Let’s face it: in today’s modern world, we can’t always expect moms to breastfeed all the time since she needs to go to the office or run her business at most. That is when baby bottles come in handy to feed your little ones with infant formula (or breast milk that has been pumped).
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to leave your baby alone unless they’ve grown to some age. In this article, we will find out just when do babies start holding their own bottles so you can worry less about them and worry more about securing their future with hard-earned cash (or just doing important chores around the house).
When Do Babies Hold their Bottle?
Most people will tell you that 6 to 10 months old is the usual age range of a child that has the capability to be independent. However, in general, there is no exact age as to when your baby will be able to handle the bottle by themselves.
You can, however, look for certain signs. Babies can start to hold a bottle by themselves if they can be able to do the following skills:
1. Sitting up for at least ten minutes. This practically means that your baby has developed their motor skills very well. It takes some strength for a baby to be able to sit down properly without falling down.
2. Easily reaching for the bottle when you give it to them. When you start feeding your baby the bottle and they reach for it, this could be a sign that they want to hold it dearly because it is precious food to them. This could also mean that they are greatly interested in holding the bottle by themselves.
3. They can easily hold a toy and work on it while sitting down. This may involve chewing the toy (especially if they are teething) or just playing with it. This kind of skill is what your baby needs to be able to hold a bottle independently.
Related post: Best Baby Formula That Is Closest To Breast Milk
My Baby Won’t Hold Bottle
There can be many reasons as to why your baby won’t hold their own bottle. For instance, they could be unmotivated or their motor skills aren’t well-developed yet. Each child develops differently and it’s just a matter of preference for your little kid. Don’t worry about when others already have their babies could already hold their bottles on their own – your baby’s time will soon come!
While it is true that most parents want to teach their children to hold their bottles on their own merely for getting out of the feeding process and being able to do other things, this should not always be the case. Watching over your baby while they are feeding is still a crucial step even up to their toddlerhood so that they feed safely from the bottle (or sippy cup later on).
If your baby won’t hold their bottle yet, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are immature. Think of it as a way that your baby still wants to bond with you, and that you shouldn’t let this chance fly by because time flies fast – your baby will eventually hold their bottle on their own. Babyhood is something that can never be taken back so you might as well enjoy it while it lasts.
Related post: Best Formula for Spit Up and Gas
How to Teach Baby to Hold Bottle
Here are some simple ways on how to teach your baby to hold their bottle:
1. Make sure they are at the right age. As we mentioned above, if your child is from 6 to 10 months old, they are most likely to develop the skill of being able to hold their own baby bottle on their own, as well as being able to pick up toys. Keep in mind that it’s not a bad idea to start late because all babies have different development cycles.
2. Consider if they are able to pick up things. Keep a close eye on your baby’s playtime and see if they can handle toys on their own while sitting. This type of motor skill is what could make them able to handle anything – including baby bottles.
3. Try placing the bottle in your child’s play area. Check if your baby will try to pick it up and if they succeeded in doing it. Make sure that the bottle is empty (or at least half-empty) so that it won’t create a mess when your baby drops it to the floor.
4. Guide your child’s hands. If they have no idea how to grasp the baby bottle, you can do some motivation by placing their hands on the bottle to get the hang of it. Don’t worry if you aren’t successful the first time – keep trying until they become interested in the bottle. It’s best to do it while you hold them.
Related post: Best Bottles For Spit Up
5. Consider feeding them with a half-empty bottle at first. Maybe a full bottle would be so heavy for your child so it’s probably best to give them a bottle that they can easily carry with the amount.
6. Keep a close eye on your baby when they do feed from the bottle themselves. This is to make sure that they are sucking milk and not air (sucking air could lead to colic and gas problems). Make sure they are feeding on the bottle while sitting or at least leaning back (and not flat).
7. Talk to your pediatrician. If you are worried that your baby may be too old and still not able to hold their own bottle (or perform other motor skill similar to that, for that matter), you may consult a pediatrician in this case. They could point out what could be wrong with your baby or give you tips on how to get them to hold their own baby bottle.
In the long run, babies could start holding their bottles based on their motor skills. If your baby is well-developed to handle anything independently, there is a big chance that you can leave them alone with their baby bottle and not worry about overfeeding them. We hope this article helped you out!