A recent study shows that older toddlers who use baby bottles are at an increased risk of “obesity.”
“…still using a bottle at age 2 as their primary drink container and/or were put to bed with a bottle with a calorie-containing beverage, usually milk.”
” A 2-year-old girl of average size who drinks an 8-ounce bottle of whole milk at bedtime would get about 12% of her daily calories from that bottle, says Rachel Gooze, lead author on the study.” (I would also like to know if there was a higher rate of “underweight” children who are still bottle-fed at age 2? I see prolonged bottle use also as a means some parents resort to to try to get MORE calories into a smaller child. I doubt the study looked at that…)
Well, I’m not surprised (and I’m not even going to read this study, because it is not controversial as to whether or not typically developing 2 year-olds should be drinking from bottles as primary drink container or put to bed with a bottle…)
What gets me again is the focus on calories. As if the only thing wrong with this picture is that the child is getting more calories. I would imagine that these children may not be supported with feeding in general. Is the child grazing on milk throughout the day? Is the parent filling the bottle and allowing the child to drink, soothe and put herself to sleep with milk? These children are not being fed in an optimal way.
But, instead of leaping to “calories in calories out” explanations, I wish the study had thought of other thing like, (my quotes) “What is going on in these families, what is feeding like in general, how can we support these families?” I would imagine there is little structure, perhaps a chaotic home, perhaps lack of parenting skills to wean the child off the bottle or help with sleep hygiene, perhaps a parent who is stretched completely to the limit or who can’t afford enough food? These kids and parents need feeding support, though I imagine they will just be told, “get rid of the bottle.”
Do you think getting rid of the bottle will solve or push these families towards optimal feeding? Will the bottle be replaced with snack traps or baggies of Godlfish or Fruit Loops? It’s like saying to an adult who has chaotic eating, restriction and disinhibition, “just cut out all sugar” or “just drink Diet Soda.” Will those adults magically become eating competent, or thinner?
What say you?