According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the best time to wean your baby from the bottle is between 12-24 months of age.
But for many babies, bottles are more than just their way of getting food. They are often a source of comfort as well. So transitioning your little one from bottle to cup can be challenging, often met with temper tantrums and tears.
Make the transition smoother by following these 7 tips.
7 tips for transitioning from bottle to cup
- Pick the right time. Before making the transition, make sure your little one isn’t experiencing other big changes, such as the birth of a younger sibling or moving to a new house. Introducing any new habit is easier when your child is comfortably settled and not distracted.
- Make the transition gradual. Don’t expect to just throw away the bottle and have your kid start drinking from a cup all in one day. Start with incremental steps by cutting down the number of bottle feeds over the course of a few weeks. For example, if your child has 3 bottle feeds a day, decrease it to 2 a week, followed by 1 a week, and then completely shift to feeding using a cup. Since nighttime bottles may be part of your child’s bedtime routine and the hardest one to ditch, only drop once your child has already gotten used to using a cup during the day.
- Use sippy cups. Sippy cups are spill-proof and have handles that are easy to hold, with spouts designed for babies. Dentists advise using sippy cups with a hard spout or a straw instead of ones with soft spouts.
- Celebrate your little one’s progress. Let your child know that you are proud of their progress, and praise them by telling them that they are becoming a big kid now. Help them to feel part of the process and have a choice in the matter instead of forcing it on them against their will.
- Figure out why your child is attached to the bottle. Sometimes, kids reach for their bottle not because they’re hungry or thirsty but because they’re looking for comfort. If your child needs the bottle for emotional support, give them cuddles and attention. If they look for it when they are bored, play with them or tell them stories.
- Keep the bottles out of sight. When you are feeding your child using a cup, keep the bottles away from their sight and reach.
- Ask your pediatrician for advice. If you are still struggling to wean your baby off their bottle, consider talking to your pediatrician for help.
Why you shouldn’t delay weaning
The longer you wait to wean your baby off the bottle, the more difficult it will be to transition them to a cup. More importantly, prolonged bottle-feeding can have negative effects on your child’s health, leading to increased risk of:
- Tooth decay
- Problems with tooth development and alignment
- Picky eating behavior and nutritional deficiencies
- Increased risk of ear, throat, and respiratory infections
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Brody B. How to Switch Your Baby From Bottle to Cup. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/features/bottle-to-cup#1
Top How Do I Transition My Baby From Bottle to Cup Related Articles
7 Signs It's Time to Wean Your Baby From Breast or Bottle FeedingWhen is it time to wean your baby from the breast or bottle to solid foods? Learn how and when to wean your child from breastmilk to formula, and from formula to solid food.
Baby's First Year: Milestones Month by MonthWhen do babies learn to crawl? Start teething? Learn about major milestones in your baby's first months. Get tips on how to help baby learn, grow, and develop into a healthy toddler.
Baby's 1st Yr SlideshowWhat developmental milestones can you expect to see during baby's first year? Find out when babies learn to smile, laugh, crawl, and talk.
Better Ways to Feed Your BabyWhat tips and tricks help you introduce healthy foods to your baby's diet. Learn techniques for feeding that work for infants and young children, why babies are such messy eaters, and how your child learns by eating new foods and exploring vegetables, fruits, and other healthy meals.
Breastfeeding (and Formula Feeding)It's important to know whether you will breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby prior to delivery, as the breasts' ability to produce milk diminishes soon after childbirth without the stimulation of breastfeeding. Breast milk is easily digested by babies and contains infection-fighting antibodies and cholesterol, which promotes brain growth. Formula-fed babies actually need to eat somewhat less often since formula is less readily digested by the baby than human milk. This article explores the advantages and disadvantages of both forms of feeding.
Can Babies Grow Out of Tongue-Tie?If tongue-tie is left alone, it will often resolve itself as the baby's mouth grows. However, in some cases, surgery for tongue-tie may be required.
How Common Is Tongue-Tie in Babies?Tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, occurs in about 4 to 11 percent of newborns and is characterized by an excessively tight lingual frenulum.
How Do I Know if My Baby Is Developing Normally?The development of your child begins right after birth. What are the signs that your child is developing normally? Learn how to spot when something is wrong.
Infant FormulasThough human milk is the preferred feeding for infants, parents may consider formula feeding if there is an inadequate supply of breast milk, the baby sucks inefficiently, the parents want to monitor how much the baby is receiving, or the mother is taking medications that are unsafe for the baby and may be passed through the breast milk.
New Parents MistakesParenting a child isn't easy. Explore the top 10 mistakes that new parents make. Discover newborn parenting tips for breastfeeding, learn to deal with crying babies, child's fevers, and more.
What Are Some Mistakes Parents Should Try to Avoid When Feeding Toddlers?Most toddlers who are picky eaters have a normal appetite and exhibit age-appropriate growth patterns. Mistakes parents should try to avoid when feeding toddlers include watching TV at mealtimes, offering unhealthy snacks as a reward, feeding too many sugary foods, forcing the child to eat, serving portion sizes that are too big and other mistakes.
What Should I Do if My Baby Doesn't Want to Eat?A baby not wanting to eat is typical behavior. If your baby doesn't want to eat, try different feeding positions, wear clothing that allows for easy access to the breasts, maintain your milk supply, and offer the breast often.
When Should a Baby Stop Using a Bottle?Toddlers can become attached to their bottles because it provides a sense of comfort and security in addition to providing nourishment. A baby should stop using a bottle when they can sit up by themselves, eat from a spoon, show curiosity in solid foods and when they have a set routine for mealtimes.