It is a beautiful phase for parents when their infants become toddlers and now are capable of doing much of their activities on their own. Whether you have been breastfeeding your child, bottle feeding them or finding a balance between both, it is important to note how to transition from bottle to cup. It is natural and very obvious for a toddler to be attached to their bottle. One has to be patient and remember that each child has their own timeline.
Though it is best to stop bottle feeding at the earliest, one needs to respect a child’s growth.
Why should one discontinue a bottle at the earliest?
Prolonged bottle feeding can sometimes act as a hindrance to the growth of your kid.
- The worst side effect is tooth decay- their keeping a bottle in the mouth for long causes milk, juice etc to continuously be there and hence be attacked by germs.
- Studies say long use of bottles can cause obesity in toddlers. This is as the quantum of milk increases from the bottle.
- Increases dependence and prevents independent feeding.
The most important consideration one needs to make is:
To determine when is the right time to stop bottle feeding- one needs to transition from bottle to cup soon. But how soon is soon for your child? Well once the baby has a good grasp and can grip cups, sippers well are the starting guide.
If the baby sucks the bottle very enthusiastically, then the transition will be time-consuming. You need to be patient as the toddler is attached to the bottle.
How to transition from bottle feeding to cup?
- First, make the child very secure by spending mealtimes and feed times with them. Keeping them happy during those times, so that they don’t move to the bottle for comfort.
- Make a game out of cups- offer them a few varieties of cups. Make them try and choose the cups or sippers in a game format.
- Use straws and sippers- Straws and sippers are some of the fantastic friends to stop bottle feeding in toddlers. They become messy gameplay. Which is a fun activity whereby kids learn to such and tend to have the liquids well.
- Make it a gradual change- Don’t start by removing all bottle feeds together. Start the transition with one feed at a time. With every gradual feed, the child will start feeling more confident drinking from a cup.
- Try using hard spouts- as not only they help to teethe but are more durable to their constant biting and sucking.
The trick is simple, you have to keep your child happy and comfortable while making the transition. Always keep their favourite blanket, toy around. Make a game and play out of your task of stopping bottle feeding for toddlers.
No Tears Weaning
Is reality and not a myth. I used it with my son and now with my daughter Adira, I followed their pace and their timeline and we are one happy cup drinking family now.