Weaning from the bottle to a sippy - HELP!

Brook - posted on 08/14/2010 ( 41 moms have responded )

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My son is 12 months old and will only take the sippy when it has juice or water in it. When I put the formula in, he will not take it. He throws it down and cries "baba". If I give him the bottle with the formula he takes it just fine. What should I do??

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Jenica - posted on 08/16/2010

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I have found that also using the soft tip Nubby sippy cups work really well cause it still feels like a bottle and then you can transition into other cups.

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I would say when you are ready to switch him from formula to cows milk would be a good time to switch over. I try to create new memories and ways of being with transitions, they remember how it's always been, so if you change what they are expecting they wont have expectations for that new thing. Also with my first child I told her that when we got up one morning that all her bottles were gone, I hid them the night before in the attic. I told her all up beat like that I had these really cool Sesame Street sippy cups that came with a straw and juice in them. I told her she could have that since all her bottles were gone some how. She reluctantly took it and then loved it. She never asked for another bottle after that. A little over a week later I started using regular sippy cups instead and she took them when she refused before. But your son is refusing because he wants formula in a bottle not in a sippy cup, that's why I say wean him to cows milk first or what ever milk you want to change to, and then do the sippy cup process. I don't think you will win the bottle issue as long as he is on formula of any kind. So it's really up to you when you want to start a new transition that you will be able to slip the milk change in with and he will form new memories that will make since for him to use a sippy cup in his mind.

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Stephanie - posted on 08/30/2010

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i put my son on whole milk at 10mths and take the bottle away completely. Well now we have a 6 mth old we'll see how that works again. good luck.

Whitney - posted on 08/29/2010

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Maybe try some milk in it? If he is 12 months old the milk won't hurt him. Maybe chocolate milk? My daughter did the same thing when I took her off the bottle at first but she eventually started drinking it again. In the meantime I just gave her lots of cheese and yogurt to make sure she was getting enough calcium.

Alleah - posted on 08/29/2010

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Patricia, the reason why health officials like to see kids weaned off of actual bottles by age two at the latest, is for many reasons. Firstly, bottles encourage tooth decay, in that, they are a slow constant drip that bathes the mouth in milk or formula that eventually breaks down and becomes bacteria that will rot your little ones teeth. That's why letting little ones go to bed with bottles is so bad for them, because the formula has all night to pool in their mouth, and create bacteria. Another reason is that toddlers who are busy running around with bottle hanging out of their mouths can't play, or work on speech development as well as toddlers who don't can. It's a distraction to their basic 'workload', which is to play and learn.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not exactly able to criticize, because my eighteen month old still has a bottle at bedtime. I give her two formula bottles per day (for the vitamins, because they don't make a multivitamin for children under two), and other than that she gets water and cows milk in sippy cups. Obviously your child will get rid of her bottle by the time she's going to school, but there are other good reasons to get rid of them early.

Rebecca - posted on 08/28/2010

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I took my son on a holiday and forgot to take his bottle and just his sippy.... your son is a smart boy and if you don't make a big fuss over him chucking a tanty for baba... and just explaine that you forgot baba and all yu have is sippy... he may take to it or try flavored formula to help the transition..... like calling it chocy milk. that may help.

Katie - posted on 08/27/2010

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My son was the same way...I don't know what kind of sippy cups you use but the first ones i had were the hard plastic and he wanted nothing to do with them unless it was juice...I switched to the soft clear rubber ones and he would take those with milk. Maybe cuz the soft silicone is like the bottle nipple? I have no idea but it worked for me.

Stephanie - posted on 08/27/2010

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Have you tried the silicone nipple NUBY cups? They are great for transition and they love them. We still use ours. Put a little ice cold milk in it and he should love it.

Carrie - posted on 08/27/2010

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my oppinion is stop stressing. my daughter was the same so i just let her go. at about 18months she stopped by herself and took a cup fine. i always found bottle time to be our cuddle time and made the most of it. i find they all get there when they are ready (if people are telling you he should be on a cup ignore them and do what is right for you)

Sarah - posted on 08/27/2010

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We had the same problem - but he was drinking whole milk. He LOVED it from a bottle but as soon as we put it in a cup, he would spit it out. Would drink water though. Our doctor recommended putting a little chocolate syrup in the milk for a few weeks and then to ween him from the chocolate slowly. He LOVED the chocolate milk (we only put in a little bit of syrup) and sure enough, within a month he was drinking regular milk like a champ. He now asks for milk and guzzles it out of a cup. This method may not work for everyone - but it worked for us and I remember feeling the exact same way you did - not sure what to do next! Good luck! :)

Linda - posted on 08/27/2010

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my son is nearly 3, he will take milk out of the bottle but everytime i put t in a cup he wont drink it, i just keep trying eventually he will

Brook - posted on 08/23/2010

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Thanks Christina, Shana and Laura!

