A: For many babies, sucking on a bottle becomes more than a way of getting nutrition -- it's also a way they soothe themselves (like sucking on a pacifier). As with all transitions, before you begin, think about what else is going on in your child's life. Have you just weaned her off the breast, for example? Has she started a new daycare? If so, you may want to wait a month or so before beginning the switch to a cup. Then, let your baby try out different cups. Once you see which one she likes best, begin the transition by offering a cup of milk with her meals and snacks. Until your child is consistently using the cup during the day, keep giving her the bottle at naptime and bedtime, since these transitions are often the hardest to break. Once you've successfully introduced a cup at naptime, you can offer a cup before bedtime. Most kids will protest this, to varying degrees, and may briefly reduce how much they drink. But don't worry -- they'll start drinking normally again soon enough.
Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.