Bottle propping is, without doubt, a deep-dark parenting confession. This stealthy method of feeding involves propping up a bottle so that you can provide nourishment for baby, hands-free. While feeding time is a time of bonding, sometimes parents just crave a few minutes of hands-free time.
A young mother from the UK is pushing us to re-think this parenting ‘hack’. Chloe Masters lost her 4-month old son after he was left with his godmother, and choked on the milk dripping from his propped bottle.
Chloe had been suffering from severe back pain, and so she left her baby with his godmother, Claire for an overnight stay. Little did she know, this was the last time she would see her happy little baby.
Chloe lost her son Alex in 2015, however, it took three years for a coroner to confirm that her baby died from bottle propping.
When BBC covered the story, Claire was questioned about the baby’s death. She initially stated that she had fallen asleep after giving Alex a bottle of milk on the sofa.
However, as this case progressed the truth came out. At the hearing Claire said she had left Alex in his car seat, feeding him from a bottle of milk that was propped up with a blanket. She woke up 30 minutes later to find the baby, still and with a blanket over his face.
Alex had been rushed to Lincoln County Hospital in England where a postmortem exam discovered that Alex had inhaled milk into his lungs.
Grieving, Chloe said to Lincolnshire News “Never, ever, ever, bottle prop under any circumstances. You could be put in this situation with your own child. I did it and thought it would never cause anything like this, and I was supervising. But people can lose concentration.”
Choking can occur when the baby falls asleep before finishing the bottle. Instead of swallowing, the baby may inhale the liquid, making it enter the wrong passage.
While this isn’t a parenting hack that people like to admit to, it should be known that bottle propping should not be a feeding method. It’s just not worth the risk. Feeding is an opportunity to bond with baby, this little human doesn’t have the strength or skill-set to help themselves, we need to be a part of every feeding. This is a safety measure, not a lecture. This simple act, gone wrong, could haunt you for the rest of your life.
‘Bottle propping’ warning after death of baby Alex Masters, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-43016506
- Mom Warns of Bottle Propping After Baby Dies, https://mom.me/news/211010-mom-warns-bottle-propping-after-baby-dies/
- ‘It will always haunt me’ says mum after tragic loss of baby Alexander Masters, https://www.lincolnshirelive.co.uk/news/local-news/it-always-haunt-me-says-1090968?_ga=2.64949743.1360690301.1518447253-1151059066.1509709772
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