Monday, January 10, 2011

Bottle Weaning

As a mother of a toddler, any accomplishment in the developmental arena is a huge deal.  Just this week I began a "no bottle in bed" policy, which I have been a little wary of addressing.  I had previously worked up to this stage (for the last 6 months-*sigh*) by making bottles a nap-time/night-time only thing, and to move up to a "no bottle at all" world, my husband and I had our daughter personally throw away each of her bottles.  Results of this new policy have been excellent, however, the first night was awful.  My daughter continuously asked for her "baw-el" -heartbreaking :-( -, but we firmly reminded her that she had thrown away her bottles, and there weren't any left.  Since that first night last week, we have had no problems with night-time or nap-time sleeping.  Before we initiated this change, I made sure that she had another object that she could use as comfort for those times, such as a baby doll or a blanket.  That has made the transition easier by far.  Other recommendations for making an easy transition are:
  • Communicate with your child about what is going on.  Tell them why or remind them of what you've done to move to this stage.  Create a relationship of trust with your child now, where they can feel able to come to you with questions and concerns and know that you will help them.
  • Allow them to find another object for comfort, like a favorite toy or blanket.
  • Gradually eliminate one use at a time.  For example, if your child uses a bottle at nap-time and at night, get rid of the nap-time bottle first, then get rid of the night-time bottle once they've adjusted.  
I know it's a daunting task, but you can do it! As a side note, here is a link to an article about the advantages of bottle weaning: http://www.aapd.org/upload/articles/Koranyi-13-01.pdf.

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