When should my baby be able to hold his or her own bottle?
Real Mom Problem
“Is there any way to get my eight-month old to hold her own bottle? She holds it and puts the nipple in mouth, but she doesn't realize that she has to lift the bottle up in order to get the formula. I think at this age she should be holding it herself, and it sure would make things a little easier for me.”
- 1. Babies can begin holding their own bottles around 4 months, but many don't try till 10 months or later
- 2. Holding a bottle is not considered a developmental milestone; there is no need to worry if your baby can't do it
- 3. Even if your baby can hold his own bottle, use feeding time to bond and cuddle with your baby
- 4. Never prop your baby's bottle or leave the baby unattended while eating
Real Mom Solutions
Moms agree that you shouldn't worry if your baby doesn't hold his or her own bottle. Each baby does so in his own time, and it's best to use feeding time to bond and cuddle with your little one. Check out these moms' tips for successful bottle feeding.
Each Baby Is Different
I have heard of some babies being able to hold their own bottle as early as 4 months, and a lot of them closer to around 10 months or so. They all advance at their own pace.
Some babies hold their bottle around four to five months. Some are slower or take advantage of the fact that their bottle is being held for them. I would say the majority of babies are holding their own bottles around six to eight months.
I don't believe there is a set timeline. Some babies never hold their own bottle, and some grab at it early. If your baby starts trying to hold it during a feeding, I wouldn't discourage it. Just help keep it steady while they grasp it as well.
Every baby is different. Babies who have been bottle fed from the time they were born may learn how to hold their bottles more quickly than a baby whose mother had to start bottle feeding at six months of age. Although this is a milestone that many mothers look forward to, try viewing holding your baby and their bottle (for them) as a time to bond and show them your love.
Use Feeding Time to Bond
Holding their own bottle is not a milestone. Hold your baby while you feed her. Enjoy this time.
My first was holding her bottle by herself at six months and it made me sad. I still held her close when she ate because I didn't want to miss out on that bonding time. My second started holding hers at seven months and I held her while she ate also.
My son never really held his bottle. He could hold it after about 10-11 months, but I was more than glad to hold it and bond with him, so he didn't have to.
Don't Prop the Bottle
If your young baby starts holding his/her own bottle, be sure to still support the bottle.
A baby should not be left alone to feed themselves until at the very least nine months old and when they can sit up by themselves.