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Moving From Bottle to a Sippy Cup

One of the hardest stepping stones for a mother and her baby is moving on from the bottle to only a sippy cup. It is hard to know when the “right” time is to make this change, however most experts say the earlier the better. As a child approaches their second and even third birthday, they have formed an attachment to the nipple that gets harder to break, and is based more on comfort than getting nutrition.

moving-from-a-bottle-to-a-sippy-cup.jpgChances are, if you introduce the sippy cup to your baby with anything but juice, or another sweet drink in it, he will not be in a hurry to drink from it. Nipples are much easier for the baby to get formula or breast milk from, than a sippy cup. Most pediatricians will tell you NOT to give the baby sweet drinks in a sippy as a way to get them to drink from it because it can lead to the baby ONLY wanting to drink juice from that sippy cup, making the switch to formula or breast milk that much harder.

One way to break your baby from their bottle is gradually. Cutting down the number of bottles you give during the day and only offering sippies. This works well for some mothers, if you have the patience and time to do it. Most will start by cutting out a bottle at a time for a week, normally starting with the morning bottle and offering just a sippy cup. Every few days or week cut out one more feeding till you only offer a bottle before nap and bedtime as a way to help their baby relax and fall asleep. Eventually cut out that nap time bottle, teaching your baby to fall asleep without the comfort of the bottle, hopefully making it easier to remove the bedtime bottle as well. Some mothers believe this it he kinder, easier way to wean from the nipple to the sippy cup.

The other way to break your baby’s habit is cold turkey. Cold turkey however requires a lot of patience and willpower on the part of the mother. When my daughter was 9 months old I decided to wean her off the bottle cold turkey. At that point she had no interest in the sippy cup. To avoid confusion I took away the pacifier at the same time.

If you are going to wean your baby cold turkey, you have to be prepared. Stock up on your baby’s favorite food and snacks. However, don’t be surprised if your baby doesn’t want them at first. Have a sippy of formula or milk waiting for your baby and available to your baby at all times throughout the day. Offer him the sippy, and food, but do not give in when he cries for the bottle. Don’t be surprised if the first and even if through the second day your baby refuses the sippy cup and all most of the food you are offering him. Remember, if your baby gets hungry enough he will eat. At this point it is a battle of wills between you and your baby. The first day will probably be very hard for both of you. There will be a lot of crying and screaming from your baby. By the end of the day you will be exhausted if not screaming to yourself as well.

The second day will go about the same, hopefully by the evening though your baby will have started to give in a bit and be willing to drink some from the sippy, and eat the other foods you offer. By the time the third day comes to a close, the worst is over and your baby has probably completely given in. The sippy is as welcome to them the morning of the forth day, as a bottle would have been, and they are back to eating and drinking as normal. This cold turkey method works well for most, if the mother has the willpower to stick to it.

There is no “right” way to wean your baby off of the bottle. It is best to make the decision based on your family and on their needs, planning appropriately ahead of time.

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45 Comments on "Moving From Bottle to a Sippy Cup"

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[…] from a bottle to a sippy cup can take a bit of time, but if you arm yourself with the right one, the process will go a lot more […]

4 years 3 months ago

Switching to a straw cup helped us drop the bottle. And then I bit the bullet and tossed the bottles.
It did suck for a little while, but it got better.

4 years 3 months ago

My child is almost 17 months and we are on day our 4th day of only shippy cups and its been okay less naps to no naps. Refusing the shippy cup. He doenst uses a pacifier so he sucks his fingers. Last two nights hes gotten up crying but then went back to sleep. But now hes refusing a shippy cup. So I think the struggle never ends. I offered a bottle and he refused so he must not be thirsty.

Good luck struggle with this topic is very hard especially b ecauses each Chile is different.

[…] first page I came across was Babies Online-Moving From Bottle to a Sippy Cup. They offered two scenarios. Gradually weaning and cold […]

7 years 4 months ago

I have a 13 month old and She literally drinks a bottle all night. I have tried water pacifiers and she will throw them. We do not get any sleep if she does not have her bottles. I have a lil cooler now in her bed with bottles. I need some serious advice. I hate taking them away cold turkey because it is her only security. She does not drink a bottle except for when she sleeps. Is there any one else out there that has this problem .

7 years 4 months ago
First I wanna say how nice it is to finally find somewhere to post about this topic where mothers aren’t criticizing and ripping each other down constantly… Now my saga, I have 16 mo old bg twins. My son has been off the bottle since he was 11 mos. Little trouble getting him to drink milk from sippy but found if I warmed he drank it yuck! My lil girl I’m still struggling with. At our 15 month checkup my pediatrician said that if they aren’t off by 15 mo and the bottle is they’re comfort thing waiting until two… Read more »
7 years 5 months ago

i have a 16mth old son who has been off the bottle for 4mths now but my problem is that he sleeps with sippy cup at night & during nap time & he only likes a certain brand of cups he doesnt like gthe hard tops & for the last three days we had him in a hard top cup but he wont drink it & im scared hes going to lose weight or get sick for not drinking milk….any help out there??

