The Sonia Show

Writer. Mocker. Beer drinker. Old movie watcher. Mother. Goober.

Bottle service

19 Comments

Yeah, so, the Spawn still uses a bottle.

I know. I know. He’s 2 years old. He should have been done with the bottle a year ago. He really only has a bottle for nap time and bed time. He drinks from a sippy cup and a regular cup all day long. Don’t judge me … because it gets worse.

I let him have the bottle at night in his crib.

I know. I know. You’re not supposed to do that, and I’m the worst mother in the world. Somehow — I don’t remember when — it turned into the routine. We rock in the chair and read books while he sips his bottle of milk. Then we put him the crib, and he goes to sleep with it. Later in the evening, we sneak back in and take the bottle away. And now it’s a regular bedtime thing.

We brush his teeth, so I’m not really worried about tooth decay. And, honestly, I kinda don’t care if he has it. I worry more about the judgment that comes with it than the actual action of letting him have a bottle in his crib. I know he will outgrow it. I’m not worried that he will show up to the first day of high school with a bottle of milk in his backpack. It makes him happy, and I like it when he is happy.

The doctor, on the other hand, thinks it’s a big deal. She asked me six months ago at his 18-month checkup to ditch the bottle. I lied and said I would. I didn’t even try. In fact, I handed him a bottle of milk the second she walked out of the office because he was crying after getting five shots, and I knew he would be comforted by it.

At his 24-month checkup last week she asked me about the bottle again, and she didn’t like the answer. “Just do it. It won’t get easier,” she told me.

“OK,” I lied. She even sent me a follow-up email telling me to get rid of the bottle, and I replied that I would do it, because I’m a liar.

He still has the bottle at night, although we have been watering it down so it’s not 100 percent milk … usually. I’ve made up a million excuses for why we shouldn’t start yet. “Let’s wait until the weekend.” “But he’s got a cold and not feeling well.” “But I’m a lazy asshole and a shitty mom.”

I know the doctor is right. It’s a bad habit. And it won’t be long before we will be potty training, and the last thing you want to do is fill up his bladder right before bed. I get it.

When I think about it logically, I get it.

Here’s the thing: I don’t think about it logically. The entire situation is emotional for me. The truth is I’m not ready to give up the bottle. To me, he is still a baby — he’s my baby — and babies can have bottles. But he’s not a baby anymore. He’s a toddler. He’s a little boy. Actually, he’s not so little. He’s a big boy (97th percentile for height #humblebrag).

He's not a baby anymore. He's a robot.

He’s not a baby anymore. He’s a robot.

I feel like I’m always taking things away from Calvin. “Don’t touch that.” “Put that down.” He loves his bottle, and I don’t want to take it away. I don’t want to take something away and make him cry when I don’t have to. I don’t want to take our nice, trauma-free bedtime routine and fill it with tears and screaming.

Oh, and yeah, maybe I just don’t want to deal with the fact that he is growing up, and he doesn’t need a bottle anymore, and he’s not going to need a crib anymore, and he’s going to start driving, and he’s going to make friends, and he will want to talk to them instead of me, and he’ll go to college, and I won’t get to see him every day, and I won’t know all the details about his life, and he’ll never call me as much as I want him to, and he’ll roll his eyes at me when I tell him how much I miss him.

Maybe I can let him have the bottle just a little bit longer?

Sigh.

So, now I need to ask you, my dear readers for advice: What’s the best way to do this? Any tips or tricks for ditching the bottle? Just rip it off like a band-aid, or try weaning him from milk to water to nothing? Try switching to a sippy cup? All tips and tricks are appreciated. Also, it is OK if while weaning him off the bottle, if I hit the bottle a little more?

Photographic evidence that I"m a good mom, taking my son to the pumpkin patch.

Photographic evidence that I’m a good mom, taking my son to the pumpkin patch.

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Author: The Sonia Show

I'm a writer/mocker/goober/mother in San Francisco who likes to drink beer, shop, laugh and make other people laugh, podcast, watch old movies, feed my unhealthy obsession with pop culture, kick breast cancer's ass, wear orange and root for the San Francisco Giants, participate in general jackass-ery, talk about TV, eavesdrop on strangers' conversations, make nerdy “Star Wars” and “Simpsons” references, and post personal things about myself on the web for all to read, which makes me some sort of literary exhibitionist.

19 thoughts on “Bottle service

  1. Ugh, I totally feel you on not wanting to take something away from his that is obviously still a big source of comfort. And on not wanting him to grow up any faster.
    I think some combination of watering the milk down over time, so it’s less appealing, and maybe starting to set a time limit on it, could work. Like, let him drink from it for a while, then remove it (and yeah, I know, that will probably be fun, right?). And then a shorter interval, etc.
    Or you could have a big talk with him and try to reason with him. Because that always works well with 2-year-olds.
    But I am totally not one to talk. I’m not even going to get into all the things I should have taken away from D already. The problem is, the older he gets, the more articulate he is about all the reasons he’s not ready to give them up. “I’m really still pretty little,” he’ll tell me. *sigh*

    • HA! I have read several articles that say, “You explain to them that the bottle is going bye-bye.” That would never fly in this house. Calvin has gotten to the negotiating stage yet.

