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What age should babies be able to feed themselves a bottle of milk?

(19 Posts)
seeker Wed 06-Mar-13 16:10:40

Why on earth should he? Feeding is about cuddles and connection- can't imagine not cuddling a feeding baby.

Poppins27 Wed 06-Mar-13 16:08:27

My Dds was 1 at the weekend and still doesn't feed herself her bottle. She will happily grab it and play with it, can put it in her mouth but doesn't 'get' the tipping action. I'm not worried, she isn't the cuddliest baby in the world so I make he most of my feeding snuggles!! (I'm now fighting the battle of being told that I should give her milk from a beaker instead of a bottle, and trying to drop a feed in the day, I feel I'm always doing something 'wrong' ) wink

9mo bottle-refusing DS was introduced to a cup when he was 6 months and has only just started being able to drink water independently in the last 2-3 weeks. Been able to grab a fistful of my boob and aim the nipple straight into his mouth for 2-3 months, though...hmm

katiecubs Tue 05-Mar-13 09:31:37

Some people don't use bottles at all and move straight to cups for milk at 6 months and some babies are quite independent at that age and want to do it themselves. You can't force them into a cuddle if they don't want to!

MajaBiene Mon 04-Mar-13 22:47:24

katie - drinking from cups themselves is one thing, but babies should be cuddled while having milk feeds as young as 9 months imo.

UsedToBeAPixie Mon 04-Mar-13 22:46:54

My DS is 7mo and refuses to let me or anyone at nursery administer a bottle and will occasionally allow a sip from a cup - he will pick them up and try to put them in his mouth however. He fails every time, but I guess it's the thought that counts! I snuck some cooled boiled water in the end of an Ella's kitchen 'Apples' pouch this morning and he sucked it dry on the way to nursery... wink

I think it depends on the baby and what a) they're used to and b) what they feel like doing! Not sure your HV should be saying things he should be able to do at 9mo - every time I see my friend's baby (same age as DS) they have both achieved something new since the last time and it's never the same! They're all so different I wouldn't worry smile

ceeveebee Mon 04-Mar-13 22:46:28

My twins were holding their own bottles from about 7 months, in my arms but then later on their bouncy chairs. Tbh I encouraged it, it was tricky trying to feed two at once without some assistance from them

Like everything else to do with children it definitely depends on the individual - small child here attempted to hold from about two months, and managed it from about four months (Tommy Tippee ones with the 'waist').

Of my friends' children - there were two who wouldn't/couldn't until around one, and another one who refused to touch bottles at all and went straight to a sippy cup at around seven months.

Didn't seem to help or hinder them for other developments though.

TheFallenNinja Mon 04-Mar-13 22:35:58

When they stop poking themselves in the eyes with things is as good a sign as I can think of.

It's all about aim smile

AugustaLoveday Mon 04-Mar-13 22:35:14

I would ignore HV and go with your own instinct and your own child. I can't remember whether mine ever bottle-fed themselves (I know DD started trying to grab the bottle when she was about 10 months, as I've got a photo of her doing it) - but I'd have thought your days of bottles were numbered anyway at 9 months?

katiecubs Mon 04-Mar-13 22:34:11

I think DS could feed himself a bottle/cup of milk from around 8 months but I wouldn't worry some do it sooner and some later.

Maja don't get your point, we are not talking tiny babies here - cups to be used from 6 months have handles on them precisely so babies can learn to hold them themselves. Also it's the entire basis of baby led weaning.

redandwhitesprinkles Mon 04-Mar-13 22:33:01

Sorry, just to point out he does it when we are holding him as well as when lying down. Never alone!

redandwhitesprinkles Mon 04-Mar-13 22:31:11

My daughter never did, son at about 6 months. At least it keeps his hands busy when changing his nappy, instead of scratching his bits!

MajaBiene Mon 04-Mar-13 22:26:13

I would have said it is pretty poor practice to make a baby feed itself a bottle - babies need feeding time to be a time of closeness and bonding with caregivers, just because they aren't breastfed doesn't mean they should miss out.

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Mon 04-Mar-13 22:21:16

I'm a childminder, and i have one of 9 months and there is no way she would be able to feed herself a bottle. i have a 16 month old who can.

this is not proven evidence, just something i see every day.

sharond101 Mon 04-Mar-13 22:15:52

I asked the HV about introducing a cup as I am worried about his colic returning if we stop using the Dr Brown's bottles.

KobayashiMaru Mon 04-Mar-13 22:12:20

If they are old enough to feed themselves a bottle, they are too old for a bottle. Why not use a cup?

LadyWidmerpool Mon 04-Mar-13 22:08:56

I've never heard that before. Mine refused bottles and she wasn't great with cups either until she was about 1. If she had accepted bottles, I wouldn't have been surprised if she had not been able to feed herself. They are all different. Do you have other concerns that prompted you to talk to the HV?

sharond101 Mon 04-Mar-13 21:57:59

HV said DS 9mo should be able to feed himself his bottle. We use Dr Brown's bottles which are pretty chunky for little hands and although he can hold it he doesn't manage the tipping up to get the milk flowing down into the teat.

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