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Bye-bye, Bottle

While many toddlers adore their bottles, it's important to get them to switch to a cup. That's because exclusive bottle-feeding past your child's first year can increase his risk of tooth decay and other dental problems. For sippy-cup success:

Give your kid control. Let him pick out a cup at the store or cover one you have at home with stickers.

Make it familiar. Give him a chance to investigate and play with the cup before you expect him to drink from it regularly.

Don't go cold turkey. Begin by substituting a cup for his bottle at one feeding each day. When he seems more comfortable with it, increase cup feedings.

Put a straw in it. Some kids find that sucking on a straw is similar to the bottle, making the transition easier.

Mix it up. Put juice or water in the cup. He may be more likely to try it if it doesn't hold the same drink as the bottle.

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