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Bye Bye Bottles – Bottle to Sippy Cup, A smooth transition!!

Skandha bid goodbye to bottle when he turned 11 months old!! Right from his 11th month birthday, he completely stopped using bottles. This is what we had planned. We wanted to slowly wean the bottle without troubling our LO. We wanted to completely stop using bottles after Skandhu’s 1st birthday. But to our surprise, our boy made us proud by weaning the bottle a month before his first B’day :) This is really a great achievement!! Our Ped said that all of us deserved a pat on our back…. We felt so proud and happy :cool:

We introduced sippy cup when Skandhu was around six months old. He first took water from his sippy cup. After his 8th month birthday, we introduced formula in his sippy cup. Honestly speaking its not fair to expect a 8 month old baby to take his liquids only from the sippy cup :) Our intention was to let him feel that sippy can be used to take formula too and not just water alone.

From his 8th month b’day till he turned 10 months old, we alternated sippy cup and bottle during the day time. He would take maximum 1 oz  from his sippy or sometimes nothing at all. But we never forced him to drink from his sippy.  Since he took solid food during day time, we really didn’t bother much. For every sippy cup feeding that he didnt do well, he would make up during his next bottle feed session :lol: Basically our idea was just to make him understand that formula should also be taken from the sippy!

After his 10th month b’day, we completely stopped giving bottles in the day time. By then, Skandhu was taking solid food (adult food – no mashing) so during day time, he showed more interest in solids and not in formula. We took this as a wonderful opportunity and started giving sippy alone. Again, he wouldnt drink much (sometimes wouldn’t even touch!)

We kept giving bottle in the night time, Funny thing was that he would wake up at least 2 times in the night (and spoil our sleep )to have his bottle. May be he was taking revenge on us for not giving his bottle in the day time :mrgreen:

One night he kept on sucking his bottle (with formula) for about 30 mins. He didn’t drink the formula, just wanted to suck suck and suck his bottle :lol: It was so funny! We let him romance with his bottle till his heart’s content :)

Just a week before his 11th month b’day, every time we offered the bottle, we would say “Mommy’s friend (K Aunty) had delivered a baby. Skandhu is a big boy and soon he is going to be 1 year old. K aunty’s baby is very small now and she needs the bottle. Since Skandhu is a good boy, Mommy has planned to give away Skandhu’s bottles to K aunty’s little baby”. I believe that babies understand what we speak and what we do! This really worked out for us!!!

After his 11th month b’day, we offered the sippy even in the night time and voila… Skandhu started sleeping well :grin: Ha ha our LO understood that he wouldnt get bottles even at night, so he stopped waking up often (as he used to do previously) and finally we started enjoying good night sleep ;)

Did he cry/fuss or get cranky during the bottle to sippy transition? : Yes, yes and uhhh… yes he did. We distracted him with toys, books and taking him out for walks/shopping.

Did we give up to his crankiness?: NO! As parents we need infinite patience to deal with a baby :) As I mentioned earlier, we took 8-10 months as a trial period. During the trial period we gave him formula in his sippy every now and then (but only during the day time). After his 10 month b’day, we completely stopped bottles in the day time. It was easy for us to distract him with all other activities. After his 11th month b’day we stopped the night bottle feed too!

We lost our sleep playing with a cranky child, but very soon he learnt that if he wakes in the night he would get only SIPPY CUP! One thing that I would like share is “Be firm”. We need not shout/yell at the child. But we should be firm in our actions.

The only time that we gave bottle during this transition period was when Skandhu had his tonsure and ears piercing. He got his bottle on those 2 days.

Mommy’s Tips on making baby drink from the sippy cup:

When to introduce the sippy cup to babies: Doctors say that we can introduce sippy when the baby is 5 months old. We started when Skandhu was almost 6 months old. By then Skandhu sat by himself. I didnt want to give sippy in lying posture.

How to introduce the sippy cup: Try to give water in the sippy cup. Sit with your child, hold the sippy for him. Slowly try to feed him (as we do with the bottles). If  baby refuses to open the mouth, do not force. Try again after some time.

