Babies are soothed by their bottles and will normally want to go to bed with a bottle in their mouth. Allowing your baby to settle down with a bottle is okay, but you should never let them sleep with it. Letting them get used to sleeping with a bottle may make them depend on bottle-feeding in order to fall asleep.
Can baby drink milk while sleeping? The answer is no. Read on to know all sorts of side effects that could come from a baby bottle feeding while sleeping.
What can you read in this article?
- Feeding baby while sleeping
- Side effects and risks
- Remedies and tips
Is sleep feeding harmful?
How is sleep feeding harmful? Here are possible risks when feeding the baby while sleeping.
If your baby falls asleep in their bed with a bottle, the milk can drain down into their ear. This can cause major ear infections. The ear anatomy of an infant is not fully developed. If you drink while lying down, milk may run into your baby’s ear cavity, causing ear infections. This happens when liquid run down your Eustachian tubes.
Always feed them their milk before you let them fall asleep. If they still want the comfort of sucking on something, try a pacifier. It is a good alternative and will not lead to ear infections.
* Otitis Media
Otitis media is an inflammation or irritation of the middle ear. A cold, sore throat, or respiratory illness can all cause otitis media.
Middle ear infections are usually caused by a blockage in the eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the throat. The eustachian tube is a tube that connects the middle ear to the outer ear and helps to equalize pressure. When this tube isn’t functioning properly, it limits normal fluid outflow from the middle ear, causing fluid to build up behind the eardrum. When this fluid is unable to drain, germs and viruses can proliferate in the ear, leading to acute otitis media.
If your baby is teething, you should never let them fall asleep in the bed with a bottle. This will cause tooth decay in your baby’s mouth. Always make sure to clean your baby’s teeth before you let them fall asleep. Overnight, the bacteria can build up and do some real damage to their young teeth.
Leaving the baby all night in the bed with a bottle that has something in it, can irritate the skin. Bottles will leak during the night, and that liquid will normally leak down the baby’s cheek. This means that the baby will be lying in bed all night with wet liquid against their skin. This can cause skin irritation and rashes.
Baby bottles will leak, even if the baby is not sucking on them. If the nipple is still in the baby’s mouth, this liquid could drain into their throat and cause them to choke.
It’s riskier for your baby than it is for you because your infant isn’t as good at waking up when breathing is obstructed. Although your infant is more likely to cough and be uncomfortable, you may want to avoid the danger completely.
When unattended, this could also lead to death. This can be very dangerous, and so, no baby should ever be put to sleep with a bottle in their mouth.
Coroner warns about bottle feeding risks after death of a four-month-old boy
6 na rason kung bakit hindi muna dapat bigyan ng feeding bottle ang newborn
Is alternative cup feeding safe for newborns?
Letting your baby go to bed with a bottle can be harmful in several ways. | Image courtesy: stock image
The human throat has two different paths going down. One path is for air to come in and out of your lungs, while the other is for food and liquid to go directly to your stomach.
If a baby is in bed with a bottle sleeping, then the pathway to the lungs is completely open for air to pass. Small amounts of liquid could find their way down the air path and settle in the lungs. This could cause pneumonia and other lung problems for your baby.
Any doctor you talk to will advise you not to put your baby to bed with a bottle of milk to fall asleep. There are just too many things that can go wrong.
Always feed your baby before they go to sleep. It is not even advised to use a water bottle to let your baby fall asleep with. The dangers are just too much to even let it happen.
Bottle-feeding has been linked to an increased risk of childhood obesity. This could be due to the fact that a bottle-fed baby will frequently drink as long as the bottle nipple is in his mouth. Because he takes a more passive role in feeding, he does not develop self-regulation as easily as a breastfed infant. A breastfed baby, on the other hand, actively pulls milk from the breast and may control how much he gets by adjusting how he nurses.
How can you tell that your baby is full?
- While nursing, you’ve heard gulping or swallowing
- After your baby has detach, your breast feels less full.
- Your infant switches from actively sucking to lightly sucking and falls asleep.
Bottle feeding while sleeping: tips and remedies
Despite these risks, you can practice extra caution and have a few preventive measures:
- Never do bottle feeding while sleeping
- After each feed, make sure to wipe his mouth dry.
- Check that the nipple hole is the correct size.
- Always burp your infant after each feeding.
Can baby drink milk while lying down
Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle feeding your baby, you have to practice caution in feeding your baby while lying down. How do you feed your baby then?
- Make yourself and your baby comfortable. Place your baby on your lap so that she is somewhat upright and her head is comfortably supported and in line with her body.
- Hold the bottle firmly in your hands and tip it horizontally so she doesn’t get a deluge of milk when she feeds.
- Tilt the bottle slightly while your baby swallows so the teat is always full of milk and not air. As your infant feeds, you’ll notice bubbles inside the bottle.
- Make sure the milk covers the entire nipple so your baby doesn’t inhale too much air, which can cause gas and fussiness.
- While your baby is feeding, keep an eye on her position. It will be more difficult for her to swallow if she tries to feed with her head inclined sideways or tilted back. If your baby becomes uncomfortable while feeding, gently modify her posture.
- Take advantage of this time to bond with your child. Hold them close, stare into their eyes, sing soft tunes, and make feeding time fun.
- Take every few minutes to gently burp your baby. If they look unusually squirmy during a feeding, they may be suffering from a gas bubble; take a moment to rub or touch their back gently.
- If your baby appears to be full after 10 minutes or at the end of the feed, she may require winding. Place her on your lap, facing you, with one hand cupping her chin, or drape her over your shoulder. Then, softly stroke or pat her back to make her feel at ease.
- She may burp and bring up a small amount of milk, which is known as posseting.
Get comfortable bottle feeding your baby
Here are some positions you can try with your baby for a more comfortable bottle feeding experience for the both of you.
Cradle your baby in your arms
Lift their head up to a comfortable angle and rest their head in your elbow bend. This is an excellent posture for getting some extra skin-to-skin contact.
Sit down and put your baby on your lap, upright, with his or her back against your tummy and chest. This position is very beneficial for babies who have reflux. Just make sure you’re tipping the bottle far enough to fill the nipple fully with milk.
Resting your baby on your legs
Prop your infant on your legs with their back on your thighs and their head near your bent knees as you sit or lay down. Eye contact and interaction are possible in this position.
Use a nursing pillow
For feeding, some newborns prefer to be propped up on a pillow. This can be accomplished with a typical C-shaped nursing pillow, which allows infant to relax and be comfortable while being fed.
While this option allows you to free up your arms, you will still need to hold the bottle for your child. Only allow your baby to hold the bottle once he or she is old enough or has shown signs that he or she is able to (about 6-10 months of age). However, remain nearby and watch over them.
Did these tips help you? If so, how? Tell us about it. We’d love to hear. For more on how safe baby bottles are, watch this video:
Raising Children, First Cry, Baby Gooro, Hopkins Medicine, Baby Centre, Healthline