In the fifty eight days since I wrote this post (yes, I am counting), Annabel has fallen off the wagon and is back on a bottle. Like, ALL the way back. I don’t know what happened. Well, that’s a lie, I do know what happened. One day she just straight FREAKED about using a sippy cup. It was a bad day teething-wise. I offered her all 87 cups we have in our house, and she screamed “no no no” to all of them. Finally out of desperation (and hours of crying from both of us), I gave her a bottle. I figured the bottle made her mouth feel better. Whatever, I was just trying to make myself feel better. I didn’t realize that giving it to her that one time would undo the months I’d spent getting her OFF the bottle.
I am at my wit’s end you guys.
She chews on the nipple so I KNOW it has something to do with her teething, but she won’t chew on anything else I offer her. But it’s just gross. I spend half my waking hours scrubbing milk stains off the carpet, the couch, clothes, the dog. And somehow I am missing spots because I can smell bad milk…it is so rancid. It clings to my nostrils. Given a choice of spoiled milk, baby poop, or dog vomit…well, I wouldn’t pick the milk.
She’s been waking up at night (I want to punch teething right in the face), and she’ll pitifully wail for her “bopple.” Someone in our apartment (not naming names) gives in…because if not? Screaming. WAILING. Neighbors banging on the walls. Pandemonium. ANNdemonium.
I don’t know what to do. Let her scream all day? Because this is no exaggeration, she WILL scream all day. And I don’t think our neighbors would dig that, either (just a gut feeling I have). Do I have to start the whole weaning process over again?
I am personally considering drinking a couple bottles a day to deal with this mess I’ve created.
a precious scene with Tia Leah, RUINED by that mother chucking bottle
Jana from Germany says:
Just a thought. Against milk stains you can start and water down the milk in the bottle. Over a course of two weeks you can slowly add more water and after that its straight water. And milk is only in a sippy cup. So she can have her bottle, that helps her with her teeth and you have less stains. If she wants milk she has to take the cup. Just my thought.
That was my thought too. Give her water in the bottle and she can chew on that. You could also just give her the nipples to chew on, like a binky. She’ll grow out of the bottle eventually, I wouldn’t worry that much about it.
this is exactly what we did with our daughter – she had her “baba wadder” for years and i didn’t care one bit since it didn’t hurt her teeth and wasn’t messy. she stopped about 4 1/2 years old and never did it in front of people – and has no recollection of it now at 13 years old. it saved our sanity!! try not to sweat it
That is genius…
If you’re not going to throw the bottles away, only put water in them. All 3 of my girls went through a few months of hardly drinking milk because they didn’t want a sippy. They get over it. Now they drink milk out of a cup with a straw.
I was just going to say this!
Nothing but water in the bottle. Take Annie to the store and let HER pick out the cup she wants to use for milk.
Cate Beers says:
I thought the same thing! Water only in the bottle! Let her chew them up to bits and all that stains her clothes is water. good luck!
Madi G. says:
Is she chewing the heck out of the bottle nipples, thereby resulting in the leaks? I’ve never, ever had a problem with bottles leaking. Odd.
Honestly, I think you need to pick your battles. This is one that I’d let her win. It’s not hurting her, Heather. She’ll outgrow it. I promise. They always do.
Teething sucks. If it’s the one thing that consoles and comforts her, then let her have the damn bottle. You’ll be happier, she’ll be happier and your neighbors will be happier.
At least wait until teething is over. Clearly, she was able to be transitioned, but she backslid due to the teething. So it seems like it’s a bad time for this, no?
The previous commenter recommended watering down the bottle. But if your kids are anything like mine, they’ll freak the hell out. I tried it. I did it very, very gradually. And at one point, they just realized that their bottles weren’t right. They pitched fits and insisted on new bottles.
So I gave in. It wasn’t worth the battle.
And sure enough, two months later, one of the twins randomly decided that sippy cups were “cool.” Sister, of course, copied her. And they shunned bottles. They did it on their own. When they were ready.
You need to wait until Annie is ready. Really. I promise. She won’t be 16 and sucking on a bottle. And the teething won’t last forever either. It will all end in due time.
I mean, she’s not even 2 years old! Bottles are still totally acceptable for babies! If she was in high school, well, that would be different.
It’s just not a big deal. It was my husband who put it into perspective for me. He said, “Why do you care what they’re drinking out of? It’s not like they’re drinking out of the toilet — the bottle is not going to hurt them.”
Indeed, why did I care? I’m not sure. When he put it like that, I realized how stupid and unnecessary this power struggle really is. And it *is* a power struggle.
I mean, think of it like this: What if Mike were prohibits you from using knives, spoons and forks. You can only use chop sticks. That’s annoying! And it’s totally arbitrary! Why should he be able to tell you what utensils to use? It doesn’t affect Mike if you use a spoon. Nor does it harm you. You’d tell Mike where to shove his chopsticks, right? Annie’s fits are her way telling you the same thing!
I guess my point is that it’s a battle that’s just making everyone’s life more difficult. I’d ask yourself “Why do you care so much?” When I asked myself that question, I couldn’t come up with a good answer. My husband was totally right, IMHO. It’s really not a big deal. I’d totally chillax on this one.
I complete agree with this whole comment! Well said.
Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner!
I totally agree. Honestly, Annabel won’t go to kindergarten with a bottle but, if by some chance she does she will only do it once. (Unless of course she’s a fashionista which may make the bottle ‘all the rage’ thus making you the unpopular parent but I digress…. And I am kidding!)
Anyway, my middle daughter took a paci for a long long time. Like 6. Don’t judge. It was a major soother for her but by then it was only at home and only in your bed. Eventually she got tired of having to be in her bed so *she* decided she was done. Less nashing of teeth between the two of us.
And speaking of teeth…
Everyone told me how she would have to have braces.
Guess what? She’s got the straightest teeth of all of them.
I say, it’s a bottle, not a gun.
A gun, I’d take a way.
A bottle, not so much.
chris hill says:
I agree – don’t sweat it – she will give them up in her own time. If the milk is leaking from the nipple go back to the smaller hole nipples (the ones for infants). She will have to suck a lot harder and that might not make her as into the bottle. I tried watering the milk down but that did not work for us. Good luck but don’t worry – at least she is drinking milk!
I totally think self-weaning is fine. My mom did that with us and even though I still enjoyed a bottle of strawberry milk (don’t judge) after school while watching cartoons, I decided when I was fully done with it. Ok so I was like 9, but whatever. Didn’t hurt me any and I only still had it b/c it made drinking my milk while upside down on the couch much easier.
Wow I love this. Where were you 2 years ago? Lol
Barefeet In The Kitchen says:
First of all, I say try water in the bottle a couple times. Heck, if it’s just a bottle thing, there ya go. Maybe even skip the sippy cup and let her drink milk from a regular cup at the table with you. My sister does that with her ONE year old twin girls and it totally works. Freaked me out the first time I saw it.
However, if she throws a fit over the water, I say do this. Right here. Listen to Madi, her whole post rocks. Oh yeah, and you might want to pick up a new nipple for the bottle and see if that helps the leaks.
