Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Bottle Dilemma

At P's 12 month check-up, I went in with a few small concerns. My child who for months fought me to take a bottle, was now taking them very well. I was happy with her milk intake except for one thing. She would only drink it laying down in her crib and right before she went to sleep. I knew from my Babywise training that this was doubly bad for several reasons: bad for her ears, bad for her teeth, and its a sleep prop. I was embarrassed even telling her doctor that I had allowed such a thing to happen--BUT at the same time, I knew that it was what I had to do in months 6-10 to get her to drink ANY milk. So I had conceded and allowed the horrible habit to form. Now, my child would not sleep without getting a bottle in her crib--any I wanted this to change.

There were some other issues relating to the milk. P was eating so much solid food now that she was having a daily battle with constipation. Nothing I was trying was working. We were also struggling with her eating any finger foods other than cheese and bread. Also, she wasn't drinking very much water. After listening to all of my concerns the doctor said, "I'm going to make it really easy for you. Take away the milk and take away the bottles cold turkey.

Excuse me, what? You want me take away the milk completely? I mean it only took me months to get her to drink it, and I just transitioned her to whole milk. Now you want me to take it away? Doesn't she need it for her brain growth. The doc assured me that she was getting enough whole fat milk from the foods I was feeding her. She eats a lot of dairy throughout the day from yogurt, cream cheese, cheese, and oatmeal with whole milk. The doctor told me that once I removed the milk and the bottles P would be forced to drink for water, and this would help with the constipation. Also, since I would be removing a lot of calories from her daily diet--she would be more willing to try some more finger foods.

So I took the bottles away, and as I previously mentioned it was awful. I mean she wouldn't go to sleep without them. This just reaffirmed my knowledge that this was a sleep prop and it was all the more important that I rid this from her life.

You see, I am adamant that my child learn how to fall asleep on her own. I believe that falling asleep is a learned skill. It is one that I did not learn until I was a teenager. my mom (sorry mom, I still love you) allowed me to sleep in the bed with her until I was in 3rd grade. I always fell asleep while she watched her shows on the TV. I never learned how to fall asleep on my own. Once, I was kicked out of her bed, it was traumatizing to try to learn to fall asleep by myself. I struggled with it for the better part of a decade. I am not letting P go through that. I will suffer in the short run to help her in the long run.

The problem was that I work from home and on certain days--I have live classes and I cannot be interrupted. I have very conveniently arranged P's naps during my class times. So when she did not sleep her naps--I could not console her as I wished I could. It hurt me to hear her protest like this. After that first day, I felt deflated. I decided to take a step back and strategize some by doing my research and tapping into my valuable mommy friend market.

Here is what I came up with:

1. It is completely my choice on what to do with the bottles
2. It is bad for her and should be removed as soon as possible
3. You don't have to do it cold turkey.
4. It may take up to 5 days for her to adjust to having them taken away.

So I decided to start the process again on a Friday so that I would have four days before I had to teach a live class again. That way if she was not sleeping her naps--I would have a few days to help her adjust first. Then, I decided to only take away bottles during the day (her bottles before her two naps). I left her morning bottle and her night time bottle for now. I also got a great peice of advice froma facebook friend to put a sippy cup of milk in the crib with P when she goes down for naps. That way she knows it is there if she really wants it.

It took about three days, but she has returned to her regular sleeping patterns, and now longer needs to have a bottle before napping. She has upped her water intake and is hungry all day long. I have added snacks to make up for the missed calories during the day and have upped her servings of dairy foods and snacks.

I decided to share this struggle in case any of you are having the same problems. Even if it doesn't apply to you yet, it might in the future. I also believe that it is a good example with any issue with your child. Do you research first, and then be patient. It takes them awhile to adjust to any change. They are just like you--they don't like being out of their comfort zones. Now I am looking forward (not at all) to taking away the pacifiers. Oh, lord!

What types of changes are you currently going through with your little one?

1 comment:

  1. Annabelle still drinks her breastmilk from a bottle... and drinks water or juice from a sippy cup. Sometimes I put her milk in a sippy but she won't have it. I don't know what to do with her in terms of other milk b/c now she is refusing to drink soy, coconut, or almond.