When it comes to weaning a baby from a bottle to a sippy cup, the first thing to keep in mind is that every baby is different. While some babies may make a smooth transition, it may take a fair bit of time for other babies to adjust, and that is normal! There is no one set timeframe when switching to a sippy cup must be made. However, as a general guide, a good goal is to begin introducing the idea of a sippy cup when you introduce solid foods. This is also around the time your pediatrician may give the green light to start introducing water, so it’s the perfect time to test out both.
Keep in mind that around the age of 6-months, chances are your baby isn’t going to drink much of anything from the sippy cup. The whole goal is just to introduce the idea. As a general rule of thumb, you may want to have your baby transitioned away from the bottle and using a sippy cup completely by the age of one. By age one, they may also have a bit more coordination to use a sippy cup, making weaning from a bottle a little easier for everyone.
Let’s take a look at five tips to help make weaning baby from bottle to sippy cup a little easier.
5 Tips on Weaning Baby from Bottle to Sippy Cup
1. Introduce Early
Start introducing the idea of a sippy cup fairly early on without the pressure of actually having your baby use it. Instead, introduce it as a way for your child to get used to the idea and make it fun! Let them pick up the cup and just get familiar with holding it. The goal is to slowly make that transition without putting any pressure on it.
2. Test the Waters!
When it comes to moving towards using a sippy cup vs. a bottle, chances are you may have to try a couple before you find the one that your little one will like. It’s quite similar to finding just the right pacifier as babies have their preferences just like we do! The good news is that there are tons of different options available. While some babies may prefer a sippy cup with a straw, others may prefer one without. Make a quick Target run, and pick up a few to get started with.
3. Choose an Easier Design
Various sippy cup options are available today. Many parents find that those with a silicone spout are a bit easier to use while also avoiding plastic. The silicone more closely resembles a bottle nipple and can make the transition easier.
4. Start by Offering the Sippy Cup Before Giving the Bottle
Once your baby has started to like the idea of using a sippy cup and now knows how to drink from it, it’s time to offer their milk in the cup VS the bottle. Now, don’t get discouraged if they take a couple of sips and refuse the rest. In time, it will become easier for both of you! When your child is ready (likely close to the one-year mark), offer a sippy cup of milk instead of a bottle of milk, and stay consistent! Consistency is key here.
5. Be Consistent
While we are on the topic of consistency, it’s an important point to drive home, especially when it comes to helping your little one transition from an old habit to a new habit. They are relying on you to help them through this transition, and consistency will not only help you, but it will also help them! Stay consistent, and keep offering the sippy cup during meal times and in place of a bottle whenever they would normally get a bottle of milk. Make it a goal to get your child off a bottle and completely using a sippy cup by his or her first birthday, and stick to your plan by staying consistent throughout!
Different Kinds of Sippy Cups
- 360 Trainer Cup: A spoutless cup that helps your child learn how to drink from a regular cup faster than other sippy cup options.
- Silicone Spout: Silicone spouts are great as they closely resemble the texture of a bottle nipple, making the transition easier while also avoiding plastic.
- Weighted Straw Sippy Cup: Weighted straw sippy cups are great to help make sure your child can still drink from the cup even if they tip it back, and drinking from a straw can also help with tongue, cheek, and lip strength as opposed to drinking from a regular sippy cup.
If you are starting to think about weaning baby from bottle to sippy cup and are feeling a bit overwhelmed, take a deep breath. While change can be a challenge, and especially for little tiny humans, like your one-year-old who may want nothing to do with a sippy cup at first, kids adapt to change much better than we give them credit for! Remember that they rely on you to help them through this transition, so stay consistent, follow-through, and make the transition low stress and fun. Talk to your pediatrician about the best time to begin introducing a sippy cup, and make it fun for both you and your little one!
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