What age did I wean my baby off the baby bottle?
After her 18 months visit to her pediatrician, her doctor told me to wean her totally off her baby bottle to keep her teeth healthy. As soon as we got home I packed all her baby bottles and pacifiers and kept them all in the closet. She was checking me from time to time in the kitchen smiling at me. Maybe she thought I was busy preparing her bottle of milk since it was also her time to drink. After 5 minutes of back and forth with excitement, she came to the kitchen and I gave her milk to drink. She was frustrated upon seeing her milk was in a sippy cup because it was commonly used for her apple juice and water. She was pulling my hand seems she wanted to indicate something. Even if she could not talk yet, I understand what she wants a milk in a baby bottle. It was so tough especially in the first week of weaning because seems she was crying without reason. She sucks her fingers every time showing me that she needs a pacifier. But I stick to my decision and reminding myself of the advantages of weaning her off the bottle of milk.
This moment reminded me of my niece that was weaned off her bottle when she turned 4 years old. What happened was a very funny drama. She was sitting in front of the computer while slowly drinking her milk in a sippy cup. And everybody was praising her "Wow you are four now and a big girl to drink in a bottle. It's so nice to see you drinking in a sippy cup Dawn. We are so proud of you?" She was so quiet at first. Suddenly, she started crying with big tears and she uttered, "I hope Mama I can celebrate my birthday again tomorrow." All I thought at first was she just enjoyed blowing her candles on her birthday cake. I answered her "Birthdays are celebrated once in a year Dawn and you just have your own celebration, I guess it's enough?" But it was so surprising when she answered me and still sobbing "No, I want to celebrate my birthday again, I don't wanna be 4. I want to be 3 again because 4 can't drink in a bottle but when I'm 3 I could, Please let's celebrate my birthday again and put 3 candles on my cake?" But it is only a week of complaining, sometimes kids were just sometimes scared of the changes but when they are accustomed to it they will be fine.
Factors I considered why weaning her the first time of the baby bottles is a success:
- I have already introduced to her different kinds of sippy cups as early as 6 months. So by this age, she knew how to hold and drink alone from her sippy cup.
- I prepared myself too. I felt it was so important not to give into her cry. I bought her new toys for us to play together, and we keep going out to play in the park.
- Gave her more finger food like cheerios, puffs and some fruits.
- Since she doesn't want to drink warm milk I gave her cold milk (not icy cold). So that she will feel she is just drinking her juice. (I just warm up 2 ounces of water in the microwave for 30 seconds or less and mix in the powder milk then add another 2 ounces of cold water.)