Learning how and when to wean baby from a bottle can be more complicated than you think. We struggled figuring this out with our first born, and I often still wonder if she is consuming enough nutrients from her food since her milk intake has dramatically dropped now that we’ve officially weaned the bottle.
One thing I learned along the way is that it is best to start the bottle weaning process earlier than you may think!
Have A Plan!
Below is a simple timeline that has worked for many moms. Remember though, each baby is different, so if this isn’t the exact schedule that works for you, don’t sweat it and just keep trying!
- Introduce a variety of Sippy cups types with milk or water at meals and snacks (like the ones recommended below)
- Continue to offer a variety of Sippy cups with milk or water at meals and snacks
- Introduce open lid cups with handles during this time as well, giving baby assistance
- Replace 1 bottle/nursing session a day with a Sippy cup, ideally starting with the afternoon snack first
12 -15 months
- Gradually begin to replace another bottle with a Sippy cup. As baby begins to eat more solid foods, milk will become less of a necessity. Don’t be worried if baby only takes a few sips.
- During this time, continue to slowly wean baby off the bottle completely.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests ridding the bottle before your baby is 18 months old.
By 24 months
- Your toddler should be able to manage a two-handed open cup, so continue to encourage and assist along the way.
- Wean mid-day bottles first, then evening bottles
- If baby is having a hard time weaning, slowly dilute milk with water so baby loses interest over time
- Don’t send baby to bed with a bottle or cup, it’s not good for dental health
- Keep bottles out of sight to avoid temptation
- During a feeding, such as bedtime feed, offer milk in cup, followed by ½ of the usual bottle
- Don’t let baby hold cup and walk around, keep it to meal and snack times
- Offer praise and positive reinforcement when baby does use a cup
- Dentists recommend Sippy cups with hard spouts or a straw, rather than soft spouts
Hope you found this helpful and happy weaning!! Got more tips, share in the comments below!
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