Weaning your child may be quite uneasy especially a baby who is already used to the bottle, it’s a gradual process, it takes time, patience, practice and consistency but you should not delay the bottle transition, the earlier the better, if your child is more attached to the habit of using the bottle for long periods of time, it may be difficult to wean your child away from the bottle.
So, how do I know my baby is ready to feed on the cup? Generally, to Successfully wean your Baby from the Feeding-bottle to Cup, its recommended that the cup should be introduced when your baby is 6 months old, but using the cup at this stage may not be effective, but at the age of 12-18 months, your baby would have developed handy skills needed to hold the cup properly and feed on it.
Your child is ready to be weaned, if he/she:
- Can sit up and hold his head up by himself.
- Can eat from the spoon.
- Trying to feed him/herself by putting objects in the mouth.
- If your child likes to take solids.
How to wean off the bottle
Doctors recommend giving your baby cow milk to substitute formula and increase it gradually (note don’t give cow milk till the baby is 12 months old) if your baby is still breastfeeding you can offer your pumped breast milk in the cup.
Tips for weaning
- Start by dropping the bottle from feeing schedules by substituting bottle feedings with cups at different feeding intervals, you can start with morning feedings, so, instead of giving your baby the bottle, serve your baby inside a two-handled sippy cup repeat this process gradually until you are completely free from the bottle.
- A two-handled transparent sippy cup is good to start with, as the transparency gives the baby hint of what is in the cup and it encourages the baby to take from the cup.
- Try as much as possible to get the bottle out of sight when you transit.
- Encourage your child to child to drink from the cup and often commend her when she uses the cup. offer little praises like (you are now a big girl you are taking the milk from the cup, just like mummy used to) or If your child is older than a year, kids like to imitate what adults do, let her know she is now a big girl and she doesn’t need the bottle anymore, Get an extra cup when its time for feeding, then pretend you are drinking from the other cup, as she watches you she would also want to do the same.
- During the first days of transition, gradually dilute the milk in the bottle with water until the whole bottle is water and the milk becomes tasteless, so when your child realizes the real milk comes from the cup, she is likely to give up on the bottle and prefer the cup instead.
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