Home > Babies and Toddlers > Babies > Feeding Your Baby > Bottle Feeding > How to Bottle-Break a Child

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

How to Bottle-Break a Child

Pediatrics Expert Advice from Shari Nethersole, M.D.

Q: My son is 18-months-old and I would like to try to bottle-break him. I would like some advice on how to do it in a proper manner. Also, how long does it take to accomplish this?

A: This is a good time to try to get rid of the bottle. There are a few different ways to do it, depending on how many bottles he's taking a day, how attached he is to them, and his temperment. If your son is still taking three or four eight ounce bottles a day, it would be very hard to just stop suddenly. I would recommend that you get rid of one bottle (the one he's least interested in) and then wait four or five days before getting rid of the next one. Keep dropping out one bottle every four or five days until you are finished. The last bottle (usually the one before going to bed) is often the most difficult to stop, and you may have to help him learn another way to settle down before bedtime (this is a great time to begin a bedtime routine of reading a story). While you are cutting back the bottles, you should give him milk in a cup at his meals and snacks.

If he's only drinking one bottle a day, you may be able to just stop it, without much of a fuss. If you think it will be a difficult thing to give up, you could try the gradual method with the one bottle. In other words, if you normally put eight ounces in the bottle, try putting in six for a few days, then four, then two, and then stop all together.

More on: Expert Advice

Shari Nethersole is a physician at Children's Hospital, Boston, and an instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She graduated from Yale University and Harvard Medical School, and did her internship and residency at Children's Hospital, Boston. As a pediatrician, she tries to work with parents to identify and address their concerns.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


8 Epic Emoji-Themed Crafts, Activities & Recipes
Check out the best emoji crafts, activities, and recipes! They're perfect for an emoji-themed birthday party or anytime you need DIY (and screen-free!) summer activities for kids, tweens, and teens.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme!

10 Free Summer Learning Worksheets
Print these free printables for preschoolers and kindergarteners to help your child's mind stay sharp until September!

Ready for Kindergarten?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks