The Effects of Not Weaning a Toddler Can Be Detrimental

Weaning a toddler from the bottle can sometimes be a challenging and frustrating process. This is especially true if you have a willful child who is overly attached to their bottle and sees it as a security object. This attachment often grows with age as the child sees it more as a security object and less as a way to eat or drink. The younger you are able to begin to withdraw the bottle from a baby the better the end results will be as this will often prevent that security attachment from developing. Once this security attachment is formed it is often difficult to break.

Weaning a toddlerMany pediatricians recommend that you begin to think about taking away the bottle at around the age of six months for most babies. By introducing the cup at this age the child learns to drink from something other than a bottle and often by eight to nine months the baby is often willing to give up the bottle completely with the exception of bedtime. If your baby is one that sleeps through the night by this age even bedtime bottles may be eliminated by this age.

One of the key reasons that the process of weaning a toddler at such a young age is recommended is because of the negative effects a bottle can have on a baby’s health both physically and emotionally. In the physical aspect there are several issues that can develop with prolonged use of the bottle. The two most serious can include tooth decay and other dental problems as well as the possibility of obesity. As a child begins to form teeth the motion of sucking on a bottle can become detrimental to their health especially if the child is one that carries a bottle around all the time. This can cause the teeth not to come in properly thus creating numerous other problems. When a child routinely takes a bottle to bed with them it can also cause tooth decay especially if the liquid given contains sugar because it settles on or around the teeth in effect causing the teeth to decay at a fast rate. Excessive bottle feeding at this late age can also lead to obesity because of the caloric and sugar content of many beverages including fruit juices and especially drinks such as kool aid or the like.

The emotional aspects of a child of this age continuing to use the bottle consist primarily of the development of security attachment. As the child gets older they see the bottle more as a familiar object that makes them feel secure and less as a way of obtaining nutrition. As the child progresses in age this attachment grows making weaning a toddler increasingly difficult over time.

If your child is over the age of 8-10 months you should seriously consider beginning the process of taking away the bottle or at the very least reducing the number of bottles your baby consumes each day in an effort to preserve not only their health but their emotional state of mind.

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