As my baby is heading towards her 18th month, we are now slowly trying to ditch the bottle. This is especially important today, as it’s much easier to find a bisphenol-A-free sippy cup than a bottle.
We have stocked a few stainless steel cups, including a lovely and incredibly stylish coffee mug (actually, a muglet) that she enjoys to play with. Daytime drinks are OK, as she’s happy to drink water and diluted juice from anything that promises a huge SPLASH! However, my baby prefers her bottles for a evening milk drink, and whenever she’s up at night for a sip of milk, she looks for her bottle (glass, not plastic, mind you).
During the day, I managed to convert her to sippy cup user. Here’s what worked for me and fellow mums:
1. Buy the prettiest, brightest plastic sippy cup made of safer polypropylene (plastic #5 marked on the bottom of the cup). When I was frantically searching the supermarket shelves for such cup, I was surprised to see that the gaudiest, tackiest, shimmery and glimmery Tommee Tippee cup was actually the safest. I am so glad many moms in our playgroup have these cups!
AVOID baby cups made of plastic #7 that contains Bisphenol A.
2. Make a large hole in the nipple of the bottle you are currently using. The drink will flow more freely, and babies don’t like that! My friend helped her daughter ditch the bottle using just this trick.
3. Although straw cups are recommended only from 18 months, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t offer it earlier. Some babies prefer straw cups to sippy spouts.
4. Go cold turkey and remove all bottles at once. This approach may work if you have nerves of steel and have toughened them more by Ferber method of sleep training.
5. Offer a bribe for every bottle ditched. My friend used a “bottle faerie” method: she slipped a small gift under baby’s pillow for every bottle she promised not to drink from. Give your baby a small finger puppet, a tiny car, a ball, a book – anything that pleases her fancy. My daughter gets her high from bright socks.
Generally, I don’t see why make the fuss about your baby drinking from bottle longer than her peers. Just don’t feed her sugary drinks in it, and she’ll be just fine. Here, in England, kids go to school when they are 3 years old (ok, that’s nursery school but they do have cutest tiny uniforms) – and some still hold on to their dummies! Now, that’s the problem. So what if your little one wants her milk from the bottle? If this makes her happy, content, and calm, why not indulge in it for a little while? You aren’t competing for the title of the Totalitarian Mom of the Year, are you?