Friday, January 12, 2007

Day 326 - How to Wean Your Baby Off the Bottle

Today's first time parenting tip - Wean your infant off his bottle when you're good and ready

There's no right or wrong time to wean your baby off the bottle. And your way of attacking it can be as gradual or as cold turkey as you want. My advice would be to go with as stress free a method as possible.

The bottle is often a comforting device for babies, so the more they're stressed out, the more they're going to want to go back to that comfort device. Your baby will let you know what they prefer. If your son is easy going and adaptable, you may be able to just hand him a cup and he's off to the races. A fussier baby might need a more "hands-off" approach, where you simply offer a cup as an alternative and let them explore on their own.

Here's our plan.

We've been letting him drink from a cup in his high chair since he was 6 months old. Once he started walking around, we keep a sippy cup with water or diluted juice out for him so he can graze and sip as he wants. Now that we're trying to wean him off the bottle, we have day care give him a sippy cup of milk at each meal.

He eats enough food and will drink enough out of the cup that he doesn't need his usual follow-up bottle. We still give him one in the morning and at night, the wake-up and bedtime bottles are probably going to be the hardest ones to kick.

Once we do try tackling those two bottles, we'll start off with a cup and move to the bottle if he gets to fussy. Hopefully he drinks more and more out of the cup and less and less out of the bottle. Keep you posted as we go.

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