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For the Whole Family: BPA-Free Bottles

Welcome to the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide on Traveling with Baby.  From now until February 14th, you’ll find great Valentine’s gift ideas for the whole family.  You’ll even have the opportunity to win some of the products featured on the Gift Guide–isn’t that lovely?

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Our year-round favorites for BPA-free water on-the-go are the stainless bottles from Camelbak.  These 12 oz. cuties are available in 6 styles for little hands.  The spill-proof design is easy on moms.  Yet, cleaning is a snap when the bite valve, and straw separate and can be used in the dishwasher.  The taste-free stainless means you can add a wedge of lemon to the water, and you won’t be sucking down metallic-tasting water three hours later.  That’s design genius for you! 

My son is in LOVE with the pirate design.  It is HIS cup…favorite by far.  My husband likes the insulated stainless (available in 0.50L) that keeps his cool water cool even after a full day of working outdoors.  I like the stainless bottle in the 0.75 L capacity–great for a busy day at the office.  The stainless better bottle is available in 5 styles.

Here’s a few other giveaways on the web that are just perfect for Valentine’s Day:

*I received product samples of Camelbak for the purpose of this review.  Read my full disclosure policy.
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Camelbak Leads the Pack

I’ve been a fan of Camelbak since I was in the military and used a Sabre hydration pack on flying missions and physical fitness workouts when stationed in the desert overseas.  While in Chiropractic College, I was an avid runner, and I got a lot of use out of my runner’s hydration pack (Flashflo).  Since I’m a mom, my hydration needs are different.  I don’t want to carry a pack on my back or on my waist since toting Calvin around (sling or no sling) is enough.  But, I still need my H2O, and Camelbak answers the call for clear, pretty, plastic, BPA-Free bottles for moms and kids with an exclamation point in the Better Bottle.

These jewel-toned bottles come in 0.5L (perfect for kiddos), 0.75L (perfect to carry in your hand), and 1L (great for a LONG hike or road trip), either with the classic cap or the bite valve.  The bite valve doesn’t spill when turned upside-down and shaken.  It’s a feature unique to Camelbak products that I find positively brilliant.  You don’t have to tilt your head back to take a sip . . . perfect for staying hydrated in the middle of the night for nursing mommies!  This 0.75L Better Bottle by Camelbak is my ALL-TIME FAVORITE drinking bottle . . . at 3 AM, I don’t even have to sit up in bed to get a drink, and I don’t have to worry about spilling water all over me when I’m half groggy anyway.

Camelbak Better Bottle Features

  • Made of Eastman Tritan™ copolyester, the bottle is completely BPA-free and is dishwasher safe
  • Tritan™ copolyester provides excellent impact resistance and is suitable for both warm and cold beverages
  • Bypass the potential hazards of drinking from wide openings—CamelBak’s Big Bite valve eliminates awkward drips and spills
  • Just bite and sip and the beverage flows through the valve—you don’t even need to tip the bottle to drink
  • But if lifting and tipping is your preferred method, no problem; just remove the straw inside
  • Big Bite valve has an articulating stem, so when not in use it folds down next to the bottle and stays clean
  • Carry the integrated handle in the crook of a finger, or connect it to a pack or waistbelt with a small carabiner
  • Simply unscrew the cap to uncover bottle’s wide-mouth opening for easy filling and cleaning; standard cap size fits many other wide-mouth bottles
  • Specially shaped bottle fits nicely in your hand and accommodates most automobile cup holders
  • All components are dishwasher safe (top rack only); do not microwave
  • CamelBak does not recommend the use of carbonated beverages with the straw configuration; remove straw and drink by tipping and sipping

Once Calvin can figure out how to use the bite valve, I think this is going to make a GREAT sippy cup in the 0.5L size.  For now, he finds my .75L bottle his most favorite chew toy.  My husband is eager to try the 1L bottle while he works in tree canopies as an arborist.  I like that it’s slim enough to fit in the bottle pockets of most diaper bags and stroller cup holders.  Best of all (besides the smart design) is that it’s BPA-FREE and dishwasher safe.  Camelbak products have ALWAYS been BPA-Free.  FYI, these nifty bottles are designed for ages 5 and older since the bite valve is removable for cleaning (grip with all your might, twist, and pull)–it may be a choking hazard.  Links to retailers are available on Camelbak’s site.  I’ve seen these bottles priced anywhere from $10 to $13 online, and they’re worth every smart penny.  There are several color options available: black, grey, green, pine, pink, red, ocean, orange, light blue, purple, and brown.

Wow!  Thanks, Camelbak.  You anticipated the desires of the consumers and you provided a fabulous product.

