Every parent likes to do things their way and has their own methods for parenting. This is a beautiful concept simply because it proves that there are multiple ways of doing something right. However, when it comes to choices such as transitioning a child from a bottle, there isn’t a lot of leeway for opinion. Although it may be a difficult task, it’s important that a child be transitioned from a bottle, eventually, for the sake of their dental health and health in general. Keep reading to learn why.
What Age Should a Child No Longer Have a Bottle?
It’s usually a good rule of thumb to have a child transitioning off of a bottle to a sippy by age one. Each child is different in their development, but this basic guideline should be followed across the board. A parent should begin introducing a sippy cup between the ages of 6-9 months. Slowly swapping out the two starting at this age will make the switch from a bottle to a sippy much smoother and quicker. You can even skip the sippy cup altogether and attempt the open cup at this age instead. Transitioning from a sippy cup can be just as difficult as the bottle. A sippy cup can cause dental issues due to the sucking motion used. There’s no set age to wean a child off of a sippy cup, but a parent should use discernment in recognizing when their child is plenty ready to use a normal cup.
How Do You Transition from Bottle to Sippy Cup?
There are various tactics to getting a child to switch to a sippy cup. However, starting early is the best way to start transitioning your child. They now have various stages of sippy cups that help a parent make the switch. The early stage sippy cups make the child utilize a similar action to drinking out of a bottle. As each cup progresses, it slowly changes the method of receiving the liquid from the cup which ultimately transitions the child into a sippy. This gradual process is much easier than trying to make a child go cold turkey.
What Happens if I Don’t Switch?
If a child stays with a bottle beyond 12-18 months, quite a few issues could arise from it. For starters, the sucking motion of a bottle (also a sippy cup) can cause a child’s teeth to be misaligned. Misaligned teeth can lead to a plethora of issues on their own. Bottle rot or tooth decay can occur on top of the misalignment. It’s also been proven that childhood obesity is linked to prolonged bottle use.
If you’re having doubts, never hesitate to seek out a dental professional to see if bottle or sippy cup use is causing your child dental issues. They can guide you to the next step or when your next step should be.