Friday, January 21, 2011
I am suddenly just in awe of the fact that everything is moving so fast and that it seems like all of a sudden my baby is growing up and entering full blown toddler hood! I try not to be one of those mushy, gushy moms. I try not to get emotional about milestones and the fact that "My baby isn't a baby anymore", but sometimes you just have to cave. Especially when such an arduous tasks, as bottle weening and self soothing, are suddenly becoming very easy. I mean, its amazing to think that in just a few months she will be 2! She has started pretend play, and she talks ALL the time putting together two to three word sentences at a time! She wants to pick out her PJ's and "I do it" is a common phrase she says about anything and everything from taking off her shoes to opening the fridge. She asks for french fries when we go to McDonald's, and we start everyday with her asking where her best friend and cousin, Noah is. She is just getting SOOO big, and I suddenly feel like everything is moving too fast. I don't necessarily want a pause button, because I love watching her learn and grow everyday, but I do wish everything would just slow down a bit, you know?
So, as far a bottle weening goes, I'm not quite ready to call it a success, I want to give us at least a week. But, I do feel like we are days, hours, or minutes away from being there. This will be my last bottle weening blog post, unless day 6 turns out to be a disaster or major set back. Fingers crossed! We have come a long way, and we have survived. So, I guess my last bit of advice for any new mom regarding bottle weening would be to simply hang in there. You and your child are going to get through it, and at the end, you will truly see them transform from baby to toddler. It will be a bittersweet moment, but it is oh so worth it.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Day 3 and 4, yesterday and today, have been very similar. It feels like things are getting more difficult than easier. I have fielded more tantrums and given more spanking in the last two days than I have given in her entire life! Bottle weening has seemed to bring the terrible 2's to the surface, and I suddenly feel like I am trying to balance controlling terrible misbehavior with compassion over the fact that sleeping and getting through rough patches in our day without a bottle have been particularly difficult for Miss Emma. It's hard to know when she needs a spanking and when she needs to just be held and comforted! I feel so inadequate at times. The evenings have been especially difficult, which I knew they would be. Once 5:00 PM hits, we become extremely whiny and the cup just doesn't seem to cut it. She eventually cries and whines so much that she just lets me rock her to sleep and the cup sits next to us, completely full. It's kind of disheartening :(
I am grateful however that she takes the cup so well in the morning. I am so thankful I started doing that when I did, because at 6:00 AM I just don't have the energy to fight over a bottle, and I'm afraid I would just cave. So, mornings and even nap time have gone along with very little drama. It's just night time that has been really difficult.
Some of the things I have been using as a distraction are: cartoons, making extra time to just sit with her and play, color, do stickers, or a puzzle, reading books, and bath time. These things all seem to buy me a few moments of drama free weening and seem to take her mind off of things. In the car when she is grouchy and wanting a bottle, I try singing to her and I actually have a playlist of children's songs on my iPod that we listen to quite frequently. She loves it! I love the kid's music I've picked because kids actually sing the songs and I picked songs that I sang as a child so I can sing along and teach them to her. This usually seems to help take her mind off of the bottle or she just tends to fall asleep.
I can't find the actual album I have on my iPod, but I did download it off of iTunes if anyone is interested. It's called 120 Bible Songs for Kids and it's by the Countdown Kids. All the music is similar to how I remember singing it as a child, so it makes it easier for me to sing along, which I love! Here is another album I found on Amazon that you could check out by the same group:
If you've been looking for some good Bible music to sing with your kids, you should check this out! I really like it! :)
Anyway, all in all, bottle weening is simply going. It has not been as "easy" as I first thought it would be, and every night I go to bed exhausted (emotionally AND physically) from the struggle. I know in my heart that this is the best thing, but I think it's normal to doubt yourself, especially when it's difficult, or at least that's what I keep telling myself! :)
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
My hugest struggle with bottle weening is that I am slightly resentful that I even have to do it. My husband's mom weened both of her children at a year, and a lot of our friends have done the same thing. So, ever since Emma turned 1, Randy has been on me to start weening her. I did my best to defer it, and he did a pretty good job of giving me my way, but toward the end of the year, we started fighting about it more and more, and I just knew it was time. For the sake of my marriage and my sanity, it was time. But, part of me is still resentful. Resentful of how it came about and that it wasn't something I was completely okay with as a mother. Now hear me out, I had NO intentions of keeping her on a bottle until she was 3. I just don't think there is anything that awful about a 1 1/2 year old and a bottle. Especially since she was only taking it at nap time and bed time. I liked knowing how much she was getting to drink, at least twice a day, and I like that she always had the same amount of wet diapers. It made talking to a pediatrician when she was sick, that much easier! I dunno, I guess just emotionally I wasn't quite ready for this part of the journey, and maybe that's pathetic. But, regardless, I'm deep in the trenches now and there is no turning back.
Monday, January 17, 2011
I've actually had it kind of easy, because she basically semi-weened herself last week while she had the stomach flu. She has only been given milk or formula in a bottle since day 1. because I followed the pediatrician's recommendation to refrain from putting juice or anything sweet in a bottle in an effort to protect her teeth. She had teeth at a very early age, so keeping them healthy has been kind of a priority for me. Anyway, since she's only ever had milk in a bottle, and milk isn't very appetizing when you have the stomach flu, she would hardly take a bottle all week. She would kind of ask for it, but when she saw it had milk in it, she refused it. So, she was already kind of semi- weened when we started.
