Current guidance states that bottles are not recommended for children aged over 12 months. It is important for children to learn to ‘sip’ from a cup rather than to ‘suck’ from a bottle. This development can help to support the strengthening of different muscles in the mouth, which in turn can help in the development of speech. Prolonged use of bottles and dummies may have a detrimental effect on this important development.
Extended bottle feeding may also have a negative impact on dental health. Drinking from a bottle can mean that the sugars present in milk stay in the mouth for longer, which can then lead to an increased risk of dental decay.
Don’t worry if your baby hits 12 months and they are still using a bottle, this can be a slow process so just keep persevering and they will eventually get the hang of using a cup. Maintain a good dental hygiene regime by brushing gums and emerging teeth, avoiding sugary drinks and food, and offering plenty of water to drink.