Thursday, July 10, 2008

In Action: Weaning from Bottle

This post may contain affiliate links.
As you may have noticed, Kaitlyn has basically been an easy dream with everything we have ever done. No complaints here. I assumed weaning from the bottle would be no different. She drank water from a sippy cup like a champ. No problem.

I nursed Kaitlyn up to 1 year old. My husband and I left for a week-long vacation without the children a few days after she turned 1. The kids were scheduled to spend half of the week at my parents house and half of the week at my husband's parents house.

Had I been home after Kaitlyn was weaned from nursing, I would have taken her straight to the sippy. I had no doubt she would be okay with that. However, I was also positive she would drink her milk better if it came from the bottle. I didn't know how she would react to being without her mommy for a week, and I didn't want to worry about her eating. So I opted to move her from nursing to bottle and would tackle the weaning from bottle to sippy once I got home. I thought at worst, it would take four weeks of doing one feeding per week. I was wrong.

I got home, gave her a week to get back in the groove of being home, and started the weaning. Was she ever disgusted to have milk coming out of her sippy cup! Like I said, she has been drinking water from a sippy since six months old with no problem. But for some reason, she did not like milk coming out of there. We needed to take this slower than one feeding a week.

It took us about two months to get fully there. I did one feeding in a sippy until she would finally take it. I chose the feeding right after her afternoon nap. It took her several weeks, but she finally started to drink from it. Then I did her lunch feeding. She adjusted to this one much faster. I kept it at that for a couple of weeks. We had a lot of setbacks because she would get a cold and refuse to drink from the sippy again. But we pushed through.

Then I moved the morning feeding to a sippy. No problem. She didn't even bat an eye. Then we went and bought all BPA free sippys, moved her to those, and dropped the 4th bottle all in one day. Again, no problem.

She was resistant at first, but eventually came around and is back to her flexible self.

So what would I have done differently?

First, in many ways, I would have done things the same. I wanted peace of mind knowing my daughter would eat well while I was out of town. It was a tricky situation. If I had been home, I would have moved her to sippys instead.

Second, I would have changed something at 6 months of age. I recommend breastfeeding moms give their babies a bottle every so often to be sure they will drink from it. See: Non-BW Tips and Tricks: Breastfeeding moms, give your baby a bottle: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/non-bw-tips-and-tricks-breastfeeding.html. I also introduce the sippy cup at 6 months and offer that with water each day just to get baby used to it.

With my next child, I think I will do the bottle once a week, then at 6 months when I start the sippy cup, offer a sippy once a week rather than a bottle. This way he/she can be used to milk coming from it rather than just water. If I had known for a fact that Kaitlyn would have taken a sippy well, I would have moved her to a sippy after weaning instead of bottles. This whole process was a lot harder with Kaitlyn than I ever anticipated. Hopefully we all can learn from it!

42 comments:

Jamie said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile but I'm not sure if I've ever left a comment.

This post sparked a question though and I am hopeful that you (or some other Babywise mom's) can help me out.

My son is nearly 8 months old. I've offered the sippy cup nearly every day since he was 6 months old with water in it and I even tried diluted juice. For some reason I can't convince him to suck on it. He just wants to chew on the tip. I have tried two different types of cups -- one with a more rigid tip and another with a more plyable tip (Advent) but he has no interest in actually drinking out of either. I can get him to drink a little water from a small cup but moving straight to a cup doesn't seem like a good long-term solution as it is very messy.

I'm also interested in how to control the mess during feedings. Now that Bo is starting to self-feed it seems like he needs a bath after each feeding.

Any suggestions for either question would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks!

Jennifer said...

This is a great post. I have a question though: what did you do when Kaitlyn wouldn't take milk in the sippy cup? Would you offer the bottle instead or would she just not get the nutrition from that feeding? I'm trying to get my baby to take a bottle and this seems like a similar situation. I don't know what to do when she just likes to chew on the bottle nipple. If I continue to give up and breast feed, she'll never learn...but can I just skip the feeding because she won't take it from a bottle? Any ideas would be great! Thanks!

