WIC in Vermont
Weaning is the process of increasing the use of a cup to replace breast or bottle feeding. Introducing the cup is the first step to weaning. Wean baby gradually over several weeks or months. Offer a cup without a lid.
At 6 months, your baby can begin to learn to drink from a cup. Drinking from a cup is an important skill and can help prevent tooth decay that occurs from taking a bottle to bed. Begin offering a small amount of water in a cup without a lid while baby is seated in your arms or her high chair. You can also offer breastmilk or formula in a cup. Babies do not need juice if they are eating fruits, but if you do offer juice, always offer it in a cup and limit to 2 to 4 ounces of 100% juice per day. Work towards the goal of weaning your baby to drinking only from a cup by 12 to 15 months.
The decision of when to wean from the breast is up to each mother and baby. If your baby is under 1 year old, breast milk or iron fortified formula should be provided in a cup or bottle. Many babies continue to breastfeed past one year.
- Start by substituting baby’s least favored feeding
- 3 - 4 days later, try to replace another feeding
- As you add more table foods, you may notice breast milk intake decreases
- Also, your milk supply will decrease gradually; it may take several months for your breasts to return to normal. Your breasts may feel full – not uncomfortable
- When down to one nursing per day, your infant can be breast-fed every other day until the baby is taking all liquids from a cup
It is recommended that you start weaning from the bottle around 12 months with baby using only a cup by 12 –15 months. After that time, babies get very attached to the bottle and it is much more difficult to wean them to a cup.
- Start by substituting baby’s least favored feeding and offer formula (or whole milk after age 1) in a cup
- 3 – 4 days later, try to replace another feeding
- As you add more table foods, you may notice formula intake decreases
- Keep bottles out of sight
A slow down in the weaning process may be due to:
- Baby could be upset about weaning and suddenly want to drink more
- Illness or some change in your baby’s routine
- Remember: Babies have different patterns for weaning.
If a set back to weaning happens, try not to be concerned and allow the baby to continue to drink from the bottle for a little while longer.