What to do if the baby plays with the bottle: Let him play! Let him get used to the sippy. Do sit near him and watch him as he plays with the sippy (for obvious safety reasons)

What should we do if baby doesnt take the sippy: Do not force. Give him some time. Change the sippy cup. Our son didn’t like the sippy when I first introduced it to him. He didn’t like the spout of the sippy cup that I gave. It was as not soft as his bottle nipple. Then I bought a sippy cup with a soft spout which resembled his bottle nipple. He did amazingly well with the new cup.

When should we completely wean the bottle: During our 8 month visit, our Ped mentioned that it would be ideal if Skandhu takes his liquids (milk) in sippy cup when he turns 1 year old. We worked towards that and completely weaned the bottle by 11 months itself.

How to make a smooth transition from bottle to sippy: Read my experience in switching to sippy from bottle that I have mentioned above. Whatever way you follow, remember to be PATIENT!

Which sippy cup is best: Depends on your child. After so many good reviews, I bought Tommy Tippy sippy cup. It was great. I had it a cover for the spout and was spill proof. But our LO didnt like it! He found the spout to be hard. Skandhu liked the soft spout of Nuby. Now at 12 months, our LO doesn’t mind if the spout is hard/soft as long as it has his favourite milk in it :D

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  1. herculian task.but done in goodway

  2. Love the detailed account of how to transition from bottle to sippy cup! This is very helpful for a first-time mom like me. I will definitely use your advice (and tips) to try to get my son on the sippy by one year, too. Great blog — i enjoyed reading about how little Skandha surprised you and made you proud parents!!

  3. Hi Skandhu’s Mommy,

    That was a great read. I wish I came across your article atleast an year ago. My fault – I never tried.

    Actually my son is 2 yrs old and he’s still been bottle feeding until last week. We have just realized what a bad mother I’ve been (he’s getting ear infections very often and has been on antibiotics for a long time now)… :-( ( So, now I’ve stopped giving him bottle but it’s too late. He keeps crying for the bottle and is VERY VERY cranky. So cranky that I’m unable to get a hold of myself. He takes it out on me everywhere we go – in the car, in the shop, at home, everywhere. He keeps asking for things that he doesn’t need and rolls on the floor crying. He’s never been like that. He was a very good child and now, sudden transition is taking its toll on him.

    I’m already worried about his ear infection and now, his loss of peace. Feeling helpless. Any suggestions?

    Thank you for your brilliant article. If I ever have another kid, I will follow your footsteps.

    Take care,
    Vishnu’s Mom

    • Vishnu’s Mom,

      First of all hugs! Do not feel bad about yourself. YOU are a WONDERFUL mom!! We all tend to have guilt feelings. If it makes you feel any better – even if my LO sneezes I start beating myself! But then I re-enforce and repeatedly tell myself that I am doing my best and I am great mom. So hang in there, we all sail in the same boat :)

      Sorry for the delayed reply. Some times cold turkey method wont work. Try to wean slowly. Why not buy some fancy cups (with his fav heros) or start straw cups? Make him feel proud that he is a big boy now and big kids don’t use bottles. Some kids may associate milk with bottles. One of my friends started with chocolate milk in a clear sippy. Her 2 year old loved the taste and every time he asked for “chocolate dhudhu” she made him drink from the sippy ;) How about giving him chocolate milk/strawberry flavoured milk?

      Babies are easier to handle than toddlers/preschoolers. One of my friend says – small kids small problems, big kids big problems! :) Terrible twos is a difficult phase for us – the PARENTS. It tests our patience. Take it easy and deal with lots of patience. Its easier said than done! :)

      All his rofc (rolling on floor crying) is a part of temper tantrum. Best way to deal – do not show your anger or sympathy. JUST IGNORE. My Pead says that as long as your toddler has “audience” he will keep entertaining you with his tantrums. This phase shall pass!!! I’m sure you would have checked with your doctor regarding the ear infection. My 2 cents – babies who take bottle to sleep may get ear infections coz of milk dripping from the bottle and reaching their ears. Hope the LO is all better now.

      Thanks for reading my blog and for lovely words of encouragement. Do keep visiting the blog and keeps us informed about your little Vishnu’s activities too :)

    • I assume that you give milk with no sugar. May be u can add a pinch of sugar and give in a sippy and make him feel that he can drink sweetened milk from his cup. Though I still don’t give sweetened milk/sugarary snacks to my son, couldn’t resist suggesting this idea. Keep this as your last resort.


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