Parenting: Saying goodbye to bottles
May 22, 2012 (WPVI) -- It's not easy for your child to give up that bottle - it's tasty, comforting, and it represents survival as they know it.
For children over 18-months-old, it's better to say goodbye to the bottle and transition them to sippy cups.
Keeping the bottles can cause them to be overweight, have ear infections, ruin a child's appetite for other food, cause low iron levels and start tooth decay from the milk on their teeth.
So how can you help your child transition?
There are several websites that offer great advice, I found the information from the Minnesota Department of Health especially helpful.
They have several good ideas for breaking the bottle routine:
1. Offer a cup instead of a bottle
2. Replace the bottle with a cup - one feeding at a time, like in the morning. Do it for a couple of days, then replace another feeding with a cup. Do this for up to a week.
3. Put less milk in the bottle each day, and if your child insists on having a bottle to go to sleep, switch it to plain water.
4. Remove all bottles from sight. Pack them up and throw them away yourself.
5. Your child may cry for a few nights, hopefully a little less each nights. After that, your child should be used to the new habit of not going to sleep with a bottle.
6. Start a new routine at naptime or bedtime. Read a story; give a cup of milk and a snack 10 minutes before going up to bed, then clean their teeth.
7. Be especially loving because your child is going through a big change. Lots of hugs, kisses and special attention.
8. Tell your child he or is a "big girl" or "big boy."
Saying goodbye to the bottle is not easy for the parents or the child. Some parents don't take away the bottle quickly because the baby loves it so much; it's easier than listening to crying and parents hate for the toddler to grow up. Regardless, it is a necessary transition.
So dive in there and talk to your pediatrician if you need more ideas.
monica malpass parenting reports, parenting, monica malpass
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