Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How I transitioned our daughter off the bottle in 3 days.

This is the story of how our family transitioned our oldest daughter off the bottle in three days. Our method may not work for everyone, but it's what worked for our family.

Background Story
Right before my daughters first birthday I resigned from my position at work and became a full-time stay at home mom. I was getting ready to welcome baby number two in a few short months, and wanted to get into some routines before the baby was born. One of the routines I wanted was a bottle free 1 year old. 

I didn't want my oldest to be dependent on a bottle or a pacifier, and I didn't want to be washing bottles for two babies. 

Well, after months of trying every sippy cup created, and dropping the bottle before naps etc. I stopped, she wasn't ready, I was exhausted, we were approaching my due date and my husband had just accepted a new job (which would require us to move)... 

She kept the bottle.



18 Months.
At her 18 month check up, the pediatrician recommended we drop the bottle as soon as possible. Since I had been trying to wean her slowly off of the bottle for 6 months with NO success, I knew we would have to drop it cold-turkey.

The total transition took three days, and yes we have had some whiney times, broken a new leche (milk) cup, and have spent late nights reading stories and singing songs trying to get her to fall asleep without a pacifier or milk BUT, her last bottle was 10 days ago and we are moving forward!

So, here's what we did.

Day 1 - Love, Love, Love.

After her appointment, I made sure to give extra hugs and kisses. Whatever comfort she was getting from that bottle needed to now come from me (and her daddy). I held her while she slept, gave her a hug and a kiss and told her how much I loved her before each bottle - she got lots of attention!

Day 2 - Conversation.

In addition to extra love and comfort, on this day we added in the conversation. Before each bottle, and while she was drinking the bottle we'd hold her and talk to her about what type of big girl "cheche cup" (milk cup) she wanted to buy. We talked about how she could go to Target and pick out any two cups she wanted to drink her milk out of, and how special it was that she was able to drink her cheche (milk) from a cup!

Day 3 - Shopping. 

After church, lunch and nap time on Sunday it was time. I pulled out a Target gift card, and gave it to my daughter so she could go shopping for a new cup for her milk. She was so cute as she held her little gift card on the way to target. Once we got there, she walked right into the aisle and quickly began to inspect ALL the cups.

The top choices were a Cars cup, A Princess Cup, Ninja Turtles and of course a Frozen cup. She held all four of them for quite some time but when it came down to it, Elsa and the other Disney princesses prevailed and we were on our way to the check out.

After she paid for the cups, she carried her bag all the way to the car.

When we got home, she and I had some milk in our big girl cups and said goodbye to the bottle.

That night, we had story time while drinking some milk then brushed our teeth and went to sleep.

The Week.
She has been a little more emotional, and had several more meltdowns that I know would be resolved in a second if I'd give her a bottle of milk - BUT, we aren't going to do that. Her meltdowns don't last too long, she gets distracted easily with her sister and begins to laugh.

Tips for Moms.

  1. Give yourself some GRACE.
    • I read post after post online about how important it is to drop the bottle before 18 months.
    • I almost cried when the pediatrician told me the bottle had to go.
    • I was scared we wouldn't be able to transition, but we did and you can too!
  2. Know your child.
    • My daughter doesn't do well with gradual change, she's persistent and will eventually find a way to get what she wants (in this case, the bottle). This is why a coldish turkey method worked best. She knew it was coming, we talked about it and we did it!
    • Maybe your child isn't ready, thats okay! 
  3. Coffee. 
    • Coffee (or Tea) is relaxing. Go have a cup...
Happy bottle transitioning! 



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