I’m very lucky that taking my baby off the bottle was an easy task for us as many other milestones have been. I’m thankful she started sleeping nine hours overnight at around seven weeks old and now at not even 22 months is on her second day of potty training. This new milestone has me reminiscing about how proud I was for being able to wean her off the baby bottle at an early age. My original plan was to take her off the minute she turned one in October. However, we had a family vacation planned for Thanksgiving, and I thought that having her suck from her bottle on the 6-hour flight to and from Hawaii might ease the pain of clogged ears if that occurred. We took her off the bottle as soon as we came back from Hawaii. She had just turned 13 months.
I’ve mentioned before that having a schedule has always worked well for us. More than anything we have a routine. At about nine months, she started drinking a bottle three times a day which coincided with her sleeping schedule. She took her bottle filled with milk before both of her naps and another right before bed. Because I didn’t want to take away her baby bottle cold turkey and mess with our schedule- I planned for it to vanish from her routine in a process that took three days.
Day 1: Nap 1 (sippy cup), Nap 2 (bottle), Bedtime (bottle)
Day 2: Nap 1 (sippy cup), Nap 2 (sippy cup), Bedtime (bottle)
Day 3: Nap 1(sippy cup), Nap 2 (sippy cup), Bedtime (sippy cup)
By the third day of our new routine, we were so happy because she had no recollection of her bottle. I was especially happy because I would no longer have to wash countless bottle pieces!
I do want to mention that she has always loved to do things for herself but I consciously never let her hold her bottle. Because of that, I believe she didn’t develop an attachment, and therefore, didn’t need it for comfort or security. She received nourishment from her bottle and replacing it with a sippy cup provided her with a sense of independence that toddlers crave while also filling her tummy.
I’m no expert, and I don’t know if taking a bottle sooner rather than later makes a difference in a child’s behavior or health. I made a personal choice, and I hope that our process can help anyone needing advice on this subject.
I’m a planner, so my best piece of advice is to plan ahead of time. I’ve had her weaning off the bottle and potty training schedule in my head since I was pregnant. I ask that you wish us luck on this next milestone and good luck on yours!