I had written a post earlier on a few of the most frequently asked questions regarding baby care. Wanted to continue with the same thought process before I forget all these precious minute details again.
Weaning off the Bottle
I wanted to pen down one of the biggest accomplishments me and my little brat have made recently. We had been away to my in-laws and then my parents place over the last month for my bro's wedding. So I took this opportunity to turn my gradual bottle weaning process into an accelerated one coz anyways my target was to wean her off the bottle completely before the wedding. And although it was tough initially seeing the poor baby ask for the bottle time and again and being cranky without it, I am proud to announce that she has finally changed her ways and has been successfully weaned off the Dr. Brown's bottles! Whew!
I must say though that in many ways I was actually happy with her milk intake through the bottle. She drank more than 3 bottles at times (6-7 ounces each). Now with a cup, it has come down to one good full cup in a day and maybe a sip or two here and there. Quite a drastic drop from what she used to take earlier. I am trying though to make it up with other calcium rich foods like cheese, yogurt, milk in her cereal etc. And I do see that she is eating better now that her tummy does not get full with milk alone. But the eating part could just be coz she is growing up and needs more anyway. Oh well...us moms can't stop worrying about what kiddos eat I guess. But atleast this is one big milestone that little N has finally accomplished after me really wondering if she's gonna continue with the bottles forever :-)
So here's how we did it. I tried the gradual process for a month or so before I left town. Used to give her milk from a cup at nights and got her used to falling asleep without a bottle in the bed. Once she got a little used to that process, I stopped bottles during the day as well. The only one she got was when she woke up in the morning and sometimes after her afternoon nap as well. Coz for the longest time she needed that as a comfort factor and as a tummy filler to wake up happy. If she didn't get that she would be really cranky and would not stop sucking on her thumb. So when she was fully awake, she had no issues drinking from a straw cup or a normal cup. There were many a nights when she did not drink enough from a cup and so did not sleep well (which obviously meant mommy and daddy did not sleep well either). But I did not give into a bottle feed at night to make sure she gets the message that she should drink sufficiently from the cup before turning in at night so that she does not get hungry at night again. In any case, one fine day when she had finished her evening bottle on the couch, she was fiddling with it and turned the nipple upside down and said "oh it broke". I grabbed this opportunity with both hands and emphasized again and again how she broke the bottle and how she cannot have milk in the bottle anymore. This logic worked for all her day and night milk intake except for the first bottle in the morning. And I was not in ready to take on that battle yet so quietly sneaked it into her while her eyes were closed anyways. The day we were leaving Bangalore though (Nov. 18th) she opened her eyes during the early morning feed and said "the bottle is fixed now!". And I was shocked! My hubby said its time we take this morning bottle away too. So travelling to Bombay was the best opportunity to do that. Once there, I told her the bottle was broken and so we left it at our Bangalore home. She did not like it a bit and cried for it for 2 days. I just did not give in and dealt with a mostly cranky child there. The 3rd day we went to meet one of my friends who has 2 kids, the younger of whom (baby A) was a year old and obviously drank from a bottle. My little N saw that baby drink from exactly the same Dr. Brown bottle and said "I want bottle se duddu". It ached my heart to see her yearn for it like that. So when we got home, I gave in and let her have her bottle again. You should have seen the happiness in that poor child. She was so thrilled after she had her heart's content. But I was again in a fix as to how to tell her it was a one time thing. So we told her that was baby A's bottle and after you had it, we returned it to baby A. Somehow she bought this story and was ok not having a bottle after that again. She cutely kept repeating "A is a chhota baby na, that's why she has bottle se duddu. I am a big girl so I am not sucking bot and saying bottle se duddu" (bot = thumb in konkani). Awww...what a samajhdar little kiddo.
We left for my parents place the next day and changing towns really helped. I could tell her how we left baby A behind and how it was her bottle. So now N will have cup se duddu. And I had to distract her with lots of stories, books, Dora on TV or watching kids play in the building's lobby - even late at nights before bed. But all that hard work paid off and little N finally took to drinking from a cup. So the last bottle she had was on Nov. 20 when she was almost 2 years and 3 months. Whew! I must say making them drink milk from a cup is more labor for us moms. And inspite of all that hardwork on our part, they don't drink as much as they used to anyway. So I really wonder whether it is worth all the hassle. I mean I had relatives visiting us during the wedding who said our kids had bottles till they were 5 years old. They didn't see it is a big deal that a 2 year old was still taken to a bottle. Infact they told me I weaned her off quite early. Now I am not sure if the tried and tested old ways are correct of the pediatrician's warnings of bottles being unhygienic as they have more crevices to clean. Oh well...whatever it is...I have seen it is easier to change habits sooner than later. So having to do this when she was 4 or 5 would have been far tougher I think.
My next project with her now is teaching her how to eat her meals by herself and getting her out of the thumb sucking habit. Efforts are still on and I will surely do a post once we achieve complete success. So stay tuned :-)
I wrote a post earlier on how we started little N's potty training at 18 months and were mostly done in a month or so. For details, please go to the post here and read from 4th paragraph onwards - "the other milestone I had planned for her at this age was to start her potty training...."
Settling down in her First School
Again, just creating a list of all these milestones here for a quick reference. I had written about how we got her to settle down in her first school ever and learn to stay away from mommy/daddy for a bit. That is always a worry for parents and by the time we get around to doing it again for the second kiddo, we tend to forget the details of how the first one did it. So read the post about it here.