Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Breaking of the Bottle

Ok, I know that this was supposed to be done months ago. When we went in for Brigid's twelve-month check-up, the pediatrician asked if Brigid was drinking out of a sippy cup, then recommended that we do away with the bottle entirely, while also transitioning the kid from formula to whole milk. And I tried to heed her advice. Really, I did.

Well, sort of.

I mean, Brigid was not a big fan of the whole milk, at first. And I didn't want to traumatize her by taking away her beloved formula and her beloved bottles, all at the same time.  Come on...that's just cruel. So, I started with whole milk in the bottles. Four a day, six ounces at a time. Once we had her on board with the real milk, I started taking away the bottles, replacing them with sippy cups. First, the 4 o'clock bottle went away. Then, after a few days, the noon bottle was gone. After a few more days, the morning bottle disappeared. Finally, all we were left with was the bedtime bottle.

Now, let me just say that Brigid handled this whole thing like a champ. I'm not even sure she noticed there was a change. She'd sit on the couch, sippy cup in hand, Sesame Street on tv, and drink just as much milk before breakfast as she was drinking when we had her on the bottle. In fact, she may have even liked it better. She could sit up, run around, and still have her milk on hand. It was a win-win!

But the bedtime bottle. Well, that was just a different matter entirely, right? I mean, it was the BEDTIME BOTTLE! She got so excited when she saw it coming! It calmed her down! It made her sleepy! I couldn't deprive her of the bedtime bottle!

So we decided to stick with it a little longer. Just so we could get through the holidays, of course. She'd be hanging out in strange places. She'd be sleeping in strange beds. She'd need her bottle.

And, if I'm being completely honest, I was terrified of disrupting the bedtime routine. For one thing, she was sleeping so well, and I didn't want to do anything to change that. For another, she was sleeping a little too well, if that's possible...the kid did not want to be cuddled at night. The only time I could keep her in my arms was while she was on the bottle. After the bottle was gone, she wanted to be put into her crib and left alone (well, most nights, anyway...). The bottle time was our time.

But this past weekend, with the holidays over, and an extended stretch of Brigid-in-her-own-bed time ahead of us, I knew she was ready. So I prepared myself for the worst and set out to put one more milestone behind us. I expected screaming. I expected tears. I expected crazy toddler tantrums.

I totally should have known better.

She was FINE! In fact, she was BETTER than fine. She actually let me hold her, with her head on my chest so I could smell her clean baby hair, while I rocked her and sang her lullabies. And after I made it through the nightly round of lullabies that I normally sing to her during bottle time, I got up, put her in her crib, and she rolled right over and went to sleep.

It was a little anti-climactic, actually.

This kid. She continues to amaze me with how (and I am terrified to say this, knowing it will all come crashing down on me) easy she's been to raise so far. Yes, she's starting to get attitude. Yes, she's starting to test her boundaries. But most of the time, she is just so laid-back, so easy-going, that I just can't get over it. And I pray every day that she stays that way. Because I don't know how I'd handle it if she didn't...

Note to any future children I might possibly have: There's a good chance that your sister is totally my favorite. I'm sorry, but there's absolutely no way you're living up to the standards she set. I still love you, though. Just maybe not as much...

(I KID, I KID! I will love them all the same, I'm sure...)


  1. Congrats on NO meltdown...The only way we did it was to give Alex a sippy cup that was shaped like a bottle...for a white he was fooled then he just said forget it...screamed for one night...then went to bed!
    BTW...Brigid is so adorable!

  2. TARA. you need to teach me. My almost-20-month old is still bottlefed before his naps and nighttime. :( but during the day he uses regular cups or sippy/straw cups.

    He totally cries if we give him the glass bottle and not the plastic one. I don't even want to think about switching over to a sippy cup! :(


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