Weaning from the bottle can be a difficult task, so consider these tips to make things just a little bit easier.
- The longer you wait to start weaning from the bottle, the more difficult it will be. A toddler will become more set in his ways as he gets older. Starting the weaning process around 12 months will make things much easier on the both of you
- Try a cold turkey approach. If your toddler is an adaptable person, this might be an option. You can announce one day that he is a big boy now and will be drinking from a big boy cup. Be prepared for changes in his mood though and make sure to provide extra love and attention. After all, your child will be losing his best friend
- If you don't think a cold turkey approach is for your baby, slowly remove the bottles that seem to be least important to him. For instance, if your child utterly needs his morning bottle, try cutting out the lunch time bottle and give him a cup instead. Then slowly but surely eliminate the other bottle feedings until there are none left
- When your baby drinks from a bottle, ensure that he sits in his high chair. Don't allow him to wander around the house all day long sipping at his bottle. Not only this is extremely bad for his teeth, but it will make drinking from the bottle less appealing to your child
- If your child is in daycare with other children who drink from bottles, you may want to save the final weaning process for when he has a few days away from daycare. It is difficult for a child who is learning to give up the bottle to see others drinking from bottles all day
- If your baby insists on having a bottle and you feel the need to give in, provide him with water in a bottle. This will be less damaging for his teeth
Even though this may be a difficult time for you and your child, don't feel overwhelmed. You are guarantying good dental health for your child and that is far more important than a few cranky days.