Ashley said...

Great post, I really agree with giving the breast-fed baby an occasional bottle unless you never ever plan to leave. My second took an occasional bottle easily the first 6 months, then we stopped doing it because we moved and didn't know anyone so what was the point in the occasional bottle. Then at about 15 months we really wanted to get out more, go on trips, dates, etc. and he totally refused bottle and sippy cups. I eventually had to hold him down with the bottle in his mouth while he cried for about 10 minutes till he finally took it. I needed to know he would take a bottle while we were gone on a trip. It was REALLY tough force feeding him the first time. He just wanted to nurse and we both cried. If I had given a weekly bottle all along I might not have had to go through this. Now with number 3 who is almost 3 months old I still haven't given a bottle yet, but am going to a women's bible study and scrap-booking at church tomorrow night, so baby and dad will get their first try. Wish me luck, hope it goes well :)

ShawnaBunch said...

I find your blog really helpful. I am wondering if you have any info on vacationing or traveling. We will be taking an 8 day trip with my in-laws at the end of Nov. and my son will be 10 months. My in-laws are not supportive of BW and don't understand that DS needs a certain amount of sleep a night. I could use some input. Thanks so much!

John and Amanda said...

I'm going through the same thing with my 12 month old son right now. He will sip on a sippy all day long, but won't drink a substantial amount from it. I've been doing sippy's of water for months with him.

In my recent attempts I have found one trick:

I offer milk in a different kind/shape sippy cup than water. For some reason this worked. I have been using a soft nipple gerber cup with water, and I used a hard plastic playtex cup with the milk so there was a drastic difference (one also has handles and the other doesn't).

I have tried doing sippy cups of milk on occassion in the last 6 months or so and I was always met with resistance. But once I changed what kind of cup I offered it in, he took it.

Anyway, just a little trick that worked for my son. I know they are all so different, but maybe this "trick" will help someone else out, too. :)

Plowmanators said...

Jamie,

For the sippy cup, I would continue offering. Perhaps you could try one like one made by Nuby with a very soft tip. (here is a link to a site with pictures--it also breaks down BPA free vs. non BPA free Nuby) http://thesoftlanding.wordpress.com/2008/01/09/which-nuby-bottles-and-sippy-cups-are-really-bpa-free/

Those ones are good because liquid comes out when they bite down. It seemed to help my daughter learn quickly. My son learned on the Avent.

For the mess in feedings...I will do a post on that. Expect that early next week!

Plowmanators said...

Jennifer, Hard call. With Kaitlyn, she just didn't get milk for that feeding. With a younger baby, I don't know if that would be my suggestion, espcially if it might compromise your milk supply.

One woman I know sent her baby to her mom's house for a day to learn to eat from a bottle. He screamed for half the day, then ate the other half. This was the recommendation of her pedi.

You could pump for feedings she was drinking from the bottle. It is an idea to consider.

Plowmanators said...

Ashley, Good luck! Thanks for sharing that experience. I think it is a good idea to give the bottle no matter you plans; you never know what the future holds.

Plowmanators said...

ShawnaBunch,

I sure do! See these posts on traveling:

Camping Tips : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/06/camping-tips.html

Dealing With Disruptions To Your Routine: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/dealing-with-disruptions-in-your.html

Flying with a Baby : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/03/flying-with-baby.html

Traveling and CIO http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/04/traveling-and-cio.html

Traveling in a Car : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/04/traveling-in-car.html

Traveling With Baby: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/traveling-with-baby.html

Plowmanators said...

Amanda,

Thanks for sharing that tip! I have found that to work also.

Emily said...

