When your baby is 6 months old it’s a good idea to start weaning them off their bottle. By the time of your little one’s first birthday he/she should ideally be drinking all drinks from a beaker or cup. Drinking from a cup or beaker can help prevent tooth decay and can also help speech development.
Like any new skill, drinking from a cup or beaker takes practice. If your little one is taking their time to get the hang of it, stay relaxed and positive as you try different tactics to encourage him or her.
Here are some handy tips when switching from bottle to beaker:
- When you’re ready to move on from bottles, start by encouraging your baby to drink their daytime milk from a beaker and any night-time feeds from a bottle and gradually move any night-time feeds to a beaker.
- A non-spill beaker with a lid can help prevent spills at the beginning – once your little one has gotten used to this move on to a free-flow, no valve lidded beaker as this teaches your baby to sip rather than suck.
- When your little one is happy drinking from a lidded beaker, by around one year you can introduce them to a cup.
- What drinks you give in the beaker is important – cow’s milk is not recommended as a main drink until 12 months so you can give your baby’s usual milk or cooled, boiled water in a suitable beaker from 6 months onwards.