When should I stop giving my toddler a bottle?

Q: Please let me know!

A: Thanks for sending in your question. My advice: stop cold turkey at one year of age. Your toddler should have the ability to drink from a cup or at least a straw at that point and milk (which replaces formula at a year) is more of a nutritional beverage than sustenance. That said, your toddler doesn't need to chug down an 8 oz bottle of any liquid and thus, there is no need for a bottle. The concern about bottles after a year of age are that they perpetuate the oral fix that kids get from sucking--which is really unnecessary for at toddler who has many more strategies to calm down. And, the contents of the liquid in the bottle (usually milk or juice...which both contain sugar), which goes right behind the top teeth can lead to tooth decay. Dentists are not fans of either bottles or sippy cups for that reason. (Technically, water in a bottle or sippy cup is fine, but that's it). Your toddler is resilient. Out of sight, means out of mind. He will move on faster than you think.

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