Grieving Mom Warns Other Parents Against Bottle-Propping After Her Baby Son Choked To Death And How To Make Feeding From A Bottle Safe

Lifestyle & Health

August 27, 2018 16:17 By Fabiosa

When it comes to taking care of babies, there are hundreds of rules that parents and caregivers have to follow to keep little ones safe. Some of them aren’t plainly obvious, but some are just common sense. Here’s one of them: bottle-propping is unsafe.

READ ALSO: Mother Begs Other Parents Not To Repeat Her Mistake After Her 9-Month-Old Baby Died From Choking On A Balloon

Alex Masters’ tragic death

Chloe Masters, a young mom from Gainsborough, still mourns the death of her beloved son, Alex. The boy was just 4 months old when he died on October 3, 2015. Alex’s godmother, Claire Sawyer, was babysitting him.

The inquest into the baby’s death found that the boy died as a result of choking after a bottle of milk was propped into his mouth, Lincolnshire Live reported. Although Ms. Sawyer denied propping the bottle, the coroner’s report clearly stated that this is what happened to little Alex.

The boy’s mother wants her tragedy to serve as a lesson to other parents. She told Lincolnshire Live:

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.

Alex’s death was not the only such case. Another relatively recent incident happened in Delaware, where a 27-year-old dad acted recklessly and caused the death of his 6-month-old. The man propped the bottle in the baby’s mouth, fixed it in place with a blanket, and left the baby like that for several hours.

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READ ALSO: Dad Warns Every Parent To Read Labels After His Daughter Nearly Died Of Choking In His Arms

Why parents should never bottle-prop, and a few tips on how to feed a baby right

Choking is the leading cause of death among children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It can happen in a number of different ways, and bottle-propping is just one of many causes of choking. In addition to the risk of choking, bottle-propping carries other risks, which include the following, according to MedCircle Digest:

  1. Aspiration (milk or formula getting into the baby’s lungs).
  2. Suffocation (may be caused by the item, such as a pillow or blanket, used to prop the bottle).
  3. Tooth decay (may be caused by milk pooling in the baby’s mouth.
  4. Ear infection (may be caused by milk flowing from the baby’s throat into his or her ears through the Eustachian tubes).LightField Studios /

Here are some tips to make feeding from a bottle safe for your baby, as HealthyChildren recommends:

1. Always check the temperature of the milk or formula (it should be lukewarm) before giving it to your baby. Never microwave the milk or formula, warm it up using a water bath instead.

2. Make sure the nipple hole is not too wide or too narrow. If your baby appears to be gagging when feeding, the hole may be too wide. If the baby is sucking too hard, the hole may be too narrow.

3. Position the bottle in such a way that the baby isn’t sucking in air, and don’t forget to burp him/her.

4. Urge your partner to feed the baby, as feeding time is also bonding time.

5. Don’t let your baby fall asleep when drinking from his/her bottle.

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These simple rules can make feeding both pleasant and safe for your little one!

READ ALSO: First Aid Basics: What To Do If Someone Is Choking

This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.