**WIN IT**

One reader will win a .75L (24 oz.) BPA-Free Better Bottle by Camelbak retail value $13).  Color depends upon availability.  To enter, visit Camelbak’s site and browse all their cool hydration options.  Then, come back to this post and leave a comment.  Any comment will do, but it must be relevant to this post.  Tell me what Camelbak product you’d like to try.  Tell me what you like best about the Better Bottle.  Be creative, visit Camelbak’s site, and have fun.  The contest ends at 11:59 PM (EST) on Tuesday, July 8th. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, July 9th.

Only one entry per person each contest week. Multiple entries will be deleted. The winner and 2 alternates will be selected on Random.org and announced on this post and on Prizey. If you provide your e-mail address, I will contact you. The winner has 72 hours to claim the prize, otherwise, the prize goes to the first alternate to contact me with a shipping address.

**UPDATE**

Congratulations to the winner! Amy, on July 3rd, 2008 at 3:26 pm Said:

I’ve been wanting to try one – and something SPILL PROOF would be great for this prego… and how pretty is the berry color?

–By Dr. Dolly

Posture Perfect Baby Seat Giveaway

A few weeks ago, I posted a review on the BebePOD Plus. This week, the manufacturer, Prince Lionheart, has generously donated a BebePOD Plus (Retail value $59.99) to one of Traveling with Baby’s readers.

This comfy cushioned seat helps a baby learn to sit up. Your baby can have his head up and look around and you won’t have to worry about him constantly falling over. His sitting posture is in a healthy position, and the seat cushion’s low center of gravity and safety straps prevent baby from wriggling out or tipping over.

Need a place to put baby during mealtime so he won’t constantly grab your utensils, but baby’s not yet ready for a high chair? BebePOD Plus has this area covered, and it also includes a feeding tray with 2 placemats. For additional entertainment, there’s a detachable hard plastic toy by Sassy® (BPA-free and PVC-free).

This lightweight chair is great for feeding baby when you’re not at home (grandparent’s house, picnics, rest stops for those who are on constant road trips). The non-toxic surface wipes clean in a jiffy.

Baby will love being able to sit up to reach taller toys and especially to make eye contact with you (this is especially helpful while teaching baby sign language). This fun and fab chair comes in 3 yummy colors: kiwi green, orange, and watermelon red. You can purchase your own online from one of the retailers of Prince Lionheart products.

**WIN IT!!**

One winner will receive his/her color choice of a Prince Lionheart BebePOD Plus (retail value $59.99).

To enter, visit Prince Lionheart’s website and check out all of their cool products for babies and toddlers from feeding to travel and playtime. Then, leave a comment on this post about which cool Prince Lionheart product you’d like to try and why. Entries are due by midnight EST on June 8th. The winner’s comment will be randomly selected and announced on this post and on Prizey Winners on June 9th.

**UPDATE**

Congratulations!! The WINNER is Aniela R., on June 2nd, 2008 at 9:38 am Said:

With all these car seats I’d like those seat savers for my car.

ALTERNATES:

Melissa Resnick, on June 2nd, 2008 at 9:45 am Said:

Wheely Bugs are my favorite.

Leslie, on June 2nd, 2008 at 10:12 pm Said:

I don’t ever have time to read/post blogs and enter contests but I love this item! I like green but any color will do so PICK ME!!!!!

**In the case that the winner doesn’t contact me within 72 hours, the first alternate to contact me with shipping info. and seat choice will win.

BPA-Free Baby Bottles

It’s almost impossible to avoid using plastics for consumable items these days. We use plastic wrap, plastic bags, or plastic airtight containers to store leftover foods. We drink from plastic containers, use plastic plates or flatware. Unfortunately, there are so many studies that support how the carcinogen-inducing agents contained in plastics (petrochemicals, pthalates, bisphenol-A, free radicals) are detrimental to our health and can promote increased likelihood of diseases like cancer or Parkinson’s, to name a few.

So, why on earth would we want to introduce these chemicals to babies and children at such an impressionable young age. Their vulnerable systems are still under development and growth, and yet they can often be exposed to an onslaught of toxins just by bottle-feeding.

Don’t get me wrong. Although I’m a big proponent of exclusive breastfeeding the first 6 months, and up to the first year of a baby’s life, I know there will be times when I’ll want to use breastmilk in a bottle for feedings (like when Steve takes on the 5am feeding shift, or we leave baby with a sitter while we’re out for a couple of hours).

Fortunately, there is a healthy option. There is one company that makes baby bottles and drinking cups for kids that are free of Bisphenol-A: Born Free. Read about it here. There is no other brand of baby bottle that I will use, unless in the near future other companies develop similar products. Although they may be somewhat more expensive on the Born Free website, they are available on-line at Target and Amazon. Personally, I think a few extra bucks spent on a hazardous-chemical free bottle is completely worth the investment in the future of our baby.