To provide information on baby bottle use in the United States because of the important consequences, including early childhood caries, associated with inappropriate feeding practices.
Data from the child supplement to the 1991 National Health Interview Survey were examined. Information was collected on one randomly selected child from each family with children in the survey; data were weighted to represent the corresponding US population. Questions about the "ever use" and "still use" of baby bottles, and selected sociodemographic and health behavior variables were assessed.
About 95% of children 6 months to 5 years old have ever used a baby bottle. Nearly one fifth of the children in this age range were put to bed with a bottle that had contents other than water. More than 8% of children 2 to 5 years old still use the bottle. Bivariate and multivariate analyses showed differences in bottle practices by education level of the adult caretaker, dental visits, Hispanic background, race, and geographic region.
The high prevalence of feeding with a baby bottle requires pediatricians and other health care professionals to help reduce the risks to health.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149:786-791)