We're Moving!!

Don't forget to change your readers and bookmarks to www.firstimpressionsbaby.com/blog! We won't be here for much longer (we have a new home)!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Saying Goodbye to the Bottle

At around age one, most experts agree that it's time to wean baby off the bottle. For some parents, this isn't a big deal as their baby has already become accustomed to the cup (or sippy cup). But, for others...this task seems huge and daunting.

If your child doesn't seem to "tied" to the bottle, you can try giving up the bottle cold-turkey - But, if your kiddo is anything like mine (and LOVES their bottle), weaning gradually may be the way to go.

Some parents argue that children should decide when they are ready to give their bottle up - And, while I agree with certain facets of the child-led parenting ideas...this isn't one of them. As a child turns (or has just turned) 12 months old, a window of opportunity opens. Your child is more easily distracted at this point and less set in their own ways. In a few months, however, things will change. You MAY get lucky, you may wait 6 months and your child may fling the bottle to the side one day...never wanting it back. But, you may just as equally may NOT be that lucky, and taking the bottle away (even gradually) could potentially result in lots of throw down tantrums.

For me, I figure I'll have my chance at tantrums as it is, no need to make them worse from a bottle that is not really providing anything extra in her life (she'll still be given milk...just from a sippy cup instead).

To wean your little one from their bottle (around 12 mos + or earlier if they show interest and ability to use a sippy or other cup):

-Begin by taking off the least loved bottle of the day. Our daughter loves all of her bottles, but we are beginning with the lunch-time bottle. Instead, at lunchtime, we will offer her a sippy cup filled with juice or water or milk with her food. We chose lunch time because it is often the most busy and active time of the day for us, so it'll be easy to distract her.

-When you first take a bottle off the schedule, you may (and probably will) be met with some resistance. It's okay. Keep offering a cup - you can even put formula (or whatever was in the bottle) in it. And, when all else fails...distraction.

- Every few days (or week), transition to dropping another bottle off the schedule, leaving the most loved bottles for last. For Baby L, her most loved would be her nighttime bottle. We'll take that one last.

-Another tip: Make bottle feeding less appetizing. If your little one fights giving up the bottle, make them sit in your lap or in a high chair while drinking their bottle. Don't let them play while they drink from it. Chance are, they'll give it up so they can get down.

-Also... You can also fill a bottle with water. Most babies lose interest QUICKLY of their bottles when they no longer are getting formula from the bottle...

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your one year old should still be receiving some sort of milk. Weaning a child off the bottle does NOT mean only giving them juice or water from here on out. When I talk about "bottle", I mean the vessel, not what's in it (milk).

Good luck!

1 comment:

Jared said...

We've been starting this too. We had been using those playtex bottles with the plastic bags inside. Ace has never learned to tip the bottle back. He just keeps sucking until all the air and milk is out of the bottle. So sippy cups are going to be a challenge for us. He's getting better. The doctor wants Ace off of the bottle and formula all together by 15 months. It's going to be rough... :D