Totally agree. My son is 14mo old and has NO interest in sippy cups. I have tried every brand,every style and he still hates them. My husband is against giving him the bottle because he read somewhere that babies should be weaned by their first birthday(this is his first child.) I still give him his “ba” because that’s what makes him happy. I know he will wean when he is ready so I don’t stress myself out over it. She will get over them eventually!
Totally agree with Madi – she’s spot on. Annie’s still a baby – not even two. maybe she still needs a bottle, especially during difficult times like illness or teething.
I do not envy you.
The only thing I can suggest is maybe breaking the teats of the bottles so the flow is the same speed as a sippy cup? Then you can do the ‘oh no, Annie! Look what happened, it’s BROKEN! Lets use your cup until we can buy some new bottles at the store” and hope she falls for it. Unlikely, I know but hey – desperation breeds desperation, right?
I like this idea!! Maybe even have Annie be the one to throw the broken one in the trash.
Madi G. says:
I speak as the mom of 4 kids and a former nanny to more than 2 dozen when I say “yeah right!!” to this idea!! LOL
It’s a wonderful idea. But that’s not going to work for most kids this age. They’re only going to understand “it’s gone” until they want another bottle — and then they’re going to pitch a fit when you try to pass them a sippy cup instead of the bottle.
A nice idea, but I cannot envision this being effective for a child Annie’s age. Perhaps for an older child of 3 or 4, but not 18 mo. No way. You’ll end up with a pissed off kid and money wasted since you broke her bottle.
As a mum to 3, and a 5 year childcare worker – It can and has worked. It worked for my 1 year old.
I like this idea too! A very good friend did not break her daughter from a bottle until she was over 2 and the girl (now almost 9) will not drink milk. She only had milk in the bottle and when it got taken away, she refused to drink any milk at all.
Break her, do it now! Annie is seems so strong willed-the younger, the better.
Thankfully your friend’s daughter is not a baby cow though, and actually doesn’t require cow’s milk to sustain her, so she’ll be okay!
I don’t know about ‘breaking’ Annie.
Sarah Graham says:
What Madison said The only reason why I’d change is if she stops eating food because she prefers milk, or if there were some other medical issue (lots of milk drinking can cause problems with iron absorption). If it’s not harming her, I wouldn’t worry.
I would have to agree with Madi G. on this one….she is still very young and they are not hurting her at this point.
I didn’t wean my kids until they were ready and showed me obvious signs they wanted a sippy cup (and they were all nearly 2 before that happened) and out of my 3 only my firstborn took bottles because he was a NICU baby(He was breast and bottle due to supply issues).
So save yourself a ton of stress and Annie a ton of crying and just wait this one out but the water is an interesting idea as well if you go with water only in her bottle let us know how it works out for you pretty please
It’s interesting what experts have to say about how babies are fed. For example, WHO and UNICEF recommend breastfeeding until age 2, and the AAP says to age 1 and then for as long as mutually desired. Bottle feeding seems to get different recommendations. I don’t know why babies are supposed to be bottle weaned by age 1. I suppose there’s the issues of caries caused by bottles, but it seems like most babies are not emotionally ready to wean at 1 year.
Just cut bigger holes in the bottle nipples and eventually, if all she wants is to chew it, then she WILL use a sippy cup to drink from.
Good morning! I agree with the other posters. Pick your battles and let this one go for now. She won’t go to kindergarten with a bottle but if it is what she needs now, let her have it and relax. Who cares what anything one thinks? If it works for your family, it works. My son had his bottle until at least age 2 or older (I cant remember) and had pacifiers until age 3 and a crib until 4 and I dont care because I waited until he was ready and not what some expert said. When he was ready, he just gave all these things up with out a struggle (but it did help to have the nuk and diaper and crib fairy come – not all at once!- and he left his nuks for example by the front door and the next morning there was a toy.
Wishing you peace!
Have you tried these cups? (They have a soft, silicone spout- much like a bottle.) These were the trick for us in transitioning from bottle to cup. They even make one that is bottle shaped.
Madi G. says:
I don’t get these.
The spouts *feel* like a bottle nipple.
One even looks like a bottle.
They serve the same purpose as a bottle.
Why not let the child have a bottle if that’s what she prefers?!?!
Does is really make you feel better to have a child drink out of one of these cups? Really? (I know, this sounds a bit snarky, but really — it’s an honest question…I’m trying to understand this.)
I’m with you, Madi. Not to be rude at all, Eileen, but are these really any “better” for babies than bottles?
Oh yeah, we have ’em. She does like these and they WERE the trick for the original transition. Plus? SO EASY TO CLEAN!
ITA…its not that big a deal, but to save yourself the trouble of cleaning cleaning cleaning, just use water. Maybe throw some ice in it if she’s not a big water drinker. Or, what worked for one of my girls was skipping the sippy cup altogether and letting her drink out of water bottles. She thought she was all big and stuff b/c she used what mommy and daddy did. Just a thought. But honestly, dont beat yourself up over it…seems this is how she soothes and the poor kid is in pain.
My son LOVED bottles of water with ice in them. He thought he was so fancy and grown up, just like Daddy He called them “iced tea ba ba’s”. You should have seen the looks I got when people overheard him asking for that in public! What? You don’t give your kids iced tea in a bottle??
Dont worry! It will happen…..I know you have every sippy cup under the sun, but have you tried the NUBY brand? They are the only ones that worked for my girls to get them off the bottle. Some have a soft silicone straw, or a “nipple-y” top. I started with the sippy nippy and then transitioned to the same brand with a straw after about a week. Made it so much less stressful. Good Luck!
I agree completely with Madi G. Babies have a strong urge to suck, and if you were nursing, chances are you’d still be nursing her. Annie is saying, hey, I NEED to have a bottle. It’s different from a cup in many ways. And if it comforts her and urges her to relax, then right now it’s magic for both of you. No need to hustle her along so quickly. Soon the babyhood will begin to disappear and she won’t want it at all. You might be able to have her drink her bottle in a special area, and make sure you get it back once she’s finished with it. That way your concerns could be met, and she’d be allowed to remain a baby (a teething baby at that) until she’s ready for the next step.
Completely agree here. Especially on that her babyhood will soon begin to disappear, so enjoy it now, soak it in and let her have a bottle and still be a baby when she needs it. I so miss those days and my youngest is only 4 1/2.
I also completely agree on getting the bottle back once she’s done. I think the big concern with bottles is that some kids just suck on it all day and then the milk or juice just sits on their teeth. Not good. Maybe once she’s done with the milk, take the nipple off to let her continue chewing on it.
And if anyone gives you a hard time about her still being on the bottle, just know you’ve got a whole list of supporters out here in blogland.
If she insists on using the bottle, then insist that she sit at the kitchen table and drink it. If she won’t, then give her the sippy cup.
