Some babies go right from breast feeding to a straw cup and some are formula fed from the start and have known a bottle since day one. There are also those that fall somewhere in between, converting from breast milk to milk or formula via a bottle. Any way you slice it, all parents dread the time that we have to wean our kids off of the bottle and transition to a sippy and or straw cup. The bottle has magic powers. Its sooths our kids to sleep in a way we just can’t on our own. It serves as the perfect delivery for nutrients. If our kids don’t eat a good dinner tonight…it’s ok, because they will take a high-caloric vitamin D and calcium filled bottle before bed and we will all rest better.
That is, until his/her 15-month doctor’s appointment rolls around. It is at this time that both the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children are transitioned from a bottle to a sippy/straw cup. And, there are actually a lot of great reasons to do so. Did you know that your child drinks from a bottle more for comfort than they do for hunger at this age? Drinking multiple bottles a day has shown to lead to childhood obesity. Furthermore, persistent bottle use has been linked to early childhood caries and unwanted facial bony changes.
There are two ways to stop using the bottle when the time comes: going cold turkey or weaning off, one bottle at a time. Going cold turkey is usually the most difficult attempt, but many children after a rough few days to weeks, adjust well. Other parents feel much more comfortable with a more gradual approach. Weaning off the bottle, one at a time, is also an effective way to transition from bottle to straw/sippy cup but takes significantly more time. Research indicates that both approaches can be equally as successful if parents stick firmly to their task at hand!
Check out this website for more tips and suggestions on transitioning away from the bottle: