Time has a way of getting away from moms when they are enjoying the first year of their new little one's life. There are so many firsts that they must anxiously await. From the first time they sleep through the night, to the first tooth, to the first word...each memory is even more precious than the next.
But what happens when that first year has flown by, and our baby does not yet seem ready to give up the comfort of their baby bottle? There are many different schools of thought on this issue, and personally, I think points of view can differ greatly depending on the individual baby involved. They are, after all, still babies at one year old. That has to play a role somewhere in our thought processes, doesn't it?
In any case, whether or not a new mom or dad is worried about the potential negative impacts of using a baby bottle after age one, it is always good to be aware of assorted theories so an informed decision can be made. We all want what is best for our babies, however, the grey area can differ greatly from family to family.
15 Tooth Decay
Nobody wants to be the cause of dental problems in their children. The problem with baby bottle after one year old is that the sugars from milk and juice are now sitting in the babies mouth, directly against their little gums and teeth, longer than what would be considered optimal for baby's dental health.
That being said, there are a couple of different ways to address this issue if you are so inclined. One would be to dilute the milk or juice so there is less sugar content in the baby bottle. A second may be to only give the baby water in their baby bottle to help them get used to going without.
Juices and milk are better given in a sippy cup as baby gets older. If the beverages are given in full strength in the cup vs. diluted in the bottle, the baby may just develop a preference for the sippy cup on their own.
14 Problems Sleeping Without A Bottle
We all tend to get into routines with our little ones, and when something works, we tend to stick with it. Particularly, during the first year of life, we are constantly adjusting and accommodating our babies to slowly fall into some sort of comfortable pattern.
So, once this little pattern has been established, sometimes it may prove challenging to change it up a bit. If your little one is used to falling asleep while sucking down a warm bottle of milk, it may prove difficult to take that away.
Another issue may be waking in the middle of the night and expecting to eat. Hopefully, this problem has been addressed in previous months and you are not still awakened to feed your darling one, but if it is indeed still happening at one year, it is definitely time to give it a rest!
13 Increased Risk Of Ear Infections
As I've said, when newborns come into this world, they must drink from either their mother's breast or a bottle in order to thrive. There is a slight risk of ear infection at that time, but it is one that cannot really be avoided. The risk is higher if the baby is in a reclined position (But duh? Who feeds their baby sitting up?).
In any case, the risk for ear infection increases in older babies for two reasons: 1) the baby ingests larger amounts of sugary liquids that can go up through the eustachian tubes, causing them to swell; and 2) The sugar in these bottles feeds the germs, and may cause them to grow.
Babies are all different, of course that goes without saying. The answer for one may not be the answer for all, but all any of us can do at any given time is our best.
12 The Bottle Can Become A Choking Hazard
Baby bottles are designed to mimic a mother's natural nips. The shape and design of the synthetic nip is intended for use in infants. Obviously, as babies get older, many things begin to change. The baby becomes stronger and more coordinated. This can be cause for concern if your little one decides to play with that little plastic nip. They may pop out of the bottle without notice, causing a choking hazard in your precious bundle.
A second choking hazard that is even more likely than the first, is the possibility that baby will use their new strong teeth to bite off a piece of that silicone nipple. This, my friends, is not good!! Not only could the baby choke on the plastic, but that could also allow too much liquid to come out of the bottle at once, causing them to aspirate the liquid and choke.
11 Weaning Becomes More Difficult
As new moms and dads, sometimes we think we are making things easier on ourselves when in the long run, we are actually far more screwed. Weaning your baby off of the bottle is definitely one of those things. Of course we want to keep them happy and comfortable when they are tiny little helpless beings, but as they get a little bit older, their opinions come into play as well.
Once your baby decides that they WANT the bottle (instead of only their instinctual need) it becomes a bit more challenging to begin to fade it out. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes. By one year old, it is probably time to try and slowly wean them off.
Most babies will be a bit cranky about it at first, but once they realize that there are far more interesting things going on in the world, it is usually a quick and successful process.
10 Trouble Eating From A Spoon
Let's face it folks, sometimes our precious little babies don't act exactly the way we had anticipated. Of course they don't!! They are tiny little humans with great big opinions of their own! So what's a mama or daddy to do when your little one refuses to eat from a utensil? Not only that, baby refuses to put any solid foods in their mouth at all!?
Here's the deal my friends. Overusing the baby bottle at an older age can cause your child to have a "lazy mouth". They become used to only swallowing, and having their nutrition glide easily passed the lips and down the throat. For most babies, they have an acute interest in trying to eat the new foods, but for some, this can become quite an obstacle.
My suggestion? Start with a familiar taste in the spoon (i.e. milk or juice) and begin withholding the bottle for a set period of time so baby is hungry. It may be tough at first, but hopefully with a bit of persistence, it won't take too long.
9 Excess Gas
Often times when babies reach the age of one, they are more than capable of holding the bottle by themselves. The problem with this is that even moms and dads don't always have eyes in the back or their heads.
What do you suppose your precious little baby is going to do when they get to the end of their yummy bottle? For many, the answer is that they will keep happily sucking away. This can be quite problematic. Especially when you have already laid your baby down to go to bed.
You see, when a baby ingests air, gas forms in their tiny little tummies. It may be a small problem that is fixed with a burp or two, or it may turn into something a bit more time consuming and painful. If excess gas gets trapped in the tummy, it will cause pain for your little one, and of course nobody wants that!
