Background: Inappropriate baby bottle use is associated with many adversely health affects such as dental caries, refuse to eat etc. International pediatric institutes suggest weaning by the age of 1 year To establish a practical recommendation for Thai children, needs situation analysis.
Objective: To determine the percentage of baby bottle use including late night feeding, behavior contributing to baby bottle addiction and chance of adverse health affects.
Material and method: A cross sectional descriptive study was performed in well child clinic at QSNICH during November 2003-December 2007. One thousand thirty-eight caretakers from 13 groups of children age 1 month-4 years were randomly included. Questionnaires were used and analyzed by SPSS program.
Results: A total of 1,038 caretakers were interviewed. Parents comprised 70% of the caretakers. Children aged 1-2 years, 2-3 years, and 3-4 years, are found to remain on the bottle feeding constituted 92%, 70% and 42% respectively and remain on the night feeding comprised 70%, 50%, and 37% respectively. And more specifically, children at the age of six month have night feeding up to 85%. The weaning ages from the bottle were widely distributed, the earliest was one year (1%), the mean age was 2.5 years (SD = 0.612), the mode was at the age of two years (13%). Forty-six percent of children age 6 month-4 years received a bottle to sleep with 34% of caretakers offering bottle feeding when the child just moved the body. After bedtime mouth care, 48% of children were back to bottle-feeding. Eighteen percent of children age 2-4 year who were bottle fed were getting more milk volume than recommended with the maximum amount of 56 ounces a day. Fifty-six percent of children at 2 years and 70% at 4 years, received bottle-feeding more frequently than recommended with the maximum of 11 times a day. Eighty-eight percent of the caretakers did not know the recommended age of weaning.
Conclusion: The children in this study still use baby bottle and have night feeding far beyond the recommended age including the practice of bottle to sleep, returning to bottle after dental care which will lead to addiction and adverse health affect. The age at which the children can quit and the realization of caretakers of when to quit are scattered.
Suggestion: Recommendation should be at the age of one year but be flexible to more half a year to the age of 1 omega year, with encourage appropriate using and preparation to the weaning process.