your baby's preferred temperature. Stainless steel has fantastic insulating properties that can keep warm milk warm or cold milk cold for a more extended period. Unfortunately, not every stainless-steel baby bottle is designed with temperature management. Some allow you to quickly feel the temperature of the formula or milk inside through the bottle itself.
But you have to be cautious because if your baby's formula or milk is super-hot, then the stainless steel will be incredibly hot to touch. Stainless steel is not transparent, so it isn't easy to measure the amount inside unless you use a separate measuring cup. It is also the most durable of the three materials, and it is difficult to break them. They are resistant to scratches and easy to clean as well. They rarely need replacement.
How Long Can You Use a Baby Bottle?
More parents are wondering whether or not baby bottles expire. There are essential factors to consider as to how long a baby bottle can be used. Depending on the extent of wear and tear, plastic baby bottles might have to be replaced every few months, while glass bottles and stainless-steel bottles last much longer. Plastic baby bottles should be changed when they are cracked, discolored, or leaking. Glass and stainless-steel baby bottles tend to last longer but should be replaced immediately if damaged.
But if you are still confused about how long a baby bottle can be used, a safer option would be to have a replacement every six months. This practice is a suitable rule of thumb if you doubt the condition of your baby bottles and if you don't see any symptoms for changing. Most baby bottle packaging has a list of the expected baby bottle's lifespan, but if you see nothing, stick to the six-month timeframe for replacements.
Usually, baby bottles do not have an expiration date, but they need to be replaced periodically due to wear and tear. Just because they don't have an expiry date doesn't necessarily mean you should reuse them for a long time.
While there's no standardized rule as to how long a baby bottle can be used, it's always the safest option to toss what you have and replace it with something new if you're ever unsure. Feeding is one of the most critical parts of a baby's life, and some eating inconveniences may affect them. Something as simple-seeming as scratched bottles may harm their feeding experience. You must pay attention to the signs of wear and tear and replace your bottles accordingly because your baby’s health is precious and should always be a top priority.
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