Sooooooooo, we have been bottle-free for a little over 3 weeks now..Yayyy!
This is one transition,I was worried about.I had heard so many horror stories of babies crying their heads off for their bottles and being the weak heart that I am..I just wasn’t ready for it. My own siser didnt want to give up her bottle and one day,my mom just “accidentally” dropped it in front of her and she cried her hearts out over bottle “tutti”,I wondered how I would break this solid bottled.Since I had to wean her off breast-feeding too,I decided to take things slow,one thing at a time.
But when we went for Aadya’s 15 month check up,her pediatrician said that she should have been off the bottle by then..Her reasoning behind it was that bottle just adds to empty calories. It made sense to me..This little girl would any day trade in her bowl of dal rice for a bottle of milk.
So,I decided,it was time to take things seriously.In part,I think I waited this long because I was lazy.I mean she was drinking from an open cup and sipping from the straw too.But,it meant more cleaning..sitting with her for 20 minutes..holding the cup,so she could drink it.So,I just kept putting it off. And she had almost given up on her sippy cups.She refused to take it.Thus began my quest for the perfect sippy cup..something that she liked.
First I tried again with her old sippy cups, the ones with soft rubber spouts from Nuby .She sipped from it for exactly two minutes.Next I tried some no-name brands from Walgreens and CVS,just to get her interested.But all she wanted to do was play with them.I re-tried Avent Trainer spout..She cried through the whole thing and didn’t drink any milk.I think she was so used to the quick flow in the bottle nipple that sucking from a sippy cup required strength and she didn’t think it was worth the effort.
My friend P had been telling me about how her son baby A liked his sippy cup,which had a straw in it.Then it dawned on me..that she loves sipping from straws so why not try one like baby A’s.I found one and tried giving her some water in it..She took it..And in fact,started drinking water from that cup,every single time.Yayy..so we had a winner.But she still wouldn’t drink milk from it.
Now,I know Aadi is the hungriest when she wakes up from her nap.So,one day,I just offered her the sippy cup,filled with milk,instead of her bottle and she took it.But the flow in this cup was too fast for her to gulp.It was fine for water but not for milk.
So, we tried two more and finally found one which required slightly more work to get the milk out.It was one of those spill-proof cups from Playtex.I let Aadya choose the cup.And made a big deal about it. First I tried sucking from it..like P had suggested and then,made the valve slightly larger with the help of a knife. And gave her milk in it.
We did the after nap milk in the sippy cup,for about a week.But she still needed her bottle first thing in the morning and at nap-times and bed times.I tried taking away the nap-time bottle and she cried and cried..and it broke my heart. I let her keep it. And i think a big hindrance was a bleeding heart Papa too.Every time,I tried to take the bottle away,at bed-time or nap time he would give in to the tears and give her the bottle.
Then,one morning,I just replaced the first bottle of the day with her new shiny sippy cup! I was nervous and kept the bottle by the bed..ready to jump out the bed and transfer the milk from cup to bottle.So,I gave her the sippy cup..and both of us ooh-aahed over the new cup..And cuddled with her from both sides.And SHE drank!and finished !!! all the milk. That was a start.
After that I never gave her a bottle in the morning.Even if it meant scrubbing the sippy with my eyes shut after a long tiring day..I did it.
2 days after that I tried giving her the sippy at nap time again..And again she cried and cried and refused to drink from the sippy cup. The next day,I gave her the sippy cup 10 minutes before her nap time and let her play with it..Then asked her if she wanted milk and poured some in it ,in front of her.She was excited..we counted the seconds off the microwave together.. and then I gave her the sippy cup. She drank from it..and then threw the cup and then turned over and slept.I kept up this routine..followed by lots of Ooh-ing and aah-ing. and good jobs!
But we were still left with the bed time bottle..That one took longer to get rid off.But, I started giving it to her,around 2o minutes before bed time.That way,she drank her milk,we played,read and then lights off. But surprisingly 3 days into this routine and she was off the bottle.
On the 4th day,I was cooking and she was sitting on the kitchen counter,and spotted the bottle.She pointed it out to me..”This?” I said,”yes baby..that’s your bottle.”Aadi ko chahiye?”[Does Aadi want it?].And gave it to her..she looked at it,upside down and then held it for the longest minute and then chucked it,in favor of something else.The bottle is still on the kitchen counter.but she is not interested anymore.I guess she was more or less ready for the change. Also what helped was that she saw the milk in the cup,and so knew that she was getting the good stuff.I would really recommend getting those see-through sippy cups for beginners.If they see what they are going to down,they gulp it happily.
Like last time,this time also I tried step by step elimination..I don’t think I would have been able to go cold turkey.Oh..and most of all,it was possible because I took away the last two feeds-the nap-time and the bed-time bottle,on a weekday..when Sanj was working!hehehe..EVIL mommy!
But its so funny.. right from Day one Aadya has known..when he is around and always cries out to him for attention.Even when she was 2 or 3 days old,and I was trying to get her to latch on,she would try to cooperate if it was just the two of us,in the room.But when Sanj was in the room too,she would definitely cry and scream..like asking him for help!!And every single time,it worked.He would get mad at me and want to take her away from me..like I was some evil mother..torturing his princess. Gosh!we fought so much in those first 4 days…it was like that’s all we seemed to be doing.. every time,she cried,whoever was holding her,would get yelled at. I asked Sanj to “get out of the room” one time when he yelled at me,for forcing her to latch on!!Hehehe crazy times..Imagine,you spend so much time worrying about whether your baby is going to breast feed or not..and then you spend even more time worrying about whether she will ever be weaned off or not. 🙂
All the best Cee Kay,Rads and Mona 🙂
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