Weaning your baby off the bottle can be a process, especially if they have become attached to it. Many experts note that by 6 to 9 months of age, most babies are ready to ditch the bottle and move on up to Sippy cups. By the time your child has hit their one-year mark it is wise to completely have them independent of any habits or attachments to their bottle. Many parents who begin weaning their children off the bottle at 6 or 9 months found the transition to go about much more smoothly than those who waited until a later age. Figuring out how to properly go about weaning your child is a key way to ensure a smooth switch over.
If your baby is completely attached to their bottle it may seem intimidating to try and take that bottle away from them. However, it does not have to be a quick transition. You can begin by replacing one bottle-feeding a day with a Sippy cup instead. This slow change will be gradual enough that your baby may not even notice or fight the change. As the months go on continue to replace their bottle feedings with Sippy cups until their bottle is completely out of the picture. Some babies may cry when not given their bottle, especially during nighttime when you are putting the baby to sleep. At nighttime, the baby may be searching for a comfort piece, and the bottle may have brought them that feeling. With no bottle in sight the baby may cry and become anxious, this is when your role as a parent comes in.
During such times, it is important that you help guide your child during such a trialing period. If the baby found their bottle comforting, try replacing that comfort with a Sippy cup by providing some cuddle time before bed. Incorporating the Sippy cup into your cuddle and snuggle time will help your child associate the Sippy cup with a positive feeling, helping to reinforce the transition. When it comes to weaning your baby off the bottle, the sooner the better. You will find your child more open to the idea of giving up their bottle, as well as preventing them from any future problems such as tooth decay that may come from using the bottle into teething ages.