For a toddler, a bottle is a source of comfort as well as nourishment, but it’s important to transition them to drinking from cups as they grow older. Find out how to help your child make the switch.
Growing-up milks are designed to meet the nutritional needs of a toddler, complementing their diet as they grow. As all parents know, getting the right amounts of the right foods into a toddler can be difficult, especially if you have a fussy eater on your hands! Always remember that breastfeeding is best and it is the golden standard. When your child reaches 1 year old and in case you are bottle feeding, growing-up milk can give peace of mind that your toddler is getting the right nutrition to take them through this very active stage of childhood.
Deciding when to stop bottle feeding can be difficult. However, if you wish to continue offering your child formula milk as they grow, the advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics is to move them from a bottle to a cup between the ages of 12 and 24 months. Here are some tips on how to stop bottle feeding, to help you through this important milestone of waving goodbye to bottles!
1. GO FROM SUCKING TO SIPPING
Avoid ‘no-spill’ cups as they use the same sucking action as a bottle.
The point of swapping from bottle to cup is to get your child to switch from a sucking action to a sipping action. This means that you’ll want to avoid ‘no spill’ cups as these use a valve that your child has to suck at to release the liquid.
2. CHOOSE A LIDDED CUP
A lidded cup will help to prevent spills.
Lidded ‘sippy’ cups are a great first step from bottle to beaker, as they’ll help to minimize spills and also give your child the familiarity of a spout.
3. LOOK FOR A WEIGHTED BASE
A cup with a weighted base will be harder to accidentally knock over.
If you’re still worried about spills, a weighted base will make a cup more difficult to accidentally knock over. Remember though, accidents happen. Never punish your child for accidentally spilling their drink as this can discourage them from using a cup instead of a bottle.
4. GO FOR A TWO-HANDLED CUP
A cup with a two-handled design is easier for little toddler hands to grasp.
Leaping straight from bottle to beaker can be a recipe for disaster, as young children are still practicing and developing their grasping and holding skills, as well as their hand-eye coordination. Choose a two-handled cup to make it easier for your child to use – and remember to make a big fuss of them when they do!
5. NO WALKING AND DRINKING
Avoid accidents by encouraging your child to ‘sit and sip’.
Toddlers (as the name suggests!) can be prone to tripping and falling, so always ensure that they’re sitting comfortably when drinking. While you may not be bottle feeding your child anymore, you can make the transition from bottle to cup easier by sitting with them while they enjoy their drink. If you’ve always had snuggles and stories during milk time, there’s no reason why this has to stop just because you’re no longer using bottles.