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Can Bottle Feeding Cause an Infection?

Can Bottle Feeding Cause an Infection?

Sometimes, convenience can turn out to be an unnecessary evil! A feeding bottle is a must have for all mothers. It's probably the most widely used tool to calm a wailing baby and the most convenient one for mothers to carry around while traveling.

Have you heard of bottle feeding causing ear infections in babies? Most of you may argue by giving a detailed explanation of the cleaning procedure you follow for your baby's feeding bottles, but the real cause of an ear infection could surprise you.... Read on!

It is important to remember that bottle-feeding equipment can harbour disease-causing bacteria and other germs if not properly handled, cleaned and sterilized. These could be a reason for infections. The other surprising mode of contracting an ear infection is the process of bottle feeding itself. Often, milk from a bottle can flow into the baby's ear and the sugar content of the milk, along with its wetness can serve as a breeding ground for germs. This is the case if you are feeding the baby either breast milk or formula milk through a bottle. This is mostly because the mother's nipple is designed in a way that regulates the flow of milk only when the baby suckles, while the bottle's nipple lacks this reflex mechanism and therefore, allows milk to flow at it's own pace. Another reason for these infections could be the microorganisms that stick on the neck and teat of the bottle and transmit to the infant with reuse of the bottle.

Here is what you could do to avoid this infection. Try to bottle feed the baby in a sitting position. Do not keep the bottle in the baby's mouth for a long time as the milk may tend to flow into the ear passage easily. Apart from bottle feeding, exposure to allergies, cigarette smoke, using a pacifier and being in a day care center with other children who carry an infection could be possible routes of infection for your child.
Whatever said and done, sometimes, it seems like going back to traditions would be the best way to fight this problem. The good old grandmother's humble spoon or the little cup to feed the baby would be the best solution to avoid such unnecessary evil that we bring upon us just to make our life more convenient.

The next time your infant has been diagnosed with an ear infection, take him/her out of bottle feeding for a while to see how it could be the possible reason.


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5 Months ago