Transitioning from bottle to sippy cup

Pediatrician and Author Alanna Levine, MD, shares advice for parents on the best method for transitioning your child from a bottle to using a sippy cup
How to Transition from Bottle to Sippy Cup
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Transitioning from bottle to sippy cup

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If parents to empower their children to begin holding their bottle as little as 4 months old, by the time the child gets to 6 or 9 months, they're all ready to hold onto that cup and make the transition from the bottle to the sippy cup. Different children like different nipples. So there are some that are hard. There are some that are soft. Some of the shapes of the bottles differ. Some have an hourglass, which is easier for a child to hold. I recommend trying a few and finding the one that works best for your child. I recommend introducing that sippy cup as young as 6 months when they really won't know what to do with it. But if you offer it in the high chair at every meal, they'll start to play and explore it, and soon enough, all of a sudden, they'll put that sippy cup to their mouth and actually take the sip. And once they realize that they can have what they want in that cup, they'll be more motivated to do it again and again. I find that one mistake that parents make is they only put water in the sippy cup and they save the formula or the breast milk for the bottle. And I don't recommend doing this because that makes the association of the formula or the breast milk only with the bottle. You want to put that milk containing substance in the sippy cup from the start, because when it's time to take the bottle away, they'll already know how to drink milk from a sippy cup. If you introduce a sippy cup as early as 6 months, by 9-12 months, you should have a master. So somewhere between 9 and 12 months, I recommend getting rid of that bottle. If you do it before your child is old enough to really scream and want it, you'll avoid having a scenario where the bottle fairy has to come and take the bottles away.

Pediatrician and Author Alanna Levine, MD, shares advice for parents on the best method for transitioning your child from a bottle to using a sippy cup

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Alanna Levine, MD

Pediatrician & Author

Dr. Alanna Levine is a New York-based pediatrician and a mom of two children.  As a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Levine frequently appears on television and in print speaking about breaking medical news and common parenting topics.  Dr. Levine is also a contributor for BabyCenter.com, on the board of advisors for GetSweaty.com, and on the executive committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Communications and Media.Dr. Levine sees patients at Orangetown Pediatric Associates in New York and is on staff at Nyack Hospital and Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.   She completed her internship and residency at the Mount Sinai Hospital, received her medical degree at Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel, a master’s degree in medical sciences from Boston University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin.

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