What’s The Best Way For Weaning Babies Off Bottles?

 Feeding your baby a bottle is one monumental bonding experience, but it can’t last forever. Eventually, you have to stop bottle feeding your baby and move onto other ways to feed them. This usually entails giving your baby a sippy cup.

Source: flickr.com

However, your baby may have other plans. Your baby has spent a good time being fed by you, and they may not like the fact you’re switching. How can you wean your baby without it causing a ruckus in the household? It’s hard, but there are ways. 

Before we figure out how, we should first make sure your baby is ready to be weaned from the bottle.

Average Time To Wean 

Most kids are ready for weaning around a year to 18 months, but they may be able to try drinking from a cup as young as 6 months. If your baby can sit up, eat their foods using a spoon, like foods that are solid, and have a mealtime routine, it’s usually a sign that they’re ready to be weaned. For a good way to get your child to love food, look up some food recipes they would love, and make cooking like arts, crafts, or other works. Your big kids will love that. 

Around this age, it’s time to wean your child from their bottles. Doing so means they will be less likely to have dental problems, and it teaches them how to feed. 

Think About It Early 

Figuring out when to wean your baby from the bottle is something you should know about as early as possible. Some parents study before the baby is born. As they’re looking at their due date calculator, watching the fetal development of their baby, thinking of baby names, combatting pregnancy symptoms, and wondering how giving birth is like, they’re doing a bit of research. 

(Speaking of baby names, always pick the baby names that you love. Don’t pick baby names just because they’re popular, and don’t choose baby names because somebody else wants to)

Whether you’re getting a bottle from baby showers, or got one as you experience labor delivery or the first signs of pregnancy, it’s important for you figure out when the best time to wean is. This can depend on the baby; certain pregnancy complications, or disorders like ADD, ADHD, or similar problems, may delay it. If you’re unsure, talk to your doctor. Otherwise, read these quick tips to transition your children to big kids. 

Source: flickr.com

How To Wean 

With all that said, what is the best way to wean and keep the peace in the household? Let’s find out with these quick tips. 

Don’t Wean During A Transition Or Change

Some parents decide to wean their child when they’re learning to do other things like walk or crawl. This is not the way to do it! Weaning during a time when they’re busy learning something else can cause stress, and it makes it harder to wean. They’re not being stubborn; there’s just too much going on at once. 

Besides a transition, also make sure that your baby isn’t in the middle of a move or a vacation, or another life change. If you think you’re unable to handle stress, think about your baby. Also, don’t do it while they’re sick. If they have cold, flu, or other symptoms, try to do it another time. 

Start Early 

As we said before, a baby can try a cup within 6 months, sometimes as early as 3. You can still bottle feed, but introduce the idea of a cup early. This can help normalize the idea of a sippy cup and make it easier for your baby to handle the transition. 

Around 8-10 months, continue adding the sippy cup. In one feeding, usually the smallest, try to use a sippy cup. Chances are, your baby will accept. Over time, replace the bottle feedings with cup feedings. As you feed, do it slowly and make sure that they aren’t choking on the liquid. The milk comes out much differently than a bottle.

Be consistent. When changing up a feeding, continuing making that change and not mixing it up. This can help a baby get used to a sippy cup easier.

Drink From The Cup Yourself

If your baby is skeptical about the cup, drink from it a bit yourself. Whenever the baby sees their parent drinking from the sippy cup, the baby is more likely to drink from it. With that said, make sure you’re drinking something you like. Spitting out a drink may not be the best move, as your baby will associate the sippy cup with something disgusting.

Source: flickr.com

Comfort Your Child

Weaning your child can be a challenge, as even when you’re slowly trying to replace feedings, the baby may feel uncomfortable. As you wean your baby, play some soft music, give them a toy, or cuddle them as you are feeding. This can make the baby comfortable and make it easier to feed them. If you try weaning in a busy environment, it can end up backfiring on you.

Sucking On Other Objects Is Okay 

If you notice your baby sucking on pacifiers and other safe objects after you wean, it’s nothing to be alarmed about. Many babies do this as a way to keep their behavior over control, and they may do this for a few years. This can be a good replacement for a bottle. It’s of no concern, so allow your baby to suck on a water bottle, thumb, or anything else. 

Source: pixabay.com

Cold Turkey 

It’s important that you don’t try to go cold turkey. Some parents may feel like just taking away the bottle and replacing it with a sippy cup, but the sudden removal may make a baby fussy. While they will eventually come through, it’s not worth the screaming, and it’s not good for the baby, either. Don’t go cold turkey on this. You’re just going to end up having a bad time, with the baby screaming and you eventually giving the bottle back.

