Owen is officially 14 months as of this week, and I still can’t believe we have a one year old that’s walking and babbling like a little man. We weaned him off his bottle just at one year old and I got so many questions from you guys asking me to share what we did and how it went.
I meant to sit down and do this earlier, but the holidays got the best of me and I ignored all forms of work until we got back. Even now I’m still transitioning back into our normal routine.
Out of all the milestones and things that come with a baby’s first year, this one was the toughest. Getting him to eat solids was fun, tough at times, but he’s only getting better and better at that! What I wasn’t expecting with weaning him off the bottle is how emotional he’d be!
So, mamas, be aware that your baby might be upset, but stick with it! Within a few days, he had mastered it and I packed all those bottles, including the drying rack, away! It’s nice to have my counter space back, ha!
Weaning from the Bottle at One
Before We Weaned
Before we officially weaned Owen, we’d started him on sippy cups and straw cups. Usually we’d put water in them, and sometimes formula, but usually if there was formula in them, he’d throw them on the ground or refuse to drink it. We kept it up with the water and he was great at drinking water out of his cup!
We started with these cups, but eventually he lost interest in them and now loves these weighted straw cups. He struggled with the straw cup at first, I don’t think he understood that if he sucked on it, he’d get milk, ha! Instead, he’d just gnaw on the straw.
If you haven’t found a cup your little one likes, just keep trying. We went through so many different ones before we learned that he likes these straw cups best.
Switching to Whole Milk
Everyone has their opinions on whether or not babies should drink cow’s milk, and that’s your choice to make. We decided to give Owen whole cow’s milk because he doesn’t eat that much dairy. I think he’s the only baby that doesn’t love cheese. He does love yogurt, but we don’t have it every day. He’s also a long, skinny guy, and I think he probably needs the extra fat that comes from whole milk. I know he won’t drink it forever (I hate milk and don’t eat much dairy), but it’s working great for us now! We usually buy Maplehill or .
When we first made the switch to milk, we did half milk, half formula in his bottle. I didn’t want him to have too many changes all at once. We started this the 2 weeks before he turned one.
Weaning the Nighttime Bottle
We picked a day and started weaning Owen from the bottle, a little bit at a time. I started with his nighttime bottle—I knew the morning and night bottles would be hard, but decided to do it at night and not start our morning on a rough note.
The first night as rough. He was not into it, cried a lot, spat the straw out and batted the cup away. We eventually got him to drink some while we were reading, but he didn’t drink all of it.
The following morning, I gave him his bottle, and the rest of the day, he got his straw cup with either water or milk in it. The first few nights were tough, but he didn’t seem to mind during the day. After about 3-4 nights, he was used to it. By the end of the week, he was a pro and didn’t even seem to notice anymore!
Weaning the Morning Bottle
Last thing that was left was the morning bottle. After a week of nighttime sippy cups, I switched out his morning bottle for a sippy cup. He wasn’t happy. He did the same routine, fought it for a couple of days, and then gave in. Several days into it and we were done!
Hide your bottles: a reader suggested this! If they see them on the counter, in a drawer, wherever, they’ll get upset. I packed them up and kept them out of sight! He did find one bottle nipple and walked around sucking on it, haha!
Go slow: every kid is different, so don’t feel like you have to go cold turkey. It totally works for some kids, but not for others. Do what feels right!
Be consistent: Kids are great with routines. When they know what to expect, they’re happy, when things get disrupted, they get upset. Which is exactly why this transition is hard! But, keep being consistent with giving them their new cup. If you go back and forth and there’s no consistency, they’ll get confused and frustrated.
Try several cups: Every kid likes something different. Case in point, the box in Owen’s daycare classroom has so many different types of cups in it because every kid likes something different!
Be patient: Easier said than done, but all these transitions are tough for your baby and often you! Be patient, it will pass and eventually you’ll look back at these days as a blip!
This is what worked for us when weaning Owen, but I’d love to hear what works for you!