Laura that is a good idea. We now have given him a sippy cup with a straw and it seems like that one is his favorite. He is adjusting so well...


Thank you all ladies for all your advice and help! This has been a difficult transition and you all of given me some amazing advice!

[deleted account]

The liquid will come out much faster in a sippy cup than in a bottle.

We moved onto sippy cups with one hole that our son had to suck on, and then got a cup that had one hole, where the milk just flowed out. Then, we moved onto a two hole, and finally a three hole cup.

Good luck!

[deleted account]

My son was the same water,juice from a cup no worries but his milk had to be from the bottle.I let him decide when he was ready.i'd offer him milk in a cup every so often but no fuss if he didnt want it,then one day he drank from a cup and that was the last of the bottle.

Christina - posted on 08/22/2010

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My kids went threw that is it a big sipper cup or one of thoses " nexted step siper cups " bc my kids wanted no part of thoses they wanted the huge sipper cups , if he can have milk id give him milk . And he might not be ready yet i was told by a Dr that a sipper cup and bottle arent much diffrent so as long as the bottle is gone by age 2 or 3 he should be fine , i understand your wanting to break him hang in there keep trying diffrent sipper cups maybe let him pick one out :) hope im of some help

Brook - posted on 08/22/2010

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Erin There are no more bottles in the house now...not one!

Jennifer-Thank you so much. You definitly are right and have encouraged me in this transition! We, as parents, have to responsibillity of breaking those habbits and keep our little ones on track. Thank you so much!

Shana-Great idea! Lead by example plus make it out to be a game in a way! Any time I can get my son to mimic me or laugh at whatever I'm doing, 9 times out of 10 he will keep doing it. And the idea of diluting the milk in the bottle with water is an aweome idea as well! Thank you

Jade-I definitly agree! Every child is different and do things in thier own way. My son doesn't really like the milk in his cup but I am trying to do the diluting idea. It seems like it is working some what so I'm going to keep trying. Thank you!

Kristen-That is exactly why I'm afraid of giving him milk/juice in a bottle and why I want to switch over. I have gotten rid of the bottles completly but i think it's a great idea to get water down them through the bottle. I also read that the water is okay in a bottle! Thank you!

Amanda-It has been a little over a few weeks now and my son will take it some times and not others. I'm not sure how it will continue to work out?! Thanks.

Laura-We actually bought ovaultine and started putting a half of teaspoon into a 8oz bottle of milk...we found out that he has a low tolerance to milk so the doctor wants us to go slow. Also, durning this whole week he is cutting teeth...he has an ear infction and has bad deahrea. I'm starting to think it is to much of a change at once :/

Laura - posted on 08/21/2010

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does your son likes or can take regular milk? if so what we did was to slowly reduce teh # of bottles and give him some milk with nesquick (a litle bit just to change the flavor and to still have their nutrition with not too much sugar)

Amanda - posted on 08/20/2010

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we had to quit cold turkey with my daughter. she took it without a problem after a couple of days of begging for the bottle.

Kristen - posted on 08/20/2010

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My son is 14 months and only drinks water from his bottle. For a while before he turned one I was trying to figure out ideas to get rid of the bottles and use only sippy cups, but then I read somewhere that there really is no harm done by letting them use the bottle as long as it is only water. Otherwise, if they drink juice or milk from the bottle, they can get bottle rot and tooth decay.
When I offered my son formula from his sippy back in the day, he made this awful face as soon as he tasted it, like it was gross! I just laughed at him, its so funny that he thinks its gross from the sippy but chugs it from a bottle. (When he turned one we switched from formula to milk slowly, so that is when I started only giving him water from the bottle and milk from the sippy).

Jade - posted on 08/20/2010

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my daughter weaned her self at 18 months. i bought her a new sipper cup different to her others that had a bottle teat opn the end. she took it in this bottle for a moth untill she refused is completely say she wants juice or cordy (weak grean cordial) thats cheaper too!! as for the formula i would mix the bottles half cows milk and reduce it down to cows milk the switch it over to just juice ., dont worry children do things differently

Shana - posted on 08/20/2010

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My son is 20 months old and we are still weaning him off the bottle. Now he only gets one at night b4 bed. We didn't have 2 much of a problem with the juices, actually he drank from a juice box b4 a sippy cup. and i would just start pouring the juice into the cup. The milk was the hard part. We would pretend that the cup was a big deal. I'd put it in my mouth and go mummm mumm and he'd laugh and do the same and i'd tell him yeahhhh big boy. Thats how we did it and it seemed to work. Also, i was told to dilute his bottles of milk with water and put the "good milk" in a cup to offer him. Eventually he'd realize that the watered down milk was not what he wanted and drink out the cup.

