Health Tips

Bye-bye Bottle: When and How to Wean

mom holding babyFor many bottle-fed babies, the bottle itself becomes just as vital as the nourishment inside. But they can’t drink from a bottle forever. As your baby moves to solid food and a more varied diet, you’ll need to help him kick the bottle habit.

Weaning your baby off the bottle

You should start weaning your baby off the bottle when she is 9 to 12 months old, and by the time she is 18 months old, she should be off the bottle altogether. A child who’s still relying heavily on the bottle beyond his first birthday may not be getting the varied nutrition he needs from solid foods. And, if your child is going to sleep with a bottle, he’s running the risk of developing baby bottle tooth decay and ear infections.

Your baby can start drinking from a cup when she’s as young as 6 months. The weaning process is gradual and should start by the time your child is 9 months old. Here are some tips:

Children 1 should still be drinking formula or breast milk; after 12 months, they may have whole milk.

If your child is especially resistant to weaning, talk to your pediatrician. You should also call the doctor or nurse practitioner if your child:

Reviewed by: Patrick S. Pasquariello Jr., MD
Date: July 2013


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