3.04.2013

When Should Baby Stop Drinking Bottles?


So in about a week, Stella will be ONE. She walks and "talks," even if most of it is gibberish and her main goal in life seems to be trying to get to the kitchen as fast as she can to stick her hand in the cat's food bowl.
It's disgusting. And hilarious.
Twelve months seems to be the milestone when babies transition to toddlers and a lot of those baby rules loosen or go out the window entirely. We haven't followed everything to a T (gasp! - there is a blanket in the crib) and I realize all babies develop at their own pace. But for the most part, I've paid attention to average milestones and listened to the doctors about where she should be, developmentally, each month.
I'm just having a hard time wrapping my head around when and how to start implementing certain things.
For example, at her 10-month visit, the doctor said I should be preparing her to be done with bottles and formula by 12 months, replacing them with whole milk in a sippy cup.
I'm fine with the whole milk part. In one of the many topics I had really wanted to post about but never did, I stopped breastfeeding at 8 months (at that point, I was supplementing anyway). So, transitioning her to organic cow's milk or goat's milk was something we were anxious to do. The doctor said we could start putting half in her formula bottle at 11 months, so I started mixing in goat's milk a few weeks ago after reading about how it was generally easier to digest than cow's milk. Stella had a sensitive stomach the first few months of her life, so I figured I'd go the easier route. If I tried to give her goat milk by itself, however, she'd totally refuse it.
When I tried cow's milk, she was all over it. As long as I warmed it up a bit in a cup of hot water, she greedily sucked it down, so when the last container of formula was empty, we didn't look back.
The problem is, she refuses to drink it in a cup. She loves her sippy cup, but only for water. So now, she has an 8 ounce bottle of whole milk in the morning and at night. I give her a few ounces in a sippy cup in the afternoon, but after one sip, she slaps it away dramatically. I've tried giving her the same kind of cup she drinks for water, and I've also tried giving her a different one with a straw that I only offer to her with milk. She won't drink it either way.
I'm not too concerned about this, because I know a lot of babies that still keep their morning bottle at age 2, but I'm just wondering if she'll EVER drink it out of a cup. Plus, I don't want her to develop any dental problems at a young age. Any advice on what to do?
Also, this baby cookbook I've used often over the last six months shows photos of 12-month-olds eating little finger sandwiches and big apple slices. She eats pasta and mozzarella chopped up into little pieces, but for the most part, she's still eating a lot of purees. Should I stop worrying about her choking and let her sink her teeth (she's got 8 of them) into a sandwich?
Any advice from you wise mamas out there is appreciated, as always.

*Vintage milk truck photo via Jalopy Journal

5 comments:

  1. Have you tried straw sippies? I heard those are great for "stubborn" bottle babies.

    I can't believe she's almost one. I feel like you're still pregnant.

    And maybe a picture of two? I want to see that pretty itty bitty!!!

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  2. cheech will be two in four weeks, and she still gets one bottle a day. we've discussed it (well, as much as you can discuss something with an almost two year old), and she knows her days are numbered (she'll be completely off by her birthday). consequently, she's taken to asking for one at all hours of the day. seeing as many kids out there nurse until 2 or even 3 years old, i felt no rush in getting her off of bottles completely. i decided to slowly wean her, and that process worked out really great for us. i like the idea of being able to reason with them a little vs. abruptly taking something away and having them be too young to understand why. i also decided to wait this long because i've enjoyed the peace and quite that bottle time has always offered me. so... i think YOU have to be ready, too.

    although her bottle intake went down, cheech refused to drink milk out of any sippy cup until about two months ago. we just upped her cheese and yogurt intake to make up for the lost calcium. i spoke to my mom about it, and she said that agreeing to drink milk out of a cup is usually a process, but to keep offering it to her every day. eventually, she would show interest and sure enough, she did. she'll drink two full cups of cold milk in a sippy cup now. once her last bottle is gone, i'll add on a third cup.

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  3. oh, and we were done with purees by 10 months. i just chopped up what we ate super fine for her. i noticed a SIGNIFICANT interest in solids once we made that transition.

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  4. Thanks, guys!
    @Shannon, I've been offering her a sippy cup with a straw at lunch (different from her regular water-filled sippy cup). At first, she liked the idea, but after a few sips, she rejects it. I'll keep trying, though.
    @Celia, your approach totally makes sense and makes me feel a lot better. I really like that morning quiet time with the bottle, too, and I was getting sad, feeling like I HAVE to give that up immediately, in, like, a week...which is just plain silly.
    As for the purees, I'm going to start sharing our food, chopped up, much more. I've stopped pureeing home cooked meals for the most part, but if I'm running around and busy with work, I've been falling back on those Ella's Kitchen squeezies way too much lately.

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