Weaning Your Toddler from the Bottle
As your baby turns one, he probably eats less baby foods and more soft foods from the table. He is probably "co-feeding" right now. He finger feeds himself and you still need to help him with the spoon. This is the time to think about transitioning away from the bottle to a cup. If you are breastfeeding, you can still add a cup at mealtimes to give your baby that new experience. All toddlers are different.

Choose the weaning technique that will work for your toddler.

Four ways to wean a toddler from a bottle:
  1. When your baby is close to his first birthday, put regular milk in cups at mealtimes.
    Never put regular milk in a bottle. When you are finished with the formula, get rid of the bottles.

  2. Gradually reduce the amount of milk that you offer in the bottle.
    If your toddler is drinking 8 ounce bottles, reduce the amount to 6 ounce bottles for a week. Then reduce to 4 ounce bottles for a week. Then reduce to 2 ounce bottles for a week. And get rid of the bottles.

  3. When your baby turns 1 year old, offer only water in the bottle.
    Offer milk in a cup. Your toddler will learn to prefer the cup.

  4. Limit the number of bottles.
    If your toddler is drinking 4 bottles a day, reduce to 3 bottles a day for a week.
    Then reduce to 2 bottles a day, then 1 bottle a day. Get rid of the last bottle.

Wean your toddler from bottles and spill proof cups by 12 to 14 months of age. Your toddler needs 2 cups of milk each day. That’s 16 ounces of milk.

If you are breastfeeding, try adding a cup at mealtimes. Also, try to breastfeed your toddler or older baby after she has eaten her meal. She will breastfeed a bit less and weaning will begin to occur naturally.


Early Head Start

Nutrition News: April 2008

From Your Nutritionist, Ann