A Mini Guide to Weaning Your Little One Off the Bottle
Your little one is growing up so fast and now the time has come for them to say goodbye to the bottle. Some parents have gone through this process with ease and simply stopped feeding them with the bottle. Others have a much harder time. If your baby is having a hard time letting go of the bottle, there are some tricks you might try to make the transition easier.
Introduce the Cup
Instead of going cold turkey you can start the weaning process. This is done by first introducing your little one to the cup. Allowing them to try and drink from the cup during bath time, for example, gives them some time to experiment with it and familiarize themselves with it. If they’re aware that the cup does the same thing that their bottle does, they’ll be more inclined to use it.
Try Different Cups
Just as adults have personal preferences, so does your toddler. Unfortunately, they’re not able to communicate those yet. It may be necessary for you to try out a few different cups to see which are the best sippy cups for your little one. As with most baby products, there are a lot of versions of cups out there for toddlers. Your baby may not like how hard they have to work to get the milk out, the feel of the cup top in their mouths, or other design factors of the cup.
Lead By Example
Your toddler absorbs things like a sponge and often uses imitation to reinforce what they’re learning. You may feel a bit silly, but let your toddler see you drinking from a cup like theirs. You may have to do it often, but as they see you drinking from the cup, they will be more inclined to try drinking it on their own.
Select a Cup Your Kid Likes
When choosing a cup design, go for one that your baby will love and want to drink from. For instance, if your child’s favorite color is yellow, you’d purchase a yellow cup. If they have a favorite character, you should opt for a cup with that character printed on it. It will probably be a good idea to purchase more than one as you’ll learn cups tend to get lost and damaged all the time. Not to mention, it may be your child’s favorite cup meaning they’ll want to drink from it all the time.
Use the Bottle for Water
Although you desperately want to wean your little one off the bottle, it may be a better option to keep letting them drink from it (for a while). Instead of pouring juice or milk in the bottle, only use it for water. If they want something else, you should only serve that through the cup. Eventually, your child will catch on and request the cup for other types of drinks. Then you can ditch the bottle for good.
Even at a young age your toddler enjoys being praised for their actions. They love to see mom and dad smiling. Every time your little one drinks for the cup, make a big deal out of it. Clap, congratulate them and allow them to see just how proud you are. They’ll want to keep doing this for positive reinforcement.
Your baby is used to being fed from the bottle and may have a hard time letting go. Much like adults, adapting to change isn’t always easy. To help your little one along, you may need to consider weaning them as opposed to going cold turkey. The above-mentioned tips should be a great help in making this happen. You may need to try a combination or all of the methods over an extended period of time, but before you know it, your little one will be drinking from a cup like the big boy or girl they’re growing up to be.