Mama Advice: Bottle Weaning

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Based on some of the feedback I received last week when I shared our recent experience with taking away the bottle, I had a few blogger friends ask if I could share any tips/tricks on what worked for us to finally nip it in the bud. (Keep in mind, this is just what WE did...not saying I am the expert on this by any means!)
One. We talked about it with the pediatrician. I voiced my concerns, talked with her about each and every possible scenario, and then decided to follow her recommendation to take the bottle away in exchange for a sippy cup. It was reassuring to here from an actual professional that this was the time to make the change and we had her support.
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.
Four. We invested wasted money on more sippy cups than I care to mention. Seriously, sweet Caroline wouldn't drink out of the 20 cups we had on-hand...she wouldn't have anything to do with them so I ventured out to every store known to man to find different cups that might work. Then, I ordered more from Amazon in the hopes at least ONE would work. Of course the variety she loves is the one that leaks EVERYWHERE...oh well. It is what it is. Here is the one she drinks from now.
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...


  1. I need to do this with my son, he is 14 months and my husband and I have talked about it but we are so nervous and scared. I do not want to make my child uncomfortable but I know he needs to do it. Not to mention he HATES milk (we are feeding him formula for 9-24 month children) He hates his sippy cups and it just seems like its going to be torture. I need to take your advice and put my big girl panties on too. Thanks to the tips!!! :)

  2. Ahh, your such a good mother!!

  3. Thank you for posting this! My daughter is almost 10 months and we are wanting to have the bottle dropped by her first birthday! These tips and tricks were very helpful as I prepare to embarq on this new journey!!!

  4. Great tips! I'll keep this in mind when I have to take the bottle away from O!

  5. I love how you and Jeff are such a great team! My Hubby and I have found that the "tough" parenting jobs are easier when we are an undivided front. :)

  6. I've been contemplating bottle removal a lot more lately with our 13 month old. I totally agree, as we did something very similar with our first son, going cold turkey. Ryker has made some signs that he's just not as interested in the bottle as he used to be and he loves sippy cups. He wants to be just like his big bro, so I'm hoping that helps a lot.

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Oh girl we went through sippy cup hell with Audrey! I feel your pain but I'm glad you made it through.

  8. Good for you for biting the bullet and just doing it. My son is almost 3 and still takes his in the mornings and at night. It's nothing more than just a habit. I wish I'd just broke him when he was younger instead of trying to let him do it on his own time. My daughter is getting ready to turn 1 and we are getting ready to break her. I'm not letting her keep her's like I did his

  9. We are going through this right now... well today was the first day. Thank you for the tips... I'm leaning now towards the "cold turkey" approach. EEek! :/