Say Goodbye to Bottles and Sippy Cups (Video)

Pediatrician’s advice for parents

boy screaming

Getting your baby off the bottle can be difficult. The same can be said when it’s time to transition to a cup.

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Deb Lonzer, MD, a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, says when it comes time to buck the bottle, or send the sippy cup packing, there are two ways to go about it.

“You can transition and say you can only have your bottle and your sippy cups at meals and at bedtime and otherwise you have to start using a cup,” she says. “Or you can stop cold turkey, and say, ‘You know what? You’re a big boy now, you’re a big girl now. We’re going to take the sippy cups and the bottles and we’re going to give them to someone else who needs them, a little baby that can still use them,’” she adds.

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Dr. Lonzer says you can even turn it into a celebration or a ceremony, so your child can feel good about moving on. Babies should come off the bottle at 18 months, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children transition to a cup around age 1.

Dr. Lonzer says it’s not as difficult as you might think.

“Sippy cups are a relatively recent invention, so kids previously just used regular cups. I am not saying go to a glass because, obviously, we don’t want something breakable. But [consider] a nice plastic cup with no lid. There’s no question with two hands, a one-year-old [child] can start to use a nice, plastic cup with two hands,” she says.

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If you are worried about the mess, Dr. Lonzer says supervision is critical and to keep the cups in the kitchen. Ground rules will help you contain a mess as your child learns a new, important skill.

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