How to Transition Your Baby from a Bottle to a Cup

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

Should you simply breastfeed, the simplest swap is to skip bottles totally and go straight to cups across the 1-year mark, or everytime you determine to cease nursing. In case your little one 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 previous. “I might say undoubtedly earlier than age 2, however the sooner the higher,” says Keith T. Ayoob, EdD. He’s an affiliate scientific professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein School of Drugs in Bronx, N.Y.

As a registered dietitian who works with youngsters, Ayoob snatches the bottle from youngsters as previous as 5 — and he says it is not fairly. “It’s important to know your little one, however on the whole, the longer you wait the tougher it’s.”

Why the Bottle Must Go

A bottle offers meals and luxury to many youngsters, so letting your infant 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 change to cups:

Bottles enhance tooth decay. Milk has lactose, a kind of sugar. And in case you’re giving your little one 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 necessary a part of your kid’s food plan, and juice is OK at times. 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 scrub 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 virtually 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 strong meals. This can lead to too many energy.

He says that being too connected to the bottle might have the alternative impact, too: With some choosy eaters, the bottle turns into the “go-to meal,” and a baby is probably not 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 might have an effect on the event of her facial muscle tissues 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 may simply result in an overbite which may later have to be corrected with orthodontia equivalent to braces.

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

“Among the milk type 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 little one ought to know how you can 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 consuming water and different liquids apart from system and breast milk.

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

When you determine to ditch bottles, there are two major methods to go about it: Go chilly turkey, or slowly wean her off. Whichever means you select, consultants agree that sticking to it’s key. “Chilly turkey is the quickest however most troublesome for folks, as a result of they really feel they’re being merciless,” Richel says.

Simply do not anticipate both solution to be straightforward. Even in case you decide to wean slowly, “there might be some pushback,” Ayoob says. “Should you’re attempting to do it with none resistance by any means, you are within the flawed enterprise.”

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

Weaning: The thought 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.

Irrespective of how sluggish (or quick) you wish to go, Ayoob says you must take away the mid-day bottles first, then the morning one. Get your little one used to consuming one thing strong 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 ultimate step. “Denying your child a bottle, particularly that final one earlier than mattress, could 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 little one into sleep. “A pleasant heat tub, rocking whereas studying a narrative, and snuggling with a lovey could be nice sources of consolation, safety, and rest earlier than bedtime, even when the bedtime bottle is now not part of the routine,” she says.

Frequent Issues

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

You are considering: “She hates sippy cups.” 

The repair: To guard her enamel, attempt a cup that does not have a strong spout. It is too much like a nipple, says Ayoob, who says a straw is a better option. However ultimately, “the very best sippy cup is the one your little one will drink from fortunately and persistently,” McAllister says. “Purchase just a few differing kinds and experiment. Whenever you discover one your little one likes, purchase just a few!”

You can even have your little one 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 considering: “She’ll drink water or juice from a sippy cup — simply not milk.” 

The repair: “Some youngsters love the bottle so very a lot that they are going to be cussed to take milk from anything, however it is a non permanent starvation strike!” Richel says.

Not keen to attend it out? Take the nipple off the bottle and supply it with a straw as a substitute. Or begin placing water in bottles and milk in cups and provides your little one a selection. “Inform her, ‘Milk is available in a cup now. Water is available in a bottle. Which one would you like?'” Ayoob says. You can even 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 considering: “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 make sure to feed them different sources, equivalent to cheese and yogurt. Broccoli, soy milk, and calcium-fortified orange juice are good picks, too.

You are considering: “He will throw a tantrum.”

The repair: Allow them to. Throwing a match is hardly out of character for a toddler, they usually’ll recover from it. “If the mother or father is keen to place up with a meltdown for a day or two, it should go away,” Ayoob says. “Keep in mind, if he can drink from a cup, you are not denying him liquid.”

You are considering: “She’ll by no means go to sleep.”

The repair: Many youngsters 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 should occur.”



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