When should baby start drinking from a cup?

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Toddlers have formed a certain attachment to their feeding bottles. Since they were babies, these bottles are the medium in which their milk formula is placed so they can be fed. It is not surprising to know that some toddlers are having qualms about getting their bottle replaced with a cup.


Babies like feeding bottles because they signify food and comfort. With a feeding bottle, they are able to drink milk while sitting in a chair, lying on the bed or even while upside down. But no matter how convenient a bottle is to a child, it must be replaced with a cup sooner than later.

Most paediatricians recommend

Most paediatricians recommend weaning babies from the bottle to the cup at 6 months old or as soon as they start on solid food. However, if you feel that the transition is much too early for your baby, start at 9 months. If you think that your toddler doesn’t really know how to hold a cup properly yet, wean him to a sippy cup instead. A sippy cup is a plastic cup that comes with a spouted lid. This cup helps smooth out the transition and lessens mess as your child learns to drink in a regular cup. If a sippy cup doesn’t work with your child, opt for a cute glass that comes with loopy straws. Drinking from a cup might not immediately be likeable for your kid but drinking from a cool straw probably will.

Bottle to cup transition

During the start of the bottle to cup transition, be prepared for constant cleanups on floors, furniture and clothes. Milk would go everywhere and anywhere except your baby’s mouth. If your baby usually finishes his milk in 10 to 20 minutes when using a bottle, be prepared to wait much longer than that when using a cup. Most toddlers stall when drinking from a cup. They often take small sips at a time and are constantly distracted with other things. However, with practice and determination, your child would eventually finish his milk in one sitting.

Making the transition easier

To help make the bottle to cup transition easier for you and your child, pick out a specific time when you’ll eliminate the bottle. Will it be on the morning feeding, afternoon or night? Most parents opt to replace bottle feedings with cups one at a time and not go cold turkey. Completely eliminating the use of feeding bottles at once may take such a great toll on your toddler which may even lead to stronger cup resistance.

Make sure that you use cups that are appealing to your child’s taste. If he has a certain cartoon character favourite, pick out a cup that showcases that character. Also, constantly fill the cup with other liquids that he likes drinking such as water and fruit juice. The consistent and continuous use of the cup will help him forget about his feeding bottle much faster. Weaning your baby from a bottle to a cup may take a few weeks or a few months depending on his agreeability. Just make sure that you are persistent and encouraging with the change.


For more information on babies and weaning:

10 smart ways to wean your baby from breast milk

Weaning recipes for your baby

Prolonged bottle feeding does more harm than good

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