Parenting: Bye Bye to the Bottle
July 8, 2010 (WPVI) -- July is a big month for our family. At the end of the month, Sienna will be one year old!
Contrary to what I anticipated during those first few sleepless weeks of her life, this year truly flew by faster than I had ever imagined it would (despite ample warnings from fellow parents). As Sienna approaches a year there are some challenges that we will likely face.
Number one: The bottle.
That's right, time to say bye-bye. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you start weaning your child off the bottle at 1 year of age. Many parents I've talked to laugh that off, while some swear it was the right age to do it. After all, the longer you wait, the harder it is to get rid of the "ba-ba."
Around 7 months Sienna became pretty proficient at drinking from the sippy cup on her own. So I assumed it would be fairly easy to wean her off the bottle if she was comfortable using a cup. That was probably a bad assumption. Since Sienna started eating "grown up" food, she took in fewer bottles. She was down to about three a day.
About a month ago, we tried something different. Before her afternoon nap, I gave her a sippy cup. She screamed and screamed. I gave in and handed over a bottle. Then I started reading about how to wean her off the bottle. One site suggested weaning that afternoon bottle first. Here's how: give the baby a few ounces in the bottle. Then offer the rest in the sippy cup. Of course Sienna screamed again but instead of reacting, I just kept offering the sippy cup. This shouldn't be mistaken for FORCING the sippy cup, just make sure the child knows it is available. If the baby is truly still hungry, he or she WILL drink out of the sippy cup.
After about 5 minutes of a tantrum, Sienna took the sippy cup and finished her formula. A few days later, I did the same thing with the morning bottle. This went a bit more smoothly.
I can now say that Sienna is down to one bottle a day, right before her bedtime. She doesn't need it and at this point probably wouldn't object if I gave her a sippy cup. However, I'm a little sad for the bottles to be all gone. This first year has just gone by too fast. I figured I still have a few more weeks of that nighttime bottle and a little "baby-mommy" time together.
Below, I've listed some sites you may find helpful with the bottle weaning process. In addition, some of these sites list the reasons why it is so important to wean your baby from the bottle at what may seem like a young age.
Stay tuned for a blog in the coming weeks about saying bye -bye to the "bink". That one is going to prove to be a bit more difficult.
erin o'hearn parenting reports, parenting, erin o'hearn
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