Babies Children’s Health Parenting

Weaning Babies

Some children may refuse to give up the bottle because they enjoy the “comfort” it gives them. However when children are around 12 months of age parents must assist them to let go of the bottle.

Nutritionist Leanne Cooper says: “Generally sipper cups are recommended at the time of starting solids. Babies’ kidneys aren’t as adept as ours so they need a little water to help. Using water can help reduce constipation and starting out with a nice stage one sipper cup is better for dentition. Ideally by 12 months bottles should no longer be required. Research suggests the prolonged use of bottles particularly with formula or milk washes the teeth with sugars which can promote tooth decay. In addition bottles do not assist jaw or speech development.”

Leanne Cooper is a nutritionist, mum and nutrition adviser to Huggies. You can access more nutrition information for your little one by visiting

In order to build healthy bones and teeth children need to receive appropriate nutrition from other sources. By continuing to allow them to have the bottle, parents are inadvertently preventing children from having the calcium and other nutrients now required. Be strong, firm and know they will forget about the bottle in a matter of days.

Tips for weaning your child from the bottle:-

• Reduce the number of bottles gradually over a few weeks.

• At the same time decrease the volume of milk in each bottle.

• When children are down to only one small bottle a day they gradually become more interested in eating more solids.

• During this period give the bottle after the meal so you do not spoil the child’s appetite.

• Completely dispose of the bottle or hide it well away from sight.

• Tell your child the bottle has gone.

• Tell your child they no longer need a bottle and that the bottle is only for little children.

• Allow your child to see you throw the bottle away (or if you feel that gives a message of wastefulness then give it away to someone who may need a spare bottle).

• Remain firm and know you are doing the right thing by your child in doing this.

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