What To Put In The Cup 

A cup can have juice and other liquids. If you are planning on feeding your baby animal milk, make sure they are older than a year old, and try to introduce it slowly. You may have to mix it up with other liquids, and then slowly introduce it. When you do give them cow milk, make sure it’s whole milk. This is good for their body. Your baby needs fats that reduced-fat milks tend to lack.

As for the bottle, it needs to have formula, breast milk, and water in it. Avoid putting any other liquids on it. Don’t put any juice. Instead, put the juice in a sippy cup. It may be too sweet for your baby at first. In that case, it’s okay for you to water it down a bit. It may be gross to you, but the slight sweetness is better on the baby’s palate.

Source: flickr.com

Make Sure The Cup Is Good For The Baby 

With that said, buy a sippy cup with a lid that will stay screwed on, handles that are ergonomic, and free of any toxins. Don’t be afraid to splurge a bit on the cup in order to give the baby the most comfortable experience possible. This will make the baby less picky in the long run. 

FAQs

  • How old should a baby stop using a bottle? 

If you’re wondering when you should start weaning your baby from bottle to cup, you typically begin saying bye-bye to the bottle around 6-9 months. Every baby is different, and some babies will have prolonged bottle use. 

You may wonder why you have to say bye-bye to the bottle right away. Well, once the baby learns to crawl and walk, they will typically sip all the time, and this can lead to cavities for liquids besides water. So start weaning around that period, and you’ll soon have a big boy or big girl. 

  • How do I wean my baby off the bottle at night?

There are many ways to wean your baby boy or baby girl from nighttime bottle feedings. The quickest way is to stop offering them the bottle. This is the cold turkey method. However, cold turkey is something that can have a few problems. Mainly the fact that your baby will cry and scream for a few days. 

If you want a gentler way, try diluting the milk. Your baby can give up his bottle if you add more water than milk over time, or if you gradually reduce the amount of milk your baby has. Soon, you’ll get rid of the bottle. 

  • How do I wean my 2-year-old off the bottle?

Having an older baby who is still using the bottle is a bit problematic. They’ve become quite attached to the bottle, and because of that, taking it away is harder. Toddlers tend to get really angry when their favorite object has to go away, but that’s part of growing up. Again, slow weaning is important, or you may just have to take it away. If they like drinking milk, try milk in a cup, or replace a morning bottle with milk from a cup. 

Source: pxhere.com
  • When should I stop giving my baby a bottle at night?

You can start weaning your baby from nighttime feedings around 4-6 months, which is a normal time for child development. Again, take a gradual approach to this, and don’t pull away their bottle drinking cold turkey unless you have to. Also, strike the balance between slowly weaning and not giving in to every feeding.  

  • What is a good sippy cup to transition from the bottle?

Any sippy cup will work but look for one that uses a straw instead of a spout. Too much spout use may lead to oral delays. In addition, you want a sippy cup that is free from any toxins and plastics that could be harmful. 

With that said, make sure that your baby isn’t using too much of their sippy cup. Sippy cup drinkers tend to end up needing you to wean them from that as well. Just like prolonged bottle drinking, think about prolonged sippy cup drinking. Again, one way to wean is to dilute the juice with water. Water or juice, it’s your choice. 

  •  How do I drop night feeds?

Dropping night feeds is like dropping any other aspect when it comes to baby development. You can try cold turkey, but your child will not like that and neither will you. You can have a smaller feeding session, or go from undiluted milk to more diluted milk. 

  • Are sippy cups bad for teeth?

It all depends on use. Too much use may lead to some teeth problems, but if you do it in moderation and use behavior discipline to get your baby off the sippy cup, it can be a good thing. Plus, teaching a baby how to hold a cup without spilling is a good reason to use a sippy cup, at least for a while. 

  • When can baby drink from Straw?

A baby can learn how to drink from a straw in about 9 months. Of course, some babies may learn earlier, and vice versa. Most babies will learn how to do it on their own from a cup and drink. 

Source: flickr.com
  • Why are bottles bad for toddlers?

Some parents don’t want to get rid of the bottle because they say it makes their baby happy, but by that logic, let’s skip potty training because your toddler likes to use the bathroom in their underwear. Prolonged bottle use can lead to many problems, such as tooth decay and having a crutch that the bay can’t get rid of. It’s important that you allow your baby to transition to a big kid. More solid food, fewer bottles. Phasing out the bottle is something you should do at a young age, despite how many mothers or celebrity parents swear by their toddler and their bottle. Teach your baby how to drink from a cup early. 

Conclusion

Your baby transitioning into a big kid is an experience like no other, but it’s something you do need to plan. Figure out the age babies tend to wean from a bottle. Give your child a replacement for a bottle, and remind him every day that they’re a big kid, and a big kid loves their bottle. Many bottle drinkers tend to accept the cup if taught at a young age, but there may be development problems if you keep your baby on the bottle and prevent them from eating any baby food. 

 

 

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