  2. Don’t feel bad. My son never used a soother but his bottle did become his “security blanket”. I have let all three kids have a bottle in bed and I don’t feel bad about it one bit because it was right in my situation. I always say do what works for you. Sorry though, no tips on weaning from the bottle.my son kinda did it on his own, and my girls aren’t there yet.

    • It makes me feel better to know that other parents commit this bottle sin, too. It could be that The Boy will just move on from it. Maybe I need to be a little patient, and ignore the doctor’s advice on this one.

      • Either that or cold turkey. For the few things we have done successfully we use the three day method. First day is horrible, screaming and crying, second day not so bad and by day 3 all better. Worked for bottles during the day and for potty training. Good luck!

  3. Wish I could help you but Kenzie still needs a pacifier to go to bed and whenever she loses it, she screams “WA-WA! WA-WA!” until somebody gets it for her. Can you try to replace the bottle with a blankie or toy? I’d say replace it with a wa-wa but then you’d just have a wa-wa problem instead of a bottle problem.

    • Calvin never took to the pacifier. The bottle is the only comfort object he has. He does have a stuffed bear, but he doesn’t really freak out if it’s not around. Some folks have suggested switching the bottle with a sippy cup, but then I’m wondering if I’m just swapping a bottle problem for a sippy cup problem. Is the bottle the issue, or is the fact that he is drinking something right before bed the issue?

  4. I feel like it should be TOTALLY up to you whether and when to take away the bottle. Unless you are putting arsenic in his bottle, it is not going to hurt him! I think a lot of children need comfort items when going to sleep. I always feel sort of sad when I hear about parents being pressured to take these items away from their children. You should do what you feel is right for your child. People who judge you for something as simple as a bottle… well, they need to get a hobby or something!

  5. The Girl stopped using a bottle at about a year old. I dont remember how we did it. She is old amd my memory is short.
    The Boy stopped when he was about 14mos because we were camping and his bottle got all gross and we were in the middle of nowhere. By the time we got home he had become really skilled at using a cup so we never gave him a bottle again.
    Bean at 13.5mos shows no sign of losing interest in a bottle. She has a sippy but she loses interest in it pretty quickly. Honestly she is most likely my last kid and I’m in no hurry to see her grow up.
    All kids are different. Just as they get teeth, learn to crawl and learn to swear at different ages, they all give up the bottle eventually.

  6. Honestly, I would only worry about the milk, ’cause abscess for a toddler is not fun. Work to replace with water, then let the kid keep his comfort. Honestly, I don’t know why we consider it a bad thing that a kid develops coping mechanisms. Growing up is hard!

  7. Both of our kids we went too long with as well. We went to at least 15-18 months with both on bottles – cut off our doctor told us was somewhere around 12-15 months. So you are not alone in pushing it out. We ended up trying a bunch of stuff but had to go Cold Turkey at the end. This was good and bad.

    Both kids did the exact same thing. We explained it to them a few weeks in advance and said in a couple weeks it is bye bye to bottles.

    When the time came they were OK with it. They just didn’t want to drink milk anymore. Yeah, that’s right, Both of my kids went on a milk protest after getting taken off bottles.

    Sydney, who is 5 now and loves milk again, lasted an entire year before drinking milk again out of a sippy. My other daughter, Hannah, is still on the protest going on 6 months now. So good they no longer have bottles, bad you gotta supplement their dairy with other things like yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, smoothies, etc.

    – Pbiddy

  8. It’s been awhile since we went through this, but Madeleine was a bottle junkie – she was still waking up in the middle of the night crying for a bottle right up until we went to preschool. I think it was some combination of shaming/reason (“preschoolers don’t drink from bottles anymore” … definitely one of my proudest parenthood moments) and switching to a sippy cup. She eventually just stopped wanting it. And guess what: she started sleeping through the night for the first time in her life.

  9. Every time I read your posts my finger hovers over the speed dial button for CPS. Ha! I fucking crack myself up.

    Yeah, parenthood can blow sometimes. And everybody has an opinion, and those who criticize your approach to parenting are assholes because they think they’re perfect and they’re the type of people who will never utter “I don’t know” because they ALWAYS know the best way to do this or that and are never shy about sharing their opinions with you.

    I’m getting all worked up here. Sorry.

    So the bottle. I honestly don’t remember when we weaned our kids off of it. I guess as soon as they moved on to sippy cups. Maybe you can substitute the bottle for a new toy that he can take to bed. Make him trade with you. The boy used to use a pacifier. In fact, he had about 3 or 4 that he had in his hands at all times and would constantly swap them around as one got too warm or something. He had those things until he was almost 5 I think. We took them away one at a time I think, and then traded him a toy he wanted for the last one. Of course that very night he wanted to trade back.

    In the end, there are bigger battles to have. Guaranteed he won’t walk down the aisle at his high school graduation with a bottle in his hand. Well, I could be wrong. Booze comes in bottles.

    See, bigger battles await. You’re doing fine.

  10. Pingback: Bye bye, bottles | The Sonia Show

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