Monday, January 24, 2011

Bottle Weaning (HHB)

Originally posted on The Haytko Homeschooling Blog

I'm not sure why it is so hard for me to contemplate weaning Bobby and Maya from their bottles.  Part of it stems from my view of them as "babies" still.  I know that, technically, they are toddlers, but to me, they are babies.  My babies.  My itty, bitty 2lb babies.  Nevermind that sixteen and a half months have passed since that time...  Nevermind that, together, the two of them are 50lbs (instead of barely 5lbs).  I dont know when I was weaned from the bottle, but Peter was 2!  It just seems so strange to be contemplating taking away the bottles of my little ones now, so early.

It's strange, too, because, in some ways, we have done things quicker than other people.  For example, our kids haven't been in a crib since they were 7 months old.  Practicing the Montessori (and, I think, practical) method of putting them in twins, they love their beds! They climb in and out, "help" make the beds in the mornings, and love to snuggle in their comforters.  We're often asked if they get out in the middle of the night, but that's never been an issue.  They know that their beds are their beds.  They sleep there.  The same people who chastised me for dare removing the crib from the equation now ask for my advice because their kids dont want to leave the crib.  Ours dont know any different.  Their bed is their bed.  But, I do realize that, at 7 months old, most people are not thinking of putting their infants in larger beds.  It worked for us (and still does) because we cosleep if the need arises.  I havent tried to crawl into a crib, but I'm sure it wouldnt work so well!     But the bottle thing... I hear people saying they are weaning too and I am on the other end, asking "arent they awfully young for that?..."

We're down to 1 to 1.5 bottles a day.  If the kids happen to wake early because they go to bed earlier than normal (normal is 9-10pm, early is 8am, in which case, they wake around 4am), we'll give them a small bottle to help them go back to sleep.  At night, they get their 9oz rice-fortified bottle.  But, throughout the day... I've stopped with the pre-naptime bottle.  And that is tough for me.  It's easier to give them a bottle (and, with a 2 to 1 ratio, I love easy!) than to give them their cups and try to figure out how much milk they've got and if they want more or if they are just playing with the cup, etc. 

But, it's working.  Friday was my first full day of the no-bottle-before-naptime experiment.  Previously, I've tried to limit it to only before one nap (they still, most days, take 2 naps, but I can see that may soon be coming to an end!), but Friday, I made the decision to go all the way.  It's hard when it is just me because, if they both want to snuggle pre-nap, it's difficult to do so and then, when they fall asleep, get them both to their beds, but they are good about sharing.  It's like they understand that Mommy only has one set of arms (and that they are heavy!)

So, we'll see how this goes... I dont expect to end the nighttime bottle anytime soon, but for now, the weaning is underway!


Stace said...

We stopped Colby's bottles at over 17 months- actually the day after Christmas. I did it more because I was worried about causing cavities and less because it was "time". I thought it would be a nightmare because he loved his "bubba" so I purposefully waited until I would be home all week with him to make up for the inevitable lost sleep. But- he didn't care. AT ALL. As long as he had his sippy cup of Milk when asking for his Bubba he was happy as a clam! I too love to snuggle with him- and I still do. I confess to still rocking him to sleep every night and before all naps. But now, he sees books as the cue instead of the bottle. And the plus has been that I get SO MANY unprompted kisses as he's drifting off. Every so often he'll lift his head, plant one on my lips, then cuddle back up on my chest. It's perfect.

one-hit_wonder said...

right on. you're the one who knows what's best for b and m.

i desperately wanted to do montessori-style sleeping arrangements for Ninja - tried it and tried it - i loved co-sleeping and we did it for this whole year - but last week i gave up. she will not sleep if she's next to me. she hates sleep so much and will NOT go to bed unless she is pretty much tied down (i exaggerate, of course, but to her a mattress on the floor is PLAYTIME!!!). i don't like the crib - it looks like a baby prison. sigh. i'll give it a few months and then try the floor mattress again, maybe?