How to Transition Your Baby from a Bottle to a Cup


Whether or not you breastfeed, bottle feed, or do a combo of the 2, in some unspecified time in the future you will surprise: Is it time to maneuver on to a cup?

When you simply breastfeed, the simplest swap is to skip bottles fully and go straight to cups across the 1-year mark, or everytime you determine to cease nursing. In case your youngster fortunately sucks on bottles, their first birthday would possibly nonetheless be a sensible choice. That is since you’re already altering from system to cow’s milk round that point.

Missed that window? Ready till your child is a bit older? No worries, however don’t wait too lengthy. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests saying bye-bye to the bottle earlier than your child is eighteen months previous. “I would say undoubtedly earlier than age 2, however the sooner the higher,” says Keith T. Ayoob, EdD. He’s an affiliate medical professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein Faculty of Drugs in Bronx, N.Y.

As a registered dietitian who works with children, Ayoob snatches the bottle from children as previous as 5 — and he says it is not fairly. “It’s important to know your youngster, however on the whole, the longer you wait the more durable it’s.”

Why the Bottle Must Go

A bottle offers meals and luxury to many kids, so letting your baby use it for so long as they like might sound innocent sufficient. However there are a number of explanation why it is sensible to change to cups:

Bottles enhance tooth decay. Milk has lactose, a sort of sugar. And if you happen to’re giving your youngster juice in a bottle (although you should not), that is even worse. “The acid in juice is a nightmare for tooth,” Ayoob says.

Milk ought to stay an vital a part of your kid’s food regimen, and juice is OK from time to time. Sucked from a bottle although, the sugar and acid will keep longer on their tooth, which may result in cavities. Letting a child fall asleep with a bottle is very dangerous, as a result of your physique makes much less saliva (which helps to clean away meals particles) when you’re asleep.

Extended use of a bottle is linked to weight problems. Analysis reveals that children who’re nonetheless utilizing a bottle at age 2 usually tend to be overweight by the point they’re nearly 6. Ayoob says some children stroll round with a bottle of their mouths on a regular basis, despite the fact that they’re consuming loads of strong meals. This may end up in too many energy.

He says that being too hooked up to the bottle may have the other impact, too: With some choosy eaters, the bottle turns into the “go-to meal,” and a toddler might not be consuming sufficient of his breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Bottles may mess along with her smile. Fixed sucking can change the place of her grownup tooth down the road. It might have an effect on the event of her facial muscle tissues and palate (roof of her mouth), says Peter Richel, MD. He is the chief of pediatrics at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y. This will simply result in an overbite that may later should be corrected with orthodontia akin to braces.

Consuming whereas laying down will increase the possibility of ear infections. In case your baby loves to curve up with a bottle, be careful.

“Among the milk type of gurgles up at the back of the throat, and it simply form of sits there whereas micro organism grows,” Ayoob says. “Micro organism can crawl proper up the Eustachian tube [in the throat] and into the ear.”

Giving the Bottle the Boot

Your youngster ought to know the best way to drink out of a cup earlier than you’re taking away the bottle. Many pediatricians inform dad and mom to introduce sippy cups round 6 to 9 months. That is when children generally begin ingesting water and different liquids apart from system and breast milk.

If, from a younger age, you begin giving some milk (not simply water) in sippy or common cups, then issues will probably be simpler if you’re able to do away with the bottle for good, Richel says.

When you determine to ditch bottles, there are two important methods to go about it: Go chilly turkey, or slowly wean her off. Whichever approach you select, consultants agree that sticking to it’s key. “Chilly turkey is the quickest however most tough for folks, as a result of they really feel they’re being merciless,” Richel says.

Simply do not anticipate both solution to be simple. Even if you happen to decide to wean slowly, “there will probably be some pushback,” Ayoob says. “When you’re attempting to do it with none resistance in any respect, you are within the flawed enterprise.”

Chilly turkey: In the future, you merely make all of the bottles disappear. In case your youngster is sufficiently old to grasp, it’d assist to incorporate them within the course of. For instance, you possibly can warn them that immediately is the final day for bottles, and that beginning tomorrow, they’re going to drink solely from “huge boy” cups.

Weaning: The concept is to slowly swap out bottles in favor of cups. For instance, you would possibly fill in a cup for the bottle at only one feeding a day, then add a second cup the next week.

Regardless of how sluggish (or quick) you wish to go, Ayoob says it is best to take away the mid-day bottles first, then the morning one. Get your youngster used to consuming one thing strong very first thing within the morning, he says, earlier than you take away the morning bottle.

Most consultants (and oldsters!) agree that taking away the nighttime bottle is the hardest closing step. “Denying your child a bottle, particularly that final one earlier than mattress, might be extremely difficult for mothers and dads,” says Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH, coauthor of The Mommy MD Information to the Toddler Years. “It makes it far harder to get infants to sleep, and when infants don’t sleep, neither do their dad and mom.”

To make issues simpler, she says to have a bedtime ritual in place. This retains you from solely counting on the bottle to ease your youngster into sleep. “A pleasant heat bathtub, rocking whereas studying a narrative, and snuggling with a lovey might be nice sources of consolation, safety, and leisure earlier than bedtime, even when the bedtime bottle is now not part of the routine,” she says.

Frequent Issues

Nervous about stopping the bottle? We requested the consultants to supply some further assist and assist.

You are considering: “She hates sippy cups.” 

The repair: To guard her tooth, attempt a cup that would not have a strong spout. It is too just like a nipple, says Ayoob, who says a straw is a more sensible choice. However in the long run, “the perfect sippy cup is the one your youngster will drink from fortunately and constantly,” McAllister says. “Purchase just a few differing types and experiment. While you discover one your youngster likes, purchase just a few!”

You can even have your youngster use common, non-sippy cups. Nonetheless, it’d take a while for her to study to make use of it by herself. Give her one thing thick — like vanilla yogurt or some puréed fruit that is been thinned with a bit water — to chop again on spills, Ayoob says.

You are considering: “She’ll drink water or juice from a sippy cup — simply not milk.” 

The repair: “Some kids love the bottle so very a lot that they are going to be cussed to take milk from anything, however this can be a short-term starvation strike!” Richel says.

Not prepared to attend it out? Take the nipple off the bottle and supply it with a straw as an alternative. Or begin placing water in bottles and milk in cups and provides your youngster a alternative. “Inform her, ‘Milk is available in a cup now. Water is available in a bottle. Which one would you like?'” Ayoob says. You can even attempt to make milk in a cup extra tempting by flavoring it with puréed strawberries or different fruit. “A strawberry ‘milkshake’ would possibly tempt her to drink from a cup,” McAllister says.

You are considering: “If she refuses the cup, she will not get sufficient calcium.”

The repair: Don’t fret about them not getting sufficient calcium, even when they refuse milk from a cup for a number of weeks. Simply remember to feed them different sources, akin to cheese and yogurt. Broccoli, soy milk, and calcium-fortified orange juice are good picks, too.

You are considering: “He will throw a tantrum.”

The repair: Allow them to. Throwing a match is hardly out of character for a toddler, they usually’ll recover from it. “If the guardian is prepared to place up with a meltdown for a day or two, it can go away,” Ayoob says. “Bear in mind, if he can drink from a cup, you are not denying him liquid.”

You are considering: “She’ll by no means go to sleep.”

The repair: Many kids are used to having a bottle to quiet down, however that can change. Infants and toddlers can study to self-soothe with out the sucking that they’ve been accustomed to from pacifiers or bottles,” Richel says. “It merely takes a little bit of time. However it can occur.”


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