Here's Why You Should Never Prop A Bottle Up For Your Baby

Many of us try to cut corners or find the latest 'parenting hack' to make life easier. 

As a busy mum of four, I'm right there with you. I know how hectic life can get and like always, we all try to cut corners or find the latest 'parenting hack' to help minimise the long lists of things we have to do daily. 
However, sometimes it can have dangerous consequences, such as bottle propping.
Bottle propping is strategically placing a rolled up blanket, a pillow or some kind of support under an infant's bottle of formula or breast milk to hold it in place leaving you hands-free to run errands, bath, dress or feed other children.
And while it may seem harmless, it is extremely dangerous. 
Babies do not have the head control nor the strength to push or move a bottle away if they are feeling full. They risk choking or consuming too much if the milk continues to flow. 
For example, choking can occur when a baby falls asleep before completing the bottle.
In 2015, The BBC reported a baby choked to death following an incident with bottle propping in a car seat while being looked after by his godmother.
The post-mortem examination sadly revealed four-month-old Alex Masters had inhaled milk into his lungs.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says parents should never prop bottles and leave baby unattended that: "not only will you miss the opportunity to bond with her while she feeds, but there's also a danger that she'll choke or the bottle will slip out of position."
"Propping the bottle also increases the risk of ear infections. We do not recommend devices to hold a bottle in a baby's mouth - they could be dangerous."
While the HSE recommend parents or caregivers to "never prop or lean the bottle against a pillow or another support."
It is recommended to hold your baby's bottle until they have the ability to manoeuvre their bottle themselves. However, in rare cases of multiple babies such as twins or triplets, the Irish Multiple Births Association encourage bottle propping but advise parents to monitor feeding and to supervise all children at all times. 
They also advise parents to sit with their "back against a wall or couch for support and hold the bottles in the babies' mouths, then wind one on your shoulder while continuing to feed the other(s) and vice versa.
Other risks of bottle propping include tooth decay, ear infections and of course, less interaction with parents. It can weaken the bond between a parent and their child. 
Eye contact, touch and interaction are very important in promoting a close relationship and bonding.
Bottle propping might be a quick think solution but it can also have devastating consequences. Be mindful of that the next time you're in a hurry or need an extra pair of hands. Sit down and enjoy the quiet moments because trust me it doesn't last forever. 
Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of 4 kids aged 2, 3, 5 and 9 (and she is expecting baby #5 in May). Described as a self-confessed procrastinator and picker-upper of things, Kellie would never turn down a coffee, loves to travel and shares her every day true to life moments on Instagram

Kellie Kearney

Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of five kids aged newborn right up to nine. She loves coffee, cloth nappies, travel and sharing her every day true to life family moments on Instagram.

Read more by Kellie
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