Change in life is inevitable. With each passing day, as your baby grows, you will need to introduce and implement new changes in every aspect of life - from food to clothing and in other facets of life and weaning off your baby from bottle to cup is one of such changes which might be difficult for your baby and you. Your child could get attached to the bottle as they tend to view it as more of comfort and security symbol than of nourishment. As a result, the transition could be strenuous. So, Here are a few tips for you that could make change smooth sailing.
Transition timing matters:
Trying to get rid of the bottle at suitable age could be very beneficial. Doctors usually suggest introducing the milk in a cup when the baby turns six months old. Since your baby is still learning hand and eye coordination, most of the milk you offer to your baby at this age might end up on the floor. But in near future, it will all be worth it. He will be learning to drink from a cup at the earliest and maybe by the age of 12 months, he would gain the expertise is handling the cups with ease.
Fun with the cup:
The best way to teach the children something new is through fun and games. So, try to introduce the sippy cups by playing a small game. Let him watch how you drink from the cups and try to mimic you. When he gets it right, offer him a treat. Initially, you could give him different liquids in the cup and gradually replace it with the milk.
Cups of their choice:
Just like adults have favorites in sportsmen, actors, etc, even kids have their favorites. They might have a liking for a particular character - favorite superhero, cartoon character, etc. So, let your kid choose the cup of his choice or offer them the cups with their favorite character on it to make it more interesting. To make the transition easier, try using spill-proof cups.
Make the Bottle less appealing:
Along with the security bottle provides, the liquid in the bottle also matters to your baby. Water down the milk in the bottle so that it doesn’t taste very delicious. Start by offering the bottle with half water and half milk and gradually keep increasing the amount of water in the bottle. Keep doing this till you replace the entire bottle with water. Simultaneously, offer the cup with milk in it. The delicious flavor of milk in the cup makes it more appealing than the water.
Take away the bottles gradually:
A sudden transition from bottles to cups could really upset your child. Rather focus on introducing the sippy cups in your toddler’s day and let him get comfortable with it. Once your kid is happy using sippy cups, you could gradually take away the bottle. Initially, introduce the cup during the daytime, when they are alert and distracted, as a part of their meal. You can start with the midday feeding. Then, in the morning. Once your toddler is willing to drink from cups during the daytime, you can introduce sippy cups at night time.
Hide the bottles:
As soon as your child sees the bottle, he would be back to “I-need-milk-in-the-bottle” mentality. So, when you are trying to wean your child, get rid of the bottles or at least, pack them and keep them away from your child’s reach. This could avoid the temptation your child could undergo looking at the bottle. Each time your child asks for milk in the bottle, offer in a cup. Let him understand that the bottles have been replaced with cups and there is no turning back. He might be upset initially, but keep his favorite foods or snacks ready so that he could get distracted.
Satisfy the needs:
If your child asks for the bottle, try to understand the real need of your child and satisfy it. If he seems hungry, offer him food on a plate or liquid in a cup. If he needs comfort, hug him. If he appears to be bored, shit and play with him.