Jessa Duggar Seewald is under fire for making a parenting decision that all moms eventually have to struggle with. Some Duggar fans are fretting over a photo of her 21-month-year-old son, Spurgeon, engaging in a behavior that’s not uncommon for toddlers: drinking milk from a baby bottle.
Jessa loves sharing photos of her two adorable sons on social media for her followers to gush over, but she isn’t responsible for snapping the photo of Spurgeon that’s been causing such a fuss. Someone else opened her up to an avalanche of mommy-shaming comments by sharing an image of the toddler with not one, but two baby bottles dangling from his mouth. The photo was posted on the Duggar Family Facebook page, so it was likely shared by one of Jessa’s parents or siblings. In the sweet snapshot, the little boy is multitasking by carrying the bottles by his teeth so he can walk and play with a toy.
“This little guy was prepared with two bottles!” the image was captioned.
Whoever posted the photo clearly did so because they thought that what Spurgeon was doing was cute, not controversial. However, as CafeMom reports, some Duggar fans didn’t think that Spurgeon’s double bottle stunt was adorable at all, and the photo sparked a debate over when toddlers should have their bottles taken away for good.
“Isn’t he a little too old to still be on the bottle???” wrote one fan.
“Time to take them away sweetie,” another commented.
Other fans stepped in to defend Jessa Duggar’s decision to let Spurgeon keep drinking from a bottle, and a few of them noted that it can be difficult to get toddlers to give up their bottles, especially if they see a younger sister or brother sucking on one. Some fans even speculated that the bottles in Spurgeon’s mouth may belong to his baby brother, Henry.
However, a few critics noted that there’s a reason toddlers are encouraged to trade their bottles for sippy cups when they reach a certain age.
“While it is parents choice I would only be concerned about his teeth being damaged by milk or juice on gums teeth for extended time,” one commenter wrote in response to the photo.
As reported by Parents magazine, tooth decay is one of the main reasons pediatricians recommend that parents completely wean their children from bottles before they reach one year of age. According to WebMD, milk contains a type of sugar called lactose, and this substance stays on the teeth longer when milk is sucked through a bottle as opposed to being sipped from a cup. This can lead to cavities, so giving the bottle the boot as soon as possible may help prevent expensive trips to the dentist for extractions and fillings.
One study found that 9 months is the ideal age to take the bottle away for good, and it makes the weaning process much easier.
“Parents who waited until after age 1 to wean their baby off the bottle seemed to have a more difficult time,” said pediatrician Jonathon Maguire, M.D.
While the way Spurgeon carries his favorite drink around in his mouth may be cute, Jessa Duggar should also be concerned about his constant sucking on a bottle possibly changing the position of his teeth and causing him to have an overbite. This is an issue that would require costly trips to an orthodontist to fix later in life, so Jessa may be doing her future self and her son a big favor if she bites the bullet and takes away his beloved bottle now. And if Spurgeon spurns the sippy cup, perhaps she should try pouring his drinks into salsa containers.
[Featured Image by Jessa Duggar/Facebook]