Hi! I just found your blog and I'm in love with it!! I'm on my third baby....my first was a demand fed/cosleeping baby and he was a nightmare for the first three months, no joke...and I was a wreck. I instituted CIO at 12 weeks and he has been a dream child ever since....I was sold. My second child I started CIO at 8 weeks but at a horrible time, with family staying with us, so I wasn't consistent and it completely backfired. Eventually she figured it out and has also been a great sleeper since about 5 months old. SOOO, with my third child, I'm with BW from the get go!! I started CIO at 5 weeks and she's now 7 weeks and for the most part goes down with very little crying. Here are my questions if you'd be so kind:

Start of day....we are still working on a constant start time because her night wakings are hard for me to figure out. She eats every 3 hours during the day....sometimes I let her go 3 1/2 but I really try to stick to the 3 hour except for one 2 or 2 1/2 stretch right before bed. She goes to sleep at 7 or 7:30 pm. I have to wake her for a dream feed after that....she will NOT wake on her own. And I have to REALLY wake her, like, turn the lights on, unswaddle, change diaper, or else she's OUT and won't eat. So I've been doing the dream feed at 10:30 or 11:00 then going to bed. Most nights she gets up around 3. But after that, she gets up again at 5! I'm shooting for a 6 or 6:30 wake time so I can get her fed before my other kids get up. But if I get her up at that time, or even at 7, she barely eats. THEN it throws off her first nap b/c she's hungry. SO, my questions(finally).

1. Should I drop the dreamfeed? Then at least I could go to bed earlier and since she's waking twice anyway, maybe the waketimes would be spaced out so that she'd take a full feeding at 6:30 like I want?

or

2. Should I try to push the 3:00 feeding later by offering some water or a pacifier, and then hopefully that feeding will become 4:00 and then she'll be able to have a better feeding at 6:30?

I'm not sure what to do about it...I guess I could try a couple nights without the dreamfeed and see what happens but my optimum goal is for her to go from 11 to 6 am without eating.

Also we're having trouble with her breaking out of the swaddle but that's a whole 'nother post altogether :)

THANKS SOOO much!!!

mommytoisabella said...

What do you think of the cups with the soft sprout? Isabella is having a hard time with the sippie cups recently I found the "Born Free Trainer" with a soft sprout. Will using it defeat the purpose of weaning from the bottle? Or will it help in transitioning her? She does well with drinking water and juice out of the "take and toss" cups by First Year, put will not take formula out of them.

Plowmanators said...

Emily,

1. It is possible to drop the dreamfeed; some babies don't do well with it. But if you do, realize it will likely be a longer time before she STTN.

2. I don't think I would do water. You could try a pacifier.

You could try having her waketime be 7:30 instead. That is what I did with my daughter. I got my son up at 7, fed him, then got her up at 7:30.

Plowmanators said...

mommytoisabella,

I think the soft sprouts are fine. Brayden used those for morning and night for a long time. It is a good transition, and it isn't a bottle. It requires different sucking.

Emily said...

Thanks so much for your reply! Ironically, the night I wrote this, she woke promptly at 10:30 for her feeding LOL! She's been eating at 10:30, up at 2 or 3, and up at 6 since. And she seems to be better on track with our schedule too....fingers are crossed :)

One more question if you wouldn't mind.....

All of her naps are 2 hours EXCEPT after her 3 pm feed, she goes down at 4 for one hour, and wants to eat at 5, then is ready to go to bed at 6. Should I worry about extending that nap, or should I just assume that she's tanking up for a long sleep? Since she gets up at 6 I don't find it too early for her to go to bed at 6, but neither of my others were such early birds :) AGAIN thanks for your help your blog is awesome.

mommytoisabella said...

Thank you so much for the info. I was a bit concerned. She is doing well with the soft sprouts.

Plowmanators said...

Emily,

I wouldn't worry about that third nap. If you are BFing, you likely have lower milk supply that time of day and she just needs food sooner. That is normal. I would feed her and move on. I also bet that will change before too long. You are most welcome!

Plowmanators said...

mommytoisabella,

You are welcome. I say go with it. You can try to work in the hard sprouts over time if you want to.

Gabby said...

