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Kids Health QA: Bottle Weaning

Q. I think it's time to wean my 16-month-old off the bottle. She has one in the morning and one at night, right before bed. But how do I do it? And once I do, how can I be sure she's getting enough milk?

Luckily, you've gotten rid of most of the bottles (good work so far!). What makes it harder now is that those last two are "comfort" bottles, ones she takes when she's easing out of and into sleep.

So you'll need to substitute some comfort of your own. When she wakes up and before she goes to sleep, do lots of snuggling while she drinks from a sippy cup (and brush her teeth afterward). At night, make it part of your bedtime routine, along with a warm bath, stories, and other soothing rituals.

As for how much she needs: 16 to 24 ounces over the entire day is plenty (remember: whole milk only; no low-fat until after age 2). If you have trouble getting her to drink that much from the sippy cup, offer her yogurt, cheese, or calcium-fortified juice throughout the day to boost her calcium intake.

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