Call me crazy, I know. Three years later and still sucking on a bottle. Brooke turned three in September. I definitely let it go far too long giving her a bottle of warm milk every night before bed. But, I also have a now two-year-old daughter who also was drinking a warm bottle of milk before bed every night. The dilemma was the whole routine in general.
In the past, when the girls were sick, I would take away the milk entirely – to clear up their stomach flu, cold, diarrhea, fever, etc. The doctor usually says to do this, as milk will irritate the digestive track, as well as produce more mucus in the nasal area during colds. And since my girls still wanted their “bubba’s”, I would put warm water or diluted apple juice in their bottles in substitution for the milk. The bottles remained in the picture.
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My husband would tell me “she’s three now, the bottles have got to go”. But for me, it was so easy to just warm up a bottle of milk, lay down both of my toddlers, and walk away as they drift off to sleep. How could I give that up? I needed a good night’s rest after all of those sleepless nights nursing and bottle feeding both babies, one right after the other.
Here’s how I got my toddler off the bottle
When Brooke turned three, it was time to throw out the bottles. Her and her sister do everything together and copy each other’s every move. Therefore, the only way I could successfully wean her was to wean both children at the same time, by simply throwing the bottles away.
When doing this, make sure your child is still getting the right amount of milk that their doctor or paediatrician recommends. 18 months old is usually the time to start weaning.
We woke up one morning and I told my my two daughters that today is the day we throw out all of their bottles. Their reaction was funny, and a little bit sad at the same time of course. You will feel sorry for them, but it has to be done. It’s kind of like watching that Jimmy Kimmel video of the kids finding out their mother ate all of their Halloween Candy. “You sneaky mom!!!!!!”
They really have no choice but to accept the fact that they’re now stuck with sippy cups (these are our favourite). Secretly, I stashed the bottles in the linen closet (you never know the next time you might need those again!) Out of sight, out of mind.
That resolved all of our problems. It’s tough the first few nights when putting the kids to bed without their bottles, but they will eventually get used to it. They’ll learn to drink their milk only in the kitchen, in a cup, cold, and with a straw, right after dinner. That’s it and that’s all. They won’t starve and they won’t die of thirst. They will abide by the rules, as long as you stick to your word.
Just an inside note, our favourite bottles that we used are these LifeFactory bottles, these by Avent and these by Dr. Browns (for a slower flow). When Brooke reached the age of two, all her teeth were grown in and she started chewing on the nipples a little bit way too much. That’s when I actually resorted to the dollar store brand of bottles. Do what you gotta do!
Here are a the sippy cups we used for the transition:
Judge me all you want but when you have two kids under literally the span of two years, things get hectic, crazy, and chaotic. My girls are not twins, they are 15 months apart in age. They team up and like I said, they do everything together. From pouring out all of the hand soap in the washroom, to chugging maple syrup from the fridge, to using the dining room floor for their sidewalk chalk.
Luckily, my girls are not attached to a soother, the bottle was more of their thing so it’s not easy taking it away without going cold turkey. For those who have one child, I’m sure it’s easy to say that you will be taking the bottle away when they reach 18 months. For us, it’s over and done with, and best thing we’ve ever done.
If you can relate, let me know what you think of these tips and what works for you!