How do I get my 5yr old to stop drinking milk from a bottle?

Paula - posted on 02/21/2010 ( 54 moms have responded )

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My 5yr old insists on drinking her milk out of a baby's bottle, however she will drink juice and water out of a cup. She has tried drinking the milk from a cup too but it seems that she prefers it in her bottle. Should I throw away her bottle or wait for her to stop on her own?

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Jamiee - posted on 03/02/2010

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Throw away the bottle...she'll cry for a couple of days but its worth it!!

Anita - posted on 02/27/2010

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Throw it away and never look back! That will do severe damage to her teeth. If she insists on something try offering straw cups. Or try regular cups with crazy straws or something like that, to make it "fun"

Sian - posted on 02/27/2010

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Help your child pick a lovely cup for when the bottle is due to go in the bin. Talk to them first and give them a date the bottle will be going in a week or so. Tell them that if they don't kick up a stink you will buy them a small present (£5.00 maximum) or go to a soft play area. Some may say this is spoiling them but I say its hard for an adult to give something up they really like so why would it be any different for a child.

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Paula - posted on 03/02/2010

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Hey Everyone,
Thanks for all the advice. I really appreciated it. I actually told her that all the moms and dads on Circle of Moms said to throw away her bottle and then she agreed to throw it in the bin on Saturday 27th Feb. She is now drinking her milk from a cup in the morning but refuses it at nigntime. It was easier than i expected. Thanks again.
Paula

Jennifer - posted on 03/01/2010

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You could just cut out milk for a week or two until she forgets about it. It sounds like a habit but it might also be that she needs more nurturing.

Crystal - posted on 03/01/2010

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Find some cute way of getting rid of all her bottles. I would suggest using a bottle fairy type excuse, if it were close to Christmas I would say Santa needs them for all the baby reindeer, you could try giving them to the Easter bunny. She definitely needs to be rid of them and all the bottles in the house should go, if you keep any you are giving her a way to go back to the habit. Just think about all the trouble she will have at school if the other kids find her drinking out of a baby bottle. Kids can be so cruel to each other over minor things you don't need to hand them any free amunition. Just stick to your guns and get rid of all of them.

Gretchen - posted on 02/28/2010

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Umm I would suggest you stop giving her the bottle. As long as you give it to her she will continue to use it and if she REALLY wants some milk oh she will drink it out of a cup.

Megan - posted on 02/28/2010

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If you dont give it to her in a bottle she cant drink it out of a bottle. It wont hurt her not to have milk for a few days even a few weeks. Im sure she gets dairy from other sources. like cheese and yoghurtl The trick is not to give in even if a tantrum starts. If you give in then they will preform until you give in again.. This should be an easy one though. Give it a go.

Ginger - posted on 02/28/2010

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Wow, I am surprised at how judgemental some of these comments are!! We ALL have little things like this we give into our kids on--how dare any of us tell anyone else to "be the parent"!

Paula, my 3-year-old refused to give up his "bot" as well, so we did the Santa Claus trick and made a big deal about leaving all of the bottles out for Santa to give to his baby reindeer on Christmas Eve. It worked like a charm, and Santa left him a little thank you gift. You've just missed Christmas, but maybe the Easter Bunny could do the same! =)

If you don't want to "lie" to your child (as some of the "childhood-fantasy-is-bad" parents above believe), just throw them out when she's not around. She really will get over it quite quickly.

Kari - posted on 02/27/2010

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This is your perfect chance to establish the boundries between parent and child. Kids will constantly test you on absloutely everything and every moment to see what they can get away with. It is your job to set the rules and follow them. Not judging you rparenting skills because we all want to appease our kids in some ways, but it is unacceptable for a child of this age to be sucking on a bottle. Her teeth and gums could suffer some serious damage not to mention the message that your sending her that its ok if she prefers something she gets it. Ditch the bottle and stick to your guns about it she'll get over it, and her dentist will thank you

Stacey - posted on 02/27/2010

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Throw them all away and then stand firm.
It won't be easy but each day will get that much easier.
She has developed a comfort habit and unfortunately you will need to help her break it.
I have found cold turkey works the fastest.

