Should You Wean Your Baby Off the Bottle by Age 1?

Baby drinking from sippy cupContrary to what people may tell you, bottle-feeding beyond 12 months of age can affect the alignment of your baby’s teeth, as well as their health. To ensure optimum oral health, you will have to wean your baby off the bottle months before your child turns one. A sippy cup, which will replace the bottle, can subsequently protect your child’s oral health even further. shares more information about this strategy.

Bottle Misaligns

Bottle-feeding may seem like a safe activity for your baby, but prolonged bottle use could lead to the previously mentioned dental problems. Teeth become misaligned because of the sucking motion made when using a bottle or a pacifier. When the baby teeth are replaced with permanent teeth, the misalignment will remain.

Wean at 9 Months

Your child might need an orthodontic treatment later in life, but you can prevent that by weaning your baby off the bottle starting at 9-months-old. You can introduce a sippy cup to your baby at 6-months-old. By age 1, your child should not feed on the bottle.

Bottle Brings Decay

Bottles not only cause teeth misalignment; they can also lead to cavities and tooth decay as well. Drinks in a bottle other than water, including breast milk, contain sugars, and once your child can walk and carry the bottle around, the frequent sipping can increase the risk for cavities and decay. Again, you can prevent this by eliminating bottle use by age 1.

How to Wean a Baby

You can wean your child successfully by showing how to use a sippy cup. Your child will mimic your use of the cup and be able to use the cup, too. You can also replace regular bottle-feedings slowly with sippy cup feedings. After replacing the bottle, you can encourage your child by making a milestone out of a successful weaning.

Once your child transitions from a bottle to a sippy cup, you can start caring for his or her dental oral health to prevent problems in the future.