Transitioning Your Toddler Away From Bottles: MI Pediatric Dentist

Most children start transitioning away from the bottle between one and two years of age. This is not only important for a child’s physical development, but it is also important for his oral health. Bottles, pacifiers, and thumb sucking can lead to overbites and other alignment issues if they go on too long. In this guide, we will show you how to transition your toddler away from bottles so his teeth can grow in healthy and strong.

Use A Training Cup

Nowadays you can find a variety of sippy cups to transition a child from bottles to regular cups. You may want to test a few different options to see what works best for your child. For instance, your child may prefer holding on to handles while drinking, or he may be better off with a no-spill cup that has a narrow waist. Some training cups have weights in the bottom so they stay upright even when your toddler tries to knock them down. Your child’s needs may change as he or she ages, but all of these options are great for the bottle transition.

Get Your Child Used To New Drinks

Not only will you need to transition your child away from the bottle itself, but you will also need to shift into other types of drinks. You could start to use the new drinks in your child’s bottle so your child gets used to the taste. Fluoridated water is great for tooth development, and so is milk. Juice is another healthy option, but you need to be leery of how much sugar is in the juice. Ideally, you should rinse your child’s mouth or brush his or her teeth after drinking anything with sugar to prevent tooth decay.

Start The Training At Home

It will take a little time for your child to get used to his new cup and the liquid inside it. Practice using the cup at home before you take it in public. Be patient, and expect some spills or tantrums along the way. Keep a spill-free training cup filled with water accessible during breaks, play time, and while you’re on-the-go. This will keep your child exposed to the cup so he gets used to having it around.

Avoid Leaving Cups Or Bottles In The Crib Overnight

As a general rule of thumb, avoid giving your child a bottle or sippy cup overnight. If your child falls asleep with the cup or bottle in his mouth, it could cause his teeth to grow in crooked. If you have to give your child something to drink overnight, restrict it to just water. Anything else can lead to tooth-decaying bacteria. If you can keep your child off liquids at night now, you will have an easier time potty training him in the future, and you won’t have to worry as much about bedwetting. It’s a winning solution all the way around.