Getting rid of the bottle #114556 - Ask Extension


Getting rid of the bottle #114556

Asked February 13, 2013, 12:18 PM EST

My baby is18 months old and still using a bottle. What's the best way to wean her off? Do I even need to be concerned about this?

Adams County Colorado

Expert Response

Pediatricians recommend weaning from the bottle by 12 months of age for these two reasons:
Bottle feeding with anything other than water  after teeth have emerged can lead to tooth decay know as “bottle mouth”

2.       Children using the bottle after 12 months of age are consuming much more milk than is needed for good health.   Ideal amounts of milk after one year of age is 16-24 ounces per day. When a child is drinking more than that they may not be getting enough solid food and  may be missing important nutrients.
Even after being weaned from the bottle, children should get the 16-24 ounces per day as whole milk until they reach 2 years of age. 

Weaning is harder the longer into the second year a child still uses the  bottle.
5.       Steps to successful weaning:
Introduce the cup with milk  and wait until after weaning to offer juice in the  cup.

       b.      Decrease the number of bottles you offer one at a time and offer milk in a cup or age appropriate solid foods instead of the bottle
       c.       Phase out the daytime bottles first
If the child demands a bottle during the daytime, teach them other ways to soothe themselves, like reading a book, hugging a stuffed animal or going for a walk.

       e.      Stop giving a bottle at bedtime, allow the child to have one earlier in the evening after the last meal and then gradually stop offering any bottle at all.
f.        Get all bottle related items out of sight. Maybe even take all those items to the garage or basement until weaning is solidly established.  

From Michigan State University and Mohave County Arizona WIC

Ruth Willson Replied February 13, 2013, 5:30 PM EST

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