It takes a lot of trials and head-scratching to determine which is the right bottle for your baby. When you go register at the baby store, you become overwhelmed at all the choices you have. Glass? Plastic? The ones with inserts? Slanted body? Wide mouth or narrow? The questions keep going. Once you’ve figured out which bottle you love the most, register for it, and receive your stock, it’s time for your little one to arrive! Once they’ve figured out how to drink their meal from it (whether it’s through formula or expressed milk), they love it! It’s their life line. They can’t live without it.
This goes on for most of their first year of life, and then they aren’t babies anymore. Now that they are toddlers, it’s time to turn their life upside down. Throw away everything they know–bottles, pacifiers, jar food. Give them that shiny new sippy cup and finger foods and put them to bed without that paci. They’ll adjust, right?
Ok, if you believe that, you either have lost your marbles, or you’re raising a robot. It takes time to adjust to a new lifestyle, and it even can be traumatizing to some babies. That was our situation…
Nick used a bottle since he was a few days old. I pumped milk so I could get rest. He stopped nursing at 9 1/2 months, so he was strictly on bottle after that. When he turned a year old, we knew he was too attached to the bottle for us to take it away. When he got to 15 months, we lessened his intake of milk drastically to 3 bottles a day (morning, nap, bedtime). He was getting his nourishments from other foods, so it wasn’t so important how much milk he got.
We decided to attempt weaning at 16 months. We made a special trip to Babies R Us and found a great cup with a soft spout. We got home and immediately tried it. He was already drinking out of the big sippy cups with juice and water, so we thought he would agree with our idea. BIG MISTAKE. He thought the milk was poison! He wouldn’t even swallow what was in his mouth!
We decided to take the bottle away all together. Offer the cup of milk to him. If he didn’t want it, then he didn’t get any. This went on for a week and a half, NEVER taking one sip out of that cup. It was only after a painful tantrum did I decide he wasn’t ready. We could put up with the fussiness and the tantrums, but this particular one came with physical pain to him. I didn’t want my child to have to go through that. My husband and I decided right then and there to let him lose the bottle on his own time. (Our pediatrician agreed.)
That decision proved to be the winner. A couple of weeks ago, my husband boldly offered the milk in his special cup, and Nick took it! We haven’t looked back since. Each parent has their own way of getting solutions, but I feel this is the best way for us. Nick is the kind of child that stops doing something when he wants to. He weaned himself off nursing, and never had a problem with formula or whole milk. I know in time he will grow out of other things too like the pacifier and diapers. He is in charge of his destiny, and we are along for the ride.