Marie - posted on 02/27/2010

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TO BE FAR AT THE AGE OF 5 SHE SHOULD BE DRINKING FROM A CUP FOR EVERTHING REALLY IM TRYING TO GET MY THREE YR OLD OUT OF BOTTLE AND DUMMY SO REALLY I CAN NOT TALK

Christine - posted on 02/27/2010

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in my opinion, you need to just take the bottle away and hang in there it will pass... she may have a fit for a few days but when it isn't there for her she will get over it. Kids quickly find other things.

Nicola - posted on 02/26/2010

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Bin all of your bottles take them straight out of the house so they can't get them back out of the bin (eurgh). If you do it while they are at school and the day before bin day they won't have much choice. Buy them a nice new cup/sports bottle and present it to them when they ask for their normal bottle of milk. If they start to fuss ask them if any of their friends use baby bottles.

Shanda - posted on 02/26/2010

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Throw the bottle away and no matter what don't give in. She will eventually drink the milk from a cup, when she sees she won't get it any other way. At age 5 she is to big for a bottle.

Christine - posted on 02/26/2010

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You could even get her to throw away her bottles so that she knows that they are no longer in the house. But... I would definetly throw them away. They don't need the bottle anymore at that age.

Yunique - posted on 02/26/2010

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You should have taken the bottle away by the time she was 1 yr old. She shouldn't have a choice at 5 yrs old to use a cup or bottle. Not being mean but it is your job as the parent to show and tell you child what they are supposed to do not the other way around. She can have choices about other things in life that are age appropriate, bottle at 5yrs old is NOT age appropriate.

Dana - posted on 02/25/2010

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R U serious? I am not trying to be disrespectful but 5 years old is waaayy too old to be drinking from a bottle & she shouldn't have a choice. Be the mom & not her friend & do what is right for her teeth,her socially & throw the bottle in the trash!!

Yenly - posted on 02/25/2010

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I agree with Kim Strehlau, I always tell my son who is also very strong willed, that it's time to give it to needy children who will make better use of it. He will say he still needs it, then I tell him about children whom have far less than he does and he usually gives in. Sometimes it takes a few days, I only ask him once a day, eventually he gives in. I make it a point of it being his choice. Strong willed children should not be broken, they are given choices.

Gabby - posted on 02/25/2010

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Throw the bottle away..i know it sounds mean but sometimes we as parents are the ones that dont want to let go ...I threw my son's bottle when he was 11 months old...then he started using a sip cut cause he had no choice he also stop getting up at night cause he did not enjoy being sat up in the kitchen counter to drink out of the cup....I sure learned my lesson after my oldest...she drank out of a bottle until 3 and would get up at night ....

Trina - posted on 02/25/2010

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ok this might be a little crazy but it works i know cause i did it ! put milk in a bottle let it sour and when they ask for it take the bottle and pretend something magically hapend to it and now let her smell it ! then explain that once you get a certan age milk just spoiles every time u put it in there cause it means she is a big girl now and she needs to drink out of a big girl cup now!

Jennifer - posted on 02/25/2010

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I had a problem with that with my 3 year old..I finally said enough was enough took the bottles away, she didn't like it at first but if she was thirsty she started taking the cup..your the boss take control

Emma - posted on 02/25/2010

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Chuck it out asap. Kids at 5 dont even need milk as a drink they get enough dairy from foods anyway so if she wont drink milk from a cup then she doesnt have it. Dont get her a sip cup or beaker to replace it either shes far too old for all of those they are for toddlers. All my 4 children were off bottles between 18 months and 2 and the baby is 10 months and has a beaker already so theres no need for your daughter to have it and besides which her teeth will really suffer from the bottle. Milk has sugar in it and can turn teeth bad just as easily as juice. they advise you try to get babies off the bottle from when their first teeth come through for this reason. Just put up with the tantrums and ignor her. She'll get over it, Good luck!

