Breastfeeding was found to cut SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) rates in half. A recent paper published in Pediatrics confirmed previous suspicions about the benefits of breastfeeding on the incidence of SIDS.
This study supports my sleep-breathing paradigm, which is also supported by Dr. Brian Palmer’s assertion that bottle-feeding promotes dental crowding and development of obstructive sleep apnea. The jaw narrowing that results persists into childhood and adulthood, leading to smaller breathing passageways. It’s interesting to note that the peak incidence of SIDS is around 4-6 months. Coincidentally, this is also the time of transition where infants go from obligate nose breathers to mouth and nose breathers.
During this transition, the voice box slowly drops to a position under the tongue, which creates a space behind the tongue that only humans have (the oropharynx). This new anatomy is necessary for complex speech and language ability. During this time, the infant has to adjust to different breathing, swallowing and speaking abilities and you can imagine that problems can occur during this time.
Comparative anatomists and evolutionary biologists have said that speech and language development was ultimately detrimental to humans. If you have a common channel that has to serve breathing, swallowing and communication, then overdevelopment of one can detrimentally affect the other two. This is why only humans have so many problems breathing and swallowing.
As I mention in my book, Sleep, Interrupted, our transition in the past few centuries to more processed foods and highly refined sugars, along with bottle feeding, aggravated this problem by causing even more dental crowding and upper airway narrowing.