How to Wean Your Baby Off the Bottle
In this article, we show you how to wean your baby off the bottle.
Being a parent is a very fulfilling thing to reach. It’s one of the achievements many adults start to have once they are ready to start a family and build their own life. There are many beautiful moments to cherish when you are with your child, and you are given the responsibility to care for him no matter what happens. In return, you will receive the love and care you deserve from your child as he grows older. You won’t only have a companion that keeps you young, but you will also have someone to care for you as you grow older as well, just like how you used to care for your child when he was younger!
You will experience a lot of ups and firsts when you are with your baby. Because of their cuteness and innocence, you’ll definitely have a lot of fun playing with them while they are still young! You will also get to help them enhance their skills with lessons based on life and other things.
Unfortunately, there will be a few downsides when caring for your baby. For starters, you will be experiencing pain and sacrifice while they cry at night, or when they are sick. You will be spending not only money, but time and effort as well trying to keep your household baby proof and clean. It’s a tough task, but someone has to do it! One of the things that need to be done as your child grows older is to wean your baby off the bottle. But this may seem easier than it sounds! But don’t fret, as we will show you why and how to wean your baby off the bottle.
Why Wean Your Baby Off the Bottle?
While some babies have an easy time weaning off the bottle, some babies refuse to let go of it, crying when they are handed anything but their bottle! It’s unfortunate and frustrating, especially since you wouldn’t want them to be sucking on a bottle of formula until they are older and toddlers. Not only is it a setback for both child and parent, but it can also be something to look down upon by judgmental people. There are also a few disadvantages to letting your child stick to the bottle instead of weaning him off it, such as:
- Bottles may cause tooth decay in babies due to the sucking and chewing on the nipple for prolonged periods of time. Not only that, but the acid found in formula and milk may cause him to ruin his teeth in the long run, along with citrus juices.While it may seem the same when using a sippy cup, it’s far worse when giving your baby milk or juice from a bottle, as the liquids tend to stay in their teeth longer, causing it to decay and get cavities. Leaving your baby drinking from his bottle before they go to sleep is also a cause for tooth decay as well, since your baby will produce less saliva that is needed to protect your teeth and wash away food particles.
- It is said that keeping your child with the bottle can increase chances of obesity. Babies who use the bottle until the age of 2-6 are most likely to become overweight because of the fact that they are already eating solid foods with high calorie formula or juice, which causes rapid weight gain.It may actually cause weight loss as well, depending on the child and his eating habits, Some children would replace solid meals with liquids from his bottle, causing him to eat and weigh less.
- When your child keeps sucking on his bottle, it may affect the way he smiles. This is because the excessive sucking can take effect on the growth of teeth and facial muscles, which causes an overbite. This will need braces to be fixed.
- If your child is drinking from a bottle while lying down, it is said that it causes ear infections. This is because of the milk going at the back of the throat, with the bacteria sitting there and going straight to their ears as a new home.
- Your baby may grow too dependent on sucking the bottle, causing a few mental developments to slow down. He may even have a hard time becoming independent because of his love for the bottle!
These are just some reasons why it’s best to wean off the bottle immediately, especially while your baby is still young enough to do so.
How to Wean Your Baby Off the Bottle?
No baby is different. Some may want to replace the bottle immediately, while some refuse to let it go. The latter may be a bit frustrating, especially when they are already old enough to start exploring different types of food. Luckily, there are ways on how to properly wean him off the bottle. The first piece of advice before all is to take it slowly, especially when your baby is one who won’t let the bottle go!
- If you want to let your child start using a sippy cup, then guide him first. Look for sippy cups with handles where he can hold it himself. As long as he knows how to sit properly and be fed with a spoon, he will have an easy time knowing how to use a sippy cup. If not, try having him use a straw or spout for him to practice on, or something you can squeeze to squirt the juice or formula out.
- If your baby refuses to use a sippy cup or any other utensil, then try to replace one bottle feeding session with a sippy cup or spoon feeding, until such time that you replace all the sessions with the latter and he is used to it already.
- If he really refuses to let go of the bottle, then try to make “deals”, such as giving him his favorite toys while he uses sippy cups instead of a bottle.
- If you are afraid that your baby will grow hungry as he won’t be taking so much from a sippy cup while practicing to use it, then don’t worry and add in a bottle feeding session or two along with 3 solid meals a day to make sure he is eating the right amount.
- It’s best to not let our baby hold the bottle before he sleeps, as he might get used to the bottle being with him. He may end up crying without it, so it’s best to replace that bottle with another comfort toy or security blanket.
- If your child throws a tantrum or cries, then leave him be. He won’t be able to change if he refuses to do so, and once he senses that you won’t be giving him back the bottle, he will soon learn that he will have to learn with the sippy cup.
- If your child is capable of understanding what you say, you can talk to him about the transition and how it is much more “grown-up” to use sippy cups than the bottle.This convinces him to change and want to try something new. You can even create a reward system where you can give your child something he wants in exchange for goals and accomplishments. That way, he will be more encouraged to try the sippy cup! But don’t let him always depend on the reward system and make sure that you don’t use it as often in order for him to learn about the value of material things and doing things himself.
- Let him participate with the transition, having him choose the sippy cup he wants and to explain why it’s much better to use sippy cups rather than bottles. That way, he will feel better and understand the process, knowing that it’s good for him.
Weaning your baby off the bottle can be a difficult task for some, but in the end, it will be worth it. You will teach your child independence from the bottle and have him learn to take in solid foods, which he will love and appreciate better. Instead of having him quit cold turkey, try these tips on how to gradually ease in a new meal plan and take away the bottle once he is used to it. It will take time, but it will happen and you will be able to watch him develop into a child who can eat solids!
Just remember to follow these tips and keep your baby in a healthy meal plan that will encourage him to eat more whole foods. Keep a positive attitude and let these tips to wean your baby off the bottle help you patiently get your child to start using different “grown-up” utensils!
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