When Is It Time for My Baby to Use a Cup Instead of a Bottle?

When Is It Time for My Child to Use a Cup As an alternative of a Bottle?

Whether or not you breastfeed, bottle feed, or do a combo of the 2, in some unspecified time in the future you may marvel: Is it time to maneuver on to a cup?

If you happen to simply breastfeed, the best change is to skip bottles fully and go straight to cups across the 1-year mark, or everytime you resolve to cease nursing. In case your youngster fortunately sucks on bottles, their first birthday would possibly nonetheless be a sensible choice. That is since you’re already altering from components to cow’s milk round that point.

Missed that window? Ready till your child is a bit of older? No worries, however don’t wait too lengthy. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests saying bye-bye to the bottle earlier than your child is eighteen months outdated. “I would say undoubtedly earlier than age 2, however the sooner the higher,” says Keith T. Ayoob, EdD. He’s an affiliate medical professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein School of Drugs in Bronx, N.Y.

As a registered dietitian who works with children, Ayoob snatches the bottle from children as outdated as 5 — and he says it is not fairly. “It’s a must to know your youngster, however normally, the longer you wait the tougher it’s.”

Why the Bottle Must Go

A bottle offers meals and luxury to many kids, so letting your baby use it for so long as they like might sound innocent sufficient. However there are a number of explanation why it is good to modify to cups:

Bottles enhance tooth decay. Milk has lactose, a kind of sugar. And if you happen to’re giving your youngster juice in a bottle (although you should not), that is even worse. “The acid in juice is a nightmare for enamel,” Ayoob says.

Milk ought to stay an vital a part of your kid’s food regimen, and juice is OK at times. Sucked from a bottle although, the sugar and acid will keep longer on their enamel, which might result in cavities. Letting a child fall asleep with a bottle is very dangerous, as a result of your physique makes much less saliva (which helps to scrub away meals particles) whilst you’re asleep.

Extended use of a bottle is linked to weight problems. Analysis reveals that youngsters who’re nonetheless utilizing a bottle at age 2 usually tend to be overweight by the point they’re nearly 6. Ayoob says some children stroll round with a bottle of their mouths on a regular basis, although they’re consuming loads of stable meals. This can lead to too many energy.

He says that being too hooked up to the bottle might have the alternative impact, too: With some choosy eaters, the bottle turns into the “go-to meal,” and a toddler might not be consuming sufficient of his breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Bottles might mess together with her smile. Fixed sucking can change the place of her grownup enamel down the road. It could have an effect on the event of her facial muscular tissues and palate (roof of her mouth), says Peter Richel, MD. He is the chief of pediatrics at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y. This may simply result in an overbite that may later have to be corrected with orthodontia equivalent to braces.

Ingesting whereas laying down will increase the prospect of ear infections. In case your baby loves to curve up with a bottle, be careful.

“A few of the milk type of gurgles up behind the throat, and it simply kind of sits there whereas micro organism grows,” Ayoob says. “Micro organism can crawl proper up the Eustachian tube [in the throat] and into the ear.”

Giving the Bottle the Boot

Your youngster ought to know methods to drink out of a cup earlier than you are taking away the bottle. Many pediatricians inform mother and father to introduce sippy cups round 6 to 9 months. That is when children generally begin consuming water and different liquids apart from components and breast milk.

If, from a younger age, you begin giving some milk (not simply water) in sippy or common cups, then issues will probably be simpler if you’re able to do away with the bottle for good, Richel says.

When you resolve to ditch bottles, there are two major methods to go about it: Go chilly turkey, or slowly wean her off. Whichever method you select, specialists agree that sticking to it’s key. “Chilly turkey is the quickest however most troublesome for fogeys, as a result of they really feel they’re being merciless,” Richel says.

Simply do not count on both method to be straightforward. Even if you happen to decide to wean slowly, “there will probably be some pushback,” Ayoob says. “If you happen to’re attempting to do it with none resistance by any means, you are within the fallacious enterprise.”

