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Throwing the Bottle Away

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

When a child reaches their first birthday, they have already reached many milestones. But when a child turns one, mom and dad need help their child do one more thing says pediatrician Dr. Sue Hubbard. “They need to throw the bottle away, she says.” “Developmentally, a your-baby does not need to suck for nutrition at age one.”

After that first birthday, children should be drinking whole milk out of a sippy cup. The fat in whole milk is essential for the child’s developing brain. Dr. Hubbard says to do the transition from bottle to sippy cup cold turkey. “At 9 months, buy a sippy cup, one without a nipple, and give it to your child to play with. This will help teach him how to hold it. Then start with whole milk, never juice or water.”

Dr. Hubbard says that studies have shown that prolonged bottle feeding leads to increased dental cavities, iron deficiency, anemia and obesity.

“I’ve heard parents say ‘My child won’t drink out of a sippy cup.’ I say yes they will if they are thirsty. They won’t starve or get dehydrated.” If you wait until a child is 15 to 18 months old to remove the bottle, it becomes more of an issue she warns.

Once your child has transitioned to a sippy cup, Dr. Hubbard reminds parents to only offer the sippy cup to the child at meal and snack times. “A child should never carry a sippy cup around the house,” she says.

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