I am going to write about something controversial. Yes, I am going to write about weaning my child from a bottle to a sippy cup. “Is it really controversial?” you ask. Pretty much the entire medical community will agree that children should be weaned from their bottle by 1 year of age. Why this is the magic year, I have no clue. Daycares agree, so if your child is in a daycare they can no longer drink from a bottle once they reach 1 year old. For any other developmental milestone (or even non-developmental) people like to say that every baby is different. One child may walk at 9 months old while another learns at 16 months. Some children do not take a pacifier or wean themselves off automatically, (Baby J decided at around 6 months that he did not need or want a pacifier anymore), while some children still want a pacifier when they are 2 years old. So why is it that 1 year of age is the magic number for not using a bottle anymore? Why can’t it be 15 months or 18 months?
I bring this up because my baby boy is not ready to give up his bottle yet. After hearing a nurse and a doctor tell me that baby J needs to be off the bottle within the same week, I felt really pressured. They acted like it was this huge deal that I wean him right away! asap! Seriously? I asked the doctor, “what if my child isn’t ready,” and I was pretty much told to do it anyway. Right. That makes sense. I asked the nurse the same question, and I was told to reason with my 1 year old. REASON with a 12 month old. Wow. You know, like show him his bottle is broken so he knows it won’t work anymore. I would love to see someone try to do that with my 1 year old or any 1 year old. He is just learning to say “car” and “book” and that the trashcan is not a toy and to not play with the buttons on the TV. Yes, he will totally understand the word “broken”. (Can you just hear my sarcasm?) 🙂
I decided to give it a try though. For 2 days I switched him to a sippy cup for breakfast, lunch, and supper. I would still give him his bottle for nap time and bedtime for routine purposes. Baby J will gladly drink juice or water from the sippy cup, but he didn’t want to take milk from it. Milk comes in a bottle of course! So he refused it and along with that decided he wouldn’t eat solids either. Because when we throw a fit, we should throw a good fit! Some people may say to just stick with it because it will get easier. Well, what didn’t get easier is the middle of the night. My baby boy went from sleeping through the night to waking up starving several times through the night. 2 nights in a row I felt like I was back in the newborn stage.
Here is the lesson this mommy learned. Every child is different, even when the doctor says they are all supposed to be the “same.” My child is not ready to be weaned off the bottle. I will keep trying to give it to him in the sippy cup, but I won’t make a big deal about it. So maybe when he is 14 or 15 months he will want milk in his sippy cup. There will come a day when my baby boy will know the word “broken” and I will be able to reason with him. Time is flying by. Why should I waste my precious moments with my son making him and me miserable? Yes, lesson learned. My baby boy will be and is my baby boy, distinctly different from everyone else. And we are going back to bottles today, so this mommy can get some sleep!