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Our Blog: October 23, 2012

Tips for Transitioning Baby from a Bottle to a Cup

Toddler baby bottle transition to the sippy cupChildcare experts, pediatricians, dentists (and grandmas) usually frown on the use of a bottle after baby’s first birthday. And the longer you keep bottles around, the more your baby will grow attached to them. So transitioning to a cup is a good idea – and it can be done earlier than you might expect.

Here’s a little secret: Beating the bottle really isn’t so hard. The sooner you start the transition, the simpler it will be for you AND your little one.

Here are my Dos and Don’ts for Sippy Cup Success:


  • Offer a sippy cup as soon as your baby can sit unassisted in a high chair.
  • Replace one bottle feeding at a time with the same liquid in a cup. Make it gradual.
  • Dilute the bottle with more and more water over time until it’s only water. At the same time, add more and more milk to the sippy.
  • Experiment with different types of sippy cups. Babies have preferences!
  • Add extra reassurance and encourage the use of a “lovey” as your child makes this transition.
  • Talk with your pediatrician to ensure your baby’s dental and nutritional needs are being met during this time.


  • Keep bottles around. Keep fun sippy cups handy.
  • Go it alone. Show your baby other big kids using sippy cups for inspiration and motivation.
  • Offer preferred drinks in your baby’s bottle. Aim for water in the bottle, yummy drinks in the cup.
  • Be surprised if your child is emotional about giving up the bottle. Extra hugs help.
  • Attempt other big changes for your baby while you’re transitioning to the sippy – let your baby adjust to one new thing at a time.

Soon, your little one will be handling the cup like a pro. What tip can you share that is helping or has helped your baby say bye-bye to bottle?


About the Author

Dr. Heather Wittenberg

Dr. Wittenberg is a psychologist specializing in the development of babies, toddlers, preschoolers — and parents. She offers no-hype, practical parenting advice on her blog BabyShrink — rooted in science, and road tested in her own home as the mother of four young children. She has helped thousands of parents over the years and knows that the most common problems with young children — sleep, feeding, potty training and behavior — can be the most difficult ones to solve.