Introducing Sippy Cup to Breastfed Babies

Updated on January 14, 2011
J.T. asks from Saint Louis, MO
7 answers

I'm at a loss since I only nursed my firstborn for 4 months. We gradually replaced bottles with her formula in a sippy cup during the day and the last bottle to be weaned was the nighttime right about her first b-day. Well, my new twins are 8 months and only get one bottle a day (before bedtime). I nurse them the other three times. Right now I only give them a sippy cup during mealtimes that has water in it. I hope to nurse until close to their first b-day (and no more!). When do I need to start them on the sippy cup with breastmilk in it? Curious as to what other moms do. Thanks!

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answers from St. Louis on

I switched my oldest over to the sippy cup instead of bottle at around 9 months after his well-visit with the pediatrician, who recommended trying it in order to be off the bottle by a year. My youngest never took a bottle (that's a whole different post!), took a sippy with water at about 8-9 months, refused breastmilk in it, but at a year took whole cow's milk just fine in it. Best of luck!



answers from St. Louis on

I BF my twins until they were 14 months. I started weaning them at 12 months. I never weaned to the bottle even though I would sometimes feed them breastmilk in a bottle before I started weaning. A couple of months prior I froze bm to help me wean. So the first week of weaning, I just fed them a lunch of babyfood and yo-baby yogurt (no breastmilk) to replace that BF time. Then the next week I replaced an afternoon feeding (they BF every 3 hours and would drink about 8oz at a time) so I would put 6 oz. bm and 2 oz. whole milk to replace one feeding. Then the next week I would do this same mixture and replace the mid-morning feeding (in addition to the mid-afternoon feeding). I was still BF early morning and last at night before they slept.

Then the following week, I changed the mixture to 4 oz. bm and 4 oz. whole milk and then the following week to 2 oz. bm and 6 oz. whole milk. Then by the time it was all whole milk, I stopped feeding them in the morning and gave them cereal. I give them a combination of cinnamon life cereal and crispix cereal with a chopped up banana in it. They love it. I couldn't get them to eat oatmeal, otherwise I would have had that as their breakfast.

I took until 14 months to completely wean them, mainly for me - it was a nice closeness to do it at the end of the night. Then we were taking a 3 week trip to visit family in another state, so I thought it would be easier to just stop the nightly feeding and I went to a "snack" about an hour to 1 1/2 hours after dinner with the milk that they didn't finish at dinner and some crackers, etc.

I should mention that I stopped BF in the middle of the night at 7 or 8 months and they slept through the night without any food. (I shouldn't say they sleep through the night, because they still wake up if they can't find their pacifiers and I have to go in there to get it - I'm working on that).

I did the mixture of breastmilk and whole milk because my SIL said she stopped her daughter's formula at 12 months and gave her whole milk straight-away and her daughter got constipated so bad. My boys never got constipated this way. Also at lunch I give them a mixture of V-fusion juice (for more added veggies) and water (it was half/half but now that they're 20 months, I'm doing 3/4 juice to 1/4 water). Hope this helps!



answers from Chicago on

I breastfed my twins until they were 15 months old (good for you - I know how challenging it is to nurse twins). I never put breastmilk into the sippy cups. I just gave them water, and once we had the okay from the doctor we put milk in there. We never had any issues.


answers from Dallas on

First off, congrats on BFing twins!!! That's awesome!!

My LO has taken a sippy with water since about 6 months old. I've never put any breastmilk in it (b/c I don't pump). I wouldn't worry too much about still giving them breastmilk in the bottle, since you plan on weaning at a year. My ODS took a bottle until ~18 months (he refused to drink any kind of milk in a sippy, but would drink water out of one - I didn't want to waste breastmilk so I didn't offer it in a sippy). But if you would prefer to give them bresatmilk in the sippy, just offer it to them and see how they do. Follow their cues.

When they turn a year you can start offering whatever milk you'll transition them to in a sippy if you want. Maybe if it's a different type of milk then they will take it better in a sippy vs bottle.



answers from Little Rock on

If they are able to drink water from a sippy cup now, I would switch the bedtime bottle to a sippy cup now. Just curious, is the night time bottle breast milk or formula. I had to give my second child a bottle of formula every night because I could not supply the amount of breastmilk he demanded at bedtime. He was then and still is in the 97% in height and weight. He will be 5 on the 31st of this month and is already wearing a size 7 and weights 58 lbs. In fact, he only weighs about 8 lbs less than his slim 10 year old brother. My 10 year old is wearing a size 9. I keep warning my 10 year old that he had better be nice to his younger brother because one day his younger brother will be bigger than him. My oldest son doesn't believe me. I estimate that my oldest son will be about 5 ft. 11 in. and that my youngest son will be about 6 ft. 2 in.



answers from San Francisco on

I would do it now. By a year, I always do away with bottles and use sippy cups for everything.



answers from Honolulu on

Anytime you want.

But.. once they hit 1 year old... they can have whole milk already. The 'milk fats' in it is an essential nutrient for brain development. It is recommended until 2 years old, at least.

So, you'd need to transition them to that too.

I breastfed both my kids. I gave them sippy cups as soon as they were able to drink from it. I only put water in it. My kids, nursed until they self-weaned. Meanwhile, they were drinking other things, too.... from sippy cups, like water. Never juice. Too young.

Also, some babies will not.... take 'breastmilk' or milk... from a sippy. But only from a bottle. This is because a bottle has a 'nipple' on it, and it is instinctual in a baby, that milk is from a nipple. So not all babies will drink milk from a sippy. My kids would not. For example. Each kid being different.

But... for the 1st year of life.... breastmilk/Formula is a baby's primary source of nutrition... NOT solids and not other liquids. This is per our Pediatrician as well. And to feed on-demand...

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