Monday, 7 February 2011

There may be trouble ahead......

Yesterday I offered the following beverage options to Leo....

This is what happened next.....

He cried like his heart was breaking, and looked at me like I was the most evil mother a boy could have! I was trying to see which he would choose - he could have milk but in a cup (have tried this before with various types of cups and beakers) or if it was the bottle he wanted he could have it with water in it. I thought it more than fair, but he wanted milk, and it HAD to be in a bottle.

Last year Leo drank milk at milk times and water throughout the day, during the summer especially he drank lots and lots of it, and sometimes 2 whole bottles of it in the night. I didn't offer him squash for ages and when I did one day for no apparent reason he refused it and carried on drinking water quite happily.

He only drank from a bottle, a fact I didn't even think about as I was too busy being pleased about the water, and it was 40 degrees so he could have been drinking from a bucket for all I cared as long as he was drinking.

Before I had Leo I had considered not giving him a dummy as I was worried about having problems getting him to give it up at some point. I did give him a dummy at 2 weeks old, and was very careful to remove it as soon as he stopped crying as I thought this would help later. At 3 months old though Leo decided he no longer wanted a dummy and refused to take it ever again, I was surprised but pleased I didn't have a future issue to deal with.

However, the bottle is the dummy equivalent, and to add to that somewhere in the last few months he stopped drinking water, and would cry and cry for milk - daft Mummy here started giving it to him when he asked (baby-led weaning is great but I may have got a bit carried away) and now will only drink milk, and lots of it.

I started to dilute it with water hoping it would put him off, but it seems that as long as it looks like milk he's happy - give him water with a splash of milk and he's happy, anything else and he looks at the colour and refuses it.

I'm not sure what the bigger problem is, the milk or the bottle, but it is driving me crazy! I want him to drink other things as it's difficult when out to refill his bottle with milk and will be much worse in the summer heat to carry milk around. But I feel that at 20 months old he should no longer have a bottle at all.

I suppose the only way is to go 'cold turkey' and throw them out, but like with the sleeping issues I keep finding reasons to do it another day. Stupid really when we sorted his night waking in just two days after months of getting up 4 or more times a night.  I just don't know how to start - do I change the drink or the bottle first? Shall I give him milk at night, in the morning or at a set time during the day? Do I offer water, juice, squash or something else? (vodka? oh, sorry that's just me!)

"This too shall pass" - a phrase I'm repeating a lot at the moment. I know in the grand scheme of things this is not a problem and he won't be going to school with a bottle hanging out his mouth but for now I am at a bit of  loss with what I should do now.


  1. Sorry, I don't have any magic answers either. My 19 month old will only drink milk out of a bottle - if I try giving her it in a beaker she physically heaves so I'm just carrying on with it.

    She does only have a bottle morning & night but I'm conscious that the longer I continue to give milk in a bottle the harder it is to come off them.

    If I were in your position I'd try just offering water in a beaker throughout the day. In the same way as BLW babies don't always want to eat but won't starve themselves, he isn't going to go thirsty all day and he'll eventually have a drink. I suppose it's better to try this tactic now before it gets too hot though.

    Maybe keep the bottle of milk just for breakfast or bedtime?

  2. I think cold-turkey is sometimes the best way. I haven't met a mother yet who hasn't said "I'm not giving my baby a dummy!" before it was born. My sister was absolutely adamant that her daughter wouldn't have one then as soon as she was born and my sister realised that they actually cry, the dummies were bought in force!

    CJ xx

  3. Could you get an opaque bottle so he doesn't realise what is in it???

    We eventually did complete cold turkey with my son when we weaned him off his bottle. My only advice would be pick a time when you are feeling strong....!

  4. Oh it's so difficult! My wee JC wouldn't take a bottle at all (he was breastfed exclusively until 5.5 months) despite trying to introduce expressed milk in one at 6 weeks old. Then one day, 5 months later, I decided to try it again and see what happened. To my astonishment he took it no problem and now has his last feed by bottle instead of breast. I haven't thought about weaning him off it in the future but I can imagine that it'll be just my luck that he won't want to part with it now! I love the photo of him taking a strop!

  5. I'm in exactly the same position with my 21 month old. Since we went cold turkey with the dummy he realised that he could use the teat as a dummy and I think he uses it for comfort. He refuses to go to sleep at night or at naptime with out his bottle to send him to sleep. Out of habbit we still let him and we dont know what else to do. Look forward to seeing what comments you get!

  6. Am glad I wrote this now, even if I don't find a magic answer (may be being optimistic with that!) it makes me feel better knowing it's not just us!

  7. We did cold turkey I am afraid to tell you. Baba was a formula baby, and so always had a bottle, when he went to proper milk, I started giving him bits in the day at 10 months he was only offered them in a tippee cup. Then at one I just threw the bottles away and gave him milk before bed in a tippee cup. He wasn't that bothered. When he came off his dummy he was older and he started preschool, he had just turned two, and came home and didn't mention his dummy. He feel asleep that night without mentioning his dummy. That night they were all hidden, he has asked for them in the past, since then,but we just tell him they have all gone and he's a big boy. Seems to work. Just pick when you are feeling strong and once you have decided don't go back on it. Thats the only advice I can give and good luck xxx

  8. Oh I feel your pain. My 27 month old daughter is fine with cups and beakers for her water or juice but milk HAS to be out of a bottle. I've bought a million cups to tempt her with. When I saw the health visitor for her two year check she made out like I was some kind of devil woman for letting her have a bottle still. So I went through a very stressful couple of days trying to get her to have it out of something different as I still want her to drink milk. But then I thought sod it, she sucks her thumb in bed and I know there's nothing I can do about that right now so what's the problem with spending 10 mins a day sucking on a bottle. Therefore my new plan is every few weeks to try a cup and if it doesn't work by age 3 then I'm just taking the bottle away and she can go without.


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