Friday, 24 February 2012
My son is a year and four months old, and still prefers his bottle to go to sleep. The past few weeks he has had to stay with his paternal grandparents while we dealt with a bed bug fiasco. They are older, and love having my son there because his younger cousins are there to play with him, but they were constantly giving him a bottle. If he got any kind of fussy, that was their first resort - a bottle.
Now that he is back, I decided it's time to start weaning him off of his bottle habits. He only uses it twice a day - nap and bed time. However, I want to try and get him off completely. Everyone around me says I am already starting too late, and that I should have done it at a year old. Part of me agrees and I feel guilty, but as a first time parent, I am getting advice from all four corners of the world. The first few days, while my boyfriend is at work, I have tried to put him down for a nap without his bottle and just a sippy cup. He raises complete hell.
He fights his sleep, and when I try to give him sippy cups instead he just throws them down. He doesn't want me to pat him, or even touch him for that matter. He cries to the point where he almost gags. It hurts me to see him so upset and I want to give in and give him his bottle, but I know inconsistency isn't going to help. I tried to play classical music, let him scream it out, etc. I even tried to find a lullaby app on my phone since we don't have a radio. (Sidenote: They have an app called the Baby Shusher... I thought that was kind of weird.)
The other issue is, at night, I would prefer to just give him the bottle because my boyfriend works like, 10-12 hours a day welding, and I know he is exhausted, and dealing with a half hour to an hour of screaming baby will just make him exhausted the next morning. I understand it's part of parenting and comes with the territory, but I wonder if there is something I can do to help make the transition easier, so my boyfriend won't be tired on the job. Besides, me giving him a bottle at night is just adding inconsistency, and that's not right on my part. Right?
There are times I wonder if this is too early. I mean, I feel bad sort of forcing him to do something he isn't necessarily ready for, but is it more of a comfort/habit than unreadiness? And if I let him set the pace and rules of things, doesn't that teach him (even at such an early age) that I have no authority? Or am I wrong for trying to make him do something he obviously doesn't want to do? I hear people say they just waited until their child was ready and gave it up on their own. I remember working in a day care center and there was a girl who was 2 years old still on a bottle and formula. I thought to myself, "Isn't she kind of too old to still have a bottle?"
I know every family, situation, and child is different, which is what makes this so hard. I don't know if I should just let him keep his bottle twice a day or really push the weaning. If the latter, I don't know what, if anything, I can do to make this situation easier. He is only a year and four months, and as smart as he is, he doesn't quite understand "It's time to give up the bottle." ::SIGH:: I don't know what to do.
How did you transition your child from a bottle to a sippy cup? Any advice or techniques that I can try?