As you progress with solids, your baby will be thirsty at meals times. Offer your baby some sips of water during the meal.
Before 6 months
Exclusive breastfeeding or formula milk
Help your baby learn to sip and not suck. Introduce a lidded free-flow beaker with two or three small holes. This is a new skill so you may want to hold the beaker and gently tip it so your baby gets small amounts at a time. Over time they will learn to hold it themselves. Non-spill (valved) beakers are not recommended as your baby does not learn how to sip.
From 7 months you can start to decrease the amount of milk you give your baby as they start to eat more solid food. Outside of meals you can continue with breastfeeding/bottle feeds (approximately 600ml/day) until 1 year of age. During meals offer sips of water from an open cup. Some babies find the doidy cup as a good transition to the open cup. As your baby masters the beaker or cup you may want to offer milk feeds in this instead of a bottle. When out and about you can also start to offer water from a beaker.
From 1 year, your little one no longer needs a bottle. Continued bottle use is associated with tooth decay and may delay speech development.
TOP TIP: Be prepared learning to drink can be very messy!