Jessie - posted on 02/25/2010

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Just throw the bottle away. She's old enough to understand that she's too old to be drinking from a bottle.

Melissa - posted on 02/25/2010

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have her give the bottle away to a little baby and praise her for doing so tell her that she is still your baby but that she doesn't need a bottle anymore. If that don't work the bottle will have to be taken by you because you are by the way The Parent.

Carrie - posted on 02/25/2010

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THROW THEM ALL AWAY!!!! There is no need for a child to be drinking out of a bottle after 12 months. We began switching all 3 of ours at 6 months and by 10 months there were no more bottles. She does not need more than 3 glasses of milk a day, and that is if there is NO other dairy in her diet. If she has yogurt or cheese you can cut that down to two. My kids only get two glasses per day and sometimes less if we are doing a lot of other dairy. Also, there is no value in juice. It is bad for her teeth and weakens the enamel and allows the sugars to grab on and eat away. She will test you and throw fits like any other stong indepentant child, but hold strong and pump up the yogurt and other dairy. If you have her on vitamins and watch her diet, she can go a few days without milk...Good Luck and stay strong and remember, she does not hate you:)!!!!

Zoe - posted on 02/25/2010

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do you still give her the bottle at nite? is that why she wants it,if so it must be a comfort thing by the sound of it,but yeah really shuda thrown it when she was younger,i got rid at 1 1/2 she cried but only took a wk til she was over it,i took her to choose her own cups so she was happy..

Paula - posted on 02/24/2010

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This is why there are parents. 5 yr olds do not make the decisions you do. Let her help you throw the bottle away and tell her its time for sippy cups or even big girl cups now.

Lynette - posted on 02/24/2010

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I hope this help's you need to get the child to throw the bottle in the wheelie bin, then each time he/she ask's for it just give him/her a reminder that he/she throw it a way and the wheelie bin man took it away to the dump........

Jessica - posted on 02/24/2010

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I would throw out the bottles and give her a real cup. Be prepared for some crying, but she should be over it in a day or 2.

Kristine - posted on 02/24/2010

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you should maybe try to introduce a sippy cup. yes you should get rid of the bottles she will be upset but they always get over it in a few days. best of luck to you.

[deleted account]

Cold turkey works every time! If there are no bottles in the house and if she really wants the milk she will make a decision! You aren't hurting her by removing all bottles just empowering her and relieving yourself of the stress!

Kristina - posted on 02/23/2010

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With all three of my kids we went and picked them out big kid cups. We put all their bootles in a bag and hooked it on the outside of the door. They were told that the bottle fairy had other babies that needed them so much more. When they went to sleep the bag disappeared. They will ask for it but just remind them that a little baby is so happy with their bottle. Don't give in!!!!!!

Cath - posted on 02/23/2010

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Oh my goodness! Throw it away! You need to remember who is the parent, she doesn't get a choice on this one. You don't have to be harsh but you do need to be firm. She can do without milk if she refuses to drink it from a cup, it's not necessary at 5, give her yoghurt or cheese for calcium. DO NOT GIVE IN to the bottle cries or tantrums, they may be tough to handle at first but stay calm and firm and she will soon learn you aren't going to give in. If it is a bedtime routine start a new one - cuddles and storytime? Tuck teddy into her own bed? Good luck!!!
These articles may be interesting to you...
http://www.empoweringparents.com/Your-Ch...

Carly - posted on 02/23/2010

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On my daughters first birthday I celebrated by tossing all the bottles in the trash, mostly because I can't stand seeing big kids with bottles (or pacifiers, or strollers, or diapers, etc)
So I say do the same. If she doesn't like it, she'll live.

Selina - posted on 02/23/2010

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Ok, children dont get to make those choices for themselves! Thats why they have parents! Both of my children were off the bottles at ONE and I just threw them away. It was not an option. And my children only get milk with dinner (no juices or water) so if she decides she doesnt want to drink with her food, then thats her problem. She will drink it when she is thirsty. Dont give her any juice or anything until she can learn to drink milk out of a cup for big girls. Tell her only big girls get juice and if she's not going to be a big girl and drink her milk out of a cup, then she doesnt get juice either. GOOD LUCK!

