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Everything You Need to Know About Hands-Free Bottle Feeding

Updated on April 29, 2009

It’s tough enough to be a mother these days and juggle everything in our lives. Mothers that have more than one child or work outside the home and wear a hundred other hats can be especially desperate for more time and more hands. We would pay top dollar for both.

Whatever the age, feeding our children with proper and adequate nutrition is time-consuming, yet a necessity. As for infants, let’s face it, they eat for a significant part of the day. Bottle-feedings can take up to 30 minutes at a time, several times a day. Most mothers have wished at one time or another that they just had one more set of hands. For the majority who can’t afford a round-the clock nanny, two is all we get. Luckily, now there are now fantastic bottle-feeding systems on the market that can give mothers that extra hand they need.

Tube Systems for Hands Free Feeding

The first type is basically a bottle with a tube, connected to the nipple. The bottle can lie at baby’s side and the nipple goes into the mouth for feeding, so that baby appears to be sucking on a pacifier with a tube connected to it! This type of system has supposedly been found to prevent ear infections, as well as reduce gas and colic because there is virtually no air intake. There are a few of these available online.

Hands Free Bottle Holders

Also available are hands-free bottle holders. They typically involve Velcro on a piece of material and on the bottle. With some, there is a weighted pillow on the mother’s shoulder. The mother holds baby, and a Velcro-added bottle attaches to the pillow. With this system, the mother is still sitting for the feeding, but has full use of both hands.

There are others that provide a bib for the baby to wear, which a bottle somehow attaches to. With this, the baby is totally self-sufficient, and the mother can cook, clean, or do whatever she needs to do while baby feeds in a bouncy or other seat.

Sling Bottle Holders

Yet another version is a sling that attaches to the carrier handle of a bouncy seat or car seat, hanging above baby’s head. You strap the bottle in, position it to meet the baby’s mouth, and, voila! Your baby is happily guzzling milk and you can go about your business.

Of course, these modern conveniences are an extra set of hands, NOT a babysitter. When my kids were little it was considered a mortal sin to ‘prop the bottle’ (and we all did it anyway). But there is a real danger because if you’re not paying attention, the little bugger can choke on all that delicious milk or formula. Use common sense with whatever hands-free bottle system you choose and remember that it’s no substitute for close supervision.

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    9 years ago from A Couch, Lake Odessa, MI

    Interesting...I am a single father...13.5 years ago I held my son to feed him without a shirt and I swear to you he latched onto my nipple... He is fourteen now and refuses to believe the story. His therapist says he may never get past the nightmares.


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