Monday, May 24, 2010

My Daughter, the Bottle-holic.

At Tori's twelve month appointment, my pediatrician looked sternly at me over her glasses and asked, "is she still getting bottles?"

When I shamefacedly admitted that yes, I hadn't even attempted to wean her from her naptime and bedtime bottles, she launched into a full-blown lecture.

I had better do it sooner rather than later, she said.

Every day I waited, I made the eventual trauma of having to go bottle-less a little worse for Tori. Delay too long and I might as well start a savings account to pay for her future therapy bills.

Plus, Tori's teeth were in danger of rotting out of her head and when they did, she'd be the only second-grader with dentures in Bloomington.

So, the pediatrician advised, I should just start replacing the milk in her bottles with water, and before anyone could yell "say cheeeeeese," she'd be off the bottle and on her way to a picture perfect smile.

Thoroughly cowed, I swore to follow my physician's sage advice.

The day after Tori's appointment, I replaced the milk in her bedtime bottle with some warm water. But when I gave it to her? She took one short guzzle before making a horrified face and throwing it clear across the room.

And her screams? Might just have pierced the sound barrier.

Needless to say, I went and got her some milk.

The next night, I tried the old switcheroo again, with equally painful results.

And again the next.

And after that? I gave up. There is only so much pain my ear drums can stand, you know?

Besides, I like (make that love) those few quiet moments we get together while she drinks her bottle. She curls up on my lap in the big blue chair and grabs her bottle with one hand while she runs the other through my hair. Meanwhile, I bury my nose in the sweet grassy scent of her head, close my eyes and enjoy her warm, heavy stillness.

Then, when she's done, she turns around in my arms and chatters at me, playing with my lips and beeping my nose. I beep her back and together we giggle, reconnecting after the long hours apart. It's easily one of the best parts of my whole day.

So yes, my daughter's a bottle-holic. But while they say the first step is admitting you have a problem, I'm not ready to do anything about it yet.

Is it so wrong to want to hang tight to this last little bit of baby-ness just a little longer?

10 comments:

  1. Oh crap, I have to wean from bottles already? Sigh. . . . cue the screaming. (Mine and Bjorn's.)

    Keep the night bottle. There is only so much time for all these little baby rituals that you love and its such a small thing. She'll leave the bottle when she's ready. And if not, that's why they make dentures - for babies and mamas who love their evening time together. :)

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  2. Hey, that's fine, I'm trying to get my three year old to stop sucking her thumb. Oh, and to use the potty. Both of those things are not going well.

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  3. It is easier the earlier you do it, but I will admit, I didn't wean my girls until 2 and neither of them died. And their teeth are perfect. I would recommend not replacing the "ba ba" with a sippy cup...I did that, then just had to re-wean them off those a year later. I get the dumb mom award:)

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  4. My brother in law is a pediatric dentist (and my SIL is a regular dentist) and he (and my husband who manages the office) would disagree with the bottle thing. --Not to be all preachy, cause I'm TOTALLY NOT A MOM-- but there's a reason it has a name, baby bottle decay. If you think the screaming is painful to deal with, wait until all her beautiful teeth have to be capped silver. You will wish you had snatched that bottle away sooner.
    Just be careful, I've heard many horror stories from the very sad dentist who has to fix these problems. And the night bottle is really the worst.

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  5. Try switching milk to a sippy cup at first. I started Aidyn-man with a sippy cup when he was about 10-11 months old, and it was an easy transition. But I agree with Kelli, not fun with tooth decay! I started brushing Aidyns teeth with just water at first, and then tooth paste without florid. (practice tooth paste!) I know you like your special moments, but maybe you can replace them! Aidyn and I have a special song, 2 prayers, and books before bed. Those things you could keep for as long as she'll let you!

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  6. I really don't know what the issue is with the bottle. It's not like you're putting her to bed with it and she's sucking on it all night. My son was 18 months when we were "ordered" off the bottle (he wouldn't drink milk out of a sippy). The ped said he didn't care if he didn't have milk for a year - he had to give up the bottle!

    One thing you can do if you really want to start the process is gradually watering down the bottle as opposed to going cold turkey.

    BUT it sounds like it's a beautiful and much-needed bonding time for you, so take your time. AND, um, they're BABY TEETH! They'll fall out eventually, they won't rot out of her head. Good grief!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog - I'm a new follower over here! ;)

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  7. As someone who nursed each of her babies till they were over 12 mos.old, Nope. Not a thing wrong.

    You da Mommy!

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  8. 12 months is too early to get the bottle lecture! My daughter had no bottle transition issues at all, but I'm starting to think the pacifier in her bed may be with her until she's goes to college. We all have something we're dealing with. Have you tried the Born Free training cups? I sing the praises of these cups to every mom I know. They feel and look similar to bottles. They cost a little more than most cups, but I say it's totally worth a try. Good luck! But don't stress about it yet. (I'm new here, by the way. Hello!)

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  9. Here's my take on the bottle issue...babies who are breastfed are often nursed into their second year of life. In some parts of the world, it's very common to breastfeed until three or older. I have yet to hear of masses of babies who choose to give up sucking for comfort on their first birthdays, you know? I think they still need that closeness and the sucking well beyond that first birthday, whether it comes from breast or bottle. For that reason, my older boys had bottles until they were 2, and my third will as long as he needs it, too. I also use toddler formula during that second year because I don't think that most babies that age get a varied enough diet. But that's probably another discussion!

    If having three kids has taught me anything, it's that Mommy instincts are usually right on the money. Yours are telling you to keep nurturing your baby in this way. So, do it. You won't regret it, I promise!

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