I was wondering about holding my 10 month old while he drinks from a sippy following his meal. He seems to drink more this way (although it's still less than from a bottle). In his highchair he plays with the cup more than he drinks from it.
Is this helping the transition at all? It seems the same as giving him a bottle because he will not hold it most of the time.
Thanks!
Gabby

Plowmanators said...

I held Brayden for a long time drinking his milk before meals. He was anywhere from 15-18 months old before I stopped. It was basically the only time of day he would hold still and "cuddle" with me. I don't see it as a problem at all. The purpose for dropping the bottle is more for the dental purposes than whether or not baby is held.

Jennifer Brewer said...

I know this is an older post...but this is where we are now. Ha. Gabby turned 13 months on Saturday. She now get a cup for the 3pm feeding. She on some days will not even touch it. Other days she will drink pretty good from it. I did take your advise about trying different cups. I think I have found one she will drink the milk from. She will drink water like it is going out of style! So my question is...do I need to wait until she REALLY masters the cup at 3pm before I can remove the 11am bottle? I am pretty sure that is a yes, just want your advise. I am afraid to remove the 11am bottle right now because we will be starting Gabby at daycare Monday Aug. 11th. (in home daycare). I don't want to rock her world with too many things at one time. Once we get settled in her new enviroment...When do you think I can go ahead with removing the 11am bottle? She will only be in someone elses care for 4hrs a day...9am-1pm. She will get that 11 bottle at the daycare. I feel sure she will still need that comfort...a little bit of "normal" with the bottle. If that makes any sense. Sorry for the long post. Just wanted you to have an idea of what we will be facing with her Monday. She has never been in daycare. We have been blessed for 13 months...but we have to go this route now. Anyway...any thoughts woould be helpful.

Plowmanators said...

I don't think you have to really wait until she masters the cup...I guess it depends on your deifinition of "mastering." What I would do is wait until she is comfortable with it and will drink the milk she needs to from it.

I might give her this week with still having a bottle. I would then try it next Saturday when you are with her. See how it goes. Another option would be to leave that 11 AM and drop it last. Go with the other two next when you are with her. If you do that, I would still wait a week. She might have a setback.

Jennifer Brewer said...

Thanks! That is a good idea to drop the others instead of the 11am. That never occured to me. I appreciate your time.

Plowmanators said...

You are welcome!

Gabby said...

Since my last post my almost 11 month old has moved to a sippy cup at lunch, although he drinks only 1-3 oz instead of the 6 he drank before. I am trying to do a sippy at 3:00 feeding, but the other day he only drank about 3 oz and it was in the car (we had to pick up my 8 year old) after trying for a while at home. Today he cried and would not even take the cup. He cried until I gave him a bottle and drank 8 oz! Am I back tracking by giving him the bottle? I don't think he can make it until dinner without any milk. I have tried different cups too.
Thanks!
Gabby

Plowmanators said...

I would probably wait to move on to a different feeding until he takes close to the number of ounces he needs at a feeding.

My friend's doctor just told her to take away the bottle all together and go straight to sippy for all feedings and after a few days they should get it. That is another option for you, but it sounds like several days (and likely nights) of pain to me :)

Gabby said...

Thanks for the advice. I actually went back to trying the Gerber NUK cup, and he's doing well. It has a very soft spout, shaped differently than the Nuby, which he doesn't like. I guess he decided he didn't like the cup I was using with a harder spout. I think I will take it slowly. He's not quite 11 months so I have time. Thanks again for your blog. As he gets older I continue to find more and more good ideas!!
-Gabby

Plowmanators said...

You are welcome! I am glad things asre improving.

bradysmom said...

I'm not sure if this is the right place to leave this post, so if it's not I'm sorry! I have a question in regards to feeding/schedules/weaning. Brady is 10 months old, and is still on a 4 hour schedule. At each feeding he gets his bottle, then finger foods, then baby food.

1. My first question is when do you start weaning? I thought when they were 1, but some of my friends are doing it now.

2. When you wean, I assume they don't get a bottle at that feeding. Do you give them a sippy cup with it in it instead?

3. How much food should they get if you're not giving a bottle?

I guess I'm just confused as to what happens when you wean with the food, and how much of it!!