All American Soldier
7 years 6 months ago
My 2 year old son took a lil while to break from the bottle. What I did was backed off 2 bottles have one the morning and one before bed then during the day he drank Motts apple juice from the sippy cup. Then I started putting chochalte milk in the sippy cups which brought me down to one bottle a day. Have been doing this process for a lil while and now he drinks everything from a sippy cup juice, milk, chocolate milk, water you name he drinks it out of a cup. So try chocolate milk it works… Read more »
8 years 1 month ago

We recently weaned my 1 yo daughter from a bottle and it was much easier than i thought it was going to be. She’s breastfed so she didn’t get many bottles at home (I’ve never even seen her with a bottle). But at the sitter’s she wouldn’t take the milk in a sippy cup, only her juice. We tried a number things, like different style cups but what I finally realized is that she wouldn’t take warm milk in her sippy but would take it cold. Once we made that switch, it was smooth sailing.

8 years 1 month ago
My son is 2 1/2 and I’ve been so afraid to take the bottle away. We tried it once when he was 18 months old and he became completely dehydrated over a three day period until I gave in. I’m SO AFRAID to try this again. Seeing him in pain breaks my heart!! Reading all these comments does make me feel better. My mom tells me I drank from a bottle until I was 4 and when I grew my adult teeth I had buck teeth (really bad overbite=AWFUL) and had to have braces. Do you think having the bottle… Read more »
8 years 3 months ago
I’m a nutritionist at WIC and it seems like a lot of parents on here are quite worried about their little one cutting back on milk since they refuse to drink it out of a sippy. I would advise you to not worry so much since kids naturally go through periods of weird food aversions/cravings and if they get less milk for a week it won’t hurt them long-term. Just keep offering milk, limited juice (6 oz or less a day), and water. Kids 1-2 only need 2 servings of milk or milk products each day to meet their calcium… Read more »
8 years 3 months ago
I am glad that I am not the only one also…my daughter turned 2 2 weeks ago and we are at the 48 hr mark. We gave in because she has been so lathargic it was hard to even bear. I was more worried because she also had open heart surgery in Oct. I think I will try the other way to take one bottle away a day. We cannot afford to let her lose any more weight as she is on the Enfagrow (higher calorie) formula. Fortunately, her twin took the sippy really easily and had no issues. Once… Read more »
8 years 3 months ago
In response to Sarah’s comment about sippy cups looking so different, there are sippy cups that look like bottles. Nuby has bottles that come with a nipple, straw top, and sippy top that you can change out. We have tried them many, many times with our 19 month old, however, and nothing has worked. We’re on day 2 of cold turkey (third time trying since she turned one), and she has not had anything to drink. Seeing other people having the same trouble makes me feel a little better, but also scared about having the strength for the days coming… Read more »
8 years 3 months ago
I’m on day 2 of weaning my 2 year old boy. I have been hesitant since the last time I tried when he was about 18 months old. He is in the process of getting tested on the autism spectrum and I didn’t know if he’d be able to comprehend what was going on. His speech therapist said get rid of those bottles, so here we are. He went six days drinking NOTHING last time we tried this. I am really, really hoping it will not take that long, but I think we’re going to be in for a long… Read more »
8 years 3 months ago
This is day one of going cold turkey. My daughter is 16 months old. She is now and has been drinking juice from her sippy cup for 5 months. She refuses to drink milk from her cup. She has not drank any milk all day. She ate breakfast, drank some juice, and ate some snacks. She cried and screamed often times during the day. I went through this when I took her pacifier. I hope this goes as smooth. After day one with the pacifier, we were good. It’s good to know that a few more days may be all… Read more »
8 years 4 months ago
I’ve tried many times to get my now 16-month-old daughter to use her sippy cup. Once I tried for a long, long time but she screamed bloody murder for hours so I gave in and gave her a bottle. I think cold turkey is the only solution for her because otherwise she knows she’ll get her bottle eventually anyway. She’s smart. It does seem cruel on the surface but I understand that if you continue giving a bottle after a year it could cause dental problems. Change is always difficult, especially for a baby who’s used to doing things a… Read more »
8 years 5 months ago

It’s not punishment! and it’s certainly not traumatic!

Cold turkey doesn’t leave any confusion; where offering a bottle occassionally does.

