The National Parenting Center

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Weaning From The Bottle

Weaning from the bottle to the cup should always be done gradually. Trying to wean fast will make your child angry, clinging, and miserable.

• First, reduce bottle feedings to three or four per day, and don’t allow your child to carry a bottle around during the day. After you cut back on the number of bottles, and your child comes to you for one, offer extra holding and snuggling instead.

• Second, after your child has adjusted to three or four bottles per day, start offering milk in a cup, before each bottle. He will probably take some from both.

• Third, once he is accustom to drinking to drinking from a cup eliminate the bottle feedings in the following order: lunch first, dinner second, morning third, and bedtime last. Eliminate these bottles at three or four day intervals, depending on your child’s reaction.  Replace each bottle feeding with cup feeding and extra holding.

• Fourth, when it comes time to give up the last bottle of the day, do it over the course of a week. Each day, reduce the amount of milk that’s offered.

• And finally, on the last day, ask your child to help your deliver those bottles to someone else’s baby.

During Dr. Schmitt’s 20 years as a medical practitioner and researcher, he has published over 100 articles or chapters on pediatric health care, and has been awarded the distinguished C. Anderson Aldrich Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics for outstanding contributions to the field of child development. Schmitt has also authored five books including Your Child’s Health, which won Child Magazine’s first Hall of Fame Award in 1991. Schmitt is also a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and on staff at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado.


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