How To Teach Baby To Hold Bottle While Feeding

Start feeding the baby by putting the bottle in the baby’s tiny hands. Then, to make it easier for the baby to hold the bottle, add something extra, like a cushion. Once that is done, help him, or she get it to their mouth.

When Can a Baby Hold a Bottle?

Six months after giving birth, many moms start experimenting with their baby’s diet. When can a baby hold a bottle? This is a question that parents often ask pediatricians as they start to think about switching to the bottle.

It is safe to look into other ways to feed your baby during this time, but experts recommend breastfeeding and giving your baby other foods until they are at least one or two years old.

Read on to find out when a baby can hold a bottle, how to help them do it, and how to keep them from throwing up when they do.

Signs a baby is ready to hold their bottle

Don’t worry if your baby isn’t there yet. Their coordination is probably fine. Every baby is unique. 

But if you see these signs, get ready to clap your hands with joy because your child will soon be able to hold their bottle (or cup, which you might want to start encouraging instead).

  • Your baby can sit up by themselves.
  • Your child can hold a toy and stay balanced while sitting.
  • Your baby reaches for and picks up things while they are sitting.
  • Your baby takes food right for their age from your hand and puts it in their mouth.
  • When you feed your child, they hold the bottle or cup with one or both hands.

How to Help Your Baby Hold the Bottle: 6 Tips

If you show your baby how to hold the bottle from the start, she will want to do it independently. Use these tips to teach your baby the right way to hold the bottle and to teach her that the bottle means she’s hungry.

Watch your baby’s motor skills for patterns

Do not make your baby hold the bottle while you feed them. Instead, please make your decision based on how far she has come in her motor skills. Most babies can open and close their hands tightly by the time they are three months old. This means that your baby will probably grab and move her toys.

Keep an eye out for these kinds of playtime patterns, and if she likes to hold things, try to get her to hold the bottle. Start by having her hold small toys.

Show how the bottle can be used

Make it clear to your baby that being hungry means she needs to drink from the bottle. You can do this by giving the bottle to her when she’s hungry. 

Babies can recognize faces and objects from a distance as early as three months old. This means that they can easily connect objects with their functions. 

If you train her little mind to think of the bottle as food, she’ll be more likely to take it when hungry.

Hold the baby close

Hold the baby close

She can feel the warmth of your body when you breastfeed her. Even if a bottle feeds her, ensure she has the same experience. 

This won’t make her feel like you’re leaving her out. Getting the baby used to the bottle will be easier if you hold her in your arms. Give her the warmth of a mother while you are giving her a bottle.

Don’t talk or make noise during the feeding time

Don’t make any noise while the baby is eating. If there is too much going on around her while being fed from a bottle, she might not eat enough or swallow more air than milk.

When a baby is feeding, if other things are going on, it may lose interest or even choke on the milk. This could be risky.

Hold her close while you feed her. You’ll be able to keep an eye on her while the warmth of your body calms her down.

Provide some support

If your baby holds the bottle for a long time, it could hurt their soft arms. So, put a cushion or something soft and safe under her arms to support them. 

You could also use something like a holder to hold the bottle in place. 

This will help your baby relax her arms and hold the bottle in the right place while she feeds. Also, keep the baby’s head higher than the rest of its body.

It’s okay if some days she doesn’t hold the bottle

On some days, she might not want to hold the bottle. Just like adults, babies can have changes in how they feel. 

She might close her hand instead of opening it. If that’s the case, you should leave things alone. Don’t force her to drink from it. She’ll reach for it when she’s hungry.

Most importantly, don’t think your baby will learn to hold the bottle in the first few days. Rushing through the process could make her dislike it or hurt her somehow. Make sure your baby is safe by taking all the right steps.

Read About: Can You Freeze Baby Formula Which is for Baby Toddlers?

Things to watch out for when the baby is holding the bottle

If you take these safety steps, your baby will not be in danger, no matter how small.

Make sure the baby is in the right place

For your baby to feed best from a bottle, you should lie on your back with your arms around your baby. If you put the baby on a surface, keep her slightly arched to make it look like she’s nursing.

Don’t let the baby hold the bottle vertically or put it in her mouth by tipping it. She could choke or get an infection if the stuff gets into the baby’s ears. 

The Eustachian tubes of babies are shorter and more straight, so milk can get into the middle ear and cause an infection. Let the baby use her hand strength to figure out how much of a tilt she needs for the bottle.

Don’t leave the child alone

Don't leave the child alone

Even if your little bundle of joy can feed herself from the bottle, you can’t leave her alone while she drinks.

When your baby is feeding, stay close by and keep an eye on her. If you think she’s losing her balance because she’s holding her bottle, gently move it.

Read About: Which Water Should You Use for Making Baby Formula?

Pay close attention to the sounds of feeding

Listen to what your baby sounds like when she’s eating. If she makes too much noise, she may take in too much air. Also, when you have too much gas, it can hurt.

Check the top of the bottle to see if it’s clogged, and look at how she’s holding it. Make sure she has the nipple in the right way.

Help take the snout out of the mouth

Even if your baby is an expert at holding the bottle, she may still need help taking the nipple out of her mouth, especially if she started holding the bottle when she was young. Too much time with the nipple in the mouth can give the baby cavities. 

So, after she has fed herself enough, gently take the nipple away from her mouth. She is not yet full if she fights it or puts it back in her mouth.

Don’t let the baby sleep with the bottle in its mouth

The bottle is not a toy, so the baby should never be left alone. She might eat too much, which could cause her to choke. 

Be there when your baby eats so you can keep an eye on how she eats. Unfortunately, most babies fall asleep while they are being fed. Please don’t let this happen.

Read More: Can Toddlers Drink Green Tea

FAQs About Teach Baby To Hold Bottle

How do I know which bottle is best for my baby?

When choosing a feeding bottle for your baby, pay attention to how it looks and what it’s made of. For example, you can get a glass bottle with a silicone lid or a plastic bottle that doesn’t contain BPA.

You can also use bottles made of stainless steel or silicone. Keep in mind that different babies like different types of bottles, so you may need to try a few before you find the one that works best for your child.

As your baby gets used to taking a bottle, you can buy bottles in different shapes.

What kinds of bottles aren’t good for babies?

The number “7” or the letters “PC” on clear plastic bottles mean they are unsafe for babies. This is because these could have BPA in them.

Most babies can hold a bottle and learn to grab things around six months. At first, let her hold an empty bottle. 

The next day, help her bring the nipple to her mouth and hold the bottle with your hand. Help her get used to bottle-feeding by giving her warm hugs and a calm environment while feeding. 

Check that the baby isn’t alone when fed and hasn’t fallen asleep with the bottle in its mouth. Different babies reach milestones at different times, so don’t worry if yours does this later than other babies.

Read About: 10 Things to Do If Your Baby Refusing the Bottle

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