When do babies hold their own bottle?

When do babies hold their own bottle?
October 08 08:19 2016


As the babies grow older, they try to do more and more things on their own. Like holding their own bottle as they are being fed milk, juice or water in it. But since each baby is different in nature, he or she may be very interested in holding the bottle or not interested in holding it at all. Even after the babies reach the developmental milestone where they develop appropriate motor skills to guide the bottle to their mouth and have the required strength to support the weight of the bottle with their tiny hands, but actually holding the bottle regularly during feedings is something that some babies choose to do while others don’t. If your baby wants to enjoy connecting with you while you hold his bottle during feedings, he will have little interest in holding his own bottle to feed himself alone. While there are other babies who enjoy the independence of holding and controlling their own bottle as they please.

babies hold bottle

Just like all babies don’t have the same nature or preferences, same goes for their moms as well. There are some mothers who believe in promoting independence in their babies by encouraging them to hold their own bottle so that while the baby feeds himself, she can get other things done around the house or simply get a few minutes to relax. While there are other moms who would prefer to hold the bottle for their babies while they feed even when they are capable of doing it themselves just to enjoy the connecting and bonding with their baby. There is no greater feeling than to watching over your baby being fed happily, while they stare into your eyes, it serves to deepen the bond of love between the mother and baby and it also festers a trust in your baby that mommy will always be there when they need her, tending to all their needs while showering them with all her love. Many moms cherish this chance of being able to cuddle with their babies as they realize that they won’t last forever as these babies grow up so fast and are all independent before you know it, so they try to make the most of it while it lasts.

Some babies take to holding the bottle on their own naturally, while others need some encouragement and gentle training to get to the point that they start holding their own bottle and feeding successfully from it. The fine motor skills required to be capable of holding the bottle is a developmental milestone that the babies reach as early as at six months of age to up to ten months. When you observe that your baby has developed the motor skills to put the bottle in their mouth and take it out as well when they are full, you can start giving them the independence to feed themselves. But care must be taken and the baby should not be left unsupervised while feeding on their own as there are a range of things that can go wrong if you aren’t looking. The baby can doze off to sleep with the bottle still in their mouth, which can cause pooling of milk or juice in the mouth which can result in decaying of their newly grown baby teeth. Another serious consequence to always keep in mind is the chance of the baby to choke on the liquid while feeding themselves, so it is very important that the feeding is done under adult supervision even if the baby is holding the bottle on his own to assess and avert the crises that arises in case the baby starts to choke.

Be carry

Other than letting the baby hold their own bottle, there is another practice of propping the bottle up with the help of any object to feed your baby without having to use your hands. This is a very dangerous practice with a tendency of having many things go wrong with feeding with a propped bottle. First one is that it doesn’t allow the baby to stop feeding when they are full, and with no one present to observe the signs that the baby is full, it can result in the baby being overfed which can cause tummy aches and throwing up of milk. It also has the potential hazard of having the baby choke over the excess milk that accumulates in the mouth in case the baby falls asleep or stops swallowing as they are full. Pediatricians the world over have serious reservations against this method and actively educate the mothers not to use this method at all with their babies.


If you are a mom who is hoping that their baby can hold his own bottle but your baby does not seem to be interested at all in doing so, here are a few tips you can use to guide your baby how to hold up their own bottle and to enjoy doing it:


  1. The first step is to get your baby familiar with the motion of holding the bottle while it is in their mouth. To familiarize your baby with the correct arm position and the feel of the bottle, you can start by encouraging them to touch and hold the bottle while being fed by you from an early age like 2 or 3 months old. It should only be done to help them get a feel and since they haven’t yet developed the skill or strength to actually hold the bottle, you should never let go of the bottle even once


  1. Once your baby is at the right age between 6 to 10 months when they have developed the required motor skills, you can encourage them to practice holding the bottle up while you are feeding them by letting go of the bottle for a while as the baby is holding it


  1. Establishing the relationship between the bottle and hunger in the mind of your baby is an effective technique to encourage holding the bottle on their own when they see it as a reward to satisfy their hunger


  Article "tagged" as: