From bottle to cup…

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  • #67568
    EM momEM mom
    Participant

    Help! My pediatrician is demanding I get my daughter off of the bottle (she just turned 12 months) freaking me out about things like her teeth and ear infections (although I’m pretty sure she COULDN’T have more ear infections than she already has-she got tubes at 8 months and has STILL had 4 infections since then!). Anyway, I am finding this transition very difficult, I don’t know whether to go cold turkey or slowly replace bottles with cups…anyone have any tips?

    #67570
    Med4MomMed4Mom
    Participant

    Hi Momsurg,

    12 mos seems really young to be totally withdrawing the bottle. I mean, lots of babies are ready to move on at 12 mos, but many many more are not, in my humble experience…. I am not a pediatrician though. My husband is a dentist though, and the bottle is only really an issue if the baby is going to bed with milk or juice, or likewise wandering around ALL day with a bottle of juice or milk constantly hanging out of his/her mouth. We solved the nighttime thing by gradually cutting down the milk with water at night, until the nighttime bottle was only water. How bad can that be… :rolleyes: . Baby still got a “comfort” thing in bed if he needed it, but wasn’t hurting his teeth. Our children all had a bottle until about 2 or so, and none have a single cavity or problems with ear infections. Actually, our middle girl had trouble with ear infections and had tubes, but most of those issues developed AFTER she had moved to a cup. Go figure… :boggled:

    #67572
    residentmomresidentmom
    Participant

    12 months is a pretty standard time for stopping bottles, and (as I am sure you are aware) it is a developmental step as well, so you don’t want to put it off. 😉

    Here is how we did it: Starting at about 10.5 months we offered cups at mealtimes, since those were not usual bottle times anyway, and continued with bottles in between meals. (We were alternating the two at the time.) Then we started offereing the cup instead of the bottle at morning snack, with a couple of crackers for incentive. A week later, afternoon bottle went that way too. Then he was down to a bottle first thing on waking and one for bedtime. When we went for the one year checkup and got the all-clear for milk (he had infant allergies), we really had to get to work.

    First we removed the am bottle and offered milk, which he was pretty happy to drink only when sitting on the bedroom floor. So fine, that’s where he drinks it while we dress. It took us a couple weeks to get up the nerve to stop the night bottle, since it was our crutch to get him to sleep. We went to giving a cup but rocking him while he drank it, and then to just giving it to him on the floor (his favorite dining location, apparently :rolleyes: ).

    We were still using the bottle for “emergency” nights when we were too tired to fight. Finally we realized he was never going to stop if we didn’t do something, and we washed all the bottles and put them all away in storage. (Bye bye temptation… :yikes: )

    Anyway, by one year and 3 weeks we were bottle free and he is perfectly happy that way. My biggest concern now is getting enough fluid in him, so we offer cups of water frequently (as they do at daycare as well). It was a struggle for us, but it is going great now, and he loves his big boy cups. 🙂

    Good luck… I know it is a rough time!

    #67574
    shellbellshellbell
    Participant

    Oh I am so excited for this post. :boggled: you would think with the 3rd child things would go smooth. Well we have him on a cup during the day, but at nap and night we do not. I feel so bad to take it away for the comfort thing, but we have to. I like the idea of the water thing. My friend did this, she would put her child to bed with water and pretty soon he did not want it at all.

    Well wish me luck we are doing this tomorrow, my hubby is on his weekend, for 4 days.

    Thanks ‘Michelle

    #67576
    LaramisaLaramisa
    Participant

    I think this is just a cultural thing. I’m an American living in Europe and (following along with the ‘what to expect’ books) thought I should get my daughter off bottles and onto cups before 1 year (can’t remember exactly when this was). So I introduced a cup at home and took one to her daycare. And here they were completely opposed to switching to cups at such a young age – they actually thought it was bad for them. They don’t even begin to think about it here until 1.5 to 2 years old.
    I would only be careful with the teeth, as someone else said, and not allow bottles with juice etc.. except at mealtimes. Here they give kids a bottle with water (or herbal teas as they do where I live – like fennel tea)

    #67578
    FPmommyFPmommy
    Participant

    Does your pediatrician actually have children??!! I know that my advice to parents sure changed after having kids. My view of who is sick is not different but practical advice is WAY different. (I would be interested in other people’s experience with this.) I find it very hard to believe that it is any big deal to get your child off bottles that young! Who says it is important? If you think about it, prior to modern-day domestication (last 10,000 years at most), all moms had to nurse until age 2-3 or their children didn’t develop properly because there were no milk-substitutes. Of course you CAN get your child off bottles this young, but I don’t see why it is such an important goal. Of course you (1)can’t let your little one ruin their teeth, so with cows milk you need to brush teeth after bottle before bed and (2) over a year you need to limit the total cow’s milk to 24oz/day or they don’t get enough other nutrition. Other than that, what is the rush? Good luck!

    #67579
    EM momEM mom
    Participant

    Well, I certainly appreciate everyone’s advice and tips. My pediatrician (who I really DO like a lot) is very by the book and after asking her at this latest appointment when HER daughter gave up the bottle (her daughter is 6 months older) she admitted it wasn’t until 15 months.

    My daughter HAS been drinking juice (very watered down juice) at school at snacktime out of a sippy cup and has no problem using the cup. We tried going “cold turkey” with the bottle and she just refused to drink the milk at all…and my kid is incredibly stubborn! Four days later she got sick with some virus and I gave in and gave her the bottle back just to get her to take in some fluids (she happily drinks the milk from a bottle).

    Another little bit of history about my daughter that may be complicating this issue, when I stopped breastfeeding a little after 6 months and switched her to formula we had a lot of problems with spitting up and decreased intake. When we switched to a lactofree formula all of this stopped and she had no further problems (does she have a lactose problem…who knows, I just know that this very simple switch worked!). When we transitioned off formula I first started with soy milk which she tolerated fine but didn’t really like. (She also can’t tolerate yogurt and only recently began tolerating cheese although still will not touch macaroni and cheese!) Then I finally found the lacto free whole milk at a different grocery store and went to this (I’m trying to get as close to whole cow’s milk as possible…) and she likes it better and drinks it great from a bottle…just doesn’t want it from the cup.

    Our most recent compromise as she’s coming up on 13 months is a 7 ounce bottle when she wakes up in the morning (to ensure she gets SOME milk) and cups (both milk and watered down juice) for the rest of the day. She is not psychologically connected to the bottle (she doesn’t mind if her friends are getting one or she sees one in the refrigerator) and she doesn’t need it to relax (she is addicted to her pacifier for that…probably my NEXT post!). She is a great eater and I’m not terribly concerned about nutrition at this point so I think I’ll just continue on as we are….of course anyone else’s opinion is ALWAYS welcome!

    #67581
    amykamyk
    Participant

    If you guys don’t mind me asking…why is this so important? Apart from grownups’ social comfort level, why does it matter especially what tool gets the food into the kid? So long as the child has normal motor skills and is not having trouble that way, why force things?

    I dunno. My MIL is all excited about Liesl passing developmental milestones early, and is starting to make me a little crazy. Liesl’s obviously bright, happy, healthy, strong as a little ox. So I don’t care when she rolls over/walks/learns to tell “three priests walk into a bar” jokes, so long as she seems to be happy, healthy, and developing at a reasonable pace. I mean if she still couldn’t make eye contact by now (2.5 mo) and still seemed to be acting like she did as a newborn, I’d check it out, but I don’t need a book to tell me to do that. Or a MIL. (Don’t get me wrong, she’s a nice lady, but this is starting to bug me.) Grr.

    amy

    #67583
    EM momEM mom
    Participant

    You think MIL is bad, wait until you get into the daycare (well, maybe you won’t be using a daycare, but if you are…) mom’s who is doing what first game, fueled by the well-meaning comments of the daycare providers (ie..so and so is really crawling fast, so and so took their first steps today, so and so is so smart!) . I agree the whole thing is absolutely crazy, especially since we ALL (in my daycare I’m talking about now) have happy, healthy, right-on-track kids. Regardless, I still find myself buying into this. You find yourself responding with either the confident “Anna did that LAST week”, or the much quieter “Anna hasn’t done that yet”. Interesting kind of “competitiveness” really…anyone else have any experiences with this?

    (And of course Amyk, Liesl is 100% on track, maybe even ahead, and your MIL is ALWAYS going to have something to say (as does mine)…in my humble opinion)

    #67585
    amykamyk
    Participant

    Yeah, the thing that makes me most nuts is when I think “oh goody, she’s freakishly early at doing ______.” Which I only know because my MIL insists on telling me; I make a point of avoiding the baby-book development lore unless something seems wrong. I mean I grew up with that, read at two, ran with the hs boys’ track team, got into college at 15, blah, blah, blah. If you want to teach a kid to play trained monkey, wild applause for precocity is surefire. I remember being 17 and filled with dread because I’d only been able to arrange a summer internship with my congressman, which didn’t top what I’d done the summer before. Left me feeling like a has-been. God knows how I’d have felt if I could’ve seen my future, after all there’s no CPW brownstone in sight, I’m not rich or famous, and I watch…daytime television.

    Course, Liesl may be surprisingly sensible & immune to such crap…here’s hoping. :tired:

    amy

    #67587
    CynthiaCynthia
    Participant

    I tend to be “relaxed” about these kinds of things. BEfore a year old my children knew that the bottle was reserved for “moms lap” As long as they wanted to sit and cuddle with me they could have their bottle. When they decided they were done cuddling….then they were done drinking. Both of my children weaned themselves gradually….and both at the same age 2.5 years. It wasn’t a struggle, or a fight…it was their decision. Each one basically said the same thing….”I big boy/girl now. Put that away” and we did NEVER to bring it out ever again. They NEVER ASKED for it again. Sometimes I wonder if we rush our children out of childhood too quickly. As long as they aren’t sucking on the thing all day day or night long what’s the problem? Neither of my kids have teeth problems…shoot they didn’t have the bottle anymore than they would have had the cup! …and ear infections weren’t a problem either because they were SITTING in my lap….not laying down. I’d much rather let my children decide for themselves when they are ready….you know in other cultures breast feeding until 3 years isn’t unheard of. I fail to see the difference here.

    #67589
    sisriversisriver
    Participant

    Breastfeeding can go on well into toddlerhood, so why not a bottle…? Perhaps there would be information in the attachment parenting literature on it.

    #67591
    LaramisaLaramisa
    Participant

    The current theory among the early childhood specialists (including my daycare) where I live in Europe is that it is bad to switch too early to a cup from a bottle or breast feeding – because it is bad for the child’s character development. :confused: From what I could understand, they think if they drink from a cup it is too easy and they don’t learn to work for a reward. 😮 I thought this was pretty strange, but oh well, who knows after all. And I just thought- what could the possible harm be in keeping the bottle for a few years.

    #67593
    amykamyk
    Participant

    Taking the child along on bank robberies is bad for her character development. Drinking vessels are not responsible for character development.

    My god, some of this stuff goes a little far.

    amy

    #67595
    MTaylorMTaylor
    Participant

    My kid is now at the age where “we should be weaning her from the bottle.” But, it ain’t happenin’…

    …then I did a forum search and found this thread. Good stuff!! Based on what was said, I just decided to go ahead and let my little girl continue to enjoy her bottle for awhile longer – without guilt. I started thinking…why do we put pressure on ourselves (and our babies) to give up the bottle by 12 months, or 18 months?

    Teeth? No… 5-10 minutes with a bottle twice a day won’t mess up their teeth. Especially when you consider pacifiers and thumb/finger sucking (which it would make more sense if there things are proven to disrupt tooth growth – and I don’t think they have been).

    I just don’t get it…

    …does someone know where this social pressure stems from…and why we should submit to it?
    :confused:

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