Weaning – Time for a cup

Learn about Dental Hygiene from Dr. Valerie Archibald and her team!

Dental professionals are sometimes asked “what is the ideal time to wean my baby from the bottle?”

Weaning a baby from the bottle is an important milestone for their proper oral facial development. Based on a study and the collaboration of a multidisciplinary Ottawa public health (OPH) working group, OPH now recommends starting to wean babies at nine months with the aim of having them bottle free by 12 months.

Why wean at 9 months of age?

Using a bottle for longer than the recommended 12-months may lead to detrimental effects such as:

  • Increased risk for early childhood tooth decay
  • Oral facial development problems
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Compromised nutrition
  • Delayed development of feeding skills


Weaning baby from the bottle

Did you know?

  • At 6 months of age a baby is ready to start to learn how to eat solids and drink from an open cup
  • At 9 months of age you can start weaning baby from the bottle
  • By 12 months of age you can celebrate being bottle free

Sippy cups do not help a baby learn how to drink from an open cup

Introduce an open cup when your baby

  • Can sit up without help
  • Show an interest in solid foods
  • Can eat from a spoon by him/her self


  • Wean gradually
  • Start with the bottle of least interest
  • Offer breast milk or formula in a cup before every bottle feeding\
  • Give an open cup instead of a bottle
  • Establish a routine for mealtimes
  • Tell your baby he or she is doing a “great job”
  • Use only water in the bottle, for all other liquids use a cup
  • Store bottles where your child can’t see them
  • If you choose a sippy cup, fill with water only