What Is a Bottle?

A portable container for holding liquids, typically having a narrow neck and wider body and often made of glass or plastic. Historically, bottles were also made of leather, wood, earthenware, or metal. The word is derived from the Latin for flask, which was originally used to hold wine. A bottle is also a slang term for a drinking vessel.

A popular use of the bottle is as a baby-feeding device. When first introducing the bottle to infants, it is important to allow enough time between feedings for the baby to re-adjust to the process of drinking from a bottle. This helps the baby learn to self-soothe and avoid reliance on the bottle, which can lead to unhealthy weight gain and poor diet.

When a baby is ready for the bottle, it is a good idea to start with small volumes such as two or three ounces of milk and increase the volume slowly over several weeks. This allows the baby to get accustomed to the bottle and to the feeling of having it in their hand. It is also helpful to offer pacifiers to help the child feel secure during the bottle feeding and to encourage them to swallow.

Bottles can be used to store foodstuffs (especially pickles and preserves) as well as medical specimens and are a common item in the kitchen of many homes. They can also be used to transport beverages, especially carbonated drinks, such as sodas.

In the early 1900s, the Coca-Cola Company began using a specific bottle design to promote their brand of soft drinks. They were the first beverage manufacturer to make their product available in bottle form, which helped them stand out among competing brands. The Coke bottle is so recognizable today that it has become a symbol for mass culture. Artists like Andy Warhol have often incorporated the design into their works of art.

Some infants become reliant on bottles, even after they are weaned from breastfeeding and may refuse to eat meals when not fed from the bottle. This can cause them to skip important nutrients, and can lead to obesity in toddlers, which sets the stage for health problems later in life.

When a toddler begins to drink from the bottle too frequently, parents should be prepared to gradually introduce sippy cups or spoons for them to eat with at mealtimes. It is also helpful to limit the number of bottle feedings at other times, such as before naps and bedtime. This can help the child learn to self-soothe without the bottle and may allow them to sleep better, since they will not be anticipating and waiting for a bottle to be delivered to them. It is also helpful to encourage the child with lots of hugs, songs and cuddles as they begin to move away from the bottle. Plastic recycling, especially for high-density polyethylene and polyethylene terephthalate bottles, is a vital part of reducing pollution.