It is a bad idea to let your child fall asleep with a bottle in his mouth and here are some of the reasons why you should avoid such behavior. Of course letting the child sleep with his bottle is easier for you, but there are a few things about this sleeping habit that you should worry about. It may lead to the baby expecting to receive more bottles during the night, making you wake up in the middle of the night, or it also may cause your child’s teeth to fall, an ear infection, and even suffocation. While the child sleeps with the bottle in his mouth, during the night the liquid starts to spread, it gets in between the teeth and forms pools of liquid around them, which may cause problems with the baby’s teeth and eventually leads to serious damage of the teeth.
This happens because the bacteria in his mouth change the sugar in the milk, fruit juice or milk formula into acids that can dissolve the teeth’s enamel. The habit of leaving the child with a bottle in his mouth may lead to the child losing his upper teeth much sooner that he normally should(This is most common for the teeth with which the baby holds the bottle, like the middle four upper teeth )
If your baby already has the habit of falling asleep with a bottle in his mouth and he doesn’t want to sleep without it, let the child fall asleep with the bottle, but when he falls asleep with it, take the bottle away without waking the baby, thus preventing any harm done to him. If the baby is older than six months add some water to the milk (or the fruit juice) in the bottle, this will dilute the liquid, meaning -less sugar in the bottle, which causes fewer problems for the teeth and the teeth’s enamel. If the child notices the added water and refuses to drink it, add little water in the first bottle, then little by little increase the amount of water in the next bottles, until there is only water left.
Many babies who sleep with their bottle in their mouth have suffocated on the milk from the bottle. The baby bites the bottle, milk fills his mouth, and he swallows it while he sleeps, but start to choke on it. The baby wakes up scared, perplexed and starts to cry.
Letting the baby drink from the bottle while in a supine position may also increase the risk of ear infection. This may happen if the milk slips into the baby’s ear, where the warmness of the milk, its moisture, and sugar makes a perfect breeding ground for bacteria of any kind. No matter how much this is hard to believe. It does happen, from both, the formula milk, and the mother’s breast milk. Now, the mother’s breast is perfectly designed by nature for feeding her child, it only secrets milk if the baby sucks from it, making the odds of it getting in the baby’s ear close to zero. Unlike the bottle, whose mechanisms aren’t that good, and does secret milk even if the baby isn’t sucking making it easier for the milk to get to the baby’s ear. This is why the risk of ear infection is greater in babies who suck from a bottle rather than in those who are breastfed- it has nothing to do with the quality of the milk, but only with the mechanism.