Bottle weaning toddlers shouldn’t be hard, one of the easiest ways to know it’s time to wean is when your little one starts biting holes in the nipples. How should you wean your toddler off the bottle when this starts to happen? Here is the best way I have found that makes it easy on you and your toddler with very little tears.
People seem to make a big deal about weaning off the bottle but it isn’t a big deal, it’s very simple and a personal choice when you know your toddler is ready then go ahead and start the process. If you are into gentle parenting this will be a super easy method for you to follow with little to no tears!
I started doing this when our son began making holes in his bottles and swinging them around like they were a toy. It was time to transition off the bottle and use the sippy cup instead. Mind you he had been using sippy cups during the day when he was about 10 or 11 months old so he knew how to drink out of them and only had bottles at night and in the morning filled with milk when he was over a year old.
Here are the simple steps we took to wean our toddler off the bottle completely, what the best sippy cup to use for transitioning is and tips that you can start using now to do the same.
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Steps To Wean Your Toddler Off The Bottle
You are probably wondering how to wean your toddler off the bottle and what would work without it being a big transition, this is what worked for us and it is the same method that we used in getting rid of the pacifier. This is a gentle parenting strategy that I have used for many things and works really well while making your little one think it was their idea!!
1.Throw Out Bottles With Split Nipples
– Explain to your toddler that if they want to chew on the nipples if it gets split you must throw it away or they can choke on it. Then have your toddler see that you have to get rid of those bottles. We did this process when he had around 5 bottles and gradually threw them away until we were down to one.
2. Transition To Sippy Cup At Night
– While you still have bottles left start using a sippy cup at night instead of a bottle and see how it goes over. Your toddler may be unhappy with this so you will want to try it out and test the waters a bit.
We found that using a sippy cup at night instead of a bottle went over okay on the first night and not so good the second one so we went back to the bottle for a few more nights and tried it again.
Once your toddler is used to drinking from a sippy cup at night you can start on the morning bottle which is going to be a little tougher on your little one and you! You may have some tantrums and searching for the bottle the first time if you still have one when you go to do this make sure you hide it really well when you offer the sippy cup or they will find it and demand that they use the bottle.
3. Use Sippy Cup In Morning
– I would suggest trying this while you have one bottle left but if you end up as we did with none be prepared for a little bit of lash back from your toddler, this could be in the form of screaming, kicking, hitting and running through your house out of control. You will feel like the bad guy for a few days but your toddler will get through this and so will you.
Be firm when they ask for a bottle instead of the sippy cup and let them know that the bottles are all gone and they don’t need it anymore, some toddlers transition better then others so this could go either way.
If your toddler freaks out on you first thing in the morning and you end up trying to get them to come out from under the kitchen table to get dressed, I know your pain so well. We did this not that long ago and all I could do was talk to him and sit on the floor and wait for him to come out. I only had to go through this one time so hopefully, it will be the same for you!
Your toddler may not be ready for this final step right away, you can wait a few days to a week in between the morning bottle and getting rid of the night one so your little one can get used to the idea a little bit.
It can take a few days for your toddler to get used to having a sippy cup in the morning but they will get used to it and act like nothing changed after a while so hang in there, you got this momma.
If your having problems with tantrums right now here is an article you may want to read How To Deal With Toddler Tantrums
Best Sippy Cup To Transition From Bottle
As you know there are a ton of different kinds of sippy cups and figuring out which one will work for your toddler when you wean them off the bottle is a bit frustrating to say the least. Here is a list of the top five sippy cups that work well for this and one that we used to wean our son.
If your toddler is already used to a sippy cup you could try using the one they are already familiar with as this will make it a little easier for both of you. Every toddler is different and trying a new sippy cup may work for you because it’s new and exciting to them and could make the transition a bit easier as well. It all depends on your toddler!
These are great sippy cups that won’t spill on your toddler if they lay down to drink from it like a bottle and the two-piece valve inside is removable and easy to clean.
These are large 10-ounce cups that are lightweight and easy for your toddler to hold and you can use the handles from the training cups on this sippy cup if you want you just can’t tighten the lid down all the way but it won’t spill out on you either.
2. Nuk Larger Learner Cup
This cup comes in pink or blue and is spill proof, soft and designed with an air vent to reduce swallowing air. It is easy to grip and the handles are removable so if your toddler is at that point already you don’t have to use them.
This is super easy to clean, dishwasher safe and can be used for your child as young as 6 months.
3. Pura Kiki 9 oz Stainless Steel Insulated Sippy Cup
This is one of the coolest insulated sippy cups ever because you can transition it to a baby bottle, straw bottle, sports bottle or snack container with medical grade silicone components. Essentially this bottle grows with your baby and honestly I wish we had one when our son was born, such a great investment even if you get it now for a sippy cup it can be used for years to come.
Comes with a travel cover, soft silicone sleeve for easy grip and the inside is not lined so nothing leaches into your toddlers drink. This cup will keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold with ice up to 24 hours and without up to 8 hours. It has a fast flow nipple but it seems to work great for toddlers with no problems.
4. Mam Trainer Cup With Handles
This is perfect for transitioning from bottle to cup due to the spill free nipple, extra soft spout, and a spill proof cap. It has a wide opening for easy cleaning and filling along with nonslip handles and makes it easy to transition your child from sucking to drinking out of a cup.
This one comes with a spout and a bottle nipple so your child can slowly transition from bottle to sippy cup seamlessly.
5. Nuby No-Spill Super Spout Easy Grip Cup
These are the sippy cups that I use now and they work really well without leaking. I used to use the 360 ones but every time they got dropped it would make a mess so we switched to these ones and I love them. The lid locks on so it won’t leak and the nipple sits perfectly in the lid with no gaps and zero spills.
It has a vari-flow valve that allows your child to control the flow rate, the nipple is super soft and durable without bothering your child’s tooth development.
Final Thought On Weaning Your Toddler Off The Bottle
If you are looking to find a good sippy cup out of the ones on this list I would recommend the Nuby or the Mam because they are easy for your toddler to transition to and the Mam comes with a training nipple along with a spout nipple which would help to make the transition from bottle to sippy cup!!
Now that you know how to wean your toddler off the bottle it will be very easy for you to implement these steps and get started on the transition with your toddler. Just remember that like most things it does take some patience and a little bit of time but in the long run, I believe this method is easier on your child than taking the bottle away cold turkey and trying to help them deal with that.
I think the gentle transition is better for our children’s development and helps with any new transitions going forward because you can implement a part of what you learned from all of the other transitions and have a better idea of how your toddler is going to react.
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2 thoughts on “How To Wean Your Toddler Off The Bottle The Gentle Way”
Should I give milk in the sippy cup?
Yes, you can milk in the sippy cup or start weaning with half formula or breast milk and regular milk until they are used to just milk.