13-Month-Old Toddler Development: From Bottle to Cup
The baby bottle: It's his best friend. His ultimate comfort object. It's his ticket to a blissed-out milk coma anytime, anywhere. Yep, it's his beloved bottle and the thought of tearing it away from your kid is tearing you apart. We feel you, but try not to stress. He'll survive—and even thrive—once your toddler says bye-bye to the bottle. What you're thinking: "He will not end up in therapy because of this. He will not end up in therapy because of this. ... Right?"
- You've heard the experts say that babies should ditch the bottle by the time they're 1 year old, and all you can think is "Ha! These so-called experts have obviously never witnessed my little leche-lover's affair with his beloved baba." You'd pay real money to see anyone successfully coax the bottle from your toddler's tiny yet powerful grip. But believe it or not, with a little time and a lot of patience, it can be done. By you. No experts need apply.
- Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make the bottle as undesirable as possible. Offer only water in it and serve the "yummy" stuff, like milk and juice, in a sippy cup. You may have to make the transition slowly over time by offering fewer and fewer bottles and more and more sippy cups.
- You might also want to make your kid sit down in her highchair when she drinks from her bottle. This may be all your little maniac needs to ditch it for good. When given a choice between wandering around wreaking havoc with a sippy cup or sitting quietly in a highchair with a bottle, 10 out of 10 toddlers prefer the former. (OK, so that's not an actual scientific ratio, but you get the picture.)
- If you just can't coerce your kid to give up the bottle by yourself, it might be time to bust out the Bottle Fairy. Tell your toddler the Bottle Fairy's making her rounds and needs to collect all the bottles from the big kids to give to the new babies. Of course, the fairy should also leave an enticing treat (or even a sippy cup) for your kid in exchange.
- Some experts suggest going straight from the bottle to a regular (unbreakable) cup. Which sounds good in theory, but they're not the ones who have to clean up a zillion spills a day. So until your kid really masters the whole cup thing, you may want to stick with a sippy cup. (Hey, you're an expert, too!)
- It's not the end of the world if your toddler turns 2 and is still glued to his bottle. Your kid's dentist (if he's even seen one yet) won't be too happy, but he won't go to college carrying his "baba," promise!
- "My 11-year-old nephew Scotty is the greatest kid on the planet! He's smart and he's funny and he's charismatic and he's so awesome to hang out with! He's polite to adults, he's good to his younger brother, he's a great eater and an all around amazing kid. Oh wait, I forgot to tell you one thing about him ... he used a bottle until he was 6½ years old! No joke!"
Read more of "(Not) Giving Up the Bottle" by craftymama
Everything you ever wanted to know ... and were just about to ask:
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A calcium-rich dish that's got nothing to do with a bottle.
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All kids grow and develop at different rates. So please don't compare your toddler with so-and-so's from across the street—you'll just drive yourself nuts. If you have any concerns, bring them up with your pediatrician at your kid's next checkup.