As any parent will attest to, babies love their bottles, and getting them to give it up can result in a frustrating battle of wills. In today’s video, I have some tips to help you plan your strategy, decide on the right time to start, and minimize the protest and tears while you move your little one off of bottles.Rather read than watch? Click here.
Hi, I’m Dana. Welcome to this week’s video.
I had a lot of questions come in recently about how to wean off of a bottle. Now for some of you, you might be wishing that your baby would just take a bottle. A lot of babies just flat out refuse to ever take a bottle if they’re used to being nursed.
However, bottles can linger a little bit too long. We all know that person whose five-year old still had a bottle in their hand. So I don’t want you to be that person.
So here’s a good rule of thumb. When your child reaches the first birthday, that is the recommended age for weaning off of a bottle. Now there’s a couple of reasons why.
One, is that if it lingers much past the first birthday, the bottle becomes this object of desire, let’s call it. Or it becomes a bit of a bad habit, in that the child then begins to believe that milk only comes in a bottle, and they will not drink milk in anything else. And then the parent is left thinking well, I know she should drink milk. Isn’t she supposed to be drinking milk? I guess I have to hang onto the bottle.
So the bottle then goes into the second birthday, and into the third, and it lingers a lot longer than most parents were planning because of this fear that the child won’t drink milk.
If you get the timing right, though, and make the switch at the first birthday, there can still be a little bit of pushback from the child. I mean, it’s a change, right? It’s a pretty significant change. They’ve had their entire life drinking milk out of this very lovely bottle that feels nice and maybe even gets ’em a little sleepy, and now they have to change their whole strategy for how they get their milk intake.
Now a couple things to keep in mind when you make the switch. You can try a sippy cup. Those are great and the soft-top sippy cups are often a little bit easier for a first step, and then move into the harder-topped sippy.
Some babies, though, some one-year olds just refuse a sippy cup. They just flat out will not take it, and then you can try just a normal plastic cup with a straw. A lot of kids love the novelty of a straw, and it’s actually a similar motion with the mouth as a bottle, so they kinda get it right away and they’ll take it through the straw.
Now do not be alarmed, though, if milk consumption decreases. The good news is, it’s supposed to decrease. After the first birthday, milk becomes a beverage, just like anything else, and solids become the main calorie source, and that’s a hard shift for a lot of new moms, and I get it. For so long it was liquids that met the calorie needs, but now we have to switch that.
So really, two cups of milk a day in sort of half a cup increments throughout the day, is all your child needs for that sort of, for milk, and honestly, some kids just don’t like the taste of milk, especially if they’ve been exclusively breastfed. They just won’t take it and I don’t think you should panic. There’s lots of other ways to get good, healthy fats and calcium. You just have to do a little bit of tweaking of the diet to meet those needs, so it’s definitely not the end of the world if your child doesn’t take milk.
But that is gonna help you transition over to cups, right, which ultimately are our goal, decrease milk consumption, and see an increase in solid consumption. And if you have a child who you consider a picky eater or not eating enough in your mind, have a good look at the milk consumption, because too much milk will often make a child eat less during the day. They only have a certain amount of calories they need to take in, so if half of it is coming from milk, they really don’t need to eat that much more to make up what they need.
So always look at milk, juice, any other beverage that you’re offering. Those are usually the reasons why a child’s not eating as well as you thought.
Thanks for watching today. Sleep well.
If you’re having issues with your child’s eating habits, whether they’re not eating enough healthy food, have no interest in trying new things, or are engaging in a battle of wills every time you sit down to the dinner table, try The Food Sense Program™. It’s a complete system designed to end the mealtime headaches, get your child eating healthy, and develop a positive relationship with food!