Two days ago I decided to do something radical. Something daring. Something that might drive me to an insane asylum…
I decided that it was time for Elanor to give up her bottles.
She is almost 13 months old, and all the books say that once a baby can drink from a sippy cup, the bottle is just a crutch. She’s been able to drink from a sippy for a while, although it took a lot of trial and error to find one that really worked for her. We had done that, and I had done a test run where she got the sippy all day, and she was fine.
The older a kid gets, the harder it is to ditch the pacifier/bottle, and that’s how you end up seeing 3 and 4 year olds running around with bottles and pacifiers, which along with 4 year olds in strollers is a HUGE pet peeve of mine.
I had also begun to notice that while she used to not care about going to bed with a bottle, it had become a necessity, which was not a good thing.
So on Monday I took away the bottle.
Night one went okay because she was exhausted.
Night two became a battle of wills sometime around fuck all o’clock in the middle of the night. She cried, I went in and gave her a sippy with some milk in it. She threw it. She cried. I gave her the sippy. She sucked a few times to moisten her vocal cords, then threw it so that she could recommence screaming. We cuddled in a chair and she finally drank from the sippy. I put her back to bed and listened to her cry for a good 10 minutes.
I didn’t get back to sleep for another half hour while I questioned my decision, my parenting skills (or lack thereof) and tried not to cry myself. I don’t do so well at fuck all o’clock in the morning….
When we woke up again at the far more civilized hour of 9:30 (still early for us, though) she was her bright shiny self. Obviously my parenting has damaged her and she’ll never recover…
It’s a lot like ferberizing…it’s a crappy short run tradeoff for a great long term result. But, also like ferberizing, it’s not right for every parent or every kid. If it really hadn’t worked for E, we would have given her the bottles back. But as it is working, and she’s just having some growing pains when we don’t give in and let her have her way, I’m going to settle in for the test of wills.
We are now coming up on night three…wish me luck. Or if not luck, a pair of earplugs and a fifth of vodka would be welcomed.