I like the idea of making her drink her bottle at the table. I agree you need to pick your battles, but if you give in because she’s crying you are teaching her that throwing a fit gets her what she wants. So, ultimately, you need to decide whether or not you want her to have it. If you ultimately don’t care – then give it to her. But if you want her on a cup, hold your ground! And as far as night waking goes – it sounds like she needs a couple nights of not getting her bottle to sleep through the night again. By chance is this something you can explain to the neighbors? I know neighbors aren’t always friendly. She doesn’t need the nutrition at night and it sounds like everyone is losing sleep.
setting the rule that you eat/drink at the table can save you from constant clean up now and later. I let my daughter wonder around with the milk in a cup with a straw and she would drop it everywhere: couch, carpets – it would leak. Now, if she wants it, – she needs to sit down at the table, she was not cooperating for awhile, but now, it’s a routine.
My daughter loves her paci, i anticipate a battle later on to wean her off of it, but right now she is 23 months old, so i think i’ll wait – way too stressful right now.
I am one of those that goes with “they’ll do it when THEY are ready.” I know that dentists don’t like little one’s to have bottles of milk to go to sleep with because the milk sits in their mouths & can cause problems with their teeth. To avoid this and if Annie just flat refuses to go to bed without the bottle, try & see if you can get Annie in the routine of milk can only be done before bed & then we brush teeth. After teeth are all clean, nighty-night bottles can only have water because that is the special, magic night potion of some sort.
Have to give all parents with little ones mad props. My two are grown & out on their own now & I look at people with little ones today & just watching them makes me tired! I think lord how in the world did I manage this all on my own. LOL
I got myself off the bottle at 3 years old when my little brother was born. I figured, he’s the baby, he can have it. Now the pacifier, that was a whole different thing. I was well over 4 and me and my pacy were BFFs. My mom started to worry about the damage to my teeth and tried to get me off of it by putting mud on it, salsa, gum, etc. I would just pull up a chair to the sink and rinse it all off and pop it back in my mouth. Finally, she took my pacy and, in front of me, she smashed a roach with it. She tried to give it back and I refused grossed out by the horror I just witnessed. I mean, it was genius what she did and I applaud her on her cleverness. However, I have been scarred by this. Roaches = me screaming. Well played, mom.
I have no clue on how to get Annie off the bottle. Hell, right now, I want a bottle full of chocolate milk. Sending you hugs though.
Give her vanilla soy milk, it has a really sweet smell and doesn’t smell rancid when soaked into things! I have the same problem with my 2 year old biting the nipples. I haven’t tried to take her off yet because her bottle and blanket are the only things that make her lay down and relax. My son gave up the bottle at 3 when I told him it went down the drain to see its mommy. He believed me and from that point on no bottle and he potty trained really fast!
One of mine nursed until she was two and the other kept a pacifier until she was three, so obviously I didn’t get too concerned about weaning from what brought comfort. I do like the idea of making her sit in one place for a bottle. If she’s not wagging it all over, you won’t have the milk stains which is the main problem. I’d keep offering a sippy cup but not making a big deal either way. If she sees that this is important to you, and she’s anything like my little angels, she’ll resist just for the sake of being ornery.
I hear you. My daughter insisted on bottles until about 2.5 yrs old. I never fought it, I always told myself that “you never see an adult that is still holding a bottle because their mom let them have it for too long.” I was dropping her off at daycare one day and the lady said… “Ummm, Amanda? Can you stop packing her bottles and use cups?” SO, I literally had to be told by daycare to stop! When I did, she was fine. Once in a while, when she is super tired and cranky she asks for a bubba. We have 1 in the house, and every few months I give it to her as a treat.
Hang in there Heather
From my personal experince, tough love works like a charm. I just ignore the temper tantrums, and he finally gives in (sometimes it can take hours). After a couple of times of him realizing that he will not get what he wants, he gives up trying. We have a child that completely sleeps through the night, doesn’t use a pacifier, and is a great eater. It really seems to have worked for us. Also, you may try some ear plugs.
Earplugs were a must with my firstborn, lol.
Kandi Ann says:
I read on Daddyscratches.com that if adults had to deal with the pain of teething that its been proven we would have to be hospitalized. sooo.. Also maybe have a bottle area? Tertia only let Adam and Kate have the Dummy (years ago) when they were in one specific place. Thats all I can think of for now.
So I tried to ween C off the bottle at 18 months. It didn’t work. So he got one at night before bed. It was a comfort thing, a little cuddle time. Then when he was 2 1/2 he got a flu bug which meant no milk. I took that opportunity (I know, kick him when he’s down) to stop the bottle altogether. And (for whatever reason) it worked!! He did say “No baba” in a sad voice for the next few weeks….and that was that. I totally thought he would regress when we had the baby, but has no interest. Good luck with everything. This parenting stuff is a mother fucker.
For me, this is a battle that I would pick – not out of fear that she will go to kindergarten with a a bottle, but because it makes life really hard. It is time and the time for “weaning” has passed. If it’s too hard to get rid of them, then cut off the tips of nipples or only put water in them. They are no longer a source of nourishment, but comfort and they are inconvenient. If she tantrums, oh well. I have a daughter thats screamed for two straight nights for a bottle. I finally bought a fan for her room and closed the door, cold, yes…..You are the parent.
I think the compromise is the best idea. You can have the bottle, but if it has milk, you have to sit – or lay – still and drink it. No carrying it around the house. If you want to carry it around with you, then it’s water only. Even toddlers can learn that we don’t want to ruin our things and have to be careful. My niece once dribbled goat’s milk all over the backseat of my car in July. Yeah. I almost died when I opened the door the next day. I considered selling the car.
As for getting off the bottle on her own, we have a friend who has vivid memories of racing home from kindergarten to get to his bottle! Rare, I’m sure, but sometimes our littles do need a bit of a push. The trick is to discern when it’s a need and when it’s become a habit that can be abandoned. And that’s different for every child.
I was so worried when it came time to wean our son off his bottle. I was like you in the fact that if he was having a bad day I would give in the the cries and just give him a bottle. What helped is going from the bottle to the NUK brand cups with a soft spout. Unlike the one commenter above said, they are not like giving them a bottle because they have a soft spout. The spout is firmer than a nipple but has the sippy cup spout shape. I havn’t yet introduced the hard spout cups to him because why when hes doing great on these ones. Good luck!
I don’t have any advice. My brother is dealing with this same thing with my nephew. They are at their wits end too.
I hope you find something that works. Screaming babies and crying mamas are never a good mix.
I can’t say that I made a concious decision to take my child’s bottle away. Sippy cups always had better stuff in them like chocolate milk or Kool-aid (made with half the sugar) and his bottles only had milk. I let him choose and it was never an issue. As it was said above, pick your battles. Let Annie make some decisions also.
Ashley Monts says:
I’m so glad you posted this. I was just wondering if A was still doing the bottle thing. Because my Jaxon is as well. He is 1 month younger than Annie… BUT I like what your friend Madi says. I would be pissed if C would only let me eat with chopsticks.
I know exactly what you mean about the screaming/neighbors/etc…. I’ve been surprised that the police HAVEN’T showed up on my door step… I’ve thought for sure the nosey people next door would call them.
