What is a good age to start weaning your toddler off the bottle?

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Nicole - posted on 07/01/2010

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My daughter took a soft top sippy cup at 9 months, but still had a bottle at naptime and bedtime. At ten months she began to use the hard top sippy cup, but she refused to let her bottle go when she went to sleep. I was going to try to take it away from her at 12 months, but her father was graduating from basic training and we were traveling a lot and I knew she was using the bottle for comfort. We moved when she was 14 and a half months and I still let her keep it until we were settle and she felt comfortable in a whole new setting. I just got the bottle from her last week (she is 16 months) but she is using the soft top sippy for nap and bedtime. She calls it her big girl bottle, because we taught her that bottles are for babies because her little brother will be born next week and he needs all the bottles. The next step for us is switching her to her toddler bed, then taking away the soft top sippy. It's a step by step process that has to be done gradually and at the baby's pace.

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Betina - posted on 07/01/2010

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By the time my daughter was one I had weened her off of formula and on milk full time, so when she hit one I took away the bottle. She really didn't care. I really don't think she even noticed that we stopped giving it to her. When she's around one of her cousins who still takes a bottle she'll reach for theirs, but we just give her her sippy cup and she forgets all about it.

Amanda - posted on 07/01/2010

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By 12 months all children should be off the bottle, and no sippy cups to bed. The point of taking away the bottle, is to prevent cavaties, replacing it with a sippy cup only defeats taking the bottle away to begin with.

Sarah - posted on 07/01/2010

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Doctors recommend that children be off the bottle at 12 months. After 12 months the risk of tooth decay becomes a high risk. Also after the age of 12 months the amount of milk a child should be taking decreases. Often times kids on the bottle longer will drink more milk and eat less food. If you have not introduced the sippy first start by doing a bottle in the morning and a bottle at night (brush teeth after bottle) and sippy during the day. If sippy has already been introduced then throw bottles away....It is easier to not give in to the crying or whining if you can't just hand them a bottle. Their milk intake will go down. Some of that is normal due to their age and some of it is normal because you are changing the habit/routine. Once they realize that their only option for a drink is to drink from a sippy then they will increase their intake some. By age 2-3 years old they then should be drinking primarily from a regular cup. The sippy cup is just a transitioning tool, but can become the new bottle for some. I found what helps preventing the sippy from becoming the new bottle is to have a rule that if they are wanting a drink then they must sit at the table, unless they are outside. If they want something to drink before bed it is milk with brushing teeth after or water.

Natalie - posted on 07/01/2010

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We got rid of the bottle at about 15 mths, we only ever used bottles for milk after she turned 1 and she was down to one night bottle by the time she was 1. 15 mths worked for us.

Michelle - posted on 07/01/2010

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My children were off the bottle by 12mths. They only ever had water or milk in a bottle and if they wanted juice they had to drink out of a cup. They were fine with it so when their bottles were took off them there was no big drama cause they were used to the cups.

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