Transitioning From Bottle-Feeding to Sippy Cup

Filed under: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies, Expert Advice: Babies, Gear Guides: Babies

bottle feeding

Is it time to get rid of the bottle? Credit: Getty

Whether you're breast-feeding or bottle-feeding your child, deciding when to transition to a sippy cup can be difficult. While the American Academy of Pediatrics encourages breast-feeding until your child is at least 12 months old, there are no set guidelines when it comes to how long to bottle-feed babies.

Suri Cruise was still drinking from a bottle nearly a week before her 4th birthday, leading experts to debate whether it was time for the celeb-u-tot to transition from the bottle to the sippy cup.

Dr. Jennifer Shu, pediatrician and co-author of "Food Fights," told last fall that Cruise should have been weaned off the bottle by her first birthday.

"By the time kids are 9 months old, they have the physical development and mouth coordination necessary to be able to drink out of a sippy cup or a cup with straw," she told the site. "That development comes pretty early."

While it's easy to criticize, transitioning bottle-feeding babies to a sippy cup isn't always as simple as it sounds. Dr. Harvey Karp, a pediatrician and author of "The Happiest Toddler on the Block," told that bottles "may serve as an emotional security device."

Some pediatricians say tooth decay can be a concern with bottle-fed children. While it's important to brush daily, many parents of toddlers skip this step. So, if you're struggling to transition from bottles, regular tooth brushing following a bottle-feeding is critical.

ParentDish spoke with moms dealing with the transition, and they offer the following advice:

  • Offer a straw: If your child won't drink from a traditional sippy cup, offer a cup with a built-in straw, such as the stylish mOmma cup.
  • Try a Tilty Cup: Bottle-feeding babies can get frustrated with having to tilt their head back in order to drink from a sippy cup. The Tilty Cup's ergonomic design and valve-free lid make drinking easier.
  • Find something similar to a bottle: The Nuby Cup is particularly good for picky bottle-feeding babies since the soft silicone spout is so similar to the feel of a bottle nipple.
  • Just take away the bottles: Several moms swear cold turkey is the way to go. One mom worried her daughter would cry, but instead she accepted the sippy without complaint when Mom said the bottles were "all gone."

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.