The blessed bottle is hard to give up for some. For those Parents who started off breast feeding and went on to use a bottle, or those who started out the gate with bottles or for those parents that now use both; the bottle brings much reassurance not just to child but to parent.
From measuring the amount of milk intake, the comfort it gives before a sleep and the bonding time that is created during the experience of a milk feed so much so that we offer up the experience to grandparents and close friends as an honoree task to be given, proud to be asked and accept!
BUT…what happens when the feeds become more than just that and the habit of the sucking reflex becomes pacifying? When the family realizes, bad habits have been created, over feeding and using as a crutch to sleep train as well as keeping the child quite in situations that need not be. Or simple its “time” to be rid of as not needed, showing you quite nicely your child has moved on in their development. Here is what you can do in just a few steps to make sure the transition is smooth, please follow the below advice so that as a parent the nightmare of filling up are gone for good.
- Mealtimes need to be consistent with quality and the right quantity of balanced meals and snacks in place so that you are only left with 3 feeds via bottle: Morning, Afternoon and Before Bed.
- The Afternoon bottle will be the first to go as with the meals in place and a solid routine sorting those mealtimes your child should be in taking enough solid food to not need an 8oz milk feed as a supplement. Instead a snack is the replacement.
- Within 5 days of doing so and your child showing the willingness to now have those snacks which should be a handful you will successfully move onto the next step still doing morning and before bed.
- The Morning bottle this is the next to go, the reason being is that your child would of slept their full 12 hours and be ready to re-fuel at breakfast so look to make some fresh porridge which is long releasing for energy or some eggs perhaps and offer up the breakfast first at the table once some food as been eaten place the milk beaker cup down in front of them to drink whilst eating their breakfast. Remember milk can be placed in their foods and also you can if they leave offer the cup during the morning after breakfast. Do for 5 days and then move on the next step.
- Finally is the Evening Before Bed bottle. Why? because it’s what brings the most comfort of what our children have been used to in association with sleep also the sucking reflux after a long day is the habit created that pacifies, comforts, before that sleepy mode. By now you have a pretty solid mealtime routine set up around 5 mealtimes including snacks before you get to bed time. Here is where bath happened, and now here is where you offer the milk in a Sippy cup, or a strawed cup they are able to suck but from Not a bottle this allows them to see this cup is different but that they are still drinking their milk. Move on to reading bed time stories as you encourage them to drink more of their milk and then so fourth to bed. (AFTER TEETH BRUSHING)
- Most parents mindful look to give up the bottles around 18 months which is great but if you are a parent who is now just doing so and your child is 3 now is the time as you do not want any habits to hinder speech and food challenges.
Note: The milk is now transferred 3 times a day but in a beaker after the main meals as to not interfere with mealtime proportions and water in the same cup should be given throughout the day. Milk quoted here does not mean chocolate milk. One- 1 pint of full fat milk be given to all toddlers great calcium for healthy bones teeth nails etc. Please do not follow diet fads and give any less. From 5 years move on the lower % fat milk.
Please read my LITTLE CUP, BIG CUP TECHNIQUE to see the next transition.
Copywritten by Jo Frost