Introducing a Cup
You should begin encouraging your baby to use a cup at the same time you introduce solid foods.
This is normally at around six months. When your baby reaches one year old you should start weaning them off the bottle completely if they are not already.
Most Mums start off buying a 'sippy cup' which has a lid and spout to suck on. Try to get a 'free-flow' cup instead of a non-spill one. 'Free-flow' cups are better for babies' teeth and encourage you baby to learn to sip.
At this age they should be keen to take control themselves so allow them to do this as much as possible - let them hold the cup themselves and drink at their own pace. As they are drinking from the cup it helps if you praise them to let them know they are doing well.
As well as milk you can offer them water or diluted fruit juice.
As your baby becomes used to drinking from a cup you may consider getting rid of any bottles. Don't do this too early on though before your baby is ready as they may get upset.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that babies fed exclusively on breast milk for their first six months will develop most healthily. For infants who are not being breast fed, formula is recommended as suitable alternative.
Visit our Breastfeeding Section