The right way to Transition Your Child 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 may marvel: Is it time to maneuver on to a cup?

For those who simply breastfeed, the simplest change is to skip bottles completely and go straight to cups across the 1-year mark, or everytime you resolve to cease nursing. In case your baby fortunately sucks on bottles, their first birthday would possibly nonetheless be a sensible choice. That is since you’re already altering from method to cow’s milk round that point.

Missed that window? Ready till your child is just a little 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 The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests saying bye-bye to the bottle earlier than your child is eighteen months outdated. “I might say undoubtedly earlier than age 2, however the sooner the higher,” says Keith T. Ayoob, EdD. He’s an affiliate scientific professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein School of Drugs in Bronx, N.Y.

As a registered dietitian who works with youngsters, Ayoob snatches the bottle from youngsters as outdated as 5 — and he says it is not fairly. “It’s a must to know your baby, however basically, the longer you wait the tougher 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 the explanation why it is sensible to modify to cups:

Bottles enhance tooth decay. Milk has lactose, a kind of sugar. And if you happen to’re giving your baby juice in a bottle (although you should not), that is even worse. “The acid in juice is a nightmare for enamel,” 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 enamel, which may result in cavities. Letting a child fall asleep with a bottle is very unhealthy, 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 exhibits that youngsters who’re nonetheless utilizing a bottle at age 2 usually tend to be overweight by the point they’re virtually 6. Ayoob says some youngsters stroll round with a bottle of their mouths on a regular basis, regardless that they’re consuming loads of strong meals. This may end up in too many energy.

He says that being too connected 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 together with her smile. Fixed sucking can change the place of her grownup enamel down the road. It may have an effect on the event of her facial muscle mass 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 could simply result in an overbite that may later must be corrected with orthodontia similar to braces.

Ingesting whereas laying down will increase the prospect of ear infections. In case your baby loves to twist up with a bottle, be careful.

“A number of the milk form of gurgles up behind 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 baby ought to know tips on how to drink out of a cup earlier than you are taking away the bottle. Many pediatricians inform dad and mom to introduce sippy cups round 6 to 9 months. That is when youngsters generally begin ingesting water and different liquids in addition to method and breast milk.

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

When you resolve to ditch bottles, there are two primary 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 shall be some pushback,” Ayoob says. “For those who’re attempting to do it with none resistance in any respect, you are within the incorrect enterprise.”

Chilly turkey: At some point, you merely make all of the bottles disappear. In case your baby is sufficiently old to grasp, it would assist to incorporate them within the course of. For instance, you possibly can warn them that at the moment is the final day for bottles, and that beginning tomorrow, they’re going to drink solely from “massive 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 need to go, Ayoob says you must take away the mid-day bottles first, then the morning one. Get your baby 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 fogeys!) agree that taking away the nighttime bottle is the hardest closing step. “Denying your child a bottle, particularly that final one earlier than mattress, may 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 tougher 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 baby into sleep. “A pleasant heat bathtub, rocking whereas studying a narrative, and snuggling with a lovey may 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.

Widespread Issues

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

You are pondering: “She hates sippy cups.” 

The repair: To guard her enamel, 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 better option. However ultimately, “one of the best sippy cup is the one your baby will drink from fortunately and constantly,” McAllister says. “Purchase just a few differing kinds and experiment. Once you discover one your baby likes, purchase just a few!”

You can even have your baby use common, non-sippy cups. Nonetheless, it would 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 just a little water — to chop again on spills, Ayoob says.

You are pondering: “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 the rest, however it is a short-term starvation strike!” Richel says.

Not prepared to attend it out? Take the nipple off the bottle and provide it with a straw as an alternative. Or begin placing water in bottles and milk in cups and provides your baby a selection. “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 pondering: “If she refuses the cup, she will not get sufficient calcium.”

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

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

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

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

The repair: Many kids are used to having a bottle to quiet down, however that may 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 is going to occur.”

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