How to ween off the bottle?

Jessica - posted on 01/31/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I have an 18 month old and she just loves her bottles. She gets one at breakfast, lunch and then right before bedtime. When is a good time to start trying to get her to get off the bottle? She is drinking Vitamin D milk that is warmed in a bottle warmer, so when I attempt to put it in a cup with a straw, she won't drink it, but if it's fruit juice or something like that, she will drink it from a straw.

We've tried helping her drink from a cup, but she can't. She knows what to do and how to go about doing it, she just can't figure out that she has to close her lips to the cup and drink. She just lets it dribble down her chin. She does use a sippy cup throughout the day, but once again, if I put milk in it, she won't drink it. I put watered down apple juice in her sippy in the mornings, and just water throughout the day. Is it to early to start trying to get her off the bottle or is there something else I can try that is just as nutritious?

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Mindy - posted on 02/04/2010

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try sippy cups with the soft tops they are pretty much like a bottle start giving her that during the day and a bottle at night until you can completly take the bottle away.. thats what I have started doing with my 14 month old and it seems to be working... she doesn't like the hard top sippys she can't drink out of them..I also found a sippy at a yard sale that has a nipple kind of like a bottle and that one has been her favortie.. sippys are a mess in the begining but it gets better.

Jessica - posted on 02/04/2010

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Thanks again for all the help :) I think her basic need for the bottle is just to have something to suck on during those times during the day. She doesn't use a pacifier because we took that away after she turned 1. I think it would probably be pretty easy for me just to put water in her bottles since she doesn't drink milk any other way but in a bottle. I am going to try a couple different things you all suggested and see if I can get them to work. I appreciate all the help! This is my first time doing this, so it's nice to have help from others who have done it already. :)

[deleted account]

That's a good idea Mary!



Rebecca: just for the record my daughter drinks nothin but water throughout the day......I was just tryin to offer Jessica suggestions if she still wanted her daughter to have milk! Sorry, I just felt like I need to clarify that! Hope all is well!

Mary - posted on 02/03/2010

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pediatrcians recommend that babies should be taken off the bottle about 1 year of age. Sometimes that is hard to do, as they have sucking needs as well as nutritional needs. I found with my children that the easiest way to wean them from a bottle was to switch to ONLY water in the bottle. This has the added advantage of reducing the risk of bottle mouth tooth decay from going to bed with milk or juice in the bottle. Then if baby really needed some sucking, she would suck the water down, but I found that they would drink less and less of the water before dropping off to sleep, and eventually just hold the bottle as they dozed off, until I could take it away altogether. If switching to water in the bottle causes a huge freak out, then try gradually watering down her milk, until it is almost all water, and then switching over. when the only way she can get milk is from a cup, she will start drinking it from a cup. :)

Jessica - posted on 02/01/2010

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just throw them away now. It is better for her teeth if she is not using a bottle. Sippy cups work great. She may be whinny for a few days but she will get over it.

Rebecca - posted on 02/01/2010

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Hey :)



I agree with Dana, three bottles a day isn't necessary at her age. If you google calcium requirements you will find guides. I also agree that replacing her milk with other sources of calcium will be easy. I breastfed my daughter and weaned her at 13 months and she's not too keen on milk so since that age, she has the odd sippy cup of milk (maybe once or twice a week) and gets more than the recommended dairy intake for her age (21 months) with the amount of cheese and yogurt she eats. I also make up smoothies in the blender, with just milk, yogurt and frozen berries or banana.



As for getting your little one off the bottle, the longer you leave it the harder it will get - not sure where you are but in Australia they don't recommend giving kids over the age of 12 months a bottle. If you just get rid of them, she will eventually learn that if she wants milk, she has to drink it from a cup/sippy cup.



I don't agree that you should only offer her milk to drink until she drinks it. Water should be the main drink for a toddler and any milk is a bonus, like I said the amount of calcium they actually need at this age is easy to give them through other dairy products.



Best of luck to you, Bec :)

[deleted account]

Have you researched the recommended intake of milk for her age? If she's having 3 bottles a day that seems like a lot to me?? My 16 month old only has 16-20 oz. of milk a day......that's two 8oz. bottles, one in the morning but in her sippy cup and the other in a bottle before bed! Around a year I just took away her daytime bottle and she's never seemed to notice it was gone.......her mornin one was a bit tricky! LOL! She didn't wanna drink milk outta her sippy cup either but eventually she did! I just kept giving it to her; it took a bit but by the 5th day she decided to drink it and has ever since! As for the bedtime bottle I'm still giving it to her but I never let her drink herself to sleep.....we always read a book and brush her teeth after she finishes it and I'm gonna be taking it away also pretty quick too! As long as you make sure she's gettin enuff calcium and protein in her diet the milk is easily replaced! Hope this helps...good luck!

Jessica - posted on 02/01/2010

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Thanks to you both for giving me some advice about this. I think one way or another I am just going to have to try to get her off the bottle. I realized today that she isn't so much dependent on her morning and lunchtime bottle, but HAS to have her nighttime one after her bath. So I think I might just have to suck it up and take it away from her and try to get her to drink milk either from her sippy (I might try the ones with the rubber nipples too) or drink it from a cup with a straw. I am just worried that she will lose some weight from not getting that nutrition because she eats like a bird.

Thanks again, it's always nice to get other mothers' advice :)

Rachel - posted on 01/31/2010

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Have you tried the sippy cups with the rubber nipples? I had to use those with both of the girls to transition them completely off the bottle.

Sarah - posted on 01/31/2010

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I would just throw the bottles away and then until she starts drinking more milk only give her milk from the sippy. The first few days she may not drink that much. If you feel that she is getting VERY dehydrated then you could give a sippy of water right away in the morning and right before bed, but I would not offer anything else and I would not offer anything else besides milk during the day. Sometimes when kids have a choice they will choose what they want. When they don't have a choice and realize that this is the only choice they are going to get all day then they start to drink the less desired thing.

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