Weaning - Promoting Healthy Growth and Development
Tips for using a cup
Getting your baby to use a cup may not be easy. These tips may make
- Show your baby different types of cups and let
him or her choose.
- Try to use cups with a spout, two handles, and
a rounded, weighted bottom. If your baby accidentally bumps the cup, it will
stay upright and less liquid will be spilled.
- If the cup does not
have a lid and spout, put only about one sip of liquid at a time in the cup, in
case your baby tips the cup over.
- Do not be upset if your baby
just wants to play with the cup at first.
A gradual weaning slowly reduces
the number of breast- or bottle-feedings. One feeding is eliminated every 5 to
7 days, giving the mother and baby time to adjust. Gradual weaning helps
maintain emotional attachment, prevents
breast engorgement for mothers who are breast-feeding, and allows the baby to learn other
ways of eating. Gradual weaning is generally planned to suit both the mother's and child's
Gradual weaning is best for both you and your baby. It is
recommended for babies unless the mother has a medical condition that does not
Abrupt weaning is a sudden end to
breast- or bottle-feeding and can be hard for both the mother and the
child. The breast-feeding mother may experience painful breast engorgement and has an
increased risk for a breast infection (mastitis). Both the mother and the
child may miss the emotional attachment and closeness of breast- or
Your child may respond to abrupt weaning
- Refusing to drink from a cup for a period of
time. Prolonged refusal to drink from a cup can lead to
dehydration and nutritional
- Sucking his or her thumb.
Times you may not want to wean
You may not want to wean your baby:
- When a child is learning new skills. Learning new
skills, such as crawling or walking, can be stressful for your child, and the
breast or bottle may provide comfort and security.
- When there is stress in the home. A new tooth, an
illness, a new day care center, or the caregiver starting back to work can all
be stressful. Weaning at this time, or during any difficult time, results in
more stress and more difficulty weaning.
- During unusually warm weather. During weaning,
babies sometimes refuse any liquid other than breast milk or formula for 24 to 48 hours.
So weaning your baby when it's very hot outdoors can put your baby at risk for
Gradual or abrupt weaning may
work for 1- to 2-year-olds.
- A toddler who breast- or bottle-feeds 3 or
more times a day may do better with gradual weaning.
- A toddler who
breast- or bottle-feeds 2 times a day or less may do well with abrupt