Your baby’s first couple of years are filled with changes. Transitioning your baby from one step to the next is always exciting. However, moving on to the next milestone can also be confusing. Deciding which bottles or cups to use can be a difficult decision. Have you seen the baby bottle and sippy cup aisle at the store? There are SO many choices. You may not know it, but which bottles and (especially) cups you choose can impact your baby’s oral development. Keep reading to learn what our doctors recommend.
Baby Bottle Basics
You may start your baby on bottles from the very beginning or choose transition to a bottle after breastfeeding. Every baby has different preferences when it comes to choosing a bottle. And the oral development impact of which bottle you choose is less important than making sure your baby can comfortably drink from it. We recommend trying out a few different kinds of bottles to see what your baby prefers. Did you know that they even make bottle sampler packs
so you can try different styles?
Different bottles have different features for your baby’s specific needs. There are bottles that are made for breastfed
babies, bottles that help with colic and gas
, and bottles for parents who pump breastmilk
. Also remember that bottles come with different nipple flow options. Make sure to read the age-recommendations to make sure that your baby gets the appropriate flow of milk when they drink. Always sterilize your bottle parts before the first use. Clean well with high heat between feedings to prevent bacteria build up. It is recommended that you start the process of weaning your baby off bottles around their first birthday. Your baby should be completely bottle-free by the time they reach 18-months to prevent any impact on their oral development.
Baby Cup Considerations
Choosing the right cup for your baby or toddler has just as many choices, if not more, then choosing a bottle. But when it comes to choosing a cup, it’s important to consider your baby’s oral development. Sippy cups are generally the easiest way to transition a child from a bottle to a cup. There are sippy cups made specifically to help babies learn to drink from a cup. Look for learner cups
or training cups
when first making the switch to sippy cups.
One very important thing to know about sippy cups is that most of them promote improper tongue placement. Prolonged use of sippy cups can lead to orthodontic or speech problems down the road. That’s why it’s important to switch to an open cup or a straw cup as soon as possible. There are tiny baby cups that help your baby to learn to drink from an open cup
. (And boy, are they cute!) Most likely though, you’ll find that straw cups will be the least messy and most convenient. Look for a weighted straw cup
with handles for the easiest transition.
Best Choices for Your Baby
As you know, there are countless options when it comes to choosing bottles and baby cups. Remember to take your child’s individual needs into consideration when deciding what to use. Making sure that the bottle or cup is safe to use and clean is always the most important part of feeding your baby. If you’re ever worried about the type of bottle or cup you’ve chosen, feel free to bring it to your appointment. We’re happy to check it out and help in any way that we can!