Little Amara Chiedozie has amazed doctors by being able to hold up and drink from her own milk bottle – at just 3 days old.
“When we were feeding,” her mum Onyi Chiedozie says, “she started shaking, then she just grabbed the bottle. She was holding it by herself! We couldn’t believe it because babies don’t normally do it that young.
“I’m so shocked that I have been documenting it every day. It’s unbelievable.”
Amara is now 3 weeks old and is still amazing health professionals with her ability to grip so strongly as such a young age. “Whenever we go to appointments, we take pictures of her doing it,” says Onyi. “The midwife and even the doctor we had an appointment with on Saturday were actually amazed. They couldn’t believe it.”
Most babies don’t develop a strong enough grip to hold a bottle like Amara can until they’re at least 6 months old.
Mum Onyi, from Chadwell Heath in Essex, is combining breast and bottle to feed Amara. “When Amara doesn’t want her bottle,” she says, “she will push it away. She isn’t strong enough to throw it away, but she does push it, like she does with her dummy. If she is really hungry, she starts shaking. Then she will just grab the bottle as you give it to her.
“The breastfeeding used to be painful and sore but it’s good now. When Amara breastfeeds, she is touching and holding on to me. It’s a really nice experience and way to bond.
Obviously, it’s not safe to leave babies to feed themselves (or to prop them up a bottle) – even when they’re much older than Amara. And Onyi says she’s always close at hand watching her daughter as she feeds herself.
“Sometimes I hold her or sometimes you can prop her up with a pillow and give her the bottle,” she says. “I’m always watching her – I don’t let her out of my sight,” she said.
Amara weighed 6lbs 3oz when she was born on August 3 at Queen’s Hospital in Romford.