Bottle feeding has been a go-to feeding method for babies for decades. However, as babies grow and develop, transitioning from bottle feeding to drinking from a glass becomes an important step towards their overall development. Shifting from bottle feeding to glass can be a challenging and daunting task for both the baby and the parents. But with the right tips and tricks, the transition can be made easier and smoother.
The importance of shifting from bottle feeding to glass
Bottle feeding is a convenient and easy method to feed babies, but it can have some downsides. Overuse of bottles and pacifiers can lead to dental problems, ear infections, and speech delays. Additionally, drinking from a bottle can lead to overfeeding, which can contribute to obesity and other health issues. Shifting from bottle feeding to glass can help prevent these problems and promote healthy habits.
Drinking from a cup or glass is also an essential developmental milestone for babies. It helps them develop their oral motor skills, which are critical for eating and speaking. Drinking from a glass also helps babies learn to control the flow of liquids, which is important for preventing choking and aspirating liquids.
Tips and tricks to shift from bottle feeding to glass
1. Start Early
The earlier you start introducing your baby to drinking from a glass, the easier the transition will be. You can start offering small sips of water from a cup when your baby is around six months old. At this stage, your baby will start to show interest in what you’re drinking, so you can take advantage of this by offering them a taste.
Starting early also helps your baby develop a preference for drinking from a cup rather than a bottle. The longer you wait to make the switch, the harder it will be for your baby to give up the bottle.
2. Use the Right Cup
Choosing the right cup is important when transitioning from bottle feeding to glass. Look for cups that are easy to hold, spill-proof, and have a soft spout or straw. Avoid cups with valves or hard spouts, as they can make it harder for your baby to drink from.
There are different types of cups to choose from, including sippy cups, straw cups, and open cups. Each type of cup has its advantages and disadvantages, and what works for one baby may not work for another. Experiment with different cups to find the one that works best for your baby.
Sippy cups are a popular choice for parents because they are spill-proof and easy for babies to hold. However, they can be hard to drink from because of the valve, which requires your baby to suck harder to get the liquid out.
Straw cups are another option that can make the transition to drinking from a glass easier. They have a soft straw that allows your baby to sip the liquid instead of sucking it out. This helps them develop the proper oral motor skills they need to drink from a glass.
Open cups are also an option, but they can be messy and difficult for babies to hold. You can try a small shot glass or a training cup with handles to make it easier for your baby to hold onto the cup.
3. Offer Variety
Offer your baby a variety of cups to drink from, including open cups, sippy cups, and straw cups. This can help your baby get used to different types of cups and make the transition easier. Babies can be picky about the cups they like, so giving them options can increase the chances of them finding a cup they enjoy using.
You can also offer different types of liquids in the cups to make them more enticing for your baby. Water is a good place to start, but you can also try breast milk or formula. If your baby is over six months old and eating solid foods, you can offer them diluted fruit juice as well.
4. Be Patient
Shifting from bottle feeding to glass takes time and patience. Your baby may take some time to get used to drinking from a cup and may spill or reject certain cups. Stay calm and patient, and keep offering different cups until your baby finds one that they like.
It’s important to remember that every baby is different, and some babies may take longer to make the transition than others. Don’t get discouraged if your baby doesn’t take to a cup right away. Keep offering it and try different cups until you find one that works.
5. Offer Praise and Encouragement
When your baby successfully drinks from a cup, offer praise and encouragement. This can help reinforce positive behaviors and make your baby more willing to try drinking from a cup again. Positive reinforcement can help build your baby’s confidence and make the transition easier.
In conclusion, shifting from bottle feeding to glass is an important step towards promoting healthy habits and preventing dental and speech problems. By starting early, using the right cup, offering variety, being patient, and offering praise and encouragement, you can make the transition smoother for both you and your baby. Remember to consult with your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your baby’s feeding habits.
About The Author
Dr. Krisca is a highly-educated and skilled physician who has obtained a BS Public Health degree from the University of the Philippines Manila and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the De La Salle Medical Health Sciences Institute. She is a licensed physician and also a Registered Medical Technologist. She has received additional training in Hemodialysis for Non-Nephro Physicians on duty and has completed online courses in related fields like depression in populations from John Hopkins University and positive psychiatry from The University of Sydney. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of International Health in the University of the Philippines.
Dr. Krisca is known for her outstanding skills and compassionate approach to healthcare that make a positive impact on people’s lives. Through her passion for healthcare, she hopes to make a difference in the world and help people lead healthier, happier lives.