Bye Bye Bottle & Binky!

OK, I never said the word “binky” until this post … but it worked with the alliteration I was going for, so forgive me.

I love the group-think aspect of Facebook. A few weeks ago, Maya transitioned to cow’s milk and my pediatrician had recommended putting it in the sippy cup from Day One. Well, she threw a hissy fit and would.not.drink. Period.

So after much crying, we gave her a bottle, which she sucked down like there was no tomorrow.

:-/

I knew by our 15-mth appointment, we’d want to be able to honestly tell our ped, “Yes, we’re off the bottle and binky.” Because we KNOW he will ask.

She had done fine ditching Giraffe (her paci) cold turkey a month ago … but we knew the bottle was not going to be quite as simple.Whereas she always easily moved between bottle and breast from day one, she never seemed to care when we stopped nursing; it was me who was upset about it! But the bottle was a constant for her, and I knew it’d be a challenge and didn’t think going cold turkey would be fair to her.

I asked my Facebook friends tips for weaning their babies off the bottle. The responses were as varied as the parents, but a few tips really stood out.

1) Transition slowly, taking away one bottle and replacing it with a sippy.

2) Only offer the sippy at meals; save the bottle for bed-time and/or morning (i.e., comfort feedings).

3) Drink from a sippy yourself, so baby — who wants desperately to mimic you anyway — will want to do it, too.

We tried all of these and I am happy to say, she had her last bottle Monday night. Woot, woot!

This is how we did it (and I sure don’t claim to be an expert; this is just what worked for us).

First, we’d “drink” from sippies so she could see us doing it — best advice ever!

When we initially made the transition to cow’s milk, we did it cold turkey — out of necessity; we were done with the last pouch of formula! We gave her milk in her morning and evening bottles. We also gave her a bottle of  milk for daycare for a couple weeks, but encouraged them to keep giving her water in her sippy cup and offer her milk in the sippy, though she rarely took it.

Then for the next few weeks we gave them an “emergency” empty bottle to use if she refused milk in the sippy cup (they provide meals and milk). Most days she would only take 1-4 oz of milk from the sippy (ugh), but since she had 6-7 oz in both the morning and evening, I wasn’t too concerned — apparently 16-24 oz of milk is what they need at this age.

We’d always try offering the sippy in the morning and at night and she’d do OK at night … but in the morning, especially, she would fight us and so we gave in time and time again … until yesterday.

Yesterday was the turning point.

After turning beet red and throwing her sippy at Luis and I repeatedly and kicking her little legs and shaking her sweet little noggin “no”and wriggling herself from our arms … she finally caved and gave in to hunger. She drank the whole 6 oz cup! And at dinner, the same … and then this morning, we had a repeat hissy-fit … but, lo and behold, she drank the whole 6 oz cup! Go Maya!

Like with Giraffe, we’re going to hide the bottles so she can’t see them … out of sight, out of mind. And if we only offer the sippy, that’s all she will know to expect. It seems like tough love, but there are plenty of studies about how drinking from a bottle past the age of one can lead to obesity and teeth problems and a whole host of other things … so while I think she wasn’t ready to be done at exactly age one … I do think now was a great time to make the transition.

In the morning and at night, we try to still have her snuggle with us so we get ample cuddle time and so she doesn’t feel left out in the cold, bottle-less and snuggle-less — but it’s more for my own needs than probably even hers; I love our snuggle time! Sadly, though, I don’t know how long that will work — baby girl wants to MOVE! But for now, we’ll keep trying.

I must have told her about a million times this morning how proud I was of her and she looked pretty damn proud of herself, too! (She is clapping in the pic — sorry it’s so blurry!)

Anyway, I just wanted to say, the past two months have been huge for Maya: she cut her first teeth, began walking, ditched the binky and ditched the baba. She’s becoming such a big girl!!!

♫”Sunrise … sunset … sunrise … sunset … swiftly flow the years ….”♫

How about you? Was bottle-weaning hard for you? What sippy cups have worked best for your child?

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