Baby Bottle Nipples
Please note that this section contains my personal notes from my readings on this topic.
Silicone is the best choice.
“Opt for clear silicone nipples (and pacifiers), which are made of a more stable and safer material than the yellow rubber or latex ones.”
– Healthy Child Healthy World (2003) by Christopher Gavigan; page 99
Most bottle nipples and pacifiers are made of either rubber or silicone. If you buy glass bottles, they come with traditional latex nipples. Latex allergies are on the rise, so much so that balloons are routinely banned in hospital maternity wards. We suggest replacing latex nipples as well as rubber ones (which are suspected to release carcinogens) with safer, silicone versions. As with bottles, always inspect nipples for cracks and tears, which could be breeding grounds for bacteria. Pacifiers — love them or hate them — can sometimes contain PVC. Clearly you don’t want your child sucking on that. Use silicone here as well.”
– The Complete Organic Pregnancy (2006) by Deidre Dolan and Alexandra Zissu; page 201
Latex is not ideal.
Other bottle nipples are made with Latex. Infants sometimes take to latex versions easier and there are also pacifiers made with it. Latex is also BPA free but there have been some research showing that over time, latex can leach carcinogens called nitrosamines. The FDA regulates levels allowed in latex bottle nipples but some levels are permissible so medical grade silicone is the better alternative. It has also been suggested that exposure to latex early in life can trigger a latex allergy.
Rubber is not ideal.
As for bottle nipples, clear silicone is preferable to plastic or yellow rubber. The rubber nipples tend to develop cracks faster than silicone, creating a harbor for bacteria. Rubber nipples may also release carcinogens and cause allergic reactions. Not only do clear silicone bottle nipples hide less bacteria, they are heat-resistant and can be safely put in a dishwasher. Some manufacturers still produce nipples made of soft PVC that contain phthalates, hormone-disrupting chemicals used as plastic softeners. You’ll want to avoid these.