Bottles can cause cavities, ear infections, poor appetites, speech problems and iron deficiency anemia in toddlers over 12 months.
How can I wean my toddler off the bottle? ( Wean from the bottle by 12 to 14 months.)
Slowly reduce the number of bottles. If your toddler id drinking 4 bottles a day, offer only 3 bottles for a few days. Then reduce to 2 bottles for a few days. Then 1 bottle for a few days. And then get rid of the last bottle.
Slowly reduce the amount of milk in the bottles. If your toddler is drinking 8 ounce bottles, offer only 6 ounce bottles for a few days. Then reduce to 4 ounce bottles for a few days. Then reduce to 2 ounce bottles for a few days. and get rid of the bottles.
Give the bottle to the "Bottle Fairy" Leave the bottle in a special place before your toddler goes to bed. Tell your toddler that the "Bottle Fairy" will take the bottle and leave a special gift. Replace the bottle with a stuffed animal toy or soft blanket.
Toss the bottle! Your toddler may cry and fuss for a few days, but he will forget about the bottle. Be ready to comfort him with extra love - hug him, rock in a chair, ride in the stroller and play together.
“Your toddler may drink less milk when weaned from the bottle. That can be okay. He only needs 16 ounces of milk each day.”
Make weaning easy - Keep bottles out of your toddler's sight.
Praise you child when he uses a cup. Tell your toddler that you are proud of him for using a 'big boy' cup.
Tell a story or sing to calm your child if he asks for the bottle.
Offer a toy, blanket or hug for comfort, not a bottle.
Plan 3 meals and 2 to 3 snacks during the day. Offer small amounts of food (crackers, cheese, banana slices, canned fruit, and dry cereals) for snacks instead of a bottle. Offer a drink of milk or water from a cup.
Tell your family, friends and babysitter that you are weaning your toddler from the bottle ask them to give love and attention to your toddler, not bottles.
Let your child throw the bottle in the garbage himself. He will know that its gone.
Change the bedtime routine
If your toddler is used to drinking a bottle at bedtime, start a new bedtime routine:
Have a special toy or blanket to comfort your toddler.
Give your toddler a warm bath and then cuddle together with a book.
Rub your toddler's back and softly sing or tell a story.
This is general information; medical advice should be obtained from your health care provider.