I guess I’ll wait it out. My hope is he’s not going to kindergarten with a bottle hidden in his backpack.
Good luck, keep me posted if you find some miracle that works…
Oh hon, hugs to you… I hate to admit it but my sons are almost 6 and get their night milk in a bottle … or ELSE.
I too have tried everything but nothing works (plus one of them has problems gaining weight and gets a special nutrition in his two night bottles that is half the day’s calories!). Apparently my brother in law had a bottle until he was in the 4th Grade. He grew up fine… oh wait. He is divorced. I wonder if it had something to do with the bottle… hmmmmmm.
Just kidding. I say let her rest a while and try again a little later. Over here in Greece, it’s ok to have a bottle for a while I guess because my friend’s 3 year old is still on it for milk so…
Hugs to both of you
My son went through a phase when he wouldn’t drink out of the billion and one sippy cups we had. I took him to Target and let him choose the one he wanted (Dora with pink flowers ) and then threw out the now useless ones. Mostly, I just want to say that teething sucks and I will be glad when this is OVER. Good luck!
I used the sippy cups w/ the silcone tops and it worked well for my daughter. I know how easy it is to give in to the kiddos (I have a 4 year old & 4 month old at home) but if you only offer her something to drink in the cup, at some point she will use it because she will be to thirsty to care. Hang in there!
my son just turned 3 – no bottles but he still has his minky (pacifier). he is my third, and the others did not have theirs so long, i don’t know what is going on this time!! i guess he is my baby and i just can’t bring myself to take the beloved minky away. our cutoff was his 3rd b-day and after our cross country road trip we took a few weeks ago – but both of those have passed and he still has the dang thing. i know we are just going to have to get rid of them all, but i just can’t bring myself to do it – yet.
Babies do have an overwhelming urge to suck. So if it’s not a bottle, then perhaps a pacifier. A child psychologist even suggested reintroducing the pacifier to our two and a half year old because she needed a comfort item. Her POV: that’s what orthodontists are for.
I totally agree with you about the milk. That’s really gross. You’ll have to put your foot down about switching to water if you keep the bottle. If you can’t have Annie screaming at your own place for a day or two while she makes a switch, is there another place you two can hang out during the transition? Your parents?
Best of luck!
Nancy Smego says:
I thought that’s a great comment about water down the milk until it’s suddenly just water in the bottle. Also, what if you give her just the bottle tops to bite on for her teeth but she drinks out of a cup? Hang in there. She won’t take the bottle to college. But the sooner off of it the better for her teeth. Poor baby! Poor Heather. Poor Mike.
If it is teething issues and she is wanting the bottle for comfort and to have something to chew on, you could try a few other things to see if she likes it. I have put licorice (whatever flavor she likes) in the fridge to get it cold and harden it some and then let my child chew on that as a teether. It worked great because she was getting a treat while helping the teething pain. We also tried not using a sippy cup but using a straw instead for the milk and that worked a little better for us.
It is not a big deal that she still has it.
we used these NUBY cups when they were done with the bottle but not quite ready sippy cups.
then came these – still use them for 3 and 8 yr old “baba’s” at night;)
I’ve heard that offering only formula in the bottle, but yummy things like chocolate milk, pink milk, and juice in a sippy helps. Of course, if she flings the formula filled bottle at your head and goes to the fridge and demands you to fill it with something more palatable, then……you gotta do what you gotta do.
There are so many thought and comments on this subject. Adn I’m not one to judge. My 4 year old still takes a “ba ba” (aka kids sport bottle with soft spout) at nap and bedtime. It’s the ONLY time she will drink milk, so I let it go. My 8 year old skipped the sippy cups and went from bottles to straw cups. Every kid is different. I was gonna suggest makint the bottle just water, like everyone else said. Worth a try. I did that with my daughter, she chucked the bottle at my head. As others suggested, you could try just giving her the nipples to chew on. And as others said, if none of those things work, is it worth the battle and screaming that will ensue? When I was working daycare we had a kid whose mom sent a bottle of milk to daycare wioth him till he was 5 years old, so you know she was giving them to him at home. Of course, we just poured the milk into a cup, and he drank it fine… again, I say, every kid is different… eventually she’ll give up the bottle one way or another.
Sheryl Macnie says:
Both my kids quit the bottle at about two years old, however, for the last six months before weaning the rule was only water at night as I worried about the milk staying in their mouths and causing tooth decay. They seemed fine with that, milk was ok but during the day when we could brush after t he bottle. They finally lost interest. My youngest actually decided that Mickey Mouse had stolen her bottle during the night, she told me this one morning,so I rushed around getting rid of all the bottles and that was it.
This is a hard one. And I really don’t know the answer. The only thing that I wanted to input was this- many of the commenters are saying to pick your battles and this isn’t a big one. Many of them chose to let their children continue to have a bottle. The problem with this is baby bottle mouth. Even if you are only giving milk in bottles, it can contribute to baby bottle mouth. That is my only concern. Good luck!
I have a friend who went through this and at nearly 3 years old they decided to try the “bottle fairy”. Their daughter helped them pack up the bottles, leave them on the porch for the fairy and then the fairy left a gift… something she had really been wanting. Believe it or not she never asked for a bottle again. They even have a new baby in the house and asking for a bottle hasn’t happened. This also broke the night time bottle habit. Annie might be young to understand this process but you never know! Hang in there!
My daughter will be 3 in September. She was okay with the sippy cup for everything after about 18 months and then when she started to get her 2 year molars she suffered a relapse to and was on the bottle again. We tried to just do water in the bottle and only milk and watered down juice in the sippy cup. She resisted at first and went on milk strike for like a day and then realized that was the only way she was getting it. We also gave her those little food chew sacks with ice in them to help her chew towards the back where the molars were coming in and that seemed to help. After about a month, I found a sippy cup with a taller silicone nipple lid and she switched to it from the bottle and then back to regualr sippy cups after about another month. I think it was a phase brought on by the teething.
Honestly, I wouldn’t sweat it too badly. She is not even 2 yet and she will go through little phases like this. Once day she’ll love one thing and then the next she’ll cry and say she doesn’t like it anymore. Girls are especially tempermental like that. You know moving on to the next biggest fad and all. I’ve got 4 of them and they try my patience as toddlers and as teenagers.
My younger one refused sippy cups so I just started giving him regular cups of liquid without tops and helped him drink it. He figured it out pretty quickly and I think he was younger than Annie. For road trips etc. he moved to one of those straw-topped cups. This only helps if it’s sippy cup aversion and not bottle dependency, which it sounds like it is. But now that he is 9, I look at your pictures and she looks so tiny to me — not too old for a bottle at all. We do get hung up on the pediatrician’s checkpoints.
Teething definitely stinks! Well, not the outcome but the pain involved. I have a 8 year old and a 3 year old and both had challenges.
We tried everything with the older one and never found anything that quite did the trick. Fast forward five years and we found somethings that help my daughter:
1. toothbrushes, she loves to chew on them
2. her “purple p” this thing is a godsend even for those horrible molars. It is officially called an Ark’s Grabber and you can buy it from Amazon. It is recommended by our pediatrician and also a speech therapist we consulted when we went through a biting episode. $6.50 You can throw it in the dishwasher.
