Baby Bottles: FSA Eligibility
What are baby bottles?
Baby bottles are indispensable baby care items for newborns and toddlers alike, which consists of a bottle to hold liquid and a nipple or spout at the top that allows for the child to easily ingest it. Baby bottles give parents the ability to store and safely transport meals on the go. Whether a mother is breastfeeding, using formula or a combination of the two, baby bottles are an essential piece of baby gear that all new parents should invest in that will see continual use through the first several years of the child's life.
What are the primary baby bottle types?
Baby bottles have utilized a similar design for generations, but there are more options than ever for new parents to choose from when shopping for these devices. Parents should consider the following factors when purchasing a baby bottle via MedlinePlus:
Baby Bottle Material
While traditional baby bottles were usually made with glass, they can also be found in plastic, stainless steel and silicone variants. Bottle body types can come in a variety of shapes from contoured for easier holding to simple cylinders, and the openings can vary from large to small which can make a major difference for cleaning/filling purposes.
By and large, there are two primary nipple types for parents to choose from: the longer, narrow nipples or the traditional breast-like nipple. While most babies will take to each nipple type well, those who have had problems with nursing should stick to the breast nipple type to make feeding as simple as possible.
Vents and Valves
Last but not least, what types of valves and venting devices a bottle has will make a real difference in the overall air ingestion a baby will experience during feeding. Excessive air ingestion can lead to gas, burping and spit ups, so if a child has experienced excessive digestive trouble from a young age, he/she may be a better candidate for vented devices.
Why aren't baby bottles eligible for reimbursement?
While baby bottles are certainly essential supporting a baby's nutritional foundation, the IRS considers these products to be "dual purpose." This term refers to expenses that are sometimes considered cosmetic or essential to one's "general health," that may also serve a medical purpose. As such, baby bottles are items that do not have a direct medical purpose, therefore they are not eligible for reimbursement with consumer-directed healthcare accounts.