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Bye-bye, bottle

Your toddler loves his bottle, but the pediatrician says it’s time to switch to a cup. Here are a few quick tips for making a no-tears transition.
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Many pediatricians recommend weaning babies from bottle to cup sometime between 12 and 18 months. Extended sucking on bottles (or pacifiers or thumbs) could gradually change the shape of a toddler’s mouth, leading to problems with his dental arch or with speech. And while sippy cups have valves, bottles don’t — that means formula, milk or juice can continually dribble out, pooling around teeth and causing decay.

Making the move

To move from bottle to cup, first invite your baby to play with the cup and try it out when she’s not really hungry or thirsty, so she’s not frantic if she doesn’t figure it out right away. After she gets the hang of it, gradually substitute one bottle feeding at a time over the course of a week or more. End with the most beloved bottle, which is usually the one before bedtime or nap.

Bump up snuggle time

Make sure to give your baby lots of close physical contact and hugging when those final bottles are being replaced, so it’s only the bottle she’s missing, not your time or cuddling. And as with bottles, don’t let your child take a sippy cup of formula or breast milk to bed.

Shop around for sippy cups

If your child is really resistant to picking up a cup, try a cup with a different design or character. You can even let her pick a special cup herself. It may turn out that a different type of valve, spout or handles will work better for her.

Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Baby's First Year. Order your copy from Barnes & Noble

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  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 5reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by After reading this I am so glad that I didn't go the with a bottle EVER.I have 4 kids and they all went from breast to sippy cup . April 8, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by We tried so may different kinds of sippy cups and my daughter refused to drink her milk out of any of them, she would drink anything else just not her milk. She would take a sip and taste that it was milk and start to cry for her bubba. I just recently tried and succeeded by only taking her afternoon bottle away for a couple days and then her morning bottle and it worked we are bottle free and it only took 4 days September 27, 2013
    Rated 0 out of 5 by My 9 month old drinks water from a sippy cup wonderfully. I was going to try to start weaning a few bottles during the day to having his milk in the sippy cups since he was good as using it. Well he wouldnt drink the milk out of the sippy cup. Any suggestions? April 24, 2013
    Rated 0 out of 5 by My soon to be three years old daughter loves to drink her milk in the bottle when at home. At the daycare, she does like the other kids and drinks it in a cup. I tried giving her the milk into a sippy cup (like mom's Tim's coffee mug) but no can do. I tried other sippy cups and nothing. She'll take them no problem if it's juice but milk has to be in a bottle 9 out of 10 times. Every once in a while, she'll drink her milk in a glass with a straw but that's not often.When she wakes up, it's the bottle, she sits quietly on the couch and watches cartoons as I get ready for work. I think this one will be the hardest to wean her from. I decided to stop buying replacement nipples for her bottles (and I told that) when she breaks them by biting into them. I told her many times, "When the nipple is broken because you made a hole in it with your teeth, mommy will not get a new one. You'll have to drink your milk from a glass." I keep repeating this, hoping that she weans herself without me doing anything different.Thank you for the great advises.Elisev - Québec, Canada April 10, 2013
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