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A dad is getting a ton of attention for his frat-inspired dad hack, but experts say the idea isn't something parents will want to replicate at home.

By Maressa Brown
March 05, 2021
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An image of a baby crying over their dad's shoulders.
Credit: Getty Images.

A dad on TikTok is getting a ton of attention for his eyebrow-raising formula feeding trick. After doctors reportedly told Rudy Willingham that his 8-month-old daughter needed to take in more calories before her next check-up, he thought back to the way he did that in college: partying with a beer bong.

In case you never attended a kegger in college, the funnel device is attached to a tube that allows someone to consume a liquid, like beer, at a faster pace.

Willingham created one for his baby girl Lily, attaching a bottle nipple to the end of the smallest beer bong he could find on Amazon, reports the New York Post. He then shot a clip of himself offering it to her and wrote alongside the post, "Gained a ton of weight this way in college, so I figured it could do the same for her."

Commenters applauded the dad's idea. One commenter wrote, "So much daddy-love in this! How awesome that you have each other," while another noted, "Parenting done so damn right."

But the feeding method could be majorly problematic for a baby, notes Dr. Amna Husain, a board-certified pediatrician and founder of Pure Direct Pediatrics in New Jersey. "The rate that the beer bong would deliver the formula isn't safe and can lead to reflux and even vomiting," she points out. "Feeding an infant at a faster rate before they're ready can have adverse effects, and with younger children, I'm a huge fan of paced bottle feeding. Secondly, there is literally zero evidence that a beer bong would help the baby gain weight any faster."

A much safer and more appropriate way to ensure your baby is getting more calories? "Use a baby bottle," says Dr. Husain, who notes that the beer bong method could be less sanitary. "You want to make sure that the baby always has a clean bottle and then the remaining formula is discarded with the bottles being cleaned appropriately in between feeds."

She elaborates, "Other safer methods—depending on the age of the baby and thorough discussion between the parents and patient's pediatrician—are more frequent feeds, a higher kilocalorie formula, possibly starting solids if this baby is ready to."

That said, Dr. Husain says it's also crucial for parents to remember that a percentile number on its own isn't a bad thing. She notes, "We have to evaluate how the baby is growing and tracking along his or her curve, meeting their milestones, etc."

That said, while Willingham might be making other parents laugh with his invention, it's not something other parents will want to try at home.

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