Getting Rid of the Baby Bottle

by Nicole DeCoursy Mead

Getting Rid of the Baby Bottle

How to wean your toddler off a bottle

Suri Cruise made headlines last year when she was photographed sucking from a bottle at age 2. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends weaning to a cup at age 1; bottle-feeding past 18 months increases the risk of tooth decay, ear infections, anemia, and obesity. To say bye to that ba-ba:

Trade it When your toddler (or even preschooler) still has a bottle in tow, it’s usually because it’s become a comfort item, says pediatrician Jennifer Shu, M.D. Find a healthier replacement, such as a stuffed animal.

Pull out the calendar Together with your child, set a quit date. When it comes, hit a toy store and let him “swap” his bottles for something fun.

Let him drink from a real cup Some kids see Mommy and Daddy drinking from one and prefer it to a sippy cup. A colorful straw makes it even cooler.

Hold firm If your son cries for the bottle, remind him he’s a big boy, give him a huge hug, and distract him with a game.