My daughter is going to turn three in a few months. I have a few goals I’d like to reach by then. More consistent potty usage, an earlier bedtime, and no more drinking from a bottle.
I’m having a lot of difficulty phasing out the bottle. Adi knows how to drink out of a cup and use a straw. She’ll drink everything except milk out of a regular cup. When it comes to milk however, it has to be in her bottle. She drinks lots of other things, water, juice, usual toddler stuff often enough- but she still drinks a lot of milk and I still have to lug bottles everywhere.
It isn’t just cow milk either; almond milk, coconut milk, anything that has milk in the name must be delivered in a bottle or else all hell breaks loose in the form of a loud and dramatic temper tantrum. Adi will throw herself on the floor crying hysterically, screaming for a “baba” as if we were starving her. I’ve tried to just let her have her temper tantrum and then when she calms down, give her a cup, but Adi is that kid who throws up when she has a temper tantrum. She has a sensitive gag reflex so when she starts coughing from crying so much she vomits. I know. A porn career is clearly out so I better start saving for college. Hopefully she’ll be weaned off the bottle by college.
When Adi turned 1, one of the gifts we got was a book about this little boy who learned to like his sippy cup more than his bottle. When Adi turned 2, our pediatrician saw her with a bottle and gave us tips on how to lose it. Strangers who see my (already big for her age) daughter with a bottle ask how old she is, and then follow up with “she still uses a bottle?”
Normally I ignore people like that, or tell them off, but in this case, I agree with them. I’m about to stage an intervention because my daughter keeps hitting the bottle.
I’ve tried everything. I read Adi the sippy cup book. I tried telling her that drinking from a cup is what big girls do. Whenever one of her friends drinks from a cup I make sure to point it out. The one time she drank milk out of a regular cup we broke out into applause. Then Adi figured out that it was milk and demanded that it be put into a bottle.
I know that the sucking motion is comforting to babies as it mimics breastfeeding; that’s why pacifiers became popular. I suspect that’s why Adi, despite being weaned off breastmilk and formula, still wants the bottle for milk. I’d be okay with her keeping the bottle longer except that bottle drinking isn’t good for her teeth. It would also be nice to not carry bottles around.
Adi is a fan of juice boxes. I know milk also comes in box form, but that idea freaks me out a little. I have no idea what chemicals are required to keep milk from spoiling in a box despite no refrigeration but I definitely don’t want my kid drinking them. Is there such a thing as a reusable juice box? Maybe a hard plastic one that I can just put whatever I want in? If Adi won’t drink milk from a cup, maybe I can get her to drink it from a box.
If I can get her from bottle to box by 3, maybe I can get her from box to actual cup by 30. I say 30 because despite being 26, I still drink juice boxes. I’ll keep you posted on my box weaning progress.
Rachel Figueroa-Levin is a soapmaker, cofounder and educator at Urban Babywearing, a hyperlocal Inwood blogger and organizer, a political/life/religion/parenting satirist, and all around trouble maker. She is also the creator of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Spanish-speaking alter ego @elbloombito. You can reach her via twitter @Jewyorican.