3. motrin sometimes it is the only thing that makes her comfortable
As far as the whole bottle thing, we too had an arsenal of styles etc. Ultimately both my kids liked the throw away first steps ones. But what they really loved were their straw cups. Nothing appeals to my sassy 3yr old more than being able to act like the grown-up she thinks she already is. With the straw cup, she thinks she is a big kid. If I write an “S” on it, she really loves it.
“ANNdemonium” totally cracked me up. I think everyone has given you some really great ideas, and she is still little. She’s also big enough to understand.
Might be one of those things that you could use when you are moving to your new house. “The new house doesn’t like bopples, Annie…” You know when you are packing, you throw away old stuff so as not to move it with you. Maybe Annie could help you pack the kitchen stuff, and the bopples will be a thing that can get thrown out? Kids this age love throwing stuff away. Start with some things of yours, let her throw them out, and then go to the bopples…it might be worth a shot.
If you wanted to keep her on the bottle and felt some sort of pressure to get her off, I would say leave her be. But it sounds like it’s a real issue for your family. If the sippy is the problem, then skip it all together. Go right to a real cup. Yes, her milk intake will go way down at first, but she doesn’t need multiple bottles of milk for nutrition at this age. Water in a bottle to help her teething if you want, but if she wants milk she needs to come into the kitchen and use a cup. My son is the same age as Annie, when he wants a drink he gets his cup of water off the kitchen table, and has his milk with meals.
I agree with everyone who says that in their own time they will give it up. When my son was approaching 1 I started getting advice that he needed to be weaned off the bottle. I cringed at the thought both for him and for me…him because he loved his “babba” and me because I don’t think I was mentally ready for him to move on to the next stage. So i kept telling myself….next month we will take it away. Several months went by and I couldn’t bring myself to do it. But eventually HE made the decision to put it down and start using a sippy cup. He also did this when it came to going potty on the big boy potty. HE did it when HE was ready. For me I just didn’t want to be pressured by other people on how I needed to do things with my kid. Like people have said….you know she won’t be drinking a bottle forever because you don’t see kids in elementary school walking around with bottles. And on a sidenote…have you tried any of the holistic teething tablets? They worked wonders for us!
Have you tried using a nipple made for smaller babies? Like, newborn sized holes? She might get sick of how hard it is to suck out of those tops and give up on bottles. My daughter would ONLY use the Nuk sippy cups with the soft tops. Good luck!
i would let her have her bottles but continue to offer sippy cups. Maybe some cool Yo Gabba Gabba ones and maybe put something different in the sippies like ice water or gasp even diluted juice, V8, soy milk, almond milk etc. I dont think its a huge deal to have a bottle up to age 2, and she’ll probably decide on her own terms later on. Probably a comfort thing too with the teething. Many people have said pick your battles, which i agree with. If she doesnt show signs of giving it up later (or, continues to chew the nipples and make them leak) my thought on the matter is to take them away cold turkey, when you do decide. Otherwise they get mixed signals if they’re allowed bottle at say bedtime and not the rest of the day…they dont get that.
And when you do decide to stop them… you could do that whole routine of bye bye bottles and put them in the trash and get something “big girl” yada yada yada but i think the kids buy it sometimes.
If you were only feeling some kind of societal pressure to take away the bottle, I’d say let her be. But since it sounds like it is a real issue for your family, here’s my 2 cents (for what it’s worth):
If the sippy is the problem, then skip it altogether. They leak way more than bottles, anyway. My middle child is the same age as Annie (I think they’re only a few days apart) and he’s on a real cup. Her milk consumption will go way down, but they don’t need mulitple bottles of milk for nutrition at this age. Real cups stay in the kitchen, so my son gets his cup of water off the kitchen table whenever he wants a drink, and has milk with his meals. I don’t believe kids need to have a bottle or sippy cup within arm’s reach 24/7. If she needs the bottle to soothe her teething, then I would say stick to your guns and only give her water in it.
(sorry if this same comment shows up multiple times, I originally posted from my phone and who knows where that comment went?)
We had the same problem with my son (my oldest), he did not want to give up the bottle for anything! I nursed until he was 18 months old and then the doctor said to stop the bottles–I felt it was not nice to take both away at the same time, but then we were dealing with the messes and everything else.
The way we finally made it stop was to have the bottles disappear one night. The next morning he asked for one and we said they were gone, that the bottle fairy had come and taken them to give them to other kids. He went right to the cupboard where we kept them and sure enough they were gone. We had a hard couple of days of him asking and crying, but he got over it. (I had a harder time weaning my second one from nursing–you can’t exactly tell an almost 2 year old that the boobie fairy came and took her boobies away.
Couple of suggestions that I’m sure you heard before or have tried and didn’t work but whatever I’m trying to help here…
Give her an empty bottle to hold and/or chew on. Let her have it all day. But if she needs a drink, give her a sippy cup.
Put a single ice cube in a washcloth and wrap it with a rubber band so it looks like a little ghost you’d make and hang at Halloween. Lightly wet the head of the ghost where the ice is and hand it to her. If she chews on it it’ll ice her gums and also the rougher texture of the washcloth will help wear down her gums for teeth breaking through (or so I read somewhere). My kids loved Ghost Ice (catchy no?) for teething. I actually will still use it if they are sick and need help to keep fluids down. The other nice thing is that if it is left on the carpet or sofa it’s only water and you won’t have milk yuck anywhere.
Dont let her wander around with the bottle!!! Make her sit at her table. Allow her freedom to move ONLY with the sippy cup.
I’ve never understood the need to wean a child from the bottle before THEY initiate it. Give her the bottle; let her drink from it until she’s 20 if she wants. (She won’t.)
She’ll get to a point where she wants a cup. Does it really matter when that is?
Amy Collen says:
Wonderful advice, Holly! I wish that you were around when I was going through all the bottle weaning stress :). It is so true what you say!
I couldn’t agree more!!!!! When it comes to giving up the bottle, the pacifier and even potty training…..by the third child, I finally realized that it wasn’t worth the anxiety I was giving to myself. I just leave these things up to them. It gives them a sense of security and control. I wish I would have had Holly’s advice when I had my first:)
Yeah, I took the same approach to potty training. And my son, unfortunately, did not show ANY interest until he was about 4…which was very discouraging, and made me wonder if maybe I should push him just a little.
We did start talking about pottys, reading potty books, and giving him his own potty chair when he was 2…but I never pushed him to sit on the potty at all, or gave him any indication that I thought he was too old for diapers. He largely ignored the whole concept. Then one day — 4 years old! — he decided he was interested. And…”poof”…he was trained. It was almost that fast. Very little stress for anyone, including myself…so at the end of the day, I was happy with the laid-back approach.
His daycare teacher is a saint, fortunately; it may not be possible for everyone to be this patient. But if you can, I think it’s really easier on everyone.
