Well, That’s about as Cool as It Gets …

coke bottle made of ice

Coca-Cola as just introduced a new bottle, this one made entirely of ice. Apparently they’re pouring purified water into molds that are shaped like their classic glass bottles at below-zero temperatures. Then, they fill the bottles with Coke. These new bottles are being market tested exclusively in Columbia—and whether we’ll be enjoying them here is anyone’s guess. Each bottle comes with a wide, red rubber band that protects the drinker’s hands from getting frostbitten.
On one hand, this is a really cool (ha!) innovation by Coke. But I do have a few questions.

  • Yes, having a bottle made of ice could eliminate recycling costs and reduce the number of bottles and cans in landfill. However, it’s going to cost someone—whether it’s bottlers or distributors—a lot more in refrigeration costs. I’m guessing it’s more expensive to keep something frozen solid than to just keep it cool.
  • How are people going to protect their furniture from ice bottles unintentionally left around the house after a party?
  • How’s this going to work in countries where it’s not safe for non-locals to drink the water. Now, bottled drinks are generally considered safe, but if the bottles themselves are made from less-than-okay water, won’t that contaminate whatever’s inside it?

Formula Feeding Your Baby without Fear

[amazon asin=B009S7O084&template=thumbnail&chan=default]Guest 1: Suzanne Barston, author of Bottled Up.

Topic: How the way we feed babies has come to define motherhood–and why it shouldn’t.

Issues: Breastfeeding rates are steadily rising in the US, but by three months after the birth, 64% of women are either supplementing with formula or have ceased to breastfeed completely; giving support and guidance for parents who feed their babies formula.

Pacifiers, sippy cups, and bottles might not be as harmless as you’d think

When manufacturers stopped making pacifiers that could break apart and a lot of people switched from glass bottles to plastic (BPA-free, of course), we thought the big dangers were gone. Maybe not.

Proving my theory that babies and toddlers are constantly searching for new ways to scare the hell out of their parents, a new study comes out showing that an average of 2,270 children under three are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year for injuries involving pacifiers, bottles and sippy cups (the majority are one-year olds).  According to the study, which looked at ER data for the past 20 years, two thirds of the accidents involved bottles and 86 of the injuries involved falling down. In 14.3% of cases, the culprit was the seemingly harmless sippy cup.

Binkies, bottles and sippy cups: Handle with care

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Midnight Wakeups

We have a newborn and my wife and I are both exhausted. Who do you think should take care of the baby when he wakes up at 3 a.m.? Do both of us have to suffer? Does our infant really need both of us there in the middle of the night?

If your baby wakes up in the middle of the night hungry, and your partner is breastfeeding, you might as well stay in bed and let her take care of things. Sounds pretty boorish, but really and truly, there’s not much you can do to help. In fact, your sleeping through the feeding may actually benefit your partner. That way you get a full night’s sleep and you’ll be fresh for the 7 a.m. child-care shift, and she’ll get to spend a few more precious hours in bed.
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Hittin’ the Road, Baby

Dear Mr. Dad: We just had a baby and are eager to introduce her to my parents. But they live quite far away and are too old to travel. How soon is it safe to fly with an infant?

A: Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule. Some experts advise waiting until the baby is at least six weeks old before flying, largely because airplanes are essentially giant, germ-filled tubes. Others say that if the baby is healthy, there’s no need to wait. Ultimately—assuming there are no health issues—you should hold off until you feel comfortable with the whole idea of traveling with an infant.

Personally, I think that four to six months is a great age to introduce babies to flying. They’re generally pretty happy to be held for hours at a time (once they start crawling, all bets are off), they sleep a lot, and don’t need a ton of stuff yet (especially if you’re breastfeeding).

Before booking your flight, have your pediatrician clear your baby for take-off. If she was born prematurely or has any respiratory conditions, she may be grounded for a while because of the low-oxygen environment in the pressurized cabins. Also, if your baby is sick, you’ll probably want to postpone the trip.

Next, check with the airline. Some have policies against newborns flying until they reach a certain age, such as 7 days old. Most airlines allow babies to fly as a “lap child” (meaning they fly free but don’t have a seat and need to stay in your lap) until age two. However, the FAA recommends buying a seat for all infants and bringing your FAA-approved car seat on board so your baby can be strapped in (rather than on your lap) because that is the safest place. (If you hold your baby, put the seat belt around your waist, and hold the baby outside of it).

A warning: Traveling with an infant is infinitely more complex than traveling solo. A delayed flight or sitting on the runway for an extra two hours may have been annoying before, but with a baby, it can be torture. Here are some tips to smooth out some of the potential bumps:

  • Pack at least one diaper for every hour of travel, plus a few extras (there’s no such thing as too many diapers).
  • If your baby is formula-fed, bring twice as much as you think you’ll need. The TSA’s 3-ounce restriction for liquids doesn’t apply to infant formula or pumped breast milk (as long as you are traveling with your baby) so you should be able to carry-on as much as you’d like. But get there extra early, in case you have to educate the screeners.
  • During flight, if your baby is in pain–especially during take-off and landing—it’s probably due to changes in ear pressure. Breastfeeding or sucking on a bottle or pacifier might help.
  • The air on planes is dry so feed your baby often to avoid dehydration.
  • Bring lots of extra clothes in case of diapers leaking, spit-up, or worse (bring some for the baby too) and a changing pad (airplane lavatories often have a tiny changing table, but it’s often easier to do it at your seat).
  • Skip the early boarding. Send one parent ahead to set things up while the other waits until the last possible second to bring the baby on board.
  • Find out the airline’s policy about gate checking strollers and car seats. Most won’t charge you, but that could change at any moment.