Baby bottle syndrome is a problem that is relatively little talked about but which deserves the full attention of parents and early childhood professionals.
This phenomenon, which affects many children, remains little known. However, it can have harmful consequences on the dental health of babies and young children.
- What is bottle feeding syndrome?
- What are the risks associated with it?
- What simple solution can you put in place to combat it?
- Steb by step!
- How does the training cup allow for gentle detachment?
- When to offer the training cup instead of the bottle?
Baby bottle syndrome: definition and impact on babies
We talk about baby bottle syndrome when dental damage is observed in young children who fall asleep with a bottle containing chocolate or vanilla milk, fruit juice , or any other sugary drink.
A bad habit which unfortunately exposes the child's teeth to a prolonged bath of sugars, leading to demineralization of dental enamel and, in certain cases, the early appearance of cavities.
Studies indicate that baby bottle syndrome affects approximately 20% of children aged 1 to 2 years . (source: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry).
How can we explain the appearance of bottle feeding syndrome in young children?
The appearance of baby bottle syndrome is explained by different factors which contribute to the difficulty of breaking away from this habit.
First of all, the bottle represents a comforting object ; he replaces the maternal figure in the evening, when she leaves the room. Once baby is in bed, the bottle gives him a feeling of security and reassurance. These different feelings help him to calm down and fall asleep more easily.
Next, remember that the sucking reflex is an instinctive behavior in infants. The bottle (when baby is not, or no longer, breastfed) satisfies this natural urge. This satisfaction creates a strong bond between the child and the bottle, thus strengthening the attachment to this habit.
But as time goes by, it becomes more and more difficult to free yourself from this attachment ... Sometimes, as parents, you feel guilty about depriving your child of this source of comfort, which makes the weaning process more complex and difficult.
What are the risks of baby bottle syndrome?
The consequences of baby bottle syndrome on teeth are far from negligible. Concretely, what does this imply?
The sugars present in sweet liquids will encourage the proliferation of bacteria in babies' mouths, which leads to increased production of acids.
These acids then attack the enamel of the child's teeth, causing potentially painful carious lesions. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), dental caries affects nearly 60 to 90% of school-age children ! Eye-opening figures that can be countered with simple solutions.
Using a training cup to combat baby bottle syndrome
Bottle feeding syndrome appears to result from a lack of sucking felt at nightfall in toddlers and which we tend to satisfy at all costs to avoid crises and late falling asleep.
Did you know that to prevent its occurrence and help your child give up the bottle at bedtime, the training cup turns out to be an excellent alternative ?
It even constitutes one of the very first steps towards the path to autonomy !
Steb by step!
When introducing the cup, be careful to limit changes in your baby's life.
For example, avoid making this transition if you have new working hours, if your child is sick , if you have just moved or put your baby in a big bed.
You can, however, make a positive change . Why not, for example, combine the learning cup with a new soft toy? Create a secure and calm environment where baby can “hang in” visually.
Add his favorite cuddly toy and leave him a night light or lullaby if he needs it. The weaning process must be carried out gently, with patience and understanding.
One step at a time! 😉
How does the training cup allow for gentle detachment?
The training cup is equipped with a suction spout , not a pacifier. The need for suction is thus gradually erased. The transition thus happens naturally. By offering your baby a training cup , you allow him to retain some of his bearings and slowly get used to the absence of the pacifier.
The idea is of course not to create a new addiction but to eliminate bad habits.
If your child seems to have difficulty detaching himself from the drink and not from the container, it may be because his attachment disorder is not correlated with the bottle but with sugar... In this case, a consultation with your pediatrician or treating physician is recommended.
When to offer the training cup instead of the bottle?
Knowing when to begin this transition and making sure not to deprive the child of the bottle to avoid any trauma can be worrying for parents. The ideal time to replace the bottle with a cup is around 6 months to 1 year .
If the day:
- baby shows interest in solid foods,
- sits alone without assistance
- and manipulates objects with more and more precision,
you can conclude that he is ready for the training cup!
In order not to surprise him in the evening, when he is most tired and likely to react negatively, start by offering the cup during the day during meals. In the early days, you can continue to use the bottle occasionally as a source of comfort, if necessary.
This approach allows your baby to gradually get used to the cup and prevents him from rejecting it.
Note that logically, waiting too long to replace the bottle with a cup increases the risk of developing bottle syndrome. If in doubt, seek the advice of a healthcare professional.
Elhée's learning cup: a very gentle solution!
Made from silicone, our Bubble bottle is easy to hold for babies.
In addition to helping your child get rid of his bottle in the evening and therefore preventing the onset of bottle syndrome, our learning cup promotes the development of autonomy in your child by allowing him to drink on his own without your assistance.
Its anti-leak design avoids wetting the sheets or pajamas... You don't need to intervene!
- Baby bottle syndrome is a reality that should not be underestimated. The risks it poses for your child's dental health are very real (cavities, deterioration of enamel, loosening of teeth). However, there are simple and effective ways to prevent it.
- The Elhée anti-leak training cup is an ideal solution to help your child gently wean off the bottle. The softness of its material and its generous shape allow a fun and pleasant transition, without frustration. Baby learns to get rid of his need to suck thanks to the absence of a pacifier.
Did you know that the learning cup also helps develop fine motor skills?
→ Go here to find out more on the subject!
Or go directly to our store to discover our fun and colorful cup models!