Bye-Bye, Milk Bottle!
Pediatrician highly recommends introducing a Straw Cup around the time a baby is 6 months old, your baby should give up his/her trusty milk bottle full-time in favor of a full-fledged cup!
Why Say Bye to Bottle?
- Increased risk of tooth decay: Nursing on a bottle nipple throughout the day means prolonged contact with milk or juice, which can lead to cavities and tooth decay. Giving a bedtime bottle without brushing your baby’s teeth afterward is the biggest culprit for “bottle tooth decay.” The milk pools up and will sit and “eat” on the teeth all night.
2. Prolonged use linked to obesity: Babies and toddlers tend to drink more milk from a feeding bottle than a straw cup, and toddlers shouldn’t get more than 16-24oz. of milk daily. Feeding bottles can also become a comfort measure for both babies and caretakers, as it’s often instinct to offer your baby a bottle when they start crying. But milk has the same amount of calories as food does, so this calorie-dense comfort measure can quickly lead to weight gain and even obesity.
3. Iron deficiency anemia: Cow’s milk can block the absorption of iron by the body. So if your child is drinking too much milk, as happens with prolonged bottle use, some of the iron they eat isn’t going to be able to be utilized by their body to help them grow and develop.
4. Could mess with their smile: Recent studies show that babies who are bottle-fed are twice as likely to have crooked teeth. The way babies suck on bottles can affect the development of their muscles, mouth, and palate, which in turn could affect teeth and jaw alignment.