Do I need to work on breaking the bottle habit?

Melissa - posted on 06/25/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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I breastfed for 11 months and transitioned very easily to bottles for my daughter who is now 13 months. I cherished getting to hold her like I did while breastfeeding and she enjoys it too. She really didn't take to the idea of holding her own bottle and I haven't pressed the issue. My pediatrician recommended breaking the bottle habit and switch to sippy cups at age one. I scoffed and thought to myself that children grow up fast enough, why should I rush it. Then one day, I heard that a friend's daughter, who is several months younger, has switched to a sippy cup. I got to 2nd guessing my decision. Should I pursue loosing the bottle? What advice would you give for a child who strongly prefers the bottle to a sippy cup?

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Michelle - posted on 07/07/2010

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I introduced all 3 of my children to a sippy cup at 5 months old just to get them used to it as I also breastfed/still beastfeed exclusively. They took to it pretty well. By a year old, they were easily drinking from the sippy cup and we had no issues with a bottle. My little guy who is now 8 months has had more bottle experience than either of my older 2, but he's working on the sippy cup now. If you can transition your child now to a sippy cup, it will be a lot better for you both in the end. There are so many different kinds out there and I have tried most of them, but the ones I've found to have the best results are the Playtex. The stopper doesn't fall out no matter how many times the cups are thrown--and believe me, they are thrown, dropped, etc. The ones I liked least are the NUBY as the flow was way too fast, they leaked when they fell. The kids liked chewing on the tip, but they really weren't very good. Gerber...they are okay, but the stoppers will also fall out when the cups drop.

Best of luck.

Coley - posted on 06/27/2010

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Melissa, the longer you have a habit, the harder it is to break. Has she ever been given a sip from a regular cup? I know some people who skipped the sippy cups altogether (one less habit to break). There's no need to take away all her bottles at once, but if you begin with replacing one or two feedings a day with a sippy or cup it will get her used to the idea... I know it worked for my bottle-loving boy.

Lori, have you tried warm oatmeal milk in a lidded cup? Maybe he'll forget about the bottle if he hasn't used it in a while. Could be worth a shot?

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to breastfeed like I had been planning, so I've been washing bottles constantly for nearly 9 months. He still gets a morning and bedtime bottle, and a bottle if he wakes up at night. To get him to hold his own bottle, I would hold it up and wait for him to grab it and put it in his mouth. He got the hang of it with practice and a little guiding. I don't want my son addicted to bottles or sippy cups like a lot of 4-5 year olds I know, so I want the transition from bottle to cup to be as quick and painless (for both of us!) as possible. I started using fast-flow nipples to get him used to taking in more at a time, then I started using Tupperware tumblers with non-valved sippy lids to phase out daytime bottles and as a stepping stone to regular cups. He dribbled a lot at first, and after just a few days he's gotten pretty good at it. He won't always finish his formula in a lidded cup, so I add just a splash of grape juice and he downs the rest it in no time. He's working on self-feeding right now, and part of teaching him to eat like a big kid is teaching him to drink like one too. As much as I want him to, he won't be a baby forever, so its my job to make sure he's ready for the next stage.

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19 Comments

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Jennifer - posted on 07/16/2010

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my 2 were just the same but i just kept trying the sippy cup during the day 2 get them used 2 it n then only bottle b4 bed n it does take time but it will work

Josie - posted on 07/15/2010

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My son definitely preferred the bottle to the sippy cup, until I found one in particular. Its made by Nuby, and is much easier for transitioning. The cup itself came with 3 nipples [yes, nipples. Thats why its an easier transition] one regular, on square, and one straw. They are all rubber so, its not too big of a change in too little time. That was the first cup I was able to get him to use. And now, only a few months later, hes onto his big boy Buzz Lightyear cup!

Tiffany - posted on 07/14/2010

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Get a sippy cup that looks like a bottle, like a toddler sport sipper is what they r called, it works!!

Sally - posted on 07/14/2010

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well i did with my oldest but when my youngest went from bottle to cup she did that on her own. in my oppinion i would wait till 2 , to make the switch, but for now try both bottle & cup, this way it will be easy on you both in the long run, im doing it now with the baby i watch & the help of the baby's mom. good luck :)

Annahmarie - posted on 07/08/2010

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I have been fortunate with my children. They decided long before I did that they would much rather have a cup. My first son went straight to a "big boy cup" but my youngest(10m) on the other hand LOVES his sippy cup. He has been using a sippy cup since he was 6 months old. I handed him a bottle one morning and he threw it down...when I put his milk in the cup, he drank every drop. I would advice you to do like one of the other mothers said and reduce bottles to two a day and when that seems to work try only one before bedtime. My sister did that with both her daughters and they did fine. Best of luck to you

Kim - posted on 07/08/2010

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I totally skipped the bottle with my younger two and went right to the sippy cup whenever they needed juice or water or when old enough milk. I did still nurse at home until they were older. But my girls love to sit in my lap drink their milk or juice and have me read to them and they are now 3.5 yrs and 7.5 yrs old. There are other ways to be close. My son on the other hand weaned at 18 months and that was it. No more sitting in my lap nothing but he would sit beside me when we read. And my kids were drinking water or a little juice from a sippy cup by 6 months of age so its not that it is hard for your daughter she just prefers the bottle. Maybe the bottle fairy should visit or you could try a cup with a straw, a lot of kids like that. Good luck.

