My end goal for parenting is to have happy, independent, helpful, productive adults. And I’m pretty sure the way to achieve that is by having happy, independent, helpful, productive children.
I don’t mean full blown adult versions of these attributes. I mean the appropriate child-age versions of them. So, this means that I begin to look for opportunities to expose my children to opportunities to learn these types of attributes.
At around 4 or 5 months of age, a child can hold their own bottle. I’m not implying that you should leave your child unattended holding their own bottle.
You should NOT. Babies need to be held and snuggled and adored, and the best way to do this is to hold them and give them plenty of attention and eye contact!
So, as you cuddle your baby and feed your baby, you can start to help them learn that they can hold the bottle for themselves. The way to do this is to start at a younger age. At 2 and 3 months, when you’re holding them and holding the bottle, place their hands on the bottle while they are eating, and gently hold them in place with yours. This will adapt them to the idea that they hold onto something while they are eating.
Incidentally, I think this might be the first step into mindful eating. Being aware of the food we are eating and focusing our attention and senses on the eating of the food. If a baby is touching the bottle, it incorporates their sense of touch into the eating experience. This makes them more aware of where the milk is coming from.
Over time, your child will automatically place their hands on the bottle while feeding, and eventually you can let go a little bit and they will help support the bottle, adjusting it if it slips out of place.
This might seem like a trifle, or a silly thing to teach your child. But, honestly, it comes in handy sometimes, like when you need to do something with your other hand while feeding your child, and it does teach them that they have input and even responsibility for their lives. Even if in a very teeny tiny way!
What do you think about this?