How paradoxical that we ignore nature when using baby bottles described as “natural”.
The research shows that Paced Feeding works in the NICU. Plus, mothers who breast-feed use Paced Feeding to mimic natural feeding and avoid nipple confusion when using a bottle. The literature on Paced Feeding efficacy is extensive. It does seem obvious that getting as close as possible to nature’s way is a good idea and its pretty clear that Paced Feeding is that way. Why isn’t Paced Feeding usual?
Perhaps it is cultural?
We are a goal-oriented, time-deprived society. We eat on the run or in the drive-through. Eating is a necessary evil in the business of life. And we like routines and metrics such as three meals a day and calorie counts. Do we treat our babies similarly? Do we force them into our adult nutrition regime ignoring their unique vulnerability and needs? We value control. We actively manage our children. Trusting our babies to have control of their feeding and acting as their coach is not necessarily the obvious thing to do. The Cue Based and related Infant Driven feeding movements reflect a change of philosophy, mainly among health and wellness professionals. The tide is turning.
Should we blame the designers and manufacturers of commercial products?
Why not. It would seem they encourage forced feeding. We are told to tilt the bottle to make feeding easier for the baby. We are conditioned to believe that the bottle should drip milk into the baby’s mouth and to experiment with nipple hole sizes to try to match the rate of drip to the baby. We now have elaborate mechanisms for protecting bottle fed babies from overwhelming flow and overfeeding.
If only we had a feeding bottle based upon independent research. Hmm, there’s an idea.