Weaning - What Is Expected
Weaning from bottle-feeding
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.
- Give a
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. Juice is not recommended for babies 0 to 6 months.
- 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.