How one can Transition Your Child 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?

When you simply breastfeed, the simplest swap is to skip bottles completely and go straight to cups across the 1-year mark, or everytime you resolve to cease nursing. In case your youngster fortunately sucks on bottles, their first birthday would possibly nonetheless be a sensible choice. That is since you’re already altering from formulation to cow’s milk round that point.

Missed that window? Ready till your child is slightly 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 medical professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein Faculty 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 youngster, however basically, 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 baby use it for so long as they like may appear innocent sufficient. However there are a number of the explanation why it is good to change to cups:

Bottles increase tooth decay. Milk has lactose, a sort of sugar. And for those who’re giving your youngster 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 essential a part of your kid’s weight loss program, and juice is OK from time to time. 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 very unhealthy, as a result of your physique makes much less saliva (which helps to clean away meals particles) whilst you’re asleep.

Extended use of a bottle is linked to weight problems. Analysis exhibits that children who’re nonetheless utilizing a bottle at age 2 usually tend to be overweight by the point they’re nearly 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 stable meals. This can lead to too many energy.

He says that being too hooked up 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 may possibly have an effect on the event of her facial muscle tissue 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 could simply result in an overbite that may later have to be corrected with orthodontia resembling braces.

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

“Among the milk type of gurgles up at the back of the throat, and it simply form 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 youngster ought to know how you can drink out of a cup earlier than you’re taking away the bottle. Many pediatricians inform dad and mom to introduce sippy cups round 6 to 9 months. That is when youngsters generally begin consuming water and different liquids in addition to formulation and breast milk.

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

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

Simply do not anticipate both technique to be straightforward. Even for those who decide to wean slowly, “there can be some pushback,” Ayoob says. “When you’re attempting to do it with none resistance by any means, you are within the fallacious enterprise.”

Chilly turkey: At some point, you merely make all of the bottles disappear. In case your youngster is sufficiently old to grasp, it would assist to incorporate them within the course of. For instance, you possibly can warn them that immediately is the final day for bottles, and that beginning tomorrow, they’ll drink solely from “large boy” cups.

Weaning: The thought is to slowly swap out bottles in favor of cups. For instance, you would possibly fill in a cup for the bottle at only one feeding a day, then add a second cup the next week.

Regardless of how gradual (or quick) you need to go, Ayoob says it’s best to take away the mid-day bottles first, then the morning one. Get your youngster used to consuming one thing stable very first thing within the morning, he says, earlier than you take away the morning bottle.

Most specialists (and fogeys!) agree that taking away the nighttime bottle is the hardest last step. “Denying your child a bottle, particularly that final one earlier than mattress, might 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 dad and mom.”

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 youngster into sleep. “A pleasant heat bathtub, rocking whereas studying a narrative, and snuggling with a lovey might 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 specialists to supply some further assist and assist.

You are pondering: “She hates sippy cups.” 

The repair: To guard her enamel, strive a cup that does not have a stable spout. It is too just like a nipple, says Ayoob, who says a straw is a more sensible choice. However ultimately, “the very best sippy cup is the one your youngster will drink from fortunately and constantly,” McAllister says. “Purchase just a few differing kinds and experiment. Whenever you discover one your youngster likes, purchase just a few!”

You may also have your youngster 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 slightly water — to chop again on spills, Ayoob says.

You are pondering: “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 the rest, however it is a momentary starvation strike!” Richel says.

Not prepared 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 youngster a alternative. “Inform her, ‘Milk is available in a cup now. Water is available in a bottle. Which one would you like?'” Ayoob says. You may also attempt to make milk in a cup extra tempting by flavoring it with puréed strawberries or different fruit. “A strawberry ‘milkshake’ would possibly tempt her to drink from a cup,” McAllister says.

You are pondering: “If she refuses the cup, she will not get sufficient calcium.”

The repair: Don’t fret about them not getting sufficient calcium, even when they refuse milk from a cup for a number of weeks. Simply make sure you feed them different sources, resembling cheese and yogurt. Broccoli, soy milk, and calcium-fortified orange juice are good picks, too.

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

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

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

The repair: Many youngsters are used to having a bottle to cool down, however that can 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’s going to occur.”

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