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!