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Suffolk Center for Speech


Weaning from the Bottle

The recommended age range to begin weaning your baby off the bottle is anywhere between 9 to 12 months of age. One reason for this is that the older the baby is, the harder it will be to wean your baby off the bottle. Additionally, prolonged bottle feeding can contribute to low and forward tongue resting posture. This tongue resting posture can affect the mature development of the face and mouth muscles needed for speaking and eating. The aforementioned can also lead to immature chewing and swallowing patterns. Weaning a baby off the bottle can be a difficult process, as this has served as a means of comfort for many months. Transitioning more and more, week-by-week may
be a beneficial way to ease your baby to a cup. One week at a time, replace each bottle with a cup (i.e. for the first week, offer your child a cup in the morning instead of a bottle. By the second week, offer your child a cup in the morning and afternoon instead of the bottle). Here are some general tips and tricks you can use to further help your child ease off the bottle:

  • Be patient! Of course, this is easier said than done, but as stated earlier, the older your child is, the harder weaning off the bottle will be. That being said, choose your time wisely and take it slowly. Begin the weaning process when the
    child is feeling well, and isn’t tired or hungry. Transition the bottle gradually, offering liquid in both the cup and the bottle and slowly transition more and moreliquid to the cup until your child solely reaches for the cup.
  • Turn on the charm! Provide your little one with lots of encouragement, comfort and praise as they begin to explore the cup. The bottle has provided them with comfort up to this point, so you want to still provide comfort while they transition
    to their cup.
  • Bye-bye bottle! Get rid of or hide the bottles once your child begins drinking from the cup. To make this process a little more fun, tell your child the bottle fairy has come and brought your bottles to another baby who needs them; anything that helps make this transition easier for both you and your child. The less the child sees or is reminded of the bottles, the less he or she will yearn for the bottle.
  • Make sure your family and other caregivers are on the same page! This will help with the generalization of cup use.

-Anna B.

– Maria, M. (2023, April 21). How to Wean Your Baby Off the Bottle. What To
Expect. https://www.whattoexpect.com/weaning-from-the-bottle.aspx#how



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