When a baby reaches the age of six months this is usually the time that you will want to introduce them to their first sippy cup. You will not want to take away the bottle completely at this point. This will just be sort of an introduction for your little one. Don’t be surprised if they at first reject the cup, some will not like the idea of a cup instead of a bottle. But what do you put in the cup? You can start by putting some of their formula or breast milk into the cup. This way it will be something that they are already very familiar with. Over the course of time as they become more used to using the cup, you will want to lessen the amount of times they drink out of the bottle. For example rotate the bottle and the cup. If for one feeding you use the bottle, and then use the cup for the next feeding.
The key to not stressing out your little one is to do things gradually. It may also be a good idea to try using different cups. Some cups have built in straws and make it a lot easier for children, who are not yet ready to pick up the cup. Then there are the regular sippy cups which have to be tipped up slightly in order for them to drink out of it. Another suggestion is to get a cup with a lot of bright colors, and funny characters on it. If your baby is interested in the design on the cup it will make them more interested in drinking out of the cup. Try using the cup when you go out of the house. If you don’t even take the bottle with you then they will not see it. By the time your baby reaches twelve months they should be fully weaned from the bottle. If they are not then you will need to try and speed things up. Many pediatricians have found that children who continue to drink out of a bottle after they have reached the age of twelve months that they can cause extensive damage to their teeth.
So by starting early you really will be saving yourself some additional headaches in the future. Some parents think that switching from a bottle to a cup is a piece of cake, but it really is a lot more difficult than many may think. Most babies look at the bottle as a comfort object. When that is taken away they tend to become very stressed out. Pediatricians say that some will even refuse to eat until they are given the bottle. Of course you do not want to starve your baby so in order to avoid them missing a meal it may be necessary to go back to the bottle. Once they are able to eat solid foods however they will no longer be dependent on the bottle for their nutritional needs. So then if they refuse to drink out of the cup at that time you will not have to worry. When your baby gets thirsty enough they will drink from their cup. It may take a while and they may throw a few tantrums but it the long run it will definitely be well worth the effort.