Thanks!

Plowmanators said...

1. Whenever you want to. If your goal is to nurse until 1 year old, I would wait until he is a year and then start weaning.

2. Sippy cup is ideal. Some do need to wean to bottles though.

3. Food intake should remain about the same. You give milk in a bottle and want a large number of ounces to be consumed each day. Around one year old, they do sharply decrease the amount of food they eat, so be aware of that.

bradysmom said...

Thank you. I guess I feel like we're a little behind because my friends all have babies that are w/in a month or 2 of Brady, and they're pretty much on sippy cups except for morning and/or night. Brady just will not sit there and drink from his cup. We're still working on it. Thanks for your help!!!

Plowmanators said...

You are welcome. Try to take things at his own pace--every kid is different :)

Stephanie said...

Hello, I have a couple questions... I am trying to get my 12 month old to drink milk from a sippy instead of a bottle. She drinks water and juice out of a sippy great, and has been for several months, but doesn't seem interested in the milk from it. How exactly do you accomplish this task? I've read some other posts about it, but you just mentioned "over time" they got it. What were you doing in the mean time? Did you just offer it to them everyday, and eventually they took it? And would the only milk they got at that feeding be what they drank from the cup, even if it was a couple sips? Or did you give the rest in the bottle? I'm afraid keep going back to the bottle to finish the feeding is delaying how long it's going to take for her to get it. Also, another thing I'm trying to tackle is getting her to drink the milk cold. I'm wondering if I should get her used to it cold before putting it in the sippy? Or should I just go cold turkey? Not really related to weaning, how much milk did your pedi. recommend they have everyday? Do you give them milk at every meal? As long as she gets the required amount a day, is it okay if she doesn't drink that much at one feeding? I maybe can just keep offering it to her throughout the day until she gets what she needs? Because she'll drink some milk out of a sippy, but just not nearly as much as if it was in a bottle, but maybe that's okay? Thank you so much for your help!

Plowmanators said...

Stephanie,

I replaced the bottle with the sippy cup, just like I did with the breast.

So I would pick one feeding to start with. Either the one around lunch or the one around 3:30ish. Offer the milk for that feeding in the sippy cup. I would only do the sippy for that feeding. Wait until she starts to drink from the sippy for that feeding before trying it for another feeding. Try holding her on your lap. If you do that, try having her sit in her high chair.

I would just warm the milk up in the sippy. Put it in the sippy then put it in a cup of hot water to warm. Do this about 15 minutes before her feeding is supposed to happen.

I just do 24 ounces of milk a day and my pedi said that was great. I still give milk four times a day at one year. I look at milk intake over the day rather than stressing per feeding. Offer 6 ounces (or whatever you decide) per meal. If she doesn't drink it all, offer 6 plus the extra at the next, etc. I would still strive for 4 separate feedings, though, so she doesn't turn into a snacker.

The Traveling Turtle said...

I have read all the weaning posts and comments that go with them but have a few questions on weaning from the bottle to a sippy.

We have started trying to wean with the 11:00 (lunch) bottle and it is a nightmare! My daughter takes water and juice from a sippy all the time and does well with it but taking formula from it is another story. She refuses the sippy and cries for a long time at the sight of the sippy. She will take one sip of it and then knows that formula is in there and has a fit. (She is 12 months).

She goes to a sitter 2 days a week and seems to take it better there b/c all the other kids take the same sippy (Nuby) so she wants to be like them.

She will take only a sip or two of milk at lunch and it is like she knows she will just get the bottle later if she waits - at the 3:00 feeding - so she does. And then she drinks 8-9 ounces at that time. Is this normal? Is it defeating the purpose by giving her ANY bottles at all during the day? Should I just go cold turkey?

One of the other major issues is that she has bad problems with constipation so she NEEDS to get enough liquids during the day. I worry that she is not getting enough since she refuses the lunch formula.