8 Too Dependant On Sucking
Babies are born with a natural instinct to suck. If you watch your sweet little newborn when they are asleep, they can often be seen sucking, even in dreamland. Why is this? the reason is that babies need to be able to obtain adequate nutrition via a nipple (whether natural or synthetic) from day one. If they weren't able to eat right away, they would not thrive and would suffer from lack of nutrition.
So yes...this handy little instinct is both a blessing and a curse as baby starts to get older. Not only does the bottle act as the main source of nutrition for the young ones, but it is also a way for junior to seek comfort when they are upset. The bottle can act like a pacifier in certain situations, and this may cause baby to resist giving it up.
7 Night Feeding Can Become A Problem
Who are we kidding here? Sleep is a coveted commodity in any household with young babies and children. Not only do we crave it desperately, we NEED it in order to make it through our very busy days and nights without overdosing ourselves on mass quantities of caffeine.
Newborns require more frequent bottles than a one year old. That is just a fact. If your one year old is still waking up in the middle of the night and you are giving them a bottle, I'm sorry to tell you, it is most likely one hundred percent your fault (unless there are some sort of special needs involved).
My best advice? Stop it!! Just stop. Your baby will be just fine waiting until morning. In fact, you have trained them to wake up to eat, so now it is time to train them to sleep. You've got this, Mama! Stay strong.
6 Ingesting Too Much Milk
There are many reasons that parents may want to refrain from allowing their children to consume too much milk or juice. The problem with the baby bottle is that the child will consume up to four times the amount of liquid than they would from a sippy cup.
Why? Well, my friends, the reason is two-fold. First of all, the baby is most likely going to keep sucking away from the baby bottle until the contents have all been consumed. That's what they have become accustomed to, and that is what they will most likely continue.
Secondly, too much milk or juice can make baby's tummy an uncomfortable and gassy place to be. Nobody wants to be the cause of any pain for their little one. However, babies often find the bottle to be a source of comfort, not only nutrition. For this reason, they are more likely to continue drinking even if the need is no longer physical.
5 May Not Consume Enough Solid Food
Obviously, some babies are much more finicky than others. If you have a little kiddo that is not seeming to catch on to the yumminess of eating solid foods, bottle feeding after the age of one may not work in your favor. Of course, you want to make sure that your little one is getting enough nutrition, but your baby may then know that they will soon be satisfied even if they refuse to take a taste off of their little spoon.
This may be okay for a little while, but the situation could become quite problematic if it is left to fester for a long time. Some babies just don't like to try new things, and that may certainly be the case with yours.
In any case, your odds of successfully introducing new solid foods to your baby dramatically increase when the baby is longer allowed to fill up on milk and juice from the bottle.
4 No Family Meal Time
Most of us have some sort of image of sitting around the table together and enjoying a family meal. Whether it is just you and baby, or hubby, baby, and two other kids...the picture of a shared and traditional breakfast, lunch, or dinner is likely in your head somewhere.
So what do you do when the baby isn't interested? How do you create a normal family routine when your little one just sits and fusses in their high chair instead of anxiously awaiting their food? They just want a bottle! Well, once again...timing is often key. As I said before, try to get that little tummy rumbling a little bit before it is time to sit down and eat.
By one-years-old, it is really quite necessary for most babies to be eating a wide variety of solid foods several times a day. If your baby still won't cooperate, you may need to consult your family doctor for a few more suggestions.
3 Improper Dental Development
The age-old argument over thumb and pacifier sucking after one year also rears its ugly little head in the debate over baby bottles. The thought is that young and delicate baby teeth and gums can be adversely affected by allowing young children to suck on these items. Teeth may shift position, and gums may become inflamed.
In any case, this is not an argument that will be settled here. Once again, each child is different, and so are their individual needs and desires. If Mom and Dad were late to give up these creature comforts, chances are that they will be more willing to allow their precious bundles to continue the habit a bit longer as well.
So there you have it folks, take all angles into consideration. Do what is best for you and your little family.
2 The Bottle Will Be The Only Way To Soothe
As moms and dads, we all want to be able to comfort our babies and keep them feeling happy, healthy and secure. That is our most important job, really. Sometimes, however, as new parents, we may accidentally "overuse" a particular comforting technique, causing the baby to become more dependent than we may have intended.
Soothing baby with hugs and kisses is often the preferred method to yet another bottle, but if your little one has come to expect a delicious little treat whenever they become upset, it may become more challenging to have them accept another alternative.
So what are we to do if this begins to be an issue? I would say that each little angel is different, and have fun trying this and that until you see that precious little smile.
1 No Schedule
So let's just say that your growing family has a very busy schedule. One goes here, one goes there, and there is only a certain time frame allotted for dinner before you are back on the road. What are you going to do if the baby is used to refusing food for a half hour or more, and then acting hungry once you've put everything away? Sometimes a bottle feels like a good solution. But think again.
Bottles cause bigger babies to ingest larger numbers of ounces than a sippy cup. Therefore, if the baby is still getting large bottles between meal times, they may still feel full when it is time to sit down and eat.
Cups are certainly the better option when you have a little one that is filling up on milk and juice instead of solid foods. Hang in there moms and dads, it will all balance out soon.