Babies usually start out on the breast but life and busy schedules may require that bottles be introduced into the picture. Bottles ensure that the baby gets her regular nourishment and allows the mother to deal with other issues as they arise.
As much as it is a convenience for everyone, the bottle only has a short lifespan in a baby’s life. The baby will eventually have to quit the bottle as she grows older. Pediatricians suggest that babies stop the bottle at one year of age and should not go past 18 months. The nipple may interfere with your child’s tooth alignment if they continue using the bottle for too long. Getting to that point will need a bit of patience and strategy.
You probably already have a set target for your baby. It would work in your favor if you started the process earlier. A month earlier is not that bad and two months earlier is even better. This will allow you to go slower and will ensure that it is not too big a change for the little one.
Time it right
Getting your baby off the bottle is hard work and timing it right will make the transition easier. It would therefore be wiser if you began the weaning when your little princess is not sick or going through some new changes like a recent move, a new babysitter or a change in her day-care schedule.
You will have an easier time if you start out when she is not that hungry or during a meal that doesn’t interest her as such. Once a day would be a good start so that she can continue to enjoy her feeds and gain all the necessary nourishment.
Slow is the way to go
Some babies may not have a hard time quitting the bottle cold turkey but most do.Starting slowly and increasing the frequency gradually is a much better approach. You can start by removing the bottle from the feed that she doesn’t concentrate on a lot. This will probably be midday. Replace the bottle with a cup during this feed as you go on increasing the frequency. You can also fill the bottle with water instead of milk or formula. This may just get her bored and quit the bottle faster. Ensure that your baby doesn’t miss out on her required daily nutrition.
It is easier to forget something that is not in your sight every day as compared to that which you always see. Choose a nice hiding place that she is not likely to unearth easily. This will keep her mind off the bottle during the rest of the day when you are busy implementing your strategy.
This is not a one-day affair and it may take up to a month or even more. It is important that you keep your cool during this time. It will affect how your baby takes the new change and you definitely want her to take it well, don’t you?
Eliminating the bottle should not be your job only. Fill everyone in on your intentions and make sure that they are on board as well. This is to keep the program going even when you are not around. Consistency will ensure that the training is successful sooner rather than later.
There will be a lot of tears and fussing during this period of time so you will definitely need that calm composure. You may even be included in the tear parade! Once your little angel gets the hang of it though you will wonder why you never started it sooner!
picture from horint.org