After picking the best feeding bottles for your child, here you are trying to wean him away from it. Weaning from the bottle (or even breast) is one challenging task a parent of a toddler has to go through, and many parents wonder when the most ideal age is to do it.
According to Dra. Maria Michiko Caruncho Baloca, a Developmental Pediatrician, it is best to wean kids from the bottle at 8 to 12 months, because they usually start learning how to feed themselves at this age.
Parents should note that weaning is a process that may take a few weeks or months, and not something that happens overnight. To guarantee success, it is therefore crucial to start during a relatively stress-free period and avoid forcing it in times when the child is sick or when you're moving houses or travelling, or the like.
Here are 3 steps you can follow to help wean your child from the bottle, as suggested by Dra. Baloca:
STEP 1: Introduce the cup Start by using a trainer or a sippy cup with a lid, a spout and handles to lessen spilling. By 12 months, most children already have the coordination and the skill to hold a cup and drink from it. Baloco suggests to let your child choose his cup if he is old enough, as this will help him become more receptive to the change. Introduce the cup by filling it with water and offering it with one meal a day. If your child resists the cup, you may need to hold-off and try again when he is more accustomed to eating 3 meals a day.
STEP 2: Eliminate the bottle Begin by eliminating one bottle every week and replacing it with the sippy cup. Increasingly, put a little more milk in the cup and a little less in his bottle each time. Try diluting the milk in the bottle with water, gradually adding more, until the taste becomes less appealing. Always offer the cup first before giving the bottle. Discourage your child from being attached to the bottle by preventing him from walking around with it, playing with it, or going to bed with it .
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