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The recommended age for the extinction of bottle use is 12 months of age, but a lot of times it can be a difficult transition. Although the bottle becomes a routine and comfort for the child, it can have harmful effects on their development if it is prolonged.

Speech and oro-facial development are affected by the extended use of a bottle. Bottle nipples put pressure on the palate, jaw, tongue, and teeth which can lead to malformation. Malformation of the palate can affect speech sounds that are made by the tongue contacting the palate such as “sh,” “ch,” and more. When the bottle is used for an extended period of time, the teeth may start developing around the bottle leaving a space where the bottle was. This can affect the speech sounds that are made with the teeth such as “f” “v” and “th”. Another effect of prolonged bottle use along with prolonged pacifier use is an increase in ear infections. When a child has an ear infection during the development of speech it can be harder for them to distinguish different sounds and hinder their ability to improve and learn speech sounds.

Another area that is affected by prolonged bottle use is feeding. If the child continuously drinks from the bottle throughout the day, they may eat less during mealtimes. This leads to them having less necessary nutrients that are found in solid food and may lead to nutritional deficiencies and a smaller dietary repertoire.

There are many ways to get ahead of these difficulties and wean your child off the bottle! One tip is to introduce open cups and reduce bottle use earlier on and slowly over time. This makes the transition a lot easier. Another tip is replacing the bottle with something else. For some children, the bottle may become a type of comfort, especially at times like bedtime. Rather than providing the bottle you can provide a blanket or stuffed animal to help them find comfort in another way.

If your child was using a bottle for a prolonged amount of time and developed these difficulties, Spot Pal can help! It is designed specifically for the individual using it and promotes proper oral resting posture. If you want to learn more you can read our other blog posts about Spot Pal’s effect on speech and feeding!

How does a bottle or pacifier affect my child’s speech? Fluens Childrens Therapy. (2021,

May 30). https://www.fluenschildrenstherapy.com/bottle-and-pacifier/

From Bottle to Cup: Helping Your Child make a healthy transition. HealthyChildren.org. (n.d.).

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/Discontinuing-the-Bottle.aspx