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Have you made a switch from breast milk to the baby bottle a few months ago? Do you fear that you are prolonging the baby’s bottle feed? Is your baby giving you a hard time in making the switch to a sippy cup? Are you finding ways to help stop the baby from drinking from a baby bottle as you ask yourself, “Does my child still need to drink out of a bottle?” Do you think your child needs a switch but is having a difficult time getting used to the sippy cup?

It is true that prolonged bottle-feeding can possibly pose risks and make weaning more difficult. However, are you facing a difficult time in understanding when your baby is ready to start transitioning from the bottle and how do you make this process as stress-free as possible?

Yes? Don’t worry as in this article, we will discuss the risks of prolonged bottle use, when must a parent begin weaning and a few tips to ease the transition. So, grab your drink, sit back, and read through the article below carefully!

Why Must A Baby be Stopped From Bottle-Feeding, Breast Milk, Or Formula?

We are sure that this question could arrive in most new-parents. As almost all the articles talk about how important it is to breastfeed or bottle-feed a baby, considering the high nutrition and bacteria-fighting capabilities, what makes the difference now?

To help you understand the need to transition a toddler from bottle feeding and start weaning, we have listed a few reasons below:

1) Tooth Decay

Continuous sipping of milk from the baby bottle throughout the day and the night, especially while sleeping, leads to tooth decay. This is because, when the toddler falls to sleep while drinking, the milk that’s left behind creates an acidic cover on the teeth enamel, this is what creates the cavities, resulting in poor oral health.

2) Faulty Dental Development

Babies who experience continuous and prolonged sucking of the bottle nipple effects the positioning of the adult teeth, as well as the facial muscles

3) Pediatric Obesity

Children tend to consume more milk from a baby bottle as compared to the kids who drink from a cup. This leads to excess weight causing obesity in children

4) Infections

While sucking the baby bottle, the milk tends to pool in the little one’s throat. This then becomes the home ground for breeding bacteria that could also cause a probable ear or throat infection

5) Failed Increase Of The Diet

If the babies tend to continue drinking from a baby bottle in their first year, they could risk the nutrition requirements for their development due to the high dairy intake. It is reviewed that the kids must start with solid foods, such as cereals and pureed vegetables, as early as when they are 6 months old.

6) Prone To Anemic

Too much cow’s milk ( used as an intermediary) in prolonged bottle-feed can lead to blocking the absorption of iron causing the toddler to be anemic.

Note – Those who have been breastfeeding can skip this intermediary level.

According To The American Academy Of Pediatrics, What’s The Best Time To Start Weaning To The Sippy Cup?

As per the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the family must start weaning from 12 months of age up until 24 months. Nonetheless, if you wait longer that process could be quite tiresome as the kids could be stubborn.

Therefore, to make the child’s process simpler, you must start introducing a sippy cup when the baby is around six to nine months old, along with when they are eating their meals.

On the other hand, once the little one has drawn closer to a year and has figured the functioning of a sippy cup, start the weaning process by replacing the baby bottle feeding with a sippy cup. This will make the weaning process easier for the toddlers.

To Help You Get The Hang Of It, Here Are 10 Ways To Help You Stop Bottle-Feeding Your Toddler

Here are a few simple ways that can help you with a simple transition in case the toddler is a stubborn one!

1) Know When Your Child Is Ready For The Shift

The shift will only be successful when the toddler is ready and has developed their fine motor skills, which means, they are ready to hold and drink a cup.

2) Let It Be A Gradual Shift

You need not make the shift a sudden one as it could be difficult for the kid. Therefore, make sure to make the transition slow, start from replacing one bottle with the sippy cup, and then move forward until the bottles are completely relinquished.

3) Decrease The Feeding

While the baby is being introduced to solids, try to reduce the number of bottle feedings. Nonetheless, refrain from backing the bed-time sessions in the initial stages as the toddlers are mostly attached to bedtime bottle feedings.

4) Slowing befriend the Sippy Cups To Your Toddler

Sippy cups make the perfect replacement for baby bottles as they are hassle-free, spill-proof, and can be easily held on by the kids. Also, the baby can hold the cup handles with both hands.

6) Promote The Usage Of The Cup In An Interesting Manner

Add colorful bends, spiral straws, or use one yourself while making funny slurping noises. This will help to attract the toddlers and they would like to drink from it themselves.

7) Give Them Time To Practice

Allow the toddlers to pick their favorite sippy cup as this involves involvement, the toddlers might want to drink from it themselves and throw fewer tantrums for a bottle

8) Treat The Toddler

If you are trying the cold turkey technique, make it a point to applaud your kid or reward them with a toy when they finish a cup of milk. This will help them feel important and would like to gather your praises moving forward

9) Figure Alternative Ways To Calming Your Child

At times, the children need physical intimacy and affection more than a bottle. So, as parents, try to find what the baby needs to help make the transition smoother, it could be letting your partner take charge of mealtimes, a fresh face does the trick for most

10) Introduce Soft Toys During Bedtime

Mostly, the hardest transition is letting go of the bottle during the bedtime sessions as they are the hardest to get rid of. Try to make it easier by introducing a stuffed toy or their favorite blanket snuggle with, post after drinking from a cup as a comforter in comparison to what they get from sucking.

To Conclude:

It is absolutely normal to worry about your little one as they find it really hard to let go of the bottle, but you must know that to wean them lately by 18 month or 24 months is important to prevent obesity, iron deficiency, tooth decay, cavities, and other problems that are caused due to the prolonged feed.

So, help make the transition smoother by understanding little and timing it right, letting them pick out their sippy cups, praising and providing with comfort and best techniques as mentioned in the article above!

FAQs: Weaning The Bottle Feed-In Toddlers!

1) At what age can a toddler stop night feedings?

A toddler must stop with the night feedings from the age of six months if their development rate is ideal and on track.  During this age, most babies start solids and are getting enough food for healthy growth and development, therefore, they hardly require a night feed, making it easier for the parents to wean the baby bottles from the toddler.

2) Is it ok to feed the baby with water instead of milk during the night?

Yes, it is completely ok in cases where you are breast-feeding. It is normal to consider giving the little one water instead of formula during the night.

3) How do I get my 2-year-old off the bottle?

Listed below are a few ways that can help a 2-year-old to wean off the baby bottle:

  • Parents must try and think about the transition, as early as, around 9 months
  • Know when your baby is ready to make the switch, or test if the toddler is ready for a sippy cup
  • Eliminate the intake of bottles by one feed and induce a sippy cup
  • Try and add the sippy cup to the little one’s eating schedule
  • Praise them when they finish a drink as positive reinforcement promotes the little one
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