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How do I get my toddler to give up the bottle?

My son is almost 18-months old. I want to wean him from the bottle - what is the best way to do this?

Heather | Expert


I found that the best way to wean is to introduce the sippy cup to one of the three main meals. 

Then ensure he is actually drinking from it before adding it to another meal.  After you add the sippy to the third meal, then start to replace the bottle with the sippy cup for the in between times. 

The very last bottle to pull from the schedule is the bedtime one.  The bottle is a very comforting thing for a baby. 

At some point replace the milk before bed with water.  Then take the bottle away completely. 

Hopefully by this point the child has a favorite bedtime blanket or doll that he can transfer his comfort to.  My son still has his "doggy" that his grandmother gave to him when he was a baby.  That is the thing that gets him to sleep. 

The transition between stages of weaning should be no more than a week each.  Good luck.  Bottles are a hot commodity!

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Jocelyn | Expert


Assuming you have already introduced a cup to you child, I have found that the "easiest" way to take a bottle away, is to just take it away.

Pack them all up, remove them from the house and when your child asks for a bottle, give them a drink from a cup.

It may be a little difficult for a day or two, but if you try to do it little by little, it will drag out for months and months. Don't let the crying break you down, stand your ground with the no bottle rule.

If your child goes to a babysitter, daycare and relatives homes, make sure they know that under no circumstances do they give a bottle.

It's hard to watch your child go through this, but it is much easier than months or possibly years of trying to get the bottle away.

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