Thursday, July 29, 2010

Our transition to sippy cups & whole milk

I received a few questions about Luke & Nolan's transition to sippy cups & whole milk and, honestly, it went very smoothly, but I thought that I'd share how it all came about.

I remember our pediatrician telling me to try and introduce the boys to sippy cups around their 6 month well visit. It was a complete disaster and they showed zero interest in doing more than chewing on it.

I put the sippy cups away and brought them back out when the boys were around 8 months old or so. Still, they weren't interested in anything but chewing on them. I would pull the cup out once a week or so for the next 2 months.

It wasn't until the boys were about 11 1/2 months old that I tried exchanging their afternoon bottle for a sippy cup (they were still on formula - no milk at all). They both drank from the cup - Nolan more so than Luke - but they were still drinking 4 bottles of formula a day.

A few days after the boys turned one, I began mixing some whole milk into their formula bottle to get them used to the taste. We did a ratio of 6oz of formula & 2oz of milk. They didn't have any aversions, so I gradually added more milk to the bottle until that's all that was in there. I know that some doctors say you should not put any milk in the bottle & only use it in the sippy cup, but I don't always follow the "rules."

They were eventually on an entire bottle-full of whole milk but they would sometimes take a sippy cup as a bottle replacement - it just depended on their mood & the day. I never gave up trying to make them take the sippy cup.

I vowed to wait until after vacation to put them entirely on a sippy cup. I wanted them to have the comfort of a bottle while we were in an unfamiliar place because I thought it would help them sleep. We did use the sippy up at the beach or while we were out doing fun things, but they had a bottle in the morning and at night.

When we arrived back home, I gave them a day or two to adjust to being back. Then it was time for the change. When they woke up one morning, I gave them a sippy cup and not their usual bottle. They drank some of it and played while I made their breakfast. After breakfast, I gave them the rest of the cup then put them in their nursery for a nap. I gave them the cup immediately after they woke from their nap. They didn't seem to mind the morning switch, so I thought that I was in for a big fight when it came time to replace their night-time bottle.

I was wrong. After dinner at 5 p.m., I gave them a cup of milk. We played around some then I gave them the cup again at 6:00 in preparation for their 7:30 bedtime. They drank from their cup as they pleased & Justin and I put them in their cribs for bed. No tears. No screaming. Nothing.

We tried again the next day & the following day and when they didn't miss their bottle, I declared it a success!

I know that other babies have a much harder time with the transition, so my only advice is to be patient. Your baby won't drink from a bottle forever - just like I know that my boys won't be sucking on those darn pacifiers forever. It's okay for now and I'll gradually begin letting them have it less & less until they only use it for bed time. It's all a work-in-progress and you can't measure your baby against others because they are all little individuals with their own agendas.

Speaking of pacifiers, I would love to hear what worked for you. Cold-turkey, binky fairy, the old Santa-Switcheroo, poke a hole in the top?


Mary Kate said...

YOu are so patient! A parent knows their child(ren) the best, so it's best not to always 'follow the rules' when it comes to timing on certain things! We are in the process of getting rid of our 'b' (paci). We went on vacation last month (C&H were 18 months) and I was the same way with letting them have them while we were in an unfamiliar place, but once we got home, we started the transition. I figured they were too young for the 'paci fairy' or any other thing like that. They can have them during naptime & bedtime, so whenever they wake up, i have them tell their 'b' and blankie 'bye-bye' and put them in their crib. It has worked great! Now when I come in their room to get them up, they take it out, wave bye-bye to it & drop it! I dread the day when I take them away during naptime & bedtime! I have noticed though when it's time for bed and i give them their 'b' & blankie, its like instant relaxation and they seem to be going to sleep much easier now! best of luck!

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Mary Kate! That's a great idea having your kids say 'bye-bye' and leaving the paci in the crib. I think that that will be my first step: crib-time paci only, but I'm honestly scared about being out in public & not having the paci! Baby steps, right?!

Laura said...

We didn't really have a tough transition either. I anticipated the worst after all I'd heard but Cam was cool with it all!

Lisa said...

I am far too embarrased to say how long Kay was on a pacifier, but I will say that we used the "binky fairy" trick- but she was old enough to understand what was going on. We prepped her and talked about the binky fairy for baout 2 months before we acutally did it, and when the time came- she was acutally looking forward too it! I think by talking about her for so long, she got excited and couldnt wait for it to happen, and she was HOOKED to the binky. It went a LOT smoother than I had antcipated!

Meant to be a mom said...

I like how you worked on getting them off the bottle. I think it might be the perfect way for us because Cooper is acting exactly like your boys did towards the cup.
Thank you so much for sharing this with us. :)

I haven't personally done the Binky take away yet myself but my niece went through it and I heard all about it. Around 1 to 1-1/2 years they took the Binky away during the days and by her 2nd birthday she was still having it at night only they asked her to set it on the edge of her crib (they wanted her to personally make the decision to set it there). So she knew it was there but didn't necessarily need it in her mouth. Then the next thing they noticed it wasn't ever moving and she wasn't using it or even caring about it anymore. They put it away with Natalie's help. She was a part of it and it helped her to let go. I don't know how that will work with every kid but with her it worked really good.

Mrs.F said...

Thanks for this! I am trying the 6/2 ratio with Gianna right now & so far it's going ok. She's still on the bottle though. She loves her sippy cup with juice or water, but once she realized there was milk in there she wanted nothing to do with it!

Sarah said...

We were lucky too and both boys took sippys with no biggie during the transition. We did it cold turkey and made the switch. I am looking foward to see what people say about the paci.