Just my opinion, of course; and everyone should do what feels right to them. I just don’t understand why people feel the need to get all stressed out about things that don’t matter.
I put honey in my daughter’s milk when trying to get her to drink from the sippy. Then when she was used to it, I backed off on the honey. That’s my only advice, other than she WILL drink from a sippy if she’s thirsty enough, and no, she will not starve or be dehydrated. I ignore my stubborn daughter’s screaming, but I don’t have neighbors to contend with. I feel for you.
Amy Collen says:
I so feel for you right now, Heather. I went through an incredible amount of stress and worry with my first son over the bottle. He just had to have the right amount every day, I was so worried about it. All the time. He was also a micropreemie so that added to the worry. I felt like a bad mother for giving him the bottle and felt so guilty all the time. He never even held his bottle! I held it for him. I look back on it now though and realize that this was such an important bonding time for us that we both really needed. He didn’t transition to a cup until he was about 2 1/2 and that was only because he had started early intervention school. Now with my second son it was different. At a year I got one of those cute little sports bottle things (no sippy) and used that. It worked like a charm. Actually it worked with my older son too after a while. I know it is hard to see the forest through the trees in situations like this but it is true. Annie will eventually drink out of a cup, sports bottle, or straw. She will! Oh yeah, and don’t try to do the potty training and weaning the bottle at the same time. You need to just pick one battle for now. LOL! Also, you need to give yourself a little break too! We moms are so friggin’ hard on ourselves during times like this. Trust me, it will be okay and you are an AWESOME mom!!! Hugs!!!
I’ve learned one thing with three kids: pick your battles.
Despite what everyone says, she’s not that old to still have a bottle! There’s not much difference between a bottle and a rubber sippy cup with a stopper, so don’t beat yourself up.
However, I understand the frustration about the milk stains. Make a new rule, tell her she may have a bottle, but only in the kitchen, or somewhere that’s easy to clean up. Being confined will probably make her naturally choose to give up the bottle and you’ll kill two birds with one (less painful) stone!
But even if that doesn’t work….all children are different and working on their schedule is usually easier than battling them. So give it some time, and cut yourself a break!
Ok, this is so random…and I never let my 15monthold do this outside of the house because I’m sure I’d get stared at but I let my kiddo chew on the dropper of infant tylenol bottles… THE.BEST. It’s the only thing she’ll chew on when she’s teething…so maybe try that? It may look weird but it has the same consistentsy as a bottle nipple and there isn’t sour milk involved.
My little guy did the same thing! I would never let him do it outside the house either….my hubby thought I was nuts, but it was either that or he would chomp/chew on my nipple why nursing, so the tylenol dropper won!
*while, not why. Time for bed!
I would suggest bottles only while she is in her chair, strapped down or on your lap. And it is always harder for mommy to get over the end of the bottle thing than it is for the kid. Atleast it was for me. My daughter completely stopped drinking milk when we tossed the bottles. I freaked, the dr said its okay as long she eats cheese, ice cream, yogurt, etc. And takes vitamins. And still to this day (shes 3 1/2) she will not drink “white” milk. Only chocolate (of course!). And she only wants to drink water most of the time . She also will drink those yogurt drink things. And she is growing like a weed, so I think she will be fine. Plus she eats like 3 yogurts a day. Good luck, you will know when it is time to toss ALL of the bottles and she will too. Lisa
All she needs are some heels and she’s well on her way to being Suri Cruise! Wheee! Hahaha.
I kid, obviously. That being said, I have little in the way of advice. We took bottles away at 13 months (don’t ask why 13 months…it was our pediatrician’s decision) and simply just took ’em away. The first three days were…weird…they didn’t like the sippy cup all that much. and then I went out and bought 900 different kinds of sippy cups and on day three, one of them stuck…and that was it.
Maybe give it some time?
Maybe try some new sippy cups?
Maybe just go cold turkey?
Maybe it’s best not to take my NONADVICE?
So the real issue here is the teething right? Does no one use Ambesol? I realize it’s like crack for teething babies, but my daughter had 6 teeth coming in at once when she was 18 months old (she was done teething at 18 months) and I used that stuff like crazy. That eliminated the pain for her and then she would chew on frozen teething rings. Ice also worked.
As for the bottle, I didn’t have this issue so I can’t really offer any suggestions there (and from what I’ve read in your blog, her will is going to be your problem when you want her off the bottle and she’s not ready). I have one bottle comment/example (and I realize it’s extreme and a parenting issue, not a kid issue). My neighbor has kid getting ready to go into SECOND GRADE that still uses a bottle – and not for milk, but for shit like Kool-aid.
you should try the Think Baby sippy cup- the nipple is very similar to a bottle but its more of a cup shape- kind of halfway between a bottle and a sippy- it really worked for my 2.5 year old.
I’d fill a sippy with milk and a bottle with water…then let her choose which she wants. That way you win either way, but she feels in control. (I didn’t read comments so I don’t know if I’m repetitive.)
for teething we used the netted feeder with an ice cube, that seems to numb them. When Rory had days she didn’t want a sippy cup, we used those nuby sippy’s that have the silicone spout. It’s “chew-able” to them, so it might help. Sorry lady. Teething is a nightmare.
I’m probably reiterating what everyone else says, but, I’d try water in the bottle. I know not all kids go for that but it worked for my daughter. She just wanted the bottle.
I read a few comments and diluting the milk out to convert to water. Once she is drinking from sippy cups along with “boppy” then have a ceremony…I’ve heard of other people doing this…taking the nipples and maybe a bottle and going to build a bear and putting it inside it. Talk the ceremony up before you do it-something about how the “boppy” fairy says she’s a big girl and wants her to use this instead. Maybe that might help?
My son refused milk from anything other than his bottle during the transition (he’d use a sippy for any other liquid though). I think it has a lot to do with comfort and milk is their form of comfort. For 12 months (or however long you kept your baby on the bottle), they got nice, warm milk from a bottle and it made them feel good. When they are in pain (teething, sick, etc), they seek that comfort. I wasn’t gung ho on stopping bottles, but I still offered him different sippy cups with milk in it and if he rejected them, I gave him his bottle. He seemed to like the Nuby sippy cups with the soft spout (not the one that looks like a nipple, but one that looks like a sippy spout, but it’s soft). He’d devour his milk from that. I noticed that he drank it just like he did a bottle…sucking until all milk is gone and not coming up for air. I think it has a similar release as bottles while other sippies don’t. He also chewed on the spouts during teething. They are super cheap cups so we just replaced as needed. He used those cups until he was 4 and now he’s 4.5 and drinks from a straw b/c he still likes to guzzle his milk. I guess my advice would be to give her the milk in her beloved bottle, but continue to introduce sippy cups through out the day to get her used to them.
A more important question, however, do your neighbors really knock on the walls when she cries??!?!?!
YES. Which is why we WANT TO MOVE. They suck.
Expat Mom says:
I had this problem. I’d weaned my 16 month old off bottles, along came the baby and BAM! Back on the bottle. For the next 3 years.
