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    Feeding

    Feeding bottle or sipper: Which is better for your baby?

    Written on 16 August 2018

    Having a baby is the most beautiful experience that any person goes through in their life. But it can be scary as well in the beginning. Taking care of a newborn involves making several decisions and making difficult choices. New parents might find it a little intimidating initially, but eventually, they get the hang of it.

    One of the first decisions a parent has to take is choosing between a sipper and a bottle. The hustle between these two products has been going on for a very long time and might continue. But the real question is whether feeding bottles suitable for babies or not.

    Some people might advise you that a sipper is better. Some might prefer bottles. But eventually, it's you who has to make the final call. Parents, who opt for bottles, do so only because feeding through bottles is much easier than spoon-feeding or sipper. And thus, they think that their baby would be fed well through a sipper.

    So is bottle-feeding better?

    For the long term, no. It is better to go for a sipper for long-term benefits. It might take a little longer for the baby to adapt to this new method, but it would be worth the effort. Here are a few reasons why sipper is better in comparison to bottles for feeding your baby:

    • Hygiene-

    It is essential to maintain your baby's hygiene and keep the things that come in contact with your baby germ-free because the immune system of the baby is not very strong. Thus, the sipper or bottle you use for your baby should not only be clean from the outside but inside as well. But maintaining the hygiene of the sipper is far easier than that of the bottle. In the case of a bottle, you need to boil the nipple and bottle in water for some time and then allow it to dry. Whereas in the case of a sipper, you need to wash it and let it dry. Some people think, is steel feeding bottle is good for a baby, well cleaning that also takes an equal amount of time. So you can judge it yourself.

    • Habit Formation-

    Habit formation is one of the worst outcomes of using bottles to feed a baby. Babies become so comfortable and used to the bottles that they refuse to intake food through any other method. Even if you try to spoon-feed your child, they reject the spoon, and thus it becomes challenging to get rid of the bottle once the baby forms it as a habit. And if you don't give them the bottle, they don't intake any liquid food, which affects the child's health. There are examples where babies have used bottles for up to 3-4 years for drinking milk because the parents could not get rid of the bottle at the right time. And even at that age, it is not easy to get them to give up the bottle.

    • Convenient for the baby-

    As you must have seen, most sippers come with handles on both sides, making it easier for the baby to use the sipper by himself. They might not know how to use it initially, but don't we all take time to learn new gadgets? Similarly, babies also learn how to use it sometimes. And this would benefit you as well if the baby develops the habit of using the sipper by himself. You would not need to feed the baby, but only handing him the sipper would be sufficient. You can start at six months also, as a sipper for a 6-month baby is available in the market.

    • Might change the shape of your baby's mouth-

    Many people believe that the shape of the mouth of the baby might get disfigured because of using bottles. This is because babies keep bottles in their mouths for a very long period and every day. Thus, they have to shape their mouth in a particular manner for that long. This process done repeatedly for an extended period might lead to disfiguration of the shape of the baby's mouth, which is undesirable. But this is not the case with sippers, so you can give a sipper to your baby without worrying about any such thing.

    • Sleep feeding-

    Most parents feed their babies when they are sleeping, which can be possible only through bottles because sleep feeding is not possible through a sipper. Feeding your baby when he is asleep isn't a good practice. It can lead to a mouth or tooth infection in your baby. Thus, it would be best if you did not sleep and feed your child.

    When can you introduce a sipper to your baby?

    You can introduce a sipper to your baby at an early stage as it will help you get rid of the bottle by the time your baby becomes 1 year old. So we can say that the right time to introduce the bottle is around 6 months. It is easier to develop new habits in children and get rid of the bad ones at this stage. You can also wait till 9-10 months because, at this time, most babies lose interest in bottle feeding, which makes the perfect time to acquaint your child with sipper. According to professionals, babies should give up bottle habits by 12 months, and in any case, it should not exceed 15 months.

    How can you introduce a sipper into your baby’s life?

    It might not be easy to introduce a sipper to your baby as they already have a habit of using bottles. But what you can do is make them sit with you in their highchairs during mealtime and provide them with a sipper filled with breast or formula milk. When the child would see everyone eating and drinking food, they would also pick whatever food you give them. And thus, I would start using the sipper at the same time. You might have to hand the sipper in the beginning for a few days, but soon it would become a habit. And if your child would see you drinking out of your glass or bottle, she would try to imitate you and would be more likely to use the sipper.

    Is a sipper bottle safe for babies?

    Sipper bottles are entirely safe for 6 months and above babies, provided you give them a sipper which has low flow so that your baby does not choke while drinking. It would always be advisable to be around when your baby has any food, be it through a sipper or bare hands, because babies are not cautious, so you have to be. Other than that, sippers are entirely safe as any other equipment used for children.

    How To Select The Best Sipper Bottle?

    Sippers have become the best friend of newborn child who stays with them every time. There are different varieties of sipper bottles in various colors and sizes present in the market. And if you are confused about choosing the best sipper for your baby, let us be of some use and help you with this. And read all the below-mentioned tips on how you can choose the best sipper for your baby.

    • Always remember to choose a handy and lightweight bottle because babies don't like to hold heavyweight bottles. And make sure that you are choosing a bottle that has a wide mouth so the baby can quickly drink from it. The sipper should also contain a leak-proof lid at the top of the sipper to prevent spilling.

    • Try to pick a sipper that can maintain the correct temperature, which means they maintain the right temperature of the milk for an extended time.

    • It should be your topmost priority to choose a bottle made up of eco-friendly materials. Avoid using plastic-made sippers because they can cause problems to your child's health. The plastic made bottles leach chemicals inside the bottle and can make your baby sick. So, always try to pick a sipper that is chemical-free.

    • Pick those sippers that are bright in color or are in trendy colors, don't pick a basic old design of sippers. And it is essential that in the growing years of your baby, you give some fun splashes of colors to them through colorful bottles. This can attract the baby, and they would like to drink every time from the sippers.

    Conclusion

    All the parents want to learn the best and safest method to feed their babies. And they have various confusions in their mind, and they think bottle-feeding is good for newborns. So, to make it simpler, we have discussed briefly in this article why bottle feeding is the best way to feed your baby. If you have read the article thoroughly, then till now, you must have also made up your mind to bottle feed your baby when it comes to choosing between bottles and sippers.

    References

    • Environment California Research and Policy Center: "Toxic Baby Bottles."
    • Prins, G. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, 2008.
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