Jennifer - posted on 08/20/2010

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Brook that is so wonderful to hear about the forward motion in the sippy training. Yes, it will be hard but know that you have the courage to keep up with it and it will pay off in the end. Our children will come to know habits as they grow that we as parents have to over come and break. Weather it be a security blanket, binky, bottle, playing in the garbage, taking off their diapers. It is our guidance that will help them to better take on every new step and stages of their life. Again awsome work!

Erin - posted on 08/19/2010

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i just threw out all bottles so if they wanted a drink they had to drink out of a sippy cup! it works!

Brook - posted on 08/18/2010

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Thank you all so much for your input and advice!

Jeneva-I did just as you advised! I threw out all the bottles. I kept one but was so temped to give in so I finally threw it away.

Maggie and Jenneifer- I definitly see what you two mean. Today has been the toughest struggle for me and my son. He pitched the biggest fit, after taking the cup relatively better for the past two days. He cried and wouldn't do anything I would ask him to do. After an hour he finally fell asleep. After waking from his nap I gave him the cup with his milk in it. He took two sips then threw it down again. He cried for another 45 minutes. I fed him his lunch and offered the cup many tims but he didn't want it. He would turn his head and cry every time I offered it. I was feeling pretty good about it yesterday but then felt discouraged. I let him cry and it nearly killed me but after about 20 minutes he picked it up on his own!!! He took it and even took one with his dinner! I'm not 100% sure how it will go tomorrow but I feel it is going to be a little better!

Jennifer - posted on 08/18/2010

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I dont want this to sound that wrong way, and I hope you better understand after.....Our children have the same instincts that we do. In the middle of the day, when we are thirsty or hungry, we find something even if its not exactly what we want. My son was picky when it came to the transition from bottle to sippy! At 11 months I started weaning to a sippy. He kept chewing the nipples apart or taking the lids off. After over two months of struggles. I gave him a sippy and the same as you, threw it down on the floor. I explained to him it was time to be a big boy and again he cried for his "baba" I had dicussed this with his doctor. The doctor told me that once he gets thirsty enough, that without the other choice that he really wants he will drink from the sippy. I did keep one bottle on hand, but would not be so easy to give in to him. I gave him the sippy cup and after about an hour or two of having a fit and yelling for his baba, he finally realized that mommy was not going to give me what I want and he picked up the sippy and drank from it. From that day on there was never another bottle in the house.

Maggie - posted on 08/18/2010

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get rid of all the bottles. Give him the formula in a sippy (or straw) cup. When he wants it bad enough he'll drink it.
If you give in to his crying then he's learning that crying will get him what he wants.

Patricia - posted on 08/18/2010

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Hi Brook, why do you want to wean off the bottle, is it really such a big deal that he still takes a bottle. When he is ready he will change. My daughter who is three and a half still uses a bottle for her tea. Everything else she drinks from a normal cup. It is a comfort thing and it certainly does not bother me, if it bothers other mums - tough!! I cannot see her using it at age 6 and if she does well then I suppose drastic action will be taken! She never had any kind of comfort blanket or toy and uses her bottle as her comfort 'thing'. Unless you have a specific worry about a bottle or a good reason for wanting to get him off the bottle, I would not stress! Let him enjoy it, they are young for such a short period of time.

Jeneva - posted on 08/17/2010

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Since he is willing to drink from a sippy I would say to just wait until you stop with formula altogether. Just don't put anything but the formula in a bottle. Both of my kids weaned themselves off bottles around 13 months so I kind of had an easy transition. My daughter preferred sippy's but my son only liked the straw cups. So you could always try the straw ones instead.

Brook - posted on 08/17/2010

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Thanks ladies. I appreciate all of the advice. He is doing okay but he was extremly fussy and irritable today.

Michelle - posted on 08/17/2010

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i just gave mine the sippy cup with the formula in it.. if they were thursty enought they will drink it

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my daughter did the same thing... just be persistent. i started not letting her have a bottle in the morning, and putting milk in her sippy cup or straw cup instead. once she got used to having that instead of the bottle in the morning, i've been replacing bottles with cups... now shes only having 2 bottles a day, which hopefully this week will be down to only one before bed, and in another 2 weeks her bottles will be gone completely. just keep on it, and dont give in, no matter how big a fight he puts up (my daughter threw a fit the first day, throwing her toys, kicking and screaming, everything. good luck though!