Erica - posted on 02/23/2010

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WOW You should just tell her she is to old for a bottle and throw it away tell her its time to be a big girl

Rashelle - posted on 02/23/2010

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Hi My eldest was a shocker with her bottle so I wrote her a letter from the BOTTLE FAIRY saying that the Fairy knows that she is now a big girl and doesn't need her bottles anymore and that she has taken them to give to another little baby that still does need them. she was two when I did this but i am sure it would work for a year old oh and the Fairy left her a little present to say thanks for letting another baby use her bottles. Hope this is of some help. I found this was less stressing for all concerned yes you could throw it away but hey this way you and her can feel very good about it:)

Darlene - posted on 02/23/2010

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Throw the bottle away and let her go to the store with you to pick out her own milk cup. Tell her that you can only drink from a bottle until you are 5 and then you have to throw it away. Let her actually throw it in the recycle bin and say bye to it, then she has closure!! Good luck!!

Kim - posted on 02/23/2010

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The bottle fairies came one night when my daughter was 2 1/2, took her bottle and left her a beautiful big girl cup, it worked a treat and she never asked for a bottle again...

Stephanie - posted on 02/23/2010

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My daughter stopped bottle feeding before her 4th birthday. I didn't throw the bottles, just hid in, just in case. It was her choice to stop, after I told her I didn't think she could do it (reverse phsycology always works with this girl). She asked for the bottle on day 3 or 4, but I said I threw them away, and she accepted it. I think it made her feel proud that it was her decision.

[deleted account]

Get rid of it! I got rid of sippy cups at this age. I told my daughter when it's time for her to start going to school she couldn't use them anymore. We decided it would be a good idea to give them to little kids that really needed them. (trash)

Melisa - posted on 02/22/2010

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My son has always been a strong willed one. At age 3 I had it, and this is what I did for him.
Remind her that she is a big girl and that big kids do not drink from bottles. Explain to her that she needs to say goodbye to them and then immediately take her to a store to get "big girl cups" not necessary sippy cups but maybe ones with her fav character.
Expect that she will try the power struggle but like other moms have said when she gets thirsty enough she will give in, my son did.
Be strong ,hope you can work it out with her.

[deleted account]

Yep time to get rid of all the bottles just throw them in the bin and it probably wont be as hard as you both think.

Cheraki - posted on 02/21/2010

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Throw it away... if it's not there she can't drink from it... My children stopped even being offered a bottle at one...

Don't give in and go buy another one either.. Stand strong and be firm...She is 5 and if she hasn't already she will soon be starting school... They drink milk at school as he does she want her new found friends to see her drinking from a bottle like a baby...

Chances are she's going to say NO....

Good Luck and Best Wishes

Atia - posted on 02/21/2010

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Im not judging but you should've BEEN thrown the bottle away. She knows she has a choice and so as long as you accept that she "wont" drink milk unless its in a bottle, then thats what shes going to do. At 5 I'm sure she's in school and most schools offer MILK with lunch and I'm 100% certain they are NOT giving her the option to have a bottle there.

Lisa - posted on 02/21/2010

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Throw it in the garbage! It's bad for her teeth. Don't be mistaken, she will test you and throw a fit that she wants it back, but absolutely do not give in, and do not go to the store an buy another one. She may even refuse to drink milk for awhile, but it won't hurt her... She will eventually. Do not let her stop on her own. My boyfriends sister is 18 years old and everybody thought she would stop sucking her thumb by herself, but she still does it! Seriously, throw it away. Or even tell her to throw it away.

Amy - posted on 02/21/2010

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THrow the bottle away. I didn't give my children choice on when they were bottle broken. between the ages of two and three the bottles magically went to another baby and now they have sippy cups.

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