Doctors’ advice helps parents with bottle weaning, study

As a new parent, you have to become a fast expert at child rearing, and the kid doesn’t even come

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As a new parent, you have to become a fast expert at child rearing, and the kid doesn’t even come with a user manual. All you have to go on is advice’and there’s certainly no standard for that. How do you know which advice to follow? It must be like driving blind.

A new study may shed some light on just how important the right advice can be to parents and the health of their children. Research published today in the medical journal Pediatrics suggests that, when pediatricians advise parents to wean their babies off their bottles, parents follow through. Why is this important advice? Research suggests that children who drink from a bottle beyond 15 months to two years are more likely to be iron-deficient, reports the CBC. And iron deficiency is linked to a whole host of problems such as behavioural difficulties and tooth decay. Who knew?

The new study, lead by pediatricians at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children, looked at two groups of parents: one group was given a bottle intervention during a routine visit to the pediatrician that involved a take-home ‘sippy cup,’ instructions on how to use it and information on the risks of prolonged bottle use. The second control group was given standard nutrition counselling but not specific information on bottle weaning. The study’s researchers found that children whose parents were in the intervention group started using cups three months earlier than those whose parents were in the control group. Proof that good advice really does go a long way.

What was the best advice you received when you were a new parent?

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