What if... there was no such thing as baby bottles?

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
What if... there was no such thing as baby bottles?
10
Wed, 08-01-2012 - 11:36am

What if the baby bottle had never been invented? What if no one ever came up with that idea - in the past - or in the future?

What if the only other way to feed a baby [if choosing not to breastfeed] was by way of cup, dropper, syringe or spoon feeding?

Do you think as many people would find using formula easier?

Do you think as many people would choose formula as a viable option?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008

Given that in many cases, I see very young babies with bottles proppred, and in almost every case, babies above about six motnhs who are capable of holding their bottle feed themselves, formula probably would not be so popualr, at least in the early months, as the baby would not be able to be left like this to feed themselves with a syringe or a cup.

I feel very sad when I see a baby being fed in this manner, as it seems to me that those wonderful golden moments of interaction that occur when a contented baby is feeding and comforted are being missed. The baby is alone, as though all it is is some sort of container to put food into, rather than a little person to be loved.

Teresa

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2004

Well babies who are self feed and with little human interaction becomes "weird" or wither, this was proven at the orphanages in Vietnam and also the Easter block  orphanages.

Before baby bottles people used  bottles with a cow nipple  on top, syringes new inventions then  bottles with a cow nipple.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
misstrygg wrote:

Well babies who are self feed and with little human interaction becomes "weird" or wither, this was proven at the orphanages in Vietnam and also the Easter block  orphanages.

I have seen stories about the babies in Romaniam orphanages. They were treated with practically a total lack of interaction, and it was very difficult to teach them how to behave normally later. But I do think that for some children who have problems relating as they grow up, having more interaction as babies may have assisted. Of course, I am not saying all BF babies will relate well, and no FF babies will, but rather, that in some cases, where there has been less than optimal interaction, there can be effects like you commented on. I think there is usually still some healthy interaction, so they are not extreme cases like what you mention.

Teresa

 

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
misstrygg wrote:

Well babies who are self feed and with little human interaction becomes "weird" or wither, this was proven at the orphanages in Vietnam and also the Easter block  orphanages.

 

And yet, some parents continue to think that it is OK to do so.

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
teresagem wrote:

Given that in many cases, I see very young babies with bottles proppred, and in almost every case, babies above about six motnhs who are capable of holding their bottle feed themselves, formula probably would not be so popualr, at least in the early months, as the baby would not be able to be left like this to feed themselves with a syringe or a cup.

I feel very sad when I see a baby being fed in this manner, as it seems to me that those wonderful golden moments of interaction that occur when a contented baby is feeding and comforted are being missed. The baby is alone, as though all it is is some sort of container to put food into, rather than a little person to be loved.

Teresa

I've never seen bottle propping, though I hear it happens.  I've never, even once, allowed one of my babies to hold their bottles themselves when they were older.  I have seen some people do that, though I'd say it's not the norm where I am--certainly not "in almost every case."  However, once a baby is old enough to hold a bottle themselves, they could probably also hold at least a sippy cup or use a straw, so sippy cups and straws would also have to be absent in this imaginary universe. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006

I feel very sad when I see a baby being fed in this manner,

[World Breastfeeding Week]  is a time to reflect on how far our country has come in increasing breastfeeding awareness and where we're headed in our continued advocacy.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gina-ciagne/breastfeeding_b_1728447.html

Your comment reminded me a little of how far we truly have come in this debate. Not many years ago a comment such as yours would have been labelled derogatory. To suggest "feeling badly" for an infant being fed formula or with a propped bottle would have required a flame proof suit. Posters would have crawled out of the woodwork to accuse you of looking down on formula feeders or being holier than thou. We've come a long way.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
jessica765 wrote:
 However, once a baby is old enough to hold a bottle themselves, they could probably also hold at least a sippy cup or use a straw, so sippy cups and straws would also have to be absent in this imaginary universe. 

No, I don't think we have to abolish straws and sippy cups from this imaginary universe. This wasn't about baby not being able to feeding his or her own self.

It was about how easy bottles make formula use, and without the bottles, would the choice be considered easier, or more desirable.

If bottles and nipples (or anything similar) had never been invented, would formula use have become so widespread - or would it have remained only in cases where breastfeeding was not possible?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
witch_power wrote:
jessica765 wrote:
 However, once a baby is old enough to hold a bottle themselves, they could probably also hold at least a sippy cup or use a straw, so sippy cups and straws would also have to be absent in this imaginary universe. 

No, I don't think we have to abolish straws and sippy cups from this imaginary universe. This wasn't about baby not being able to feeding his or her own self.

It was about how easy bottles make formula use, and without the bottles, would the choice be considered easier, or more desirable.

If bottles and nipples (or anything similar) had never been invented, would formula use have become so widespread - or would it have remained only in cases where breastfeeding was not possible?

Yes, I got a bit sidetracked even though my comment about people choosing formula out of a perception of convenience was valid.

Would it be convenient to be putting formula into syringes of cup feeding a baby every single time? No. So one advantage that many parents who formula feed would be gone. Not just gone, but turned into a major disadvantage, a pain in the neck. Then if mothers breastfed until an age where a child could begin to use other things like cups or sippy cups on their own, you quite possibly would see a lot more mothers continuing to breastfeed, at least part time. Generally, by the age of six months or so, mothers are well and truly over many of the hurdles, if they faced any. They have got to the stage where breastfeeding is easy and for many babies, a lot quicker than it was to feed a newborn. They have also got to the stage where feeding time becomes a blessed interaction between the mother and baby, with the baby pausing, milk dripping out of the corners of the mouth and smiling and gurgling happily at their mother, who is their world. Some mothers at least, will want to continue just for this. It probably would not make a difference for everyone, at least straight away, as I know there are people who find just the thought of breastgeeding totally 'icky', but I do think it would make a difference for some.

Back on to the idea of bottle propping. It is a large part of perceived convenience of formula. Also, being able to hold your own bottle by six motnhs is seen as a major developmental milestone. Does it ahve an effect on children? Without hard research, it is hard to say. I have taught in high schools in a rural region centred on a town of around 10 000 residents for many years. There is a great variety in the population, from the educated professionals in the town, to very rich people who own the sugar can farms but who do not necessarily have a high level of educaiton nor a broad world view - many may have gone to school until they turned 15 or so, as well as a very large sector who have no jobs and their income is the generous social security in Australia. Some of these families live in what is known as generational poverty, where there have been two or more generations living on government benefits for their life. More recently, with the boom in mining in our region of Australia, other people get jobs working away in the mines earning phenomenal sums of money. So a variety of backgrounds. There is also a variety of children at the school. A number of them are disfunctional, but I have no way of knowing if bottle propping in infancy was a contributor to this of course.

Teresa

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008

An interesting video.

http://www.redorbit.com/news/video/health_2/1112535012/warning-parents-about-use-of-sippy-cups/

Interesting because the recommendations - no pacifiers after six months, no bottles once a child can walk, and only using sippy cups when seated do not seem to be followed by so many people.

Have these items become so ubiquitous, that parents just do not understand or apply simple safety implications? 

Teresa

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

"Every four hours in the US a child experiences an injury related to a bottle, pacifier or sippy cup - that requires a trip to the Emergency room"