Chilly turkey: Sooner or later, you merely make all of the bottles disappear. In case your youngster is sufficiently old to grasp, it’d assist to incorporate them within the course of. For instance, you’ll be able to warn them that at the moment is the final day for bottles, and that beginning tomorrow, they’re going to drink solely from “massive boy” cups.

Weaning: The thought is to slowly swap out bottles in favor of cups. For instance, you would possibly fill in a cup for the bottle at only one feeding a day, then add a second cup the next week.

Irrespective of how gradual (or quick) you wish to go, Ayoob says it’s best to take away the mid-day bottles first, then the morning one. Get your youngster used to consuming one thing stable very first thing within the morning, he says, earlier than you take away the morning bottle.

Most specialists (and fogeys!) agree that taking away the nighttime bottle is the hardest ultimate step. “Denying your child a bottle, particularly that final one earlier than mattress, might be extremely difficult for mothers and dads,” says Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH, coauthor of The Mommy MD Information to the Toddler Years. “It makes it far tougher to get infants to sleep, and when infants don’t sleep, neither do their mother and father.”

To make issues simpler, she says to have a bedtime ritual in place. This retains you from solely counting on the bottle to ease your youngster into sleep. “A pleasant heat tub, rocking whereas studying a narrative, and snuggling with a lovey might be nice sources of consolation, safety, and leisure earlier than bedtime, even when the bedtime bottle is not part of the routine,” she says.

Widespread Considerations

Nervous about stopping the bottle? We requested the specialists to supply some further assist and help.

You are pondering: “She hates sippy cups.” 

The repair: To guard her enamel, strive a cup that would not have a stable spout. It is too just like a nipple, says Ayoob, who says a straw is a better option. However ultimately, “the very best sippy cup is the one your youngster will drink from fortunately and persistently,” McAllister says. “Purchase a number of differing kinds and experiment. If you discover one your youngster likes, purchase a number of!”

You can too have your youngster use common, non-sippy cups. Nonetheless, it’d take a while for her to study to make use of it by herself. Give her one thing thick — like vanilla yogurt or some puréed fruit that is been thinned with a bit of water — to chop again on spills, Ayoob says.

You are pondering: “She’ll drink water or juice from a sippy cup — simply not milk.” 

The repair: “Some kids love the bottle so very a lot that they are going to be cussed to take milk from the rest, however this can be a short-term starvation strike!” Richel says.

Not prepared to attend it out? Take the nipple off the bottle and supply it with a straw as a substitute. Or begin placing water in bottles and milk in cups and provides your youngster a alternative. “Inform her, ‘Milk is available in a cup now. Water is available in a bottle. Which one would you like?'” Ayoob says. You can too attempt to make milk in a cup extra tempting by flavoring it with puréed strawberries or different fruit. “A strawberry ‘milkshake’ would possibly tempt her to drink from a cup,” McAllister says.

You are pondering: “If she refuses the cup, she will not get sufficient calcium.”

The repair: Don’t be concerned about them not getting sufficient calcium, even when they refuse milk from a cup for a number of weeks. Simply be sure you feed them different sources, equivalent to cheese and yogurt. Broccoli, soy milk, and calcium-fortified orange juice are good picks, too.

You are pondering: “He’ll throw a tantrum.”

The repair: Allow them to. Throwing a match is hardly out of character for a toddler, they usually’ll recover from it. “If the dad or mum is prepared to place up with a meltdown for a day or two, it should go away,” Ayoob says. “Keep in mind, if he can drink from a cup, you are not denying him liquid.”

You are pondering: “She’ll by no means go to sleep.”

The repair: Many kids are used to having a bottle to calm down, however that can change. Infants and toddlers can study to self-soothe with out the sucking that they’ve been accustomed to from pacifiers or bottles,” Richel says. “It merely takes a little bit of time. However it should occur.”

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