We eventually did the water in bottles and milk in sippy cups, too. My suggestion would be to wait until she’s done with the teething, because right now is NOT the time to be fighting stuff, she’s already feeling yucky. Once she’s done with all that, pick a plan and work it. I like the watering down the milk thing, but if she flips, you can just say milk in the sippy, water in the bottle and that’s that. She’ll scream, she’ll get over it. It will be easier when you know she isn’t in pain at the same time.
you may want to try to ditch the bottle AND the sippy cups. both of my kids started drinking milk or water out of regular cups at around 18 months. i saved the sippies for when we left the house. they did remarkably well. put just a little in it at first and increase as she gets better at it. have her drink only in the kitchen at first to control spills on the carpet. having a regular cup will thrill annie, and she will forget about that bottle pronto.
Another good suggestion…I worked at a day care center for 6 years, and that’s what they did, starting, like you, at around 15-18 months. No more sippies, just a little milk in a small plastic cup. Lots of spills for a while (which is why you restrict it to their high chair or the table or even just sitting on the ground), but it works. If that’s all that’s offered, thay’ll drink it.
If she just wants to chew on it mainly, then don’t put anything in it. Tell her milk goes in a sippy or a cup at the table and that’s the rule. My kids could scream forever too, but you know what….they DO stop screaming (the longest was 2 hours STRAIGHT). If you feel she’s too old for bottles, then you need to be the parent and not let her have one. Be firm and set limits now or else she’s going to be a teen who doesn’t accept limits.
For teething pain, umm, have you tried ibuprophen? (Don’t use tylenol around the times of giving vaccines). Homeopathic teething drops? Amber necklace? BabySafe Feeder with frozen fruit (green grapes are awesome). Teething won’t last forever, but if you don’t want her having a bottle then short term pain is worth it because she probably won’t drop the bottle just because the teething is relieved finally
I know I sound harsh, compared to the parents that say “It won’t do any harm to keep using a bottle” BUT it can!!! Talk to her dentist! Bottle use can also even affect speech development because it doesn’t use the muscles nature intended to be used while breastfeeding. Having a bottle in her mouth all the time is NOT harmless
My son wouldnt give up his “bopple” until he was 2..he’s almost 13 now and they didn’t have the plethora of sippy choices like my 18 month old daughter has. There are far too many photos of him around the house with it in his mouth like an overgrown binky when he was Annie’s age. I never let him have milk in it at night though..only water for obvious reasons.
Like I said, he’s almost 13 now and it didn’t harm him in any way, it’s not like he had it in his mouth ALL the time and I doubt Annie does either.
I can almost hear the gasps over him having a bottle until 2 but whatever, taking it at 2 was so drama free, he was starting pre-school and I told him no bottles were allowed there and neither was his DeeDee (his stuffed Eeyore that went EVERYWHERE with him) but that I had negotiated and he could have DeeDee at school at nap time in exchange I wanted all his bottles. He rounded up every one he had (and that kid had stashed a few lol) and threw them away himself.
As for setting limits, there are much more important ones than battling over the bottle.
I don’t attempt anything new with my kids if they ‘re teething. Adults have a hard enough time dealing with difficult new things when they’re in pain. Toddlers have much smaller toolboxes for Coping with New, Difficult Crap. It’s like, a rusty screwdriver and a bent nail rattling around in there. I expect my kids to maintain certain standards of behavior, of course, but I don’t expect them to give up major comfort items.
So, I would wait until this latest teething episode has passed. No, the bottle isn’t good for her, and if she goes to sleep with milk in her mouth, it’s bad for her teeth. But they’re not going to fall out while you wait a couple of days. You could probably start watering down the milk now, though.
Then, when the teething is over, buy some ear plugs and get rid of every last bottle in your house. If you don’t want to get rid of them permanently, ask a friend or family member if you can store them at their house until you need them again. But remove the temptation from you house entirely.
(Cheap ear plugs are fantastic because they don’t block out ALL sound, but they do dampen the ear-splitting horror that is impotent baby rage.)
Lucy Thrasher says:
I totally agree with the water-in-the bottle milk-in-a-cup plan. Also, be proactive with the teething thing. Oragel homegirl at the drop of a hat and give her Popsicles (homemade ones using juice are healthier) to soothe sore gums. It gives you an edge but she just thinks your the BOMB!
My pediatrician told us that a bottle until 3 is fine. My son self-weaned from nursing at 15 months because I was pregnant and my milk dried up and he got very attached to his bottle after that. Our rule (which keep milk spillage to a minimum) was that he got a bobbi before naps and bedtime. He just transitioned to using a sippy cup instead of a bottle at bedtime (no more bottles) on his 3rd birthday without any trauma. Most of the time, if you wait until they are ready, it won’t be such a battle. Personally it wasn’t a battle I was willing to fight, especially since he was so attached and it got him to do naps/bedtime without fussing. Not sure why there is such peer pressure out there to wean them from a bottle so early, especially since it is recommended to nurse until at least 2 years old.
May sound like child abuse, but for what it’s worth – just throw out the bottles. It’s a wretched couple of hours, but she’ll get thirsty, and if she knows the only way she can have any fluid is in a sippy, she’ll catch on reeeally quickly. It’s like how people could tolerate prison food or military food – if you have no other option, it suddenly seems delicious.
get her a pacimal:
My son never took a bottle, went right from nursing to the sippy cup. However his sippy of choice leaks if he bangs it around and of course 21 month olds love to bang things around. We told him he could drink from his cup only if he was sitting down. Now as soon as we hand him his cup he plops down right there on the floor and chugs his milk. When he stands up he hands the cup back. This helps at least keep the mess in one spot and not spread around the house. Not sure how other toddlers would respond, but it worked for us.
Michelle Pixie says:
Can I tell you we just went through the exact same thing and my daughter is a year older than Annie. We found these juice bottles at Babies R Us that could be reused with fun characters on them and we were able to break the habit.
We started using these during the day but still gave into the bottle at night and then one day I just told her they were all gone because the bottle fairy had come and taken them with her. So we went to the store and picked out a Toy Story sippy that she uses at night.
The best advice I received though was from our doctor who said “Don’t stress over it. She won’t take it with her to college. I promise.”
There’s nothing wrong with a toddler still needing a bottle. The 12-month weaning recommendation is totally arbitrary and not suited to all babies. But I most definitely wouldn’t let her run around with a bottle. One of the natural forces toward weaning in a breastfed toddler is that toddlers are BUSY and don’t usually want to stop their play constantly to nurse. If you go back to making bottle time a snuggle time, you solve the spoiled milk problem, you gently prevent her from having the bottle in her mouth 24/7, and you share more snuggle time, which active toddlers still need but often won’t slow down for.
Great suggestion–that’s exactly what I did with my son, and it worked like a charm. I couldn’t stand the thought of him running around with a bottle, rotting his teeth, so he only was fed on my lap. When he wanted to get down, the bottle stayed with me.
my daughter was EXACTLY like that. She would even hide her bottles, so she could have them when I would refuse to give her a bottle, so smelly and gross. My husband and I would have to search the house every night to make sure there were none stashed away. She also carried around a grownup toothbrush as her “lovie”…She ended being weened on a trip out of town. We left on a Friday and I told her I forgot her bottles and only brought her sippy cups, but I was too much of a coward to actually leave them behind so I packed them at the bottom of my suitcase. Luckily there were enough people there to distract her. By the time we left on Sunday, bottles were a distant memory. She was about Annie’s age.
