Re: Should I introduce the cup early and ditch the bottle?
MamaG, the slower flow bottles are always better. It means that your baby will be taking less from the bottle, and will want to nurse more when you're together. Sometimes, a baby who takes a faster-flow bottle nipple will start to get impatient when breastfeeding, as mother's breasts don't always flow as fast. For this reason, as well, it's better to keep baby on the slower flow bottle nipples.
Your baby is probably ready to try a cup as well. You'll have to help hold the cup, and teach baby to suck from it. Some mothers find that it's easier to teach baby to use a sippy cup if you take the valve out first. It's messier, but easier for baby to learn. You can also start using an open-top cup if you prefer. You'll still need to help baby hold it and regulate the flow.
Would you consider waiting longer than four months old to start solids? Recommending starting solids at 4mos is outdated advice; the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend that solids wait until "about the middle of the first year, or when baby shows signs of needing solids". For a more in-depth discussion of solids, http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBsolids.html
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