5 tips to wean your child off the bottle
Ditch the baby bottle! Learn how to wean your child from the bottle now.
Is your toddler still drinking from a baby bottle? It is time to make a change and wean your child off the bottle. This transition is tricky and might meet a lot of resistance, but as long as you persevere, your child should be drinking from a cup in no time.
1) Offer the cup first
To wean your child off the bottle, it should make less appearances during meal times. Make sure to offer the cup first. If your child is less than 6-8 months, expect more chewing on the cup than drinking. For children who reject the cup instantly, let them have their baby bottle, but shorten the feeding session.
2) Training tricks
One way to wean your child off the bottle is to trick him/her into doing it. During a feeding session, offer a cup full of milk first. If your child rejects it, give a bottle with only a tiny amount of milk. If your child asks for more, offer the cup again. They will have no choice but to drink the milk in the cup if they are really hungry.
If your child completely ignores the cup, here is something you can do the next time: fill the cup with milk and pour a tiny amount of water in the bottle. Offer both and watch your child drink the milk from the cup in an instant.
3) Prevent further attachment
Some toddlers who are having a hard time transitioning from bottle to cup have separation issues. They feel attached to their baby bottles because of the safety and security they associate with it. Prevent your child from getting more attached to his/her feeding bottle by discouraging its use when going to sleep, walking, crawling, reading, or watching TV. Baby bottles should only be used when feeding and not in between. If giving up the bottle is an issue especially at bedtime, offer other forms of distraction like playing with hand puppets, making shadow animals or reading bedtime stories.
4) Create excitement through choice
When you want to wean your child off the bottle, allow him/her to have a say in the cup that you’ll be using. Go shopping for a sippy cup together to create excitement. There is a plethora of cups available in different colours, attractive designs, spout types and handles. If your child excitedly picks out a particular cup, it's a good sign that it will be used.
5) Hide the bottles
Once and for all, hide the feeding bottles. The saying “out of sight, out of mind” might work on your child. If your child continues to cry over the bottles, offer alternatives by encouraging the use of a straw instead or offer appealing solid food to compensate for the loss.
How did you successfully wean your child from the bottle? Share your tips with other parents by leaving a comment.