The dangers of prop feeding

The dangers of prop feeding Around the world there have been concerns recently about a rise in prop feeding as a contributing factor to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

This is a problem we know all too well at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead – as our staff have referred a number of families after seeing them prop feed their child.

Prop feeding is when a baby’s bottle is positioned or propped up beside a pillow, rolled-up blanket or something similar instead of the baby being held to feed.

It is important for parents to know that a baby should never be left alone to feed with a propped-up bottle.

Prop feeding increases the risk of choking, aspiration, suffocation, teeth decay and ear infections.

Babies should always be supervised while they are feeding.

Not only does this promote healthy infant attachment and development, but maintaining eye contact while feeding is important for a babies brain development.

We have recently updated our infant feeding policy with a new section on prop feeding.

If you need more information you can access it here.

- Lauren Whalan, Clinical Nurse Consultant, CHW Emergency