“Growing up in Puerto Rico, ‘babas’ (bottles: biberón/botellas) and ‘bobos’ (pacifiers: chupetes/chupón) were very common among the families and children of the island. I still remember our Abuelita giving us milk in our “babas,” so my younger sister and I were sure to fall asleep better. From the time of our births, to when my sister was three years old, the “bobo” was also consistently being used in our home.
Now, as a pediatrician, one of the conversations I have most frequently with my Latino families is regarding the proper use of both ‘babas’ and ‘bobos’ for their children. Were you aware that children should begin using training cups (commonly referred to as ‘sippy cups’) as early as nine months of age? It is also very important that your child gradually ween off the use of bottles between the ages of 12 to 15 months. Continued use of bottles after one year of age has been repeatedly documented to increase the risk of tooth decay in children.”
Johanna Vidal Phelan is a pediatrician.
She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, “Bottles and pacifiers: advice from a Latinx pediatrician.”
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