Easier said then done for many babies who appreciate their bottles as a source of comfort. So how do you go about the "kindest" method to move away from the baby bottles? Doctors will tell you to do it cold turkey. As a mom, I know that's the most obvious thing to do but seeing my baby cry over a bottle is painful.
When should babies be weaned from the bottle? Doctors will say before 18 months to avoid the risk of tooth decay and teeth growing in crooked. You will see many sippy cups for age 6 months+. You can certainly start your baby at this age if she's willing. With both my children, they were late to hit just about every milestone being 6 weeks premature and therefore we didn't start using sippy cups until 12 months of age.
How Do I Wean?
The best way I found was to do exactly as the word means, wean. If your baby is used to say 6 bottles a day, cut it back to 5 in the bottle and 1 in a cup. Gradually get her used to the idea of a sippy cup. Eventually, save the bottle feeds for when she is most happy with a bottle (before bed, in the morning, at nap time etc).
Which Sippy Cups Do We Recommend? There is a awful lot of variety and it will honestly depend on your toddlers preference. With babies naturally need to lift the cup up to drink like a bottle, you will want a no-spill spout and wait to use straws.
Once your ready to move onto a solid spout. I recommend The First Years Take & Toss. I found these incredibly convenient. I didn't use them just once and toss them, but quite a few times. I found my son liked these cups the best. My daughter who has always been the crafty one, would figure out how to get the lid off and spill the contents each time, so we never had great success with her with these.
With my daughter on the other hand, we liked the other end of the spectrum and went with Re-Play Sippy cups. These are made out of recycled milk jugs and are very durable. They are made of super solid plastic so our daughter was unable to break it during her full on temper tantrums. They are no spill as well so for the toddler who likes to dump milk all over in the car (our daughters favorite thing to do), you can tell her good luck!
Which Straw Cups Do We Recommend?
When your ready to move onto straws, I cannot give enough compliments to Contigo Kids Tumblers. These are amazing. They are strong, durable and they are no spill! My kids both have one (ages 6 & 23 months) and they love them too.
Whats A Good Alternative To Plastic?
Many parents are indeed worried about chemicals in plastics, as there are indeed many in there. As a plastic toxins cautious parent myself, I stick to a few rules, do not put boiling hot water in the cup and once the cup is looking well used, it goes in the trash. However to completly avoid the risk, stainless steal is a excellent option.
Suncraft makes a cute, easy to hold cup for toddlers and kids. It is a super high quality bottle and does have a premium price tag.