If your baby can still not hold their feeding bottle, don’t worry about it too much. Even though self-feeding is an important achievement for babies, you don’t need to rush to make them happen. Eventually, they’ll get the sense of it, and with your little help, they may even be able to hold the bottles quickly.
A lot of it depends on your baby’s motor skills, but most babies start holding their bottles around six months. It’s exciting to see your baby do new things like crawl, wave, and say their first name, and when they start holding their bottle, you start to feel like your hands are free to do even many more things.
You must gradually encourage them to help your baby discover how to control their bottle safely. Self-feeding also does not mean you can leave your baby unmonitored after giving them bottles; your observation is a must to ensure that they are safe from harm.
Keep reading to learn how to teach your baby to hold the bottle on their own using just five quick and easy ways.
The time when your baby holds the bottle
Holding a bottle begins when your baby can grab an object using both their hands. In most cases, it appears around the six-month mark or even later. It all depends on the baby’s ability to develop those motor skills at a fast rate. When a baby’s fingers start grasping things tightly, it’s time to introduce them to bottle feeding.
Though it is concluded that if your baby’s motor skills develop at the age of 6 months, it means that your baby is growing healthily and actively. It is a good indicator for babies. It’s worth mentioning. However, not every baby is ready to hold a bottle at six months old. Observe your baby’s movement and other motion activities with patience.
Even though some infants may take longer than others to grasp the idea of holding a bottle, if you follow the suggestions listed below, your child will pick it up in no time.
Clear signs that your baby is prepared to take a bottle
Don’t panic if your baby is not responding to you or not getting an idea of holding a bottle. Each baby’s personality and competence for learning are unique. When it comes to parenting, you can’t compare your child with any other. However, if you notice any signs in your baby, get ready to clap freely with both hands because your baby is soon going to be able to hold their bottle on their own.
- Make sure that your baby starts sitting on his own. You can be sure that they will begin to hold onto things very soon.
- Putting one or both hands on the bottle indicates that your baby is ready to hold the bottle in their hands.
- It’s a good sign if your baby can hold a toy in one hand while balancing it on the other.
- A significant sign that your baby is getting ready to hold a bottle is when they attempt to reach something.
Five tips on how to teach the baby to hold the bottle
While teaching your baby to hold a bottle, you, the mother, must remain calm and patient because it is a slow and steady learning process. The holding of bottles may take a long time for your baby, but it is also possible that they will pick it up much faster than you expect. So don’t get discouraged in the initial phases.
Slight touching from the sides
Continuously guide them to hold the objects from the side, and if they aren’t encouraged to do so, make them feel the bottle sides by touching them with their hands. Don’t force them to hold their own bottles because they may not be ready to feed themselves yet. Sense of touch will uplift them to keep the bottle independently at their own pace.
Baby appetite is essential
Wait for your baby’s hunger so that they can take bottles automatically when they are too hungry. They can understand the importance of feeding when they are hungry. It enables your baby to understand the connection between hunger and bottles. Notice that your baby will eventually look up to the bottle when they feel hungry, and it stimulates them to get the bottles in their hands.
Fill the bottles partially
Full feeding bottles are too heavy for babies to hold tightly, and the bottle will eventually fall from their hands. Because of that, they become frightened when handling bottles. Please make sure the bottles are at least half-full before giving them to your toddlers. See if your baby can support the weight of the bottle or if it falls to the ground.
Using this method, they can quickly grasp the concept of holding a bottle in their hands.
Provide your complete support
Supporting the weight of the bottle while your baby is holding it can also be an effective teaching tool. So that you can assist when your baby is unable to do so on their own, adjust the milk to your baby’s mouth size so that they can enjoy it more comfortably.
Because your baby will be unable to take a sip straight when the milk ends, you should lift their nourishing flasks. For the tilting position, they’ll need your support. You can also give some tummy time to your child. It lets your little babies develop muscular core strength.
Maintain complete silence as you feed your baby
When your baby is nourishing, keep the room as quiet as possible so that they can concentrate solely on holding the bottle earlier. Your baby may lose interest in drinking milk if you and your baby are distracted while feeding them. To help your baby learn how to hold a bottle, it’s a good idea to cuddle with her and rub her hands gently to encourage them to focus on feeding.
What precautionary measures should parents take when your baby starts holding a bottle?
I know your excitement levels will be at their peak when your baby starts feeding themselves. To protect your baby’s health and safety, you must adhere to the following recommendations.
It would be best if you kept the below-mentioned things in mind before starting the training process of holding objects;
Parents should not use empty bottle for sleeping
If you think that giving your baby an empty bottle to sleep is a healthy practice, you’re wrong. You can feed your babies with milk before they sleep, but you must take empty bottles from them once they are done.
Position of your baby matters
When it comes to nourishing, the position in which your baby is lying counts a lot. We can’t put this thing behind anything. Assign your baby’s place in the correct order, just like breastfeeding. Tilt your baby’s chest and keep the lower half of their body straight so that they can easily hold the bottle and enjoy it while drinking milk.
Always keep your eyes on your baby when they are feeding
Keeping an eye on your baby is extremely important, so don’t leave them alone with their food in their crib. Some mothers experience choking when they leave behind their baby in the crib with the bottle. They think their baby will sleep peacefully by sucking the bottle nipples, but it can lead to choking or tooth decay or ear infections. Therefore, you should take this precaution very seriously to avoid any unpleasant surprises in the future.
Don’t use any prop to hold the bottle up
Using a prop to hold your infant’s bottle is not a better option. While it’s essential to use both hands, it’s not a good idea to prop up a bottle and leave your baby unattended while you’re doing other things. Overfeeding or choking can occur when you allow your baby to use a bottle on their own. Parents supervision is necessary. Try to be in the same room to have a watchful eye!
There is no one-tier rule for when your baby should be able to hold a bottle. It’s all up to your infant’s abilities. Don’t worry; one day, you will raise both hands free and cheer when your baby can feed himself independently. To keep your bond strong, you must, of course, provide the baby by yourself.
After the age of one, you should consult with your pediatrician if your baby does not show any signs of holding the object. You don’t need to be worried about teaching your baby to have the bottle because it’s a continuous process, and they’ll pick it up naturally.