I was glad to read ALL thees comments. My 12 month old is on day 8 of cold turkey – the first two days went well, but the rest of the week she’s being stubborn, but she eats so much, and so well, that I’m not worried – the wet diapers tell me she’s getting enough, and will eventuall start wanting more, too.

D. Black
8 years 5 months ago

Why do it this way which can be quite tramatic when there are several other more gentle ways to wean a baby. It might take a little longer, but it’s not as if it’s a bad habit that the baby started, it’s the way he was taught to feed and now you are basically punishing him for what he was taught, by you, to do. Go for a more loving way please!

8 years 6 months ago

I’m weaning my 1 year old gradually. For a long time now she has only had bottles at nap and bed time. We took her nap bottle and switched it for a cup last week and tonight is her first night of sleeping at night with a cup. She is in her crib SCREAMING at the top of her lungs. When we switched her nap bottle she did the same thing. It only took a couple days to get used to it. Hopefully she will be just as fast this time! Hang in there mommies!

8 years 6 months ago
Tina & Beverly Hey Everyone, My name is Beverly in Im on day 1 so far so good. When Bailey ask for bottle I say wheres ur cup. She is 17 months old, Shell go find her cup and it is working so far. But her mama (Tina) is the one who I think Im going to have a problem with cause this is her daughter she never had and believe me when i say Bailey is very spoiled. So I have taken ALL bottles OUT OF HOME. And threat to call Wal-Mart.. LOL. Well keep everyone updated on the… Read more »
8 years 6 months ago

My 9 month old daughter has been getting a sippy cup for about 2 months now. She still gets her bottle but does drink out of her sippy cup when it is givin to her she is my first child and im hopin taking away the bottle will kinda easy since she already knows and likes the sippy

8 years 6 months ago

I have a 2yr old son and have read all your stories I thought I was the only one having trouble glad to see that im not I am going to try this starting today with the cold turkey and let you know how it goes

8 years 6 months ago

On the second day of cold turkey) here…i am so concerned that my son (who will be one in a week) is so hungry and constipated but he refuses to take his milk in the sippy cup and he is just eating bits and pieces of food….going to keep trying to hold on strong!!!!!! any words of encouragement or advice is most welcome.

8 years 8 months ago
Hi All! I have done the same thing with my 2 older children and will do the same for my 10month old. At. 1 year old, for for weeks I replaced 1 bottle of formula with 1 sippy cup of milk. This takes about a month to do, but switches from bottle and formula to sippy cup and milk at the same time. My older children had no problems with this. Hopefully my baby will be as easy, lol. Also, I found giving baby sippy cup of water as soon as he can hold it, just to play and practice… Read more »
8 years 8 months ago

I have given my son a sippy occasionally (when I was slacking on cleaning bottles, a sippy would be all I had to give him) since he was about 6 months. He is a year old in a week and I decided to go cold turkey, to my suprise I am having absolutely no trouble so far. For only having tried the sippy like a total of 8 times in 6 months he is doing so great! I am relieved.

Jerri Shaw
8 years 8 months ago

Note to above… By the 10th day, the bottle was completely forgotten. So glad to have him off the formula & no more bottles… =)

Jerri Shaw
8 years 10 months ago
We are in day 7 of cold turkey — bottles to sippys & formula to whole milk — Our 1-yr-old Son is getting moodier each day… He comes to me in the evenings, looks on the end table, doesn’t see his bottle & throws back his head and screams! He climbs up to me, takes 3-4 sips of milk, then gets back down for 5-10 minutes to play, then repeats. This went on last night for 3 hours… It is so obvious he wants me to give him his bedtime bottle, but I’m not going back now. There must be… Read more »
Emalie Cobb
8 years 11 months ago

I am on my third day with my two year and one year old switiching to Sippys… My one year old is giving in, but my two year old just hacks the sippy at me…. Has anyone had this much trouble switiching? Its like she will never drink milk again, when before she drank it all the time from the bottle.

8 years 11 months ago
I went cold turkey with my son yesterday. He had his LAST bottle at 9am … he did not nap ALL day since he didn’t have his bottle which unfortunately he started using it as a pacifier. He was SO tired he fell asleep by 9:30pm with not much of a problem… HOWEVER, he woke up at 10:30pm CRYING, YELLING, ETC. I felt sooooo bad and wanted to give in after 1/2 hr of him crying and being irritated. Thankfully my hubby encouraged me to stick with it! And I did!! Thankfully he slept through the night! Second day, he… Read more »
8 years 11 months ago
Yesterday I decided to try taking away the bottle at lunch time and just offering the sippy cup. At first she threw it down from the highchair, but I kept putting it back and eventually when she was playing she would come up to it and take a sip or two and then leave it. I have also been giving her yogurts and cheese throughout the day to give her some of the nutrients she was missing by not drinking the milk. Today I decided to go cold turkey on all three bottles. She was a little fussy in the… Read more »
9 years 4 days ago
My daughter turned 1 yr old last week and yesterday morning I decided that it would be her first day off the bottle (cold turkey). She’s been drinking water from the sippy cup for a few weeks now and has always been a very good eater…carrots, cheese, brocoli, peas, green beans, chickpeas, all meats, yogurts, whole wheat bread, rice, whole wheat pasta, fruits…I’ve made sure to get her used to eating very healthy foods…no sweets, juices or deserts….she’ll have the rest of her life to get into those bad habits…She use to drink 17-19oz a day on top of her… Read more »
9 years 4 days ago