Heidi - posted on 08/17/2010

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When my son was that age he was still on a bottle for bed time. What I had to do was to put some kind of flavoring in his milk so he will drink it out of the sippy cup. May just have to transition to milk by putting half milk and half formula.

Brook - posted on 08/16/2010

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Colene-That is a great idea on using a straw! Julian started using straw at 10 months but that is only because my daddy would hold his finger on the top and let him suck a little from the bottom. He started that at 7 months. Now if anyone has a straw in thier drink he tries to go for it. We got him a sippy with a straw and he liked it but it didn't work either only because he is use to tilting his head back (because of the bottle). We started giving it to him today with his meals just to get a feel of how he would like it. Thanks for the advice and kuddos on that idea!

Nida-Definitly read the info and advice on the replies here. There are some awesome ideas to try. I would suggest (because she can understand a little better that a one year old) to tell her that she needs to be a "big girl" and that big girls drink from cups and not bottles. I'm not sure how she will react and I know that if she isn't eating well outside of the milk then you have to try and give that to her. Try that and just see how it works. Best of luck!


Sarah-What a great idea! I definitly will put that into play. Juice isn't that good for kids because of all the sugar and I really don't want him drinking to much but at first I was afraid he would become dehydrated. He is doing so much better now so I'm hoping he will keep it up. Thank you for the advice! Great plan!

Sarah - posted on 08/16/2010

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For me the easiest (at least in some ways) is to just throw all the bottles out. You will end up having to deal with some screaming for awhile, but once they realize that the sippy is the only option they do take it. It just becomes the battle of the wills. That is why getting all the bottles out of the house helps. You can't give in no matter how badly you want to at moments. Once they realize that you are not going to give them the bottle they will drink from the sippy. With the not drinking the milk, but willing to drink the juice or water what I would do is have a rule that he must 1st drink a full glass of milk before he can have anything else. Once that juice or water is gone then he must drink another glass of milk before he can have more juice or water. I would give only 1 small glass of juice in the day the rest I would do water and you don't have to make it a full glass of water each time. Just have to set that boundry and not let it be crossed.

Nida - posted on 08/16/2010

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my daughter is almost 3 and she refuses to give up her bottle!! she screams the house down if we tell her it isnt there. im so tired of trying. shes also a fussy eater, so her milk is what keeps her going. i dont know what to do!!

Colene - posted on 08/16/2010

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Hi Brook, I saw that you got one with a soft tip. That worked like a charm for my daughter too. She wouldn't drink milk from a hard tipped sippy at first. After a couple of months, she got a lot less picky about the top. We just put her drink in any clean cup. And I know it's not completely on topic, but I just taught her to drink out of a straw this past weekend (she's almost 14 months) by putting a little dab of frozen yogurt on the end of a straw. It took one try. She was pleasantly surprised by the water coming out and wanted more even without the yogurt!! : ) We're going to try the straw sippy cups this week.

Brook - posted on 08/16/2010

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I didn't get the Nubby but we did get one that had a soft tip, and it was his choice!

Brook - posted on 08/15/2010

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Thank you all so much for the advice! Renee I went with your suggestion of switching up the routine and doing it at the same time. This morning when he woke up I told him that I couldn't find a single bottle. I told him that he could share with Daddy out of his cup for his juice with breakfast and that we would go straight to the store and buy new cups, big boy cups like Daddy's. I told him he could pick out 2 of any kind! When we got there he picked one with a straw and a second one with handles. As soon as we got home I filled it with whole milk and gave it to him. He took it with little hesitation. I was amazed. As the day went on he began to get fussy but I offered him the cup through out the day and he didn't have much of a need for the bottle outside of habbit. I shook up our usual routines just a bit and he did amazing. We now have 4 different sippy's and he used 3 of them today! I've read it takes 3 -5 days to break a habbit so I know we have to keep trying for the next week!

Candice you definitly lucked out and I'm glad she went to the cup so easily! That actually sounds like a good statagy!

Shaina I applaud you for starting the transition at 6 months. I'm a first time mom and didn't realize the importance of the sippy until he turned 10 months old. At the time he started walking and I let the time slip by but I did offer it to him many times. I know with my next child to start early!

Shaina - posted on 08/15/2010

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I never had that problem because I got my daughter on sippys at 6mos. but my cousins son had a hard time and we went from a bottle to a beginning sippy which looks alot like a bottle then kept going up in stages or mixing them.

Candice - posted on 08/15/2010

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this may seem like strange advice..but when my daughter was sick and had trouble drinking from the bottle, i started oferring her her milk in a cup. we just never went back to bottles after that. She was the same way...drank anything from a cup except milk. But she realized she could drink from a cup with a stuffy nose. :)

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