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How to stop Bottle-feeding?

by Dr. Mandar V. Bichu
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Prolonged bottle-feeding is often associated with problems such as increased chances of infections, obesity, dislike for solid foods and dental decay. That is why the advice is to stop bottle-feeding by the first birthday at the latest!

By the way, stopping bottle, doesn’t mean stopping milk. The baby is ready to drink milk from a cup or a glass by 10 months. So you can just switch from feeding bottle to a glass or a cup!

Follow the following strategy:

Start this process by 9 months and keep a strict deadline of stopping bottle-feeds by the first birthday. Follow these easy steps.

  1. At breakfast and meal-times, start offering milk and other liquids (juices and water) in a cup- either a normal cup or a closed, snouted ‘Sippper/Sippy’ cup.
  2. First stop the morning bottle, then the afternoon/evening ones and last, the night bottle (which is often used as a soothing/sleeping bottle!).
  3. Go on progressively diluting the milk-feeds with extra water in the bottle you plan to stop, finally giving only water before the final stoppage.
  4. Stopping daytime bottles becomes easy if you make the meals and meal-times interesting. Remember, not always the bottle is demanded by the baby to satisfy hunger. Many times it is demanded just as a substitute for comfort or company!
  5. Offer encouragement at every step.
  6. Once you have stopped bottle-feeding, either throw off your bottles or keep them hidden. Out of sight, out of mind!

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