This is good info. My 13 month old stil prefers the bottle but is at least drinking apple juice from the sippy cup. One good thing is that he no longer eats baby food, not even Gerber Graduates, but loves big people food!

9 years 25 days ago

im going to try this cold turkey thing tomorrow with my son, he is 1yr old now. but the only thing im concerned is, im gonna put whole milk in the sippy cup, which both are new things to him..will he accept?…

9 years 27 days ago
I started bottle breaking my baby at 15 months. The worst of it was day one, nap time. 20 min. of crying later he gave up and just went to sleep. I did notice a big increase on his eating after that. Just remember not to ever give in because you can actually make the process worst. If your baby is refusing to drink from the cup you can try to take the valve out like I did, because it makes drinking out of it easier, or you can try the new straw cups which is my sons favorite thing.… Read more »
Sherrie's mom
9 years 29 days ago
Dear all, the first day i took away her bottle was yesterday. Surprisingly she took well to it, but today, day 2, she refused milk all day. Maybe only 1 ounce before she stopped. She usually drinks about 16 ounces of milk a day on top of the other food – so you can tell how angry she is! Yet, she still fell asleep without her bottle. I’m concerned about her calcium and other vitamins.. but as suggested I will feed her more yogurt and keep on offering her the sippy till she gives in. It’s painful and she threw… Read more »
Reese's Mom
9 years 1 month ago

Day 1 of switching to sippy cup cold turkey for formula. So far Im exhausted and so is she. Im giving her all the food she wants and offering the cup every hour. hopefully in a few days she will take the cup peacefully!!!!

9 years 1 month ago

well im takeing the battle i mean bottle away in the morning if i wasnt 8 weeks pregnet with baby number 2 and so drained already i would hsvr taking it away today from my 19 month old i can do it only gotta make it at least a week lol

9 years 1 month ago
This is day one of going cold turkey, but I gave in after a few hours of her not taking any milk. I didn’t give her any other food either and she was just fine and playing. Normally she will finish 7oz in a bottle 5mins. I will try again tomorrow. But she is the type to just not take any milk if it is not in a bottle, she will still eat other foods to get full, my concern is that she still needs her whole milk. My daughter is 14mos and down to 2 bottles a day, one… Read more »
9 years 2 months ago

I am so glad I found this site. My husband and I are on day 2 of going cold turkey and only offering the sippy cup and our 1 year old is not a happy camper to say the least. I’m glad to know that this will hopefully get better by day 3 or at least by day 7. I don’t remember it being this hard with our 7 yr old. 🙂

9 years 3 months ago

i’m always updated with my baby’s weekly development and it really helps a lot!,thanks!!!

9 years 3 months ago
my son is on his first night and he is screaming won’t take the bottle of water he is so stuborn and yelling for his “na na” (bottle) i am not giveing in i know he can eat theres nothing stopping him this is not fun this seems hopeless but me and his dad and our son will get through this just got to get to day 3 or day 7 we have the will power to do this its just heart breaking as a parent …..please e-mail me any suggestions on what to do i have tryed everything and… Read more »
9 years 6 months ago
My 16 month old son and I are going on our 7th day… just yesterday he started to take a few sips from the sippy cup (Advent magic sup) but only 2 ozs total for the whole day! He would always ask for his “bab-ba” (bottle) when ever he wanted one but the first day I gave him his milk in a sippy cup and told him he wasn’t having anymore ba-ba’s he never asked for one again, I even tested him and ask if he wanted one, he’d just ignore me. Now I hand him a “ba-ba cup” (milk… Read more »
9 years 8 months ago

I am on day two and boy is she mad at me. This is not my first child and have gone cold turkey before, but even I went online to get reassuance that we will push through this. 🙂

9 years 9 months ago

I am on the morning of my second day and have no idea what is in store for my 1yr old and I. The 1st day was so emotionally draining for the both of us. I am doing the cold turkey thing and it is not easy. I hope it gets easier…

10 years 7 days ago

I was so glad to know that by the fourth day of going cold turkey that maybe, just maybe, things may be getting back to normal! I’m going into my 2nd…

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