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Not many parents realize the dangers of bottle-feeding a baby in bed. Read on to find out why you shouldn’t put your baby to bed with a bottle in her mouth. These facts are not to frighten you away, but to help you be aware of the harms that a seemingly innocuous task of bottle-feeding your baby in bed might cause her.
Danger of Choking
Bottle feeding in bed works very well for you and your little one. You can relax while your little one is propped up in his crib as you hold the bottle with a steady stream of milk gushing into his tiny mouth. But there is a glitch here – more of a potential danger. Sometimes the liquid flows fast, and your baby is still tiny and cannot swallow milk at this rate. This is when there is a risk of the baby getting choked. There is also a threat of milk entering the wind-pipe, or even the lungs and making the situation worse.
Danger of Suffocation
Are you using all those soft, brightly- coloured pillows as props in your baby’s crib when you give him the bottle? Your little one might love playing with all those attractive colours when awake, but once he falls asleep, there is a risk that he might wriggle and shift, and as a result bring all those soft props upon his face and nose, causing suffocation.
Risk of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay does not sound as scary as the previous two, yet it has its downfall. You wouldn’t want your baby’s smile to suffer. In addition, once he starts eating solids, you would want him to bite, munch, chew, all those power-packed nuts which you stock exclusively for him. Your baby might fall asleep before he swallows the last gulp of milk. The sugar in the formula would coat your baby’s gums and tiny teeth. Of course the teeth are only temporary, but according to American Dental Association, they also provide space in his mouth for permanent teeth. You wouldn’t want this space to be permanently damaged.
Risk of Ear Infection
An ear infection is painful and can make your baby cranky. He is helpless because he is unable to tell you about his aches. As a parent or caregiver, you might feel as helpless as him because you do not know why your little one is crying. Did you know bottle feeding in bed is one of the primary causes of ear infection? This is because sometimes your baby might not swallow the milk down to the last gulp. This last gulp of milk might pool inside his mouth, which might steadily trickle into his ear causing bacteria to get into his Eustachian tubes.
However, all these risks should not deter you from feeding your baby with a bottle. All you need to do is exercise a little caution and take a few precautionary measures:
- Never let your baby fall asleep with the bottle in his mouth.
- Always wipe his mouth dry after every feed.
- Make sure the nipple hole is of the right size.
- Never forget to burp your baby after every feed.
Remember, bottles by themselves never pose as potential hazards for your baby. It’s the way the bottle is held, and the way the milk gushes into his mouth that creates risks for him and nightmares for you. Follow the above steps and ensure that your baby is always well-fed and happy, because these moments with your little one are never going to return. Make the best of bottle feeding and create a bond with your baby.