And even though on some of the baby boards I frequent this news would elicit not only a raised eyebrow or two - it might even get a gasp...
I. don't. care.
OK, wait, here's a bit more detail.
Some people say bottles are bad for a baby's oral development. That's actually not true. Well, it might be if an older baby or toddler had a bottle stuck in its mouth, oh, 23 hours a day out of 24 - but beyond that - the occasional bottle here and there isn't enough to shake a stick at (or threaten with braces.) From what I've read - there isn't enough pressure from a bottle nipple to cause malformation of the teeth or hard palate. Although the sucking that a baby does with breastfeeding IS said to be beneficial down the road when it comes to orthodontia (another reason extended bf'ing is a good thing.) I'm not saying extended bottle feeding provides the same benefits - only that bottle doesn't equal braces. (My kid's going to need them anyway - J and I both had them - Jack's doomed. Hey, rite of teenage passage.)
There IS one potential health problem with toddler bottles. Once a baby gets teeth -if baby takes bottle to bed with them, and falls asleep with bottle, and a pool of milk or formula (or juice - gasp!) in their mouth as well - that can lead to decay.
Jack has never taken a bottle to bed, he doesn't even hold his own bottles, he still likes mama to! So we don't sweat it. We'll get rid of the bottles in time, just not a big rush at our house.
The best thing that ever happened to me as a new mom was realizing along that way that comparing milestones was an exercise in futility and the "you HAVE to do THIS" (whatever "this" was - putting baby down drowsy but awake, not rocking to sleep, pick your poison) was actually - not the case at all. I don't have to do THIS .. I can do ... THAT, instead. And I do rock Jack to sleep - every night - a practice that has literally resulted in some of the best, sweetest, most beautiful moments of my life (nothing, NOTHING, trumps drowsy, open mouth baby kisses. And the "singing" Jack does against my shoulder as he's falling asleep.) I also put him down totally asleep most nights - unless while very drowsy he practically flings himself out of my arms as if to say "Put me DOWN - your shoulder is bony and uncomfortable!" So I put him down in his crib. And later in the night he comes into bed with me and sleeps there. And I love it. I love sleeping with him, and I love waking up to his smiling, beautiful face, right next to mine. To me, there is nothing more natural in the world than sleeping with your baby next to you. Most adults don't like to sleep alone. So why should my baby?
Here's what is so great - as long as my child is happy and healthy and thriving - I don't have to follow anyone else's recommendations. Hooray! And so far, my child is a good sleeper (not great, but definitely good!) a good eater, guzzles milk out of sippies or bottles, gave up paci's on his own months ago with zero encouragement from us, just decided he was done - and is such a happy, sweet, pleasant baby.
I still get the occasional pangs of "am I doing THIS right?" but far less often than I used to! "Rules" be damned - it's bottle-palooza at our house. LOL!
(And here's an "expert" on whether saying bye-bye to the ba-ba is really all that big of a deal... just for some interesting additional reading!)
And here are some recent pics of my bottle drinkin' rebel baby :-)
I love that baby!