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Bottle Battles: Transitioning to a Sippy Cup

Your toddler is ready and able to use a sippy cup. Now if you can just get to the "willing" part. Let us help you with the switch.
baby with bottle Break the Attachment

Babies love their bottle -- no surprise there. But you might be caught off guard when you realize how attached you've become to it too. And no wonder! It's spill-proof, easy to prepare (now that you've gotten lots of practice), and, most of all, a comforting reminder that this increasingly independent little toddler is still your baby.

But as attached as you've both become, it's time to bid the bottle farewell. Most pediatricians say you should wean a child between 12 and 18 months. If you've missed that window, you're not alone: Around 20 percent of 2-year-olds and 9 percent of 3-year-olds are on the bottle, according to a National Health Interview Survey.

Still, it's a good idea to switch your kid to a sippy cup now because the longer you wait, the tougher it will become for him to let it go. Health issues also come into play: "Nursing on a bottle's nipple throughout the day and night means your child's teeth are in prolonged contact with milk or juice, and that can cause cavities," says Jennifer Shu, M.D., a Parents advisor and editor of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Baby and Child Health. Make the transition to the sippy go more smoothly with these smart bottle-ditching tips.