How to wean your baby from the breast or formula

Getting a baby to drink from a cup

Readiness for weaning varies. Some babies do it willingly between 9 and 12 months of age, when the sucking urge naturally decreases. Others need the satisfaction of sucking until age 2.

Introduce your baby to a cup during the latter half of the first year. Start with a few sips of juice or water in a nonbreakable cup. When the baby is willing and able to use the cup regularly, try putting milk in it at mealtimes. If he resists, skip it for a while.

If weaning from the breast, cut out one feeding; a few days later, eliminate a second, then a third, and soon. Substitute a bottle if the baby is under 6 months old: try switching to a cup if he’s older. Your milk supply will gradually decrease. When weaning from the bottle, follow the same procedure; eliminate the bedtime bottle last.