Why Bottle Propping Is More Harm Than Help

0-12 Months

With all the demands on parents these days, you might feel like you need either an extra set of arms or to come up with creative hacks to keep up. Don’t let propping a bottle for your baby be the next trick up your sleeve. This is one hack you definitely want to skip. Bottle propping can lead to more tears down the road, causing gas and ear infections.

Bottle-propping risks

We know, the struggle is real. You slept through your third snooze button, and now you’re scrambling to get ready in the morning and feed your baby at the same time. So you might be tempted to prop your baby’s bottle while you get dressed. While bottle propping may save you some time in the short term, in the long run you might spend more time in the doctor’s or dentist’s office with your little one. Here’s why:

  • Bottle propping forces your baby to keep up with the flow, even if he’s full. While the milk keeps coming, your baby runs the risk of overeating—or worse, choking.
  • When you prop a bottle for your baby, the risk of ear infections increases, and that’s not fun for anyone.
  • During your baby’s feed, a propped bottle may slip, causing your baby to suck in air. And without the chance to burp, he’s bound to be gassy and fussy.
  • Bottle propping can cause milk to pool up in the baby’s mouth and lead to eventual tooth decay. 

The benefits of holding your feeding baby

While the risks speak for themselves, it’s important to remember the final disadvantage of bottle propping—the chance you’ll miss to bond with your baby. Feedings are the perfect time to get to know your little one, because before you know it, he won’t need you in the same way again. Who knows, you might even receive a smile or coo in return. And there’s nothing sweeter than your baby’s smile! 

So at the end of the day when you’ve weighed the pros and cons of bottle propping, just remember, this is not a shortcut you want to take. Let the laundry wait, and hold your baby during feedings. It is the bonding time you have now that you’ll remember forever.