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Here in south India, most of PDs are not suggesting the parents to take feeding bottles for their infants; the main reason is that feeding bottles are made up of plastics.

Though we affirmed that we’re using only BPA free bottles, the PDs are not happy; they suggest to use only ‘paladai-or-sangu’ to give milk or medicines.

Herewith, I’ve attached the photograph of paladai for reference paladai-or-sangu-for-babies

– it is usually made up of aluminium or silver.

As far as I know, our elders used this mainly because it is bacteria-free, non-toxic, boosts immunity and cools the body - mainly, it will retain and restore the freshness of water and liquids.

My son was okay (not all the time), when we gave him medicines using this paladai, however it is really, really tricky and hard to give formula milk using this – he is taking formula milk from 2 months old and now he is 4 months old.

I even sterilize my son’s feeding bottles after every feeding - sterilize the bottles with running water and hot boiling water; can someone advice what is really harmful about using feeding bottles?

What type of feeding bottles can we use then? As confirmed, we’re using only BPA free bottles – not tried with Glass bottles yet.

  • Just to confirm -- PD = primary doctor? – Acire May 20 '16 at 17:44
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    FYI running a bottle under hot water does not sterilize it. It may kill some germs but the real way is to boil it in water for about 5 minutes. – Rachel S May 23 '16 at 17:08
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If you're using BPA and Pthalate free bottles and nipples, then what we can say is that there's no known significant concern from doing so. It's impossible to say that there are no side effects, though,and there could well be other endocrine disruptors not yet known in the plastics (BPA after all was not known about immediately, either).

You will have to weight that for yourself, whether that is a risk worth taking. If your son has a hard time eating from other methods, it seems like that's more of a concern than a small risk from plastics, particularly if you can't afford glass or other options.

Glass is likely the least concerning, as it's effectively inert silicon dioxide which is well understood. That's what we used (Glass bottles with silicon nipples); they're very easy to sterilize and easy to use. Just put a silicon sleeve around them to ensure they don't break as easily.

The claims of 'boosts immunity' are largely incorrect; metals don't do any such thing unless you are deficient in that metal. As far as cooling the body, I find that irrelevant (you don't want formula cool, you want it warm!). Being bacteria free is true to a large extent - it's easier to sterilize metal or glass than plastic, though glass is better (more scratch resistant; scratches can harbor bacteria or other things).

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As far as I know, our elders are used this mainly because it is bacteria free, boosts immunity, non toxic and cools the body - mainly, it will retain and restores freshness of water and liquids.

Boosts immunity? How? Cools the body? Huh? What is the mechanism by which silver "refreshes" a liquid? What does that even mean?

People were using it because it's what they had on hand, that's all.

BPA-free bottles are fine. Anything that gets the milk into the baby, and is easy to clean is fine. The paladai is fine too, IF it's working for you. But it certainly is not as magic as you described it.

Plastic bottles don't need to be sterilized (except before the first use), provided you have safe drinking water available for washing. Just washed in warm soapy water. Use boiling water one a week if you want, you don't have to do that every time.

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    For baby before 3 month, it is advised to keep on sterilisating. Specially if the baby is not breastfed : at the beginning of bottle use, 2 centuries ago, baby died in droves because of this. You can use bactericide soap instead of hot water. 4 minutes above a cup of water in a microwave oven might also do it. – MakorDal May 21 '16 at 18:13
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    @MakorDal: About sterilization, see Is it required or advised to sterilize bottles?. There is probably no benefit to sterilizing if clean water is available for washing. If no clean water is available, sterilizing may make sense. – sleske May 23 '16 at 14:50
  • If you have clean water, it doesn't have to be boiled. Boiling will kill bacterial contamination, but not chemical contamination. If your water is not suitable, you can buy water that is, and then you don't have to boil it. – swbarnes2 May 23 '16 at 23:05
  • @swbarnes2: When talking about clean/unclean water, I was thinking mainly about water containing pathogens (bacteria etc.), which is a problem in many countries. For such water, boiling is usually helpful, both for drinking it and for using it for cleaning. If there is chemical contamination, that's a different problem. And yes, buying clean water can be an option, but is usually more expensive and cumbersome than boiling water. – sleske May 24 '16 at 11:29

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