3yr old, taking bottle away cold turkey not working out.

Sabrina - posted on 10/28/2013 ( 8 moms have responded )




My son is 3, he broke his last nipple for his bottle. We haven't gotten a new one, Problem is he has been screaming for days and still won't drink from anything else. He wants to go in the bathtub because he want's to drink that water but i don't want him doing that. I don't know if i should give in and give him a new bottle. I can't talk to him he is slow in his development being tested for Autism next month. He can't talk so i can't trick him into giving up his bottle on his own. He also refuses to eat anything i give him. He will eat his cereal bars and crackers but not much else. He has barley had anything to drink for days i have tired getting him to drink from my glass, several different kinds of sip cups nothing is working. I know A lot of people think it is terrible that a 3 year old is still drinking from a bottle but what can i do if he flat out refuses to drink from anything else. Im a young mom with virtually no support to help me with these matters. Im with him 24-7 we can't afford daycare, despite the fact that several of his doctors want him in it we can't get the help to get him in. Sorry getting of topic. So as it stands at this moment i can't get him to eat, which is a ongoing issue and for the last 2 almost 3 days i can't get him to drink we have tried everything. He want's his bottle and he wants it badly but I am told i am terrible because i don't have him of the bottle and haven't when he was 1-2 years old. I have no support I am doing this solo well almost solo his dad is around for a couple hours a day. I don't know what to do, should i give in and go get him a new bottle or should i wait it out hoping that he will eventually pick up on a cup. He isn't drinking from any of the cups i got him so i am worried. The crying and screaming is hard on me I am having a hard time handling it. Im all alone 90% of the day with just me and him.


Rebekah - posted on 10/28/2013




I was going to suggest sippy cups or sport bottle tops or straws or some such thing as a transition... though you'd said he's rejected some of those too. Keep trying. In the meantime, try to offer him oranges, grapes, watermelon, applesauce, yogurt, (what about frozen juice pops?) etc. really juicy things to help keep him hydrated.

Keep in touch with the pediatrician. It is concerning that he is going for so long without drinking.

While I get the concept of not giving in as a parent (I typically would offer the same advice myself), the fact that he may have a form of autism makes me wonder if there isn't a better way to approach this. Just a suggestion...wait until he's evaluated and get some professional direction on his needs/abilities before making this transition, if its this hard for him. Is having him use the bottle for just one more month until he's evaluated really that much of a difference? He may have sensory issues relating to textures/things in his mouth (sensory issues can frequently co-occur with autism spectrum kids), and if that's the case, the guidance of a good Occupational Therapist would be really helpful in helping him transition from a bottle to a cup in a way that is progressive and not such a power struggle. All I'm saying is, if he has other issues going on, how can anyone know that it is a stubborn power struggle, and not a more difficult issue for him? Plus, there may be a comforting/soothing element to it (you know....breastfeeding, pacifier) that may be something he isn't ready to give up yet. If he's developmentally delayed, he may need some time to transition with that, rather than just having it taken from him. Just putting that out there as a possibility.

Sabrina...sorry its been so tough for you. Try to ignore the comments from those who are passing judgment about what he ought or ought not be doing. You are his mom and doing the best you can. You are consulting professionals and trying to find out what he needs. Nobody needs a critic. Look for support among those who are more understanding and who have been in your shoes. If he does end up having some form of autism, I think you'll find a whole group of people who can offer you that, which means a lot.

Enna - posted on 10/30/2013




If you are all miserable then there is no sense in keeping it up. I was able to get my kids off their bottles easily, but if it had been so hard and it was upsetting me so much I would not continue that way.
What have you been giving him to drink in the bottle? I would limit it to only water and only allow him to have it in certain places. Then if he's thirsty you can give him some water in a bottle at the table. Eventually you can move him over to a cup. Also, (for Avent at least) they sell "nipples" for their bottles that are soft, but more like sippy cup lids, and they come with handles you can attach to the bottle.
I don't agree with giving in in most situations, but your mental health is more important than this! And as was stated below (though trying to prove a different point) he will give up bottles eventually.

Sarah - posted on 10/28/2013




Hang in there. If he is autistic change of routine of any kind is VERY hard for them. But at some point the routine of a bottle will have to change, so no matter if it is now or later you will still have to go through this "growing pains" There is an autistic group on here that it might be worth asking this question in. They might be able to offer some great suggestions on how to get through this transition. If you can I would also maybe try connecting with a doc that works with autistic children (if you know of one) and see what he/she might suggest.


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Jaquie - posted on 10/31/2013




You do have to understand his side, you have had him on the bottle for three years so this is all he knows. Change is hard in babies because they don't understand what's really going on. You have to stay stern and not give in. If you do all your work will be for nothing. There are sippy cups out there that have a nipple like lid. (You've already probably tried everything in the book) but don't give up. Like a lady said try your hardest to give him fruit with lots of juice or water in it, watermelon, grapes, peaches, pears. Make a game out of drinking from the cup, tell him he's a big boy get all excited about it, pretend you are drinking from it. Tell him if he drinks from it he can have a surprise ANYTHING! My son has to see me try it first and then he wants it cause mommy likes it or if I get all excited clap my hands and say "yaya big boy!!!" He gets all excited and then will take it. Now for your patients, if you know he's perfectly fine where he is at walk out if the room do something like cleaning up, dishes laundry and let him know you aren't going to play his "give in bottle game" sometimes us moms have to walk away and were allowed to do so. Doesn't make you a bad mom! Go outside for a minute breath drink coffee, smoke, whatever your thing is. Come back in and try again or play with him. YOU CAN NOT GIVE UP. Try some milk in his cup not just water all the time. You can do this, every mom struggles with something so your not alone(:

Danicia - posted on 10/30/2013




may I suggest some headphones to cancel out his crying for a bottle? he has to adjust to not having one. he's testing you (which SUCKS) but he will survive, as will you. children are programmed not to let themselves starve or die of thirst so he will drink/eat. hang in there momma, you can do this!!!

Krystal Nicole - posted on 10/29/2013




I would suggest throwing them all out , do not allow yourself to buy more. Your will cry, obviously don't let them hyperventilate but when you go longer and longer reward them with a treat or some sort of prize . Use sippy cups or your cups so they can be like you

Sabrina - posted on 10/28/2013




Been trying to keep from giving in but i am at my wits end its day 3, 11:10 at night he is still crying for his bottle like he is dying of thirst. Still refuses to drink from anything else. He can't communicate with me trