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How do I begin to wean my baby off bottle?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends weaning babies off their bottles by 12 months of age. The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees but suggests bottle weaning be complete by 18 months of age.

Both organizations recommend that babies should never be placed in bed with a bottle containing anything but water. For the baby that takes a bottle, consider beginning weaning by switching the midday bottles to cups as you near the first birthday. Once they become accustomed to drinking well from the cup, you can work on the bottles that are given before naps. Replacing the bedtime bottle is often the most challenging since babies are particularly attached to that routine. Parents will often note that babies take less milk from the cup than the bottle. That is understood and acceptable because they are transitioning to a more mature diet. By one year, milk should no longer be the primary source of nutrition; table foods and baby foods in a wide variety should constitute the majority of their diets.

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