Hello friends, what is upppp? It’s been a hot minute but I am back with another blog post for ya.

Today’s post has a twin sister and she’s over on YouTube, so if you want to watch a video on my 5 Steps to Weaning Your Baby Off The Bottle, click here

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So, weaning your baby off the bottle. Why do we have to do it? Well, let me drop some knowledge. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, they recommend weaning your baby off of the bottle by around 15 months. Extended bottle use can lead to tooth decay, drinking too much milk, and under-eating their meals.

Depending on how long your child has been drinking from bottles and how old they are can affect how easy or difficult this transition will be. But here are five steps to help ease this process for both you and your child.

  1. Be Consistent

With anything in life and especially in parenthood, being consistent is so important. If you want your child to take you seriously, you need to take yourself and this process seriously as well. Sometimes as parents we cave and give them what they want to comfort them in the moment. But in actuality, that hurts them more than it helps them and it can cause confusion. Once you decide you want to start weaning your baby off of the bottle, it’s important that you create your game plan, share it with other caregivers that may be around to help and be consistent!

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  1. Gradually Dilute Their Bottle

I personally feel like this is the biggest step when it comes to actually weaning your baby off their bottle. My son was drinking formula and breastmilk at the time we started weaning him, but I used only formula during this process because I didn’t want to dilute my breastmilk. But use what you have.

So in the beginning, I would prepare a bottle that was 3/4 {premixed} formula and 1/4 water and gave it to my son. He drank the whole thing despite it being a little bit diluted. The next day, I prepared a bottle that was 1/2 {premixed} formula with 1/2 water AND a sippy cup that had straight up, regular formula in it.

Here’s the important part: give your child the sippy cup FIRST. Let them taste their milk that they’re used to. If they continue to drink from this, great. If they end up not wanting it because it’s in a sippy cup, give them their bottle but have the sippy cup within their reach.

My son took a sip from his cup, put it to the side, grabbed his bottle, drank the diluted formula, looked from his bottle to his cup, then grabbed the cup and drank from that. He would go back and forth from the bottle to the cup and I think that was him trying to figure out what the heck was going on lol

I did this for a couple of days and then diluted his bottle even more. On this day, he wasn’t even interested in his bottle because it was majority water and he knew that his sippy cup was filled with his milk.

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  1. Provide Extra Comfort

Your baby’s bottle as well as the suckling motion they do with their mouths brings them comfort. Emotional comfort and physical comfort. So when you’re taking that away from them {which is something completely necessary, try not to feel too bad about it!}, you need to replace the comfort they are lossing with extra comfort from you.

This could mean more cuddles from mom + dad, giving them their lovey/security blanket, or in our case {& you may not agree} we did both of those things while letting him watch his favorite show on Netflix lol

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  1. Decide Which Bottle To Wean First

So this step is going to be a bit more customized to your routine. Whatever bottle of the day your baby is most emotionally attached to wean that one LAST.

When I say “emotionally attached” I’m talking about the bottle that may be part of your child’s nighttime routine or the first bottle of the day that they have while cuddling with you in bed. Typically it’s that midday bottle that babies are least attached to. For us that was the case, so we weaned the midday bottle first, the evening bottle second, and the morning bottle third.

Start weaning whichever bottle your child is least attached to and allow them to get used to their sippy cup for a few days before weaning the next bottle. I waited until Noah drank 90% of his milk from the sippy cup before I started weaning the next bottle.

*This step is mainly for those who want to gradually wean their babies versus just putting away all the bottles and forcing them to figure it out.

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  1. Don’t Overwhelm Your Baby

To your baby, weaning the bottle is a huge deal and can take some getting used to. Don’t overwhelm your baby by starting this process when they’re sick or having a bad teething moment. You want your child to be as physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared to take on this grand task. I would also wait a bit if your child is going through any other kind of change in their life like going from two naps to one, changing daycares, or if you’re introducing a sibling into their life.

Again, this is already something that may be stressful for your child so you don’t want to make it worse for them and yourself by overwhelming them.

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Alrighty, those are my five steps to weaning your baby off of their bottle. Please remember to be emotionally gentle with your children as they are growing and learning at an extremely fast pace while also not being able to fully express their big + new emotions. Don’t forget to have some grace with yourself and know that you’re doing the absolute best you can!

Let me know if you end up trying these steps and how they work for you and your baby! I believe in you!

That’s all for today, until next time…

sending you all love + light

xx, laurena