We have one can of formula left (I did not want to waste it) and then we will go to soy milk (she is on soy formula for constipation). Should we wait until we introduce the new taste to her to wean any further? I am so confused and just want her tummy to be in line.

We tried the sippy weaning starting last week and as of this morning I went back to bottle b/c i want to get the constipation in order first. She takes about 21-26 ounces of formula a day and then gets 7-9 ounces of water and juice.

Do you have any advice?

Plowmanators said...

One thing, I would try to get her used to soy milk before switching from the bottle. I would do like 6 ounces of formula and 2 ounces of milk mixed. Then after several days, do 4 and 4. Then 2 and 6. etc.

Then I would just stick to one feeding a day, and I would do the 3 PM feeding. I have always found that to be the easiest one to start with. Try holding her while she drinks. If you are doing that and she doesn't like it, try putting her in her highchair. Just be patient and she will get it. You might also consider a different sippy for milk.

If she isn't moving forward after a couple of weeks, you could consider cold turkey. The problem I see with that is that you have a constipation worry, so you wouldn't stick to that long. Cold turkey can work, but only if the parents hold out longer than the child. If you know you have a time table about it, I just don't think I would do it.

Kaitlyn had some resistance to moving to a sippy, but she did it rather quickly in the end.

Bree A. said...

I am also having a hard time trying to switch my 12 mnth old from formula to cows milk. She thinks it is just nasty! I didn't know how much milk she should be getting a day but I heard a great tip in a magazine. Get a separate jug and pour the baby's whole day (24) ounces of milk into it and stash it in the fridge. Then fill your sippy/bottle only with that jug. Then you know at the end of the day the amount of milk your little one is getting instead of guessing. Ingenious.
I'm still working on the cows milk. I don't blame her, whole milk in yuck :) We'll master it though. Thanks ladies for all the great tips. I will use them as well as her "special jug".

Plowmanators said...

Good idea Bree! Thanks for sharing! But Mmmmm...I love whole milk! :)

Grant's mommy said...

Hello! Quick question for anyone...I've been searching for safety information on sippy cups and I'm not having much luck. My 6 month old is taking to the Gerber cups quite well. I'm curious as to how long it's safe to leave the liquid in the cup. Example, I gave him his 1st 2oz. of baby juice ever today. He didn't finish it. Is it safe to put the cup in the refrigerator and offer it again later? I was surprised that I couldn't find any information on this! Again, thanks for his blog! We love BW!!!

Beky said...

Hi Val,

My question is about weaning from the bottle and dropping the dreamfeed...
Our son Samuel still has a dreamfeed at 10.5 months (we tried dropping it at 19 weeks originally, but brought it back when he kept waking in the night. We decided to keep it when he moved to 4hr schedule because he's a big baby and I worried he wouldn't make it through the night). We've been waiting for him to refuse to drink at the dreamfeed, but I think he's so used to it now that he just drinks it anyway (4oz). We always have to wake him and I suspect he has it more out of habit now than need.

I'm concerned that we need to start weaning him to the sippy cup, but that also means we NEED to drop the dreamfeed as I don't want him waking in the night just to suck on a bottle because he can't have it in the day! I'm keen to start weaning him from the bottle for lunch and tea as he doesn't want to lie back to drink at those times.

Do you think we should wait for him to refuse the dreamfeed, or proactively drop it before he reaches 12 months?

Do you think I should wait until the dreamfeed is dropped before starting to wean from the bottle during the day?

Thanks for your advice xx

Beky said...

Hi Val,

Since I wrote the last comment, I took Sam to be weighed and have his chart updated. He's now quite a way above the 99th percentile line and the Health Visitor advised me to drop the dreamfeed immediately and reduce his daily milk from 24oz to 16oz to try to bring him back to a reasonable place on the charts. We therefore dropped the dreamfeed cold turkey 3 nights ago and he has not woken once; he now wakes at 5:30am instead! lol!

Plowmanators said...

Becky,

I was going to say to drop it. Thanks for the update!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails