Sunita Iyer, mother to one-year-old Ramlakshmi, was among the many parents who preferred bottle feeding her baby. She used to find it convenient. However, one day when she was reading a newspaper article, she found out that bottle feeding was doing more harm than good to her baby. One alarming fact included how there was a high possibility of plastic from the bottle getting mixed with the baby formula.
Sunita is not the only one. There are many parents who find using bottles convenient and less time-consuming.
Using bottles in the present era has become extremely common among new parents. Bottle feeding in every way saves a lot of time and effort. The mother, in particular, can get back to work easily once the baby is used to a bottle. . However, it has to be understood that bottle feeding, which seems convenient for the parents can have its own drawbacks.
To begin, BPA or Bisphenol-A is a chemical found in most plastic. Although, most bottles today are BPA free, yet, there is a possibility that the chemical might leak into the baby formula.
Do you use glass or plastic bottles to store baby formula to feed your baby? This video looks at some facts to consider before buying a plastic or glass bottle.
How safe are bottles?
Most of the time, the bottles used to store baby formula are safe. Most of the top brands are made of BPA free plastic and high-quality rubber. Some bottles are specially designed for infants to replicate breastfeeding with wider, slow flow and no drip nipples.
Ultimately, it is completely the mother’s choice to decide whether to breastfeed or bottle feed her baby. Not all mothers opt for bottles. Here are the reasons:
Worrying facts about bottle feeding:
Can lead to bottle addiction: There are not many children who give up on bottles easily. For a baby less than 6 months of age who relies only on extracted breast milk or formula for nutrition, a bottle is very useful. The easy flow of milk and the sucking motion can be very comforting for infants to give up on it easily. In fact, she might become used to the procedure. Some infants might start to prefer the bottle over breast.
Can result in cavity: A teething toddler who goes to bed with a bottle in the night has every possibility of developing cavities. It is advised by doctors worldwide that the last thing that should go into the child’s mouth is water before bed. The residues of naturally sweetened milk can harm the baby’s teeth.
Lowers nutrition: A 1-year-old child has 300 ml to 400 ml of milk every day for his overall growth and development. It need not be milk alone but can be milk products like cheese and curd. But most bottle-fed babies take more of milk (600ml to 800 ml) substituting it to solid food which accounts for deficiency in some important nutrients like iron. Toddlers can be very demanding and would prefer walking around the house with a bottle.
Acts as a comforter: Many mothers have found it very easy to put a baby to sleep with a bottle. The suckling motion comforts the child and drifts him to his dreams but prolonged use of this technique may result in the child finding it hard to fall asleep on his own, when he becomes a toddler, without sucking on a bottle. Most parents might find it difficult to break this habit.
Requires a lot of maintenance: Using a bottle regularly requires a lot of maintenance. It is practically not as easy as breastfeeding but would need prior preparation like making ready the milk, sterilizing every part of the bottle, air drying and keeping the lid safe.
If you think giving your baby a bottle at bedtime is a good time, think again. For, this act might result in baby bottle tooth decay. Know all about this by going through this ClipBook.
Tips to maintain your baby's bottle:
- After every use, make sure to wash the bottle with warm water.
- Make sure to thoroughly rinse all utensils under running water to wash away all traces of soapy water.
- Use a clean and soft cloth to wipe or dry the bottle.
- Use a nipple brush to wash nipples and nipple holes. Squeeze the hot, soapy water through the nipple hole to flush out any trapped milk.
- Use only sanitized tongs to remove bottles, nipples and other utensils and place them in the dish drainer to dry.
Precautions to take:
The best way is to avoid use of bottles altogether. Children, as early as 9 months, can use a sippy cup and by the time they are a year old, they can shift to a regular cup. But if the mother is in a situation where she has to use a bottle during the 1st year of the child's life, it is best that she gradually tries to break the bond between the baby and the bottle by slowly shifting to a sippy cup and finally, to a regular cup.
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