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Breaking the Bottle Rules

In a recent Babytalk.com poll, 53 percent of moms admitted that they didn't wean their baby off the bottle at 1 year of age, the time recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Half of those moms waited until 18 months to make the switch to sippy cups, and the other half delayed until age 2 or later. So if your little one has already passed his first birthday and is still relying on his nightly "ba-ba," don't worry. Ease the transition with these tips from pediatrician Jennifer Shu, M.D., coauthor of the AAP book, Heading Home with Your Newborn:

Reserve bottles for naps and bedtime; too many may make him too full to eat his meals.

Look for sippy cups that have a soft, nipple-like tip if your baby seems reluctant. One to try: the Avent Magic Cup, which is also spill-proof.

Remove the spill-proof valve from the sippy cup at first to make it easier to learn to suck from it.

Don't limit the cup to just juice and water. Put breast milk or formula in it, too, so your baby realizes these beverages don't have to come from a nipple.

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