Most mums worry when they start to consider taking the precious bottle away from their kid. They think that the joy will turn into crying or a screaming match making life unbearable for all family members. Bottle weaning can be met with smiles and success when you know these couple of simple weaning tips.
Relax: Nothing gets baby more suspicious that he is not going to like something than a mum or dad who acts like something bad is going to happen. Create an atmosphere of fun for your baby by treating the replacement for the bottle as a prized possession, a gift, something really special that is just for them. Character cups are a fun way of helping your child look forward to using the cup instead of the bottle.
Do not take the bottle straight away – you will cause a traumatic experience if you do. If your baby is ok with progressing quickly then by all means go with the flow. Do not start this type of drastic change yourself. Waiting for your little one to be ready to start is the key to successful bottle weaning.
Gradually introduce the cup to your child. The process of weaning should start slow. Most children are having three main bottles by the time they reach their first birthday. Don’t make your baby’s actual birthday the magic day either. There are enough surprises and stresses associated with a child’s first birthday (gifts, parties, guests & family members & possibly strangers over) that adding to all the commotion by trying something new like bottle weaning may just be too much for your little one.
The process of changing from bottle to cup should be handled slowly and gradually. The simple method is to substitute the cup for bottle. There are a few easy methods to achieve this. The first way is to begin with the first bottle – as opposed to giving the bottle give the cup. The other trick is to use both during the early feeding with more liquid (formula or breast milk) in the cup, than in the bottle. Your baby will be thirsty and drain the bottle fast. Show your baby the cup and that there is more to have this way. Encourage him to have some. Take a drink from your mug and say ‘thats nice’!
Try and make the bottle not as attractive to your little one by diluting the contents (formula or milk) and giving what is in the cup, what the baby is used to feeding on. Positively reinforce the little one every time they use the cup. Play a game out of using the cup; as an example – every time your baby takes a sip you could pull a funny face. You will get loads of giggles and laughs and your baby will want more. You can the tell them to take another sip and you will do it again. In time your baby will be taking sips on their own, just to hear your oink, cluck, or jump around some more.
Progress from morning feeds to afternoon bottle and then the remaining substitute should be the bedtime bottle. To make this last transition smoothly, stick to a pleasant routine that includes the cup as opposed to the bottle. Use things such as a favourite bedtime toy or an activity like being held while you read along with the cup of formula or breast milk. If you normally use a bedtime snack include calcium items to replace the quantity of milk in a bottle if your little one drinks less formula or milk from the cup than they would from the bottle. This way they are still getting enough of the vitamins as they generally would with the bottle. Snacks that would be good to use include yoghurt or pudding. Avoid sugary foods where possible. Don not forget to brush their teeth for them after meals.