I was sitting at the airport this afternoon, waiting to fly home. Airports give you a lot of time to watch people… and across from me a new family doted over their baby girl. She looked to be about five, six months old, and the mother cradled her baby in her arms and cooed and fussed while the babe drank a bottle. A peaceful enough scene, no?
Until the baby decided she only wanted to drink half the bottle. I watched a silent, unnecessary battle unfold. The mother pushed the bottle into her babe’s mouth, and the child arched, and fussed, and pushed at the bottle with her hands. Mom didn’t take the hint, and tried again. And again. And again. Until finally, mom had her kid against her knees, and was sighing and rolling her eyes and frowning, all the while trying to convince her daughter to eat.
No baby ever willingly starved herself to death. Forcing a child to drink a bottle when she’s already full only teaches how to ignore our body’s own common sense, and sets the child up for a lifetime of bad eating habits.
If you are not, for whatever reason, nursing your child, please don’t force him or her to finish a bottle. Let the child decide when that little tummy is full, and respect it. Your kid will grow up healthier and happier because of it.