Weaning your child from a bottle may be a challenge. Once the decision to wean is made, consistency is essential and all caregivers should be aware that your child is transitioning from the bottle to the cup. Remember that weaning is usually a long, gradual process.
In general, children can try a cup at 6 months and be weaned off the bottle around 12 to 18 months. Children are ready to be weaned when they:
Children using bottles are more likely to have tooth decay or improper dental development, and they may not develop appropriate feeding skills. Also, children who depend on bottle feedings may not consume enough solid foods to meet their nutrient needs.
Children older than 12 months may drink whole cows' milk. They will be more likely to accept the milk if it's introduced gradually. Mix whole cows' milk with part breast milk or formula, and gradually increase the amount of cows' milk.
Children under 2 years of age should not drink reduced-fat or fat-free milk. Fat is needed for proper growth and development of the brain and nervous system.
Most breastfed babies are given breast milk from the breast and from a bottle during the first year of life. If you have breastfed your baby only from the breast for nine or more months, wean your child to a cup rather than to a bottle.
Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.
Pediatrics at Mount Zion
2330 Post St., Suite 320
San Francisco, CA 94143-1660
Phone: (415) 885-7478
Fax: (415) 885-3790
Acute Care After Hours
2330 Post St., Third Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143-0374
Patients of Pediatrics at Mount Zion:
Patients of Primary Care at Laurel Village: (415) 514-6200
Patients of Family Medicine Center at Lakeshore: (415) 353-9339
Patients of Adolescent and Young Adult Clinic: (415) 353-2002