WHEN DO I TRANSITION MY BABY FROM BOTTLE TO SIPPY CUP?
Bottle weaning should be a slow process, eliminating 1 bottle feeding a month beginning at around 12 months typically through around 16 months.
It is a good idea to start presenting an empty cup to your baby at around 7-9 months during mealtimes in the highchair to play with and chew on so she can start familiarizing herself with the cup. Once your baby is familiar with the cup, you can start putting a small amount of formula/breast milk or a preferred baby food on the spout and a few drops of water in the cup. As your child gets the hang of it, gradually add more water. After your child is able to drink about 1 oz of water from the cup you can begin presenting formula/breast milk in the cup during mealtimes. It is not recommended that infants younger than 6 months be presented water to drink in addition to their formula/breast milk due to the risk of lowering the amount of nutrients they intake.
When choosing a cup, start off with a cup with "dot" shaped hole opening rather than a long open slit (long slits tend to flow too fast) and use a cup that is semi-spill able or spill able. No-spill cups are hard to learn to drink from as they flow too slow and reinforce the mouth movements used for bottle drinking rather than teaching a baby the new oral mechanics for cup drinking. As wonderful as sippy cups are for convenience and travel, it is also important to note that sippy cup drinking is not a developmental milestone that needs to be met. It is perfectly fine to transition a baby directly from a bottle to a straw cup or open cup in terms of skill development, and some babies learn straw drinking very quickly and easily because this is how they see mom and dad drink.
If you have a question for one of our therapists, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All question submissions will remain anonymous. We will post answers on a weekly basis. Please know that if you feel your child needs therapy services, we advise that you consult your pediatrician.