Your bottle-fed baby should continue to get nutrition
largely from formula until he or she is 12 months old. After that, allowing
your child to continue drinking from a bottle may lead to problems such as
baby bottle tooth decay.
These suggestions may be helpful when you are trying to get
your baby to stop taking a bottle.
Get rid of one bottle-feeding every 5 to 7 days.
Give your baby extra hugs and comfort during this change.
bottle only when your baby is being held in your arms. Do not allow your baby
to crawl, walk around, or go to bed with the bottle. Doing so turns the bottle
into a comfort item, may hinder two-handed development, and can lead to
Offer the cup first, then
the bottle. Put a little more liquid in the cup and a little less liquid in the
bottle each time.
If your baby is 6 months of age or older, gradually dilute the formula in the bottle with water
so that it will not taste as good.
Put liquids your child
likes in the cup, and put liquids your child does not like as much in the
bottle. Later, put only water in the bottle, and put juice, iron-fortified
formula, or milk (if the baby is over 1 year old) in the cup.
Start a new bedtime ritual. Read a story and then give the bottle
while you rock your baby. At each bedtime, slowly decrease the time your child
drinks from the bottle, and continue reading a story. Eventually replace the
bottle with a comfort item, such as a favorite stuffed toy or
Provide other sources of
calcium, such as yogurt or cheese, if your baby is not
drinking at least
16 fl oz (500 mL) of formula
from a cup each day. Your baby needs calcium every day for growth.
I'm pregnant. Should I stop breast-feeding my first child? No, you can continue to breast-feed your
first child while you are pregnant. But talk to your doctor about your
nutritional needs and other issues you should be aware of. For more
information, see the topic
I want to become pregnant. Should I wean my child? You can continue to
breast-feed, but breast-feeding may make it harder to become pregnant.
For more information, see the topic Breast-Feeding.
When I wean, should I be concerned about my baby's teeth? Be
sure to give your baby adequate nutrition to build healthy teeth. And as you
wean your baby from the breast or the bottle, limit sugary liquids, especially
at bedtime. This can cause dental
cavities. Don't put your baby to bed with a bottle.
And after 12 months of age, stop night breast-feedings. For more information,
see the topic
What if I develop pain and tenderness in my breasts while trying to wean?Breast engorgement is less likely to occur if you
gradually wean your baby rather than suddenly stop breast-feeding. Weaning from
the breast is easier when your baby is already taking solid foods and has been
breast-feeding less often. The pain and discomfort from breast engorgement
improve as your breasts stop making milk. You will likely feel better in 1 to
5 days. Home treatment, such as applying cold packs to the breasts, may relieve
some of your symptoms. For more information, see the topic
Should I start or stop giving supplements to my child? Most doctors suggest
vitamin D supplements for children. Talk with your doctor about how much and what sources of vitamin D are
right for your child. Babies who are breast-fed may also need a fluoride supplement starting at 6 months of age.