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Old 03-24-2012, 06:52 AM   #1
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Help for our major parenting FAIL

I'm super ashamed to admit this but we've gotten to the point that something needs to be done now. I'm a moderately crunchy mom- pumped for 8 months, cloth diapered, bed share, babywear, etc etc. But....





Our son will be 3 in September and still takes a bottle

He can drink from a regular cup, straw, or sippy just fine, and does during the day. But during naps, bedtime, and when he gets scared or upset the bottle is all he wants. I wasn't allowed to nurse right after his birth and once the hospital wised up he had already gotten a bottle and wanted nothing to do with the breast. I tried my hardest but hej ust wouldn't nurse. This next baby won't ever even know what a bottle is if I can help it!

The biggest issue is that his bottle is basically his lovey. We've tried to get him attached to other objects- blankets, stuffed animals, toys, etc, to no avail. He has his bottle for that stuff.

He will throw a MAJOR tantrum if we just take the bottle away cold turkey. But I don't know the best route to take. He has a very bad temper and is very mommy attached. He can fall asleep without the bottle, but needs to have it near him. We've trie dputting water or juice but that only works when he's sick. Do we do it cold turkey, slowly wean, or water down the milk? His teeth and weight are good but he'll be starting preschool in October and well he's just too old!

Please no judgement, just advice. Thank you so much!

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Old 03-24-2012, 07:05 AM   #2
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Re: Help for our major parenting FAIL

*hugs8 I wish I had some advice, but we are in the same boat. My 2ds is special needs with lots of feeding issues and gets most of his caloric intact from his bottle. He has been to a dentist and his teeth are perfect, the feeding team dr told us is we don't have a problem with it then it's not a big deal. So that's where we stand with it. He had his tonsils and adenoids recently out and isn't taking as much as he use to. Again, no real help I know, but at least you know that your lo isn't the only one and def no judgement here! <3
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:45 AM   #3
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Re: Help for our major parenting FAIL

No judgement here, since we are in the same boat, except DD will be three next month. She has blankies, but the bottle is part and parcel with the blankies. Her teeth and weight are just fine with the bottle. I just know it's gonna be a huge fight to drop the baba. Sigh......
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:06 AM   #4
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Re: Help for our major parenting FAIL

Don't feel bad mama......there are FAR worse things you can do as a parent!

My oldest daughter was attached to the bottle for a while (needing it before bed); we tried replacing the milk with water, watering down her milk, etc. but that didn't work.
What worked was first replacing the connection to "fill tummy with milk, go to bed" -- we just shifted her nighttime routtine. So instead of giving her the bottle in the rocking chair in her room and putting her to bed after she got drowsy/sleepy, I would give her the bottle sitting on the couch in the living room. Then we would get up, play for a few minutes, read some books, brush teeth, rock for a bit, and go to sleep. It broke the cycle of dependency for her. After a few weeks of this, she wasn't as attached to the bottle, period. So we kept the same routine, but instead I would give her a straw cup on the couch instead of the bottle -- still snuggling with her in my lap. I had to 'distract' her the first few nights......I just picked a fun book and we looked at that while she sipped on the straw cup (we tried a bunch and she liked the soft straws, I think we used the munchkin brand straw cups). Anyway, it was a slow transition but completely painless for her -- there was not one night of crying or fussing over it. We still have the same bedtime routine and it works well, because she isn't dependent on sucking/drinking something to fall asleep.

She never used the bottle as her lovey, however. It sounds like he is more attached to it as an object. Have you tried just giving it to him empty? He might suck on it for a bit (like a pacifier), but I would think it would lose its appeal after a while. And have you let him pick out his lovey at the store? He might get more attached to it that way. Perhaps if you can just find something that he will love more than the bottle, you can give him the choice what to sleep with ("Do you want your empty bottle, or your monkey?") I don't know.........I haven't quite BTDT just trying to give some suggestions. =)

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Old 03-24-2012, 12:03 PM   #5
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Re: Help for our major parenting FAIL

We took the bottle away cold turkey at 14 months. It honestly sounds like that would be the best route for you.

Maybe you can dress up the bottle in some way to make it a "big boy", replace the nipple with a cap, and still let him use it as lovey, just NOT to be drinking out of it anymore. But, if it were me, I'd still take it away cold turkey.

Goodluck If you do take it away cold turkey, the tantrums can be hard to listen to, but it won't take long before he gets the idea. Took DS about 3 days, and then off and on for maybe a couple weeks, but before long he completely forgot about the bottle!
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:31 PM   #6
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Re: Help for our major parenting FAIL

if he only likes milk in it, maybe putting water in it ONLY will help him want to get rid of it. he might tantrum, but at least he will have the comfort of the bottle without the worry on his teeth? And if there is something special he wants, maybe he can earn it by points for each nap/night w/o it? good luck!
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:17 PM   #7
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Re: Help for our major parenting FAIL

Meh... There are worse things. Try giving just water in it.

My 6 year old had a very traumatic few years with a neurological disorder and got super attached to her bottle. We put just water at night and sugar free ice tea once a day.

He wont go to college with it, I promise.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:18 PM   #8
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Re: Help for our major parenting FAIL

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmelody View Post
Meh... There are worse things. Try giving just water in it.

My 6 year old had a very traumatic few years with a neurological disorder and got super attached to her bottle. We put just water at night and sugar free ice tea once a day.

He wont go to college with it, I promise.
Yeah. This is something that I cared about BEFORE I had kids. There really are worse things. My 3.5 yr old is still nursing. If that is okay, then shouldn't it be okay for a toddler to still have a bottle? I think so.

Personally, I would NOT take it away right before he gets a sibling. That is hard enough and I am not one to ever withhold comfort from a child.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:45 PM   #9
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Re: Help for our major parenting FAIL

I've never understood what the big deal is with an older toddler having a bottle (besides teeth) Some mamas nurse their babies longer than that so why wouldn't it be normal to still be attached to the bottle? Anyhoo... You've already been given some good ideas. What about 'loosing' the nipples? Or sending the bottle away? My friend's 3 year old still had a paci and they boxed it up, decorated it, wrapped it and put it in the mailbox to be delivered to a baby that needed it. Obviously it wasn't sent anywhere, mama took it out later but her daughter got a ritual of letting it go.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:23 PM   #10
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We just took his away cold turkey 2 weeks ago and only 2 days of crying and fussing and we're fine. We told him that we lost the bottles and they were gone.

First night he cried for about an hour total .. 2nd night 30 min. 3rd night nothing. It just has to be something you set your mind to and do. You can do it!!
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