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Two. We quit cold turkey. That's right. We started fresh on a Monday morning and put all the bottles away the night before. We didn't want her to be able to see the bottles because we thought that would be harder on her. I know some parents have gone the route of giving their little ones a bottle at breakfast and at nighttime and then giving cups during the day, but we thought this would be the faster/easier route.
Three. We didn't give in...seriously yall, this is where it got hard. This is when I wanted to cry and just let her have her "nankie". It was so painful to see her cry anytime I would bring her a cup of milk rather than a bottle and she would yell/scream/cry/throw herself on the floor because she wanted her bottle. But like I mentioned before, this was where I had to put my big girl panties on and do my best to ignore the tantrums and keep showing her how exciting drinking out of a cup was.
Five. We celebrated when she would drink from her cup. We would say "what a big girl you are" or "let me have a drink" so it was a fun association and she knew she was doing something great. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for my friends...don't ever forget that!
Six. We let her have another "soother"...from the moment she dropped the bottle, her stuffed animals and blankets became her solace. She won't go anywhere without them, and they have seen their better days, now covered in food, milk, and dirt. But they make her happy, keep her content, and they are her comforts...and it's kinda cute to see her be so affectionate with her lambie and her bunny now, for they are her "babies".
At the end of the day, the total progression took about 3 weeks to master. But, I think what helped me was that I knew both Jeff and I were doing this together and we promised each other that we wouldn't give in, no matter what. He saved me a few times with saying "she's OK/we will get through this/etc". I couldn't have done it alone...I'm just not that strong and I give in way too easily when it comes to Caroline (yes, I am a pushover).
I hope these few little tips and tricks help some of you who are about to embark on this as well!! Good luck friends...