Learn how to Transition Your Child from a Bottle to a Cup


Whether or not you breastfeed, bottle feed, or do a combo of the 2, sooner or later you may surprise: Is it time to maneuver on to a cup?

If you happen to simply breastfeed, the best change is to skip bottles solely and go straight to cups across the 1-year mark, or everytime you determine to cease nursing. In case your baby fortunately sucks on bottles, their first birthday may nonetheless be a good selection. That is since you’re already altering from system to cow’s milk round that point.

Missed that window? Ready till your child is somewhat 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 The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests saying bye-bye to the bottle earlier than your child is eighteen months outdated.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 medical professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein Faculty of Medication 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As a registered dietitian who works with youngsters, Ayoob snatches the bottle from youngsters as outdated as 5 — and he says it is not fairly. “You need to know your baby, however normally, 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 toddler use it for so long as they like may appear innocent sufficient. However there are a number of the reason 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 essential a part of your kid’s weight-reduction plan, and juice is OK from time to time. Sucked from a bottle although, the sugar and acid will keep longer on their enamel, which might result in cavities. Letting a child fall asleep with a bottle is particularly unhealthy, as a result of your physique makes much less saliva (which helps to clean away meals particles) whilst you’re asleep.

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

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

Bottles might mess along with her smile. Fixed sucking can change the place of her grownup enamel down the road. It may well have an effect on the event of her facial muscle groups 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 which may later have to be corrected with orthodontia reminiscent of braces.

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

“Among the milk form of gurgles up behind the throat, and it simply kind 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 find out how to drink out of a cup earlier than you are taking away the bottle. Many pediatricians inform mother and father to introduce sippy cups round 6 to 9 months. That is when youngsters generally begin ingesting water and different liquids moreover system and breast milk.

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

When you determine to ditch bottles, there are two principal 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 fogeys, as a result of they really feel they’re being merciless,” Richel says.

Simply do not count on both solution to be straightforward. Even if you happen to decide to wean slowly, “there can be some pushback,” Ayoob says. “If you happen to’re making an attempt to do it with none resistance in any way, you are within the incorrect enterprise.”

Chilly turkey: Sooner or later, you merely make all of the bottles disappear. In case your baby is sufficiently old to know, it would assist to incorporate them within the course of. For instance, you’ll be able to warn them that as we speak is the final day for bottles, and that beginning tomorrow, they’ll drink solely from “huge boy” cups.

Weaning: The concept is to slowly swap out bottles in favor of cups. For instance, you may 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 stable 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 last 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 tougher to get infants to sleep, and when infants don’t sleep, neither do their mother and father.”

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 might be nice sources of consolation, safety, and leisure earlier than bedtime, even when the bedtime bottle is not part of the routine,” she says.

Frequent Issues

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

You are pondering: “She hates sippy cups.” 

The repair: To guard her enamel, attempt a cup that does not have a stable spout. It is too much like a nipple, says Ayoob, who says a straw is a better option. However in the long run, “one of the best sippy cup is the one your baby will drink from fortunately and constantly,” McAllister says. “Purchase a number of differing types and experiment. Once you discover one your baby likes, purchase a number of!”

You may as well have your baby use common, non-sippy cups. Nonetheless, it would take a while for her to be taught to make use of it by herself. Give her one thing thick — like vanilla yogurt or some puréed fruit that is been thinned with somewhat 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 anything, 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 a substitute. Or begin placing water in bottles and milk in cups and provides your baby 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 may as well attempt to make milk in a cup extra tempting by flavoring it with puréed strawberries or different fruit. “A strawberry ‘milkshake’ may 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, reminiscent of cheese and yogurt. Broccoli, soy milk, and calcium-fortified orange juice are good picks, too.

You are pondering: “He’ll 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 dad or mum 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 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 be taught 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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