Every milestone of our babies is significant, especially their first times. An example of these first times are their first smiles, words, and the first time they walked on their own. But among these popular first times, there is one thing that is overlooked. That is the first time the babies start holding their bottles.
Why would this first time important? It is because the moment they learn holding their bottles is the moment your hands would have the freedom to do chores or the other things.
Have your baby started carrying their bottles? If yes, then good. If not, don’t worry, let’s discuss it further.
When do babies start holding their bottles?
Typically, average babies start holding their bottles at the age of 6 to 10 months. They need to develop their fine motor skills to do this. But children are unique in their cute ways, and their pacing of development is different from all others.
Some babies learn to hold their bottles much sooner, some can do this at the young age of 4 months but then struggle to crawl even when they have already reached nine months. Meanwhile, some babies discover to hold their bottles much later but then learns to do other motor skills.
My baby is already 12 months old, should I worry?
Again, babies develop at their different pace. If your baby hasn’t learned to hold their bottles but is up to date and successful with other motor milestones, like crawling, smiling, talking in syllables, then your baby is fine. It is more likely that you baby just refuses to hold their bottles even when they have the capacity to do so. They are bright little ones, aren’t they?
But if you are still worried that your baby might be underdeveloped, then you seek your pediatrician. Find professional opinion because worrying won’t help.
Helping your babies to hold their bottles
It is a case to case basis when babies learn to hold their bottles, they have different experiences from each other and have different tendencies. What works for others might not function for you, so you only just apply trial and error method see what will work for you.
There are no formal methods here, so I will just share the experiences of other loving moms out there. You can copy or combine them as you want.
- The first method is when you are feeding him, gently guide the baby’s finger to hold the bottle with you. Don’t keep the baby’s fingers there, just let him hold as long as he wants and then release it when he wants it. With time, the baby will hold the bottle on his own. He may have difficulties on manipulating the bottle into his/her mouth, so just guide him anytime.
- The second method that you can copy is just like the first one, but this involves the nipple of the mother. Let the baby hold the bottle while you are feeding him with your nipple, after a short while, slowly manipulate his hands with the bottle into his mouth. In no time, he will associate feeding with the bottle, and he will learn to hold it on his own.
- The third method you can do involves a supporting chair where you can put your baby in while you feed him. Steady him in the chair and then put a little towel on his chest to help him prop up the bottle into his mouth.
When trying these methods, remember that you have to be patient with your baby. They might still don’t have the strength to do it on their own, so guide theme lovingly along the way.
What to avoid when training your baby?
Babies are the most gentle beings on the Earth, so you have to take extra precaution on teaching them to hold their bottles.
1. Leaving them on their own
Leaving your baby on their device is a huge mistake, and it can be fatal. Especially, in this case, the bottle that is propped up into his or her mouth can be a cause for the hazard of choking.
2. Letting them sleep while the bottle is in their mouth
This scenario can also be a cause of choking. Another downside if you do this is that milk can pool up inside his lips. The milk would cause her precious little teeth to decay or develop cavities.
3. Don’t prop the bottle as much as possible
Feeding time is mom and baby time; you are trying to bond with your baby and develop his/her sense of security with you. So try to minimize popping bottle up as much as possible.
4. Don’t bottle feed while the baby is lying down
Feeding the baby while they are lying down can cause problems like ‘ear infections.'
5. Don’t Stress it out
Feeding your baby should be an enjoying time for both of you, so don’t stress when your child isn’t making it yet. Maybe he/she is just not ready yet, and babies can feel if their mom is stressed or frustrated, don’t let this happen.
Enjoy this process and don’t take it for granted, helping your baby to hold their bottles is a precious time. Remember that they are only babies once, so enjoy and benefit from it.
I hope you found this article informative, as well as fun, and have helped you ease your feelings about your baby. They typically start to hold their bottles on their own about 6 to 10 months but remember that babies have their pace of development and they can achieve this milestone sooner or later.
What we can do is to help them hold their bottles on their own, and as you have read, you can try the three methods above or can mix and combine them as you want. Remember the precautionary actions you have to take, and just be patient and enjoy the process.
It has been a pleasure talking to you. If you have questions, kindly address them below in the comments section. Recommendations and suggestions are also welcome and would be much appreciated by other mothers out there. Thank you!