I have 4 kids and have exclusively breastfed (in fact, I’m nursing my will-be-2-in-2-weeks daughter right now) so I’m certainly no expert on weaning from a bottle. However, I agree with those who are saying that she just might not be ready, particularly if she’s teething. I’m of the opinion that kids will make major milestones like weaning from the breast, bottle or binky or potty training when they are good and ready and not one second before. You can drive yourself crazy or you can follow her lead. I think I would try some of the suggestions above like using the infant nipples or just having water in the bottle to cut down on the mess, but otherwise, let her get through this teething time and try again. My only concern (and it may not be an issue but I don’t know because we’ve never used bottles) is if she’s chewing on the nipples, can she possibly chew through it and have something to choke on? That is the only thing I thought of that might have you trying to wean her sooner to avoid that possibility. My best advice to you in all situations is to follow your instinct. You are her mother (and you’re a great one!) and you know what’s best for her.
Ugh, weaning twice stinks! If you are going to wean her again then make it stick by getting rid of the bottles. I completely understand how much harder this would be in a condo. Can you stay at Gma and Bampa’s for the week? We weaned at a year. It was a hard week for all of us but it needed to be done.
I agree, though, that a bigger battle than bottle is at stake here. I have a strong willed child, too. Please take that to mean that I feel your pain. It also means that I know that you have to put your parenting foot down and be willing to ride out her tantrum. I can remember thinking, more than once, “I can outlast him.”. And I did. I am very happy to report that I have a well mannered, strong willed kid that I enjoy to pieces. You can outlast her, Heather. Go, Spohrs!
We didn’t have any bottle users in our house so I don’t have any specific advice. I totally understand the milk around the house is bothersome (and stinky!)…but if it weren’t for that I wouldn’t worry about it one bit. Just my 2 cents, I know you’re the parent and you know best for sure. But if it just some timeline thing I would let it be for now. I’d get past this bad teething bout and maybe try again later.
I agree with watering it down.. I started out w/ 1oz water to 5 oz milk, then the next night 2oz water and 4 oz milk, etc. swapping out 1oz of water for 1 extra ounce of milk every night and bam, 7th night, she didn’t wake up.. we’re on our 2nd week of no bottles at all.. It’s fricken heaven.
Valerie L says:
I am certainly not an expert on this as I only have one child. But basically when it was time to break my son of the bottle, he only got water in it. I didn’t have to be mean and take it away. He could always have a bottle as long as it was water. Every kid is different, but it may work.
My daughter is a freaker too about the bottle. She refuses anything but milk, until one day daddy put vitamin drops in it and she thought it was apple juice. Now she gets her vitamins and water and she has no idea it’s a trick. LOL.
I would go cold turkey… its gonna suck. No way around it. OOORRRRR…. try giving her just the nipple to chew on… when she wants to drink… giver her a cup.
Thats the best I got… Sorry.
Good Luck… and no judgment here!
A few things:
1. I didn’t read your million comments before me, so forgive me if I am repeating.
2. Our pediatrician, who I adore and trust (and who was also MY pediatrician, so he has been doing his thing for a long time!), said, and I quote, “It is not worth torturing a baby under 2 to give up their bottle.” He then went on to say that even up until 2.5 or 3, one bottle a day is not going to harm anyone! I was just like you and soooooo stressed when our son wasn’t off the bottle by 18 months, but this advice made me feel so much better!!! He said that one year is ideal, because it is easiest on the parents, but that our son would be “perfectly fine” if we allowed him to go beyond that age (which we did!)
3. (I don’t mean this in a sarcastic way, I am actually asking) What is it that is making you so worried about Annie using a bottle? Her teeth? Unless she has a bottle in her mouth all day long, she is doing little damage. The pediatric dentist that we see said that a few bottles at that age are fine, as long as baby doesn’t suck on them continuously for hours. If you want, you could always give her water or brush her teeth after though! In fact, she said that most sippy cups are just glorified bottles, and can sometimes be WORSE, because with a bottle the little one drinks it and it is time to move on, where a sippy they can cart around all day, so the liquid is ALWAYS in their mouths and pooling behind their teeth.
4. Weren’t you the Binky fairy a few months back? Your friend needs to return the favor when Annie is ready and be the Bopple fairy.
5. To lower your stress level, maybe give yourself a date in the future- like when she is 20 months, and try again to ditch the bottle then. If that doesn’t work, say 22 months, and then finally 2 years. If she lasts that long, you can reason with her (aka, We really want to take you to Disneyland, Annie, but they don’t allow bottles there, so when you are ready to give up your bottle, we can go! )
6. You are an amazing mommy, and whatever you decide works best for you and your family will be perfect!
7. You are a child of the 80’s right? Me too! And I remember my friends’ little brothers and sisters having bottles until AT LEAST age 3 or 4, and they all turned out ok!
8. see #6 again
Just a quick note regarding #5 (aka, We really want to take you to Disneyland, Annie, but they don’t allow bottles there …) be careful that Annie doesn’t see other babies/kids with a bottle there or anywhere else you choose or you will be in so much trouble.
One last thing- have you ever tried to drink milk (or water) from a sippy cup? Some of them are soooo hard to work, seriously!!! And it would be even worse with a sore mouth from teething.
My little man never took to the sippy at all, even though I bought like 1000 different brands. Instead, the only thing he would go for is a cup with a straw. It is easy, cheap, and we can *always* get a straw for his cup if we are out. There are sippys with straws, but we just use re-useable cups with lids like what you get free at Islands for kids.
It might be worth a shot! It will also be one less thing for you to wean her off of- sippys aren’t something that she will use forever, but a cup (even with a straw) is, so you might just want to skip the sippy cup step completely.
Just a thought.
I like the suggestion of the smaller nipple hole–along with watering down the milk. If she fusses, just keep telling her that’s the only bottle you have. Even if you don’t get rid of it altogether, it’s worth trying to cut back on the all-day milk drinking because kids who drink a lot of milk are at increased risk of anemia because milk is iron-poor, and the milk cuts their appetite for other iron-rich foods. It also increases the risk of rotting teeth because milk contains sugar. What worked for me was to insist that my son had to sit on my lap to have a bottle–if he wanted to walk around, he had to leave the bottle with me. He eventually was more interested in exploring than drinking the bottle. Good luck!!!
Don’t get frustrated! She will not be heading off to college with a bottle. (at least mine didn’t) I have the same thoughts on blankies, binkys, potty training, etc. Let it be her that decides. Path of least resistant. Take the burden off you. Don’t sweat the small stuff Mom. If I only knew then, what I know now. We don’t /shouldn’t control the wonderfulness of their childhood comforts and their coping methods. Love Margaret