How to Transition From a Bottle to a Sippy Cup

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How Do I Transition My Baby From Bottle to Sippy Cup?

Every mom looks forward to the day when you can throw out the baby bottles and your baby has made the transition to a sippy cup. 

No more individually washing bottles, and nipples and air drying. No more getting ready for bed and remembering that you had that bin of bottles to wash so they were ready in the morning!  

no more baby bottles

But most times, your little one isn’t as anxious to give up the bottle as you are.  Sometimes, a bottle is the only thing they have known to drink from since birth.

A sippy cup is a good middle ground between a bottle and an open cup or straw cup.

In some cases, it probably took them a while to learn how to drink out of that and now we want them to use a sippy cup instead.

The transition from a bottle to a sippy cup is a big step in a little ones life.  You are generally encouraged to start the transition around the child’s first birthday.

It provides a little more freedom and means they are moving from baby to toddler.  Kids can really put up a fight when it comes to giving up their bottle. 

Children often use their bottle as a sense of comfort. It helps them to go to sleep at night and soothes them when they are upset. Generally it’s best not to try to start the transition with a child’s evening bottle.

This can make it even more difficult to get them to give up their bottles in favor of a sippy cup.

When I first started the transition with my kids, it was slow going. I remember the first time I gave my daughter a sippy cup with water. All she wanted to do was play with it!

When I gave her milk in it for the first time, I thought she’d never drink out of it. She wanted absolutely nothing to do with it!

Which led to another worry with sippy cup transition – making sure that they are staying hydrated.

I continually would offer a sippy cup to my son and if he would just not drink anything, I’d be worried he was getting enough fluids.

You want to make sure they are staying hydrated while learning how to get through the transition.  

We eventually got the switch done and the day I got to throw those bottles away was great!  

When Should You Stop Using a Bottle?

Generally you will want to transition your baby from formula to whole milk at around one year old.  By then, it helps if you have switched to sippy cups or are in the process of transitioning.

Beginning the transition around 9-10 months is a good starting point.  Then you will have time before another transition to milk.

Tackling one transition at a time can make things a little easier.

This is also a good starting point because you can usually start to introduce a small amount of water into your child’s diet at this point.

That is a perfect time to start introducing a sippy cup. You can use the sippy cup for water and let them use it throughout the day.

sippy cup for toddler

This gives them a chance to examine the cup and get used to it. They may start by just having a little out of the sippy cup. Then they can get used to it being part of their everyday routine.

How Do You Transition from a Bottle to a Sippy Cup?

Helping your child make the transition from a bottle to a sippy cup can seem impossible. Especially if they are very attached to their bottle.

These tips are sure to help make the switch from a bottle to a sippy cup easier!

Start the Transition Slowly

For some people, cutting the bottle out cold turkey may work.  But when you are worried about making sure your baby is getting enough to drink, this could prove difficult.

There are so many options when it comes to using a sippy cup – is a hard pout or soft spout better? The type of cup can depend on each child and what they feel comfortable with. Finding the best sippy cup can be key to making the transition. We started out using The First Years Soft Spout Sippy Cups.

We decided that for one bottle a day, we would offer it in a sippy cup as opposed to the bottle that my son was used to.  

It was a while before he would drink much from the sippy cup.  He would always hold it and look and test it out, but a lot of times, wouldn’t drink a sip.  

Another option is to offer water in the sippy cup to start. This way, your child is not losing out on any formula or milk, but still learning how to drink from the sippy cup.

There are many different kinds of sippy cups so if one doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to try a different one.

Don’t Give Them Another Choice

It is easy if they start fussing about wanting a bottle instead to just give in and give it to them. 

This is not a good practice because it just reinforces to them that if they refuse the sippy cup, they can get their bottle back.  

It can be worrying that they are getting less milk than they should, but if a child really wants the milk or water, they will drink from the sippy cup. 

Starting out slowly also helps with not withholding too much of their liquid intake.

A good example is what happened to us with my son on the way home from a park one day.  He was fussing, thirsty for some milk and all we had was a sippy cup.  

We figured just give him the sippy cup with milk and what do you know – he drank the whole thing!  We never looked back from that point on.

Once they get used to drinking from it, it’s important not to flip flop between the two!

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

… keep on trying!  It’s important to continue to offer the sippy cup more and more often.  

When kids are old enough for sippy cups, they are also generally old enough that they are going to drink if they are thirsty and eat if they are hungry.  If they really want it, they will drink it from the sippy cup.

It’s also ok if your baby still wants a bottle at certain times for comfort purposes, like naptime and bedtime. 

Those are the toughest times to make a transition with anything because it’s the time they seek comfort the most.

If you can accomplish switching from a bottle to a sippy cup during most of the day, that is a great accomplishment!

What helped you transition your little one from a bottle to a sippy cup?

Switching Your Child to a Sippy Cup

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The transition from a bottle to a sippy cup is a tough one for children and adults!  These tips are the best ways to get rid of the bottles and transition to the sippy cup! #sippycup #parenting

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transition to sippy cup

13 thoughts on “How to Transition From a Bottle to a Sippy Cup”

  1. The soppy cup challenge is a real one. James takes to the Contigo straw type sippy cups, but he throws them constantly! He actually broke one this past weekend. One day we’ll all look back and smile fondly. At least that’s my hope 😂

  2. What great tips! I really thought this transition would be difficult but the second we started the switch, our little one quickly started refusing her bottle all together.

  3. Oh my gosh I forgot how hard this transition is! I have 4 babies, youngest is a 10 month old but my oldest is 12. Starting over on all things baby here and it’s amazing everything you forget!

    1. I know what you are saying! My two little ones are only 2.5 years apart but with some things, it’s like I completely forget what I went through with my 4 year old!

    2. Definitely understand… oldest is 22 years old and I am working with a 1 year old now…..BIG BIG BIG difference….what was I thinking……🤔😂😂😂😂but I wouldn’t change a thing

  4. i swear somedays i def need help ha and it can be tricky from a bottle to a sippy cup but i remember my little guy actually was pretty tolerable! you got this mama!

  5. These are great tips! I started giving my daughter a sippy cup with water to start out. She can carry it around and drink when she wants, but she’s getting more used to it and it seems to be helping the transition!

  6. Pingback: 5 Tips to Help Kids Start Talking - Dresses and Dinosaurs

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