The second night, I was at the hospital, after Kendi came into the world, one of the nurses came and said,’Crystal, Kuja nikuonyeshe vile utaosha mtoto’ (Come I show you how to give the baby a bath). I got out of bed and followed her round the corner and down the hall into the nursery. As she was demonstrating this, that and the other, another nurse walked in with another newborn baby. She sat down and started feeding him milk using a little cup. I looked at that and thought,’ hmmm, mummy was right. Babies don’t actually need a bottle with a nipple to drink milk. They can drink from whatever’
Martin and I had attended Lamaze class afew weeks earlier. The instructors there were midwives and they advised us not to use bottles with nipples. A few of the parents were shocked. ‘but why?’ They asked. ‘Nipples are unhygenic because it takes very precise steps to sanitize them. A cup, any child can clean effectively. Nipples also cause nipple confusion. The baby might decide that they like the bottle a little better than they like mum’. We listened to all this, went home and prepared to meet our baby.
She is almost 9 months old now and she has never drank from a bottle. This works for us very well because we don’t have to worry about sanitizing bottles every day. It has saved us time and anxiety (I tend to get anxious about such things).
Today, she uses her little pink cup (that mum bought one day) with such ease and confidence. This makes sence to me because we won’t have to wean her to a cup when she’s older. She already knows the drill.