But, yesterday she did ask for her "ba" several times, but I just deflected it, and would say something like, "I don't have a ba, but I do have our cup?" and she for the most part would concede. This worked okay last night because we were at my dad's, and she knows that when we aren't at home, I don't always have a bottle for her. Even though this upsets her, and she usually cries, but she usually gives in and accepts that I don't have it. Despite the "easy", I still have some fears when I think about tackling bottle weening this week.
My biggest fear is mostly related to naps and bedtime. Since she turned 1, the only time I usually give her a bottle is at nap time and bedtime. This is because I was: 1.) A huge wimp that would not do self-soothing with her when she was a baby, so now my husband and I have to rock her to sleep every night, and 2.) Just doing the bottle at nap and bedtime was the first step of my bottle weening process, and with the exception of a few desperate car bottles, it actually worked really well for us. So, now that I am eliminating the bottle at nap and bedtime, I was/am worried she won't EVER go to sleep. She has NEVER taken a pacifier, so I can't really depend on that to help me out, so I think the whole going-to-sleep-minus-the-bottle thing has been the biggest source of anxiety for me. And last week also made that easy for me, because she took most of her naps and went to bed without the bottle every night. Even if the bottle was sitting right there where she could see it, she would still go to sleep and the bottle would be still sitting there full. This did give my heart some peace, because it did show me that it was possible for her to go to sleep without her bottle. But, I also knew she was sick, and I knew when her stubbornness was back up to par, this may not be as easy. And last night, when we were at my dad's there was a lot of asking for it, and whining, but she did eventually just let me rock her and she went to sleep and slept all night. So, maybe I CAN do this after all.
My other fear, is that since she turned 1, she will only drink milk out of a certain cup at my house. This cup actually got a hole in the spout recently, and I had to search high and low for another one JUST LIKE IT! I have tried to get her to drink milk out of other cups, but she usually will only take a sip or two and then she's done with it. She really likes her milk cups! I know this is common, especially when shifting from the bottle to the cup. So, I haven't made a big deal about it. I guess I just worry that what if Gerber quits making this cup or we lose the two we have and I can't find another one? Will I be doing "bottle" weening all over again? Hmm...Well, anyways, the cup that has worked best for us is the Gerber Graduates Sip & Smile Spill-Proof Cups.It has a soft, pliable spout and the liquid seems to flow easily for her. For Emma, it HAS to be the pink one! I bought my first one at Wal-Mart, but when I went recently to get a replacement, they were out of them (our Wal-Mart is ALWAYS out of everything!) and I actually bought the second one at Target. I found the cups above on Kmart's website, so they ARE out there and you don't have to buy them in a two pack, which I'm thankful for since I just need the pink one.
So, as you can see I have some fears and reservations about the whole thing, but I am sticking with it. Yesterday was only the first day, and it went well. But, today its only 9:00 AM and we've already had two break downs about the "ba" and the fact that she DOES NOT want her cup! (Which is usually conveyed by a tantrum and the throwing of the cup, which is quickly followed by a spanking! Grr!) Something tells me today is not going to be as easy, and my heart kind of breaks for her. Growing up sucks. Period.
God, please give me the strength to stick to this and get us through to the other side.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
My daughter has always taken a bottle, since she was about two weeks old. I tried breastfeeding, which didn’t really work out for us, so I switched her to a bottle and the rest is history. In addition to being bottle fed, she never took a pacifier. Unfortunately that meant that the bottle became the way she soothed herself. Even at only a few months old, she would cry like she was hungry, I would make her a bottle, and she would just suck on it until she went to sleep and hardly even drink an ounce! Because of this, I knew from the very beginning that breaking her of her bottle would be a challenge.
My mother-in-law has made a point of sharing with me from the time I was pregnant that my sister-in-law broke herself of a bottle at nine months, and my husband went not so willingly from bottle to sippy cup at a year. My mother, on the other hand, thinks my daughter should be allowed to have her bottle until she is two, because she is a nurse and she knows it easier to track a child’s fluid in take with the bottle. So as you can see, I have conflicting opinions on both sides of the fence and I find myself having to drown it all out and choose what my husband and I think is best for our daughter. So after months of deliberation and quiet arguments with my husband, I have come to the decision that I want to ween my daughter off the bottle by eighteen months.
This is a daunting task for me. Sometimes I think its going to be a bigger adjustment for me than it is for my daughter! I mean, there is nothing better than being able to hand her a bottle at 6:00 A.M. so that we can quietly drift back off to sleep, even if its only for an hour. I also relish the fact that I can hand her a bottle in car when she is being fussy to ensure a quiet, drama free ride home from the grocery store. Yes, part of me knows that giving up the bottle is going to be the biggest challenge because I enjoy the benefits of it more than my daughter does. However, I don’t want my daughter to be three and still clinging to a bottle to help her drift off to sleep or make her behave in the car, and I know first things first I must come up with a plan and stick to it!
I’ve been doing a lot of reading and the main advice I can pick up is to do it gradually. “They” say I should start by reserving bottles specifically for nap time and bedtime. After a week or two of that, I should move to only giving a bottle at one or the other, and then I should introduce a soft tipped sippy cup with warmed milk for the other, and eventually I’ll have her taking the sippy cup for both nap time and bedtime. So, this is my plan! She may go peacefully, and she may go with guns a blazing! But, either way, I have to stick to my plan and do what I think is best for my daughter.
I know there won’t be any traumatic childhood memories from this experience, and I know that the sooner I do it, the “easier” it will be, but I’m still dreading this part of the journey, probably more than the “wanting to shave her legs” and “liking boys” part of it. I guess the bright side is that I don’t have to break her of a pacifier too, right?! So, here we go…onward! Onward into another great unknown of my parenting experience! Wish me luck!