Weaning: Formula-Fed Baby

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Weaning is taking away the breast or bottle and teaching baby to use the cup. It is a gradual process that requires a baby to learn new skills. Some babies learn to drink from a cup easier than others.

Wean completely off the bottle no later than 12-14 months of age.

  • Start weaning with the daytime bottle. The morning and before bedtime bottles are often the hardest to give up.
  • Offer the cup in place of the bottle when the baby drinks the least or at mealtimes when other family members are drinking from a cup.
  • Slowly cut down on the number of bottles.
  • At the same time increase the number of cups your baby drinks each day.

Reasons to Wean From Bottle

Breaking the bottle helps keep baby healthy.

Prevent low iron blood

Your baby will take more solid foods which are richer in iron if they are not filling up on breastmilk, formula or milk. This will help to prevent low iron in the blood which sometimes occurs during times of rapid growth.

Keep your baby’s smile healthy

Intake of liquids from the bottle for too long a time allows for the constant flow of milk or other liquids over the teeth which can lead to cavities (Baby Bottle Tooth Decay). Fluids from the bottle stay on the teeth longer than fluids from a cup. Almost all fluids have sugar in them, except plain water. It is the sugar that is bad for the teeth.

Prevent ear infections

Drinking from the bottle while lying down can lead to more ear infections. It causes the liquids to go to the back of the throat. This is very close to the inside of the ear and may be how ear infections start. While weaning, sit baby up to give a bottle. Make sure the baby does not go to sleep with the bottle.

Prevent overweight

Weight gain may become a problem if a child is still drinking from a bottle after their first birthday. An overweight child is not always a healthy child. A child may get more calories than they need if they are drinking too much fluid from a bottle and not eating enough solid foods. Too many calories mean too much weight. A one year old child needs 16 ounces or less of milk per day from a cup.

Promote baby’s independence

Drinking from a cup like other family members gives baby a sense of independence.

Weaning Tips

  • Keep your baby on breast milk or iron-fortified formula until twelve months of age, even if they drink from a cup. Then, if you choose, you can give your child cow’s milk in a cup with meals or snacks.
  • Use a cup without a spout, with handles that fits into the baby’s hands.
  • Use a cup with a curved edge to make drinking easier.
  • Begin around 6 months by letting your baby take small sips of breastmilk, formula, or water from a cup when they are at the table for a meal or snack.
  • Drink from a cup along with your baby, to teach them how.
  • All babies spill when learning to use a cup. Learn to have extra patience while your baby learns new skills.
  • Start weaning when baby is well. If the baby becomes ill during the weaning process, retreat a little.
  • Expect the baby to take less breast milk or formula during the weaning process.

Source: CDC

This post was last updated on January 2nd, 2020 at 1:41 PM

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