Many of the tips for
weaning babies from bottle-feeding can be used for
toddlers (ages 1 to 2). Here are some suggestions unique to toddlers:
Do not allow a toddler to carry the bottle around.
This can help prevent injuries if your toddler falls and also can help keep the bottle from being a comfort item for your toddler.
Help transfer the toddler's attachment from the bottle to another comfort object. When your toddler asks for the bottle outside of
meal or snack time, encourage the use of a comfort object, such as a stuffed
animal, blanket, or doll. For example, tie an empty bottle securely around the
neck of a favorite stuffed animal or other comfort object, then remove the
bottle after your toddler thinks of the new object as the source of comfort
(after a few days or weeks). Make sure the bottle is tied securely and that the
string has no slack or loose ends that could become wrapped around your child's
neck and cause choking.
Make changes in the toddler's routine, especially the rituals that are connected to bottle-feeding. For example, after a fall,
comfort your toddler with hugs and attention rather than the bottle.
Keep the toddler busy with new activities. This can
be in the home or in a museum, at a zoo, or at playgrounds.
Make a cup part of weaning. Make using a cup part of
your toddler's solid-meal routine. Then gradually eliminate his or her
Take the bottle away, and make it an event. Make a big announcement that "today is the day you'll eat
like big brother [or dad, or cousin]." Celebrate by having your toddler throw
out the old nipples and bottles and by taking him or her to the store to pick
out a personal cup. The bottle may be a comfort object, so replace it with hugs
and attention or another comfort object, such as a stuffed animal.
Be ready for feeding time. When feeding time approaches, offer
your toddler a snack. If this is filling, it may take the child's mind off the
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.