We are almost finished weaning the girls off of their bottles. They are currently getting 80% of their liquids (water and milk) from a cup with a straw or sippy cup. Now for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they drink anywhere from 150-200ml of water and milk throughout the day. I can’t wait to share every tip and trick I have learned and used, especially because we have two very different children of the same age. Please remember that teaching these skills may take time, but you will often see results by allowing your child to practice these skills.
When we first talked about weaning Mackenzie and Victoria off their bottles, I was so nervous. My thoughts were, “Will they be able to adjust to not having that comfort regularly?” and “How Do I Know they’re ready?” At that point, Mackenzie had just started drinking from a straw and needed tons of practice. But, with time, practice and patience here, we are just weeks away from no bottles, and they are thriving!
It is recommended to start introducing open cups or sippy cups once you start introducing solids or starting Baby-Led Weaning. In these cups, you can have water and milk to show them that they can drink their favourite beverages in other ways. As your child practices how to drink from sippy cups with straws or open cups; That’s when you can start thinking about the weaning process. There is no right or wrong time, but aiming for your child to stop using bottles by 18 months is recommended for many reasons, including speech, proper tongue development, and more.
During meal times, allow them to drink milk and water from cups or sippy cups. Serve them their bottle at the end of mealtime, so they get full from their foods instead of the bottle. This is an excellent way to start the weaning process because if they have room left after eating, they can top up with their bottle. By 12 months, your child should be drinking milk, and infant formula days should be behind you. Our doctors told us we should serve a maximum of 400 ml of milk a day once we made this transition, and any other liquids should be water, watered-down juice, smoothies, and more.
I will list a few signs to look for when your child is gearing up for this exciting transition, but please remember that every child is different, and they will be ready in their own time. These are general signs that your child may show if only one or two or all of them.
Ensuring that your child is ready is essential, but making sure you and your partner are prepared is just as important. You will have to make this change and stick to it because consistency is key.
Do not start this process if you are moving; your child is having a hard time teething, if your child is sick, or any significant changes in the child’s life. You want to make sure that they can be successful, and they may need the comfort that a bottle gives them. Once everything settles again, you can try, but still have a sippy cup available during meal time.
It depends on your child and what bottle you think they won’t miss. It is common for parents to start with the lunchtime bottle, but we took away the morning bottle when we began this process. As I decreased the milk over two weeks, we finally got to the morning when they weren’t going to get their bottle. I offered them water during their meal, and once they were finished, I cleaned them up and started the day. They both had no tears and seemed content. I was so relieved and was eager to start the lunch bottle next.
When we tried to find sippy cups for the girls before taking away bottles, I bought almost everyone on the market. Victoria fell in love with the SkipHop straw sippy cup, but Mackenzie was so hard to hook on any of them. Mackenzie ended up loving just an open cup with a straw in it. Once she mastered her straw, we started the weaning process.
I will include the links to the items and sippy cups we used, and I would recommend when you want to introduce sippy cups.
Listed below are a few essential tips to remember before weaning your baby off their bottles.
Just remember, you can do this! Your baby will thrive once they are given the opportunity to practice with a sippy cup or open cup. As long as you follow your child’s lead and support them, they will forget all about their bottles, and if you have any further and more specific questions, direct message me on Instagram.
My answer: The girls love water and almond milk!
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