Elonda - posted on 07/07/2010

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I know it may sound like an "old wives tale" but my grandmother believed in the signs and the farmers almanac. She told me to take the bottle away when the sign was below the waist. It worked. It was not a big ordeal with my son about the bottle and he took to the sippy cup pretty well..

Sarah - posted on 07/07/2010

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When I weaned my 3-year-old son from bottle to sippy cup at 10 months, I only put milk in the sippy cup and only put water in the bottle. Soon enough, he learned that he wanted the sippy cup better than the bottle.

Annette - posted on 07/07/2010

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I would give the child one battle at bed time and maybe one in
the morning and just give her a sippy cup through the day

J** - posted on 07/07/2010

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I agree with the idea that it isn't a matter of getting them to grow up but more for the dental health. In my experience, (and I know that this might sound ugly) but I had the cup more available than the bottle. The bottle was cut to twice a day and the rest of the time it was a cup or nothing. Also, you will have to probably buy several different cups until you find one your child accepts. Plus with all the different characters, you can even let her get involved and pick one out. You might also try the straw cups, My daughter preferred that to sippy cups.

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I have a feeling this is less about the child, but about the mom. We have to remember that our kids still need us. Moving from bottle to cup is a big step. But a necessary one. Just because a child isn't using a bottle any longer doesn't mean no more cuddling. My boys were both off of bottles by their first birthday and still enjoyed cuddle time whenever they felt like it.

I have seen what bottle mouth can do to a child and the pain and expense that is endured due to it. If your child wants a bottle make it water only. Give all other liquids in a cup of your choice.

And for the growing up to fast, it happens without you even knowing it.

Briana - posted on 07/07/2010

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it depends on the child, but we transitioned mine to sippies at 6 months, and to straw cups by 7 months. he likes the sports top bottles of water too. He's a little over 20 months.

Diane - posted on 07/04/2010

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I don't think the issue of switching from bottle to sippy cup is about reaching a milestone so much as it is about dental health, especially now that she likely either has teeth or will soon have a mouthful, the way a bottle is sucked on is very different than breastfeeding or drinking from a sippy cup and it can cause problems, though it doesn't always I wouldn't want to risk it if I could help it.

Deborah - posted on 06/29/2010

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My son was a bottle baby from the time he was in the hospital, complications made breastfeeding to hard on me and my son. I love the bonding I had with him when he was on a bottle, I could always cuddle with him. When he was around 10 months I started giving him juice in a sippy cup with a straw. Then about his first birthday he handed me the bottle and told me no more. So he went completely onto sippy cups with straws. But we still got the cuddle time because while he would drink his juice or milk we would read books together, We still got to bond even without the bottle. My son turned 3 in December and he just started drinking out of a regular cup not too long before his birthday. If you want to switch to sippy cups you have a lot of options out there. If you want to continue the bottle just monitor the use, If your child always had a bottle hanging out of their mouth it could cause dental problems. If it is more of a comfort thing try replacing it with some thing like a stuffed animal. My son has a best friend named Monkey, he's had him for almost two years. Just some ideas, and don't worry getting rid of the bottle will not make your child grow up too fast, as long as you don't push too much too fast things will be okay. Just take your cues from your child, try a couple of different types of sippy cups and see how your child reacts if it is a disaster than you know they are just not ready. Good luck.

Erin - posted on 06/28/2010

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She's still only 13 months,1 month older than a year, which I know is the recommended age. But I agree with you they grow up to fast. My son was about 17 months when he no longer had his bottle and was completely switched to a sippy cup.. I've seen kids at 2 and 1/2 still walking around with their bottles and I just say to myself every kid is different, not my business. But if you really want to try making the switch what I would just try giving her a sippy instead of the bottle. I know you said you are still giving her the bottle yourself try giving her the sippy that way. Gerber makes soft sippy cups that are very simmiler to a bottle they might be a gentle transition. Once she gets used to that then maybe she'll want to hold it herself. Either way remember everyone has different ways with their children, things aren't always right or wrong. I used to give my son his last bottle at night and then rock him to sleep, Once he was could walk he wouldn't let me any more. I miss it!

Paula - posted on 06/25/2010

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Try offering a sippy cup at meals and reducing the bottle to bedtime at first to continue the bonding time.

Lori - posted on 06/25/2010

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I completely understand your predicament. My son was a breastfed baby as well and then we did the whole transitioning thing to the bottle. He's now 17 months old and STILL takes a bottle. My issue is he won't take milk from a sippy cup. He will only drink it warm with baby oatmeal from a bottle. I have at times felt like maybe I should work harder at breaking him but I agree with you they grow up too fast as is. I can remember way back when children were walking around with bottles at 2 and 3 years old. I think that if your child prefers the bottle I would continue giving it to her. She will probably eventually break herself. Also I wouldn't let her fall asleep with a bottle in her mouth because then you have "teeth issues" but other than that I say go for it. You do what's right for your sweet girl and don't worry about what others say or think. Hope this helps.

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