An open top or straw cup should be appearing at meals and snacks around 8 or 9 months to help prepare baby for this transition. If you missed this opportunity, get started now by filling the cup with an inch or so of liquid so that your baby can learn and practice using it. As baby masters the cup, decrease the amount of liquid offered in bottles, dropping the mealtime bottles first and leaving the nap and evening bottles last. Prolonged use of the bottle is associated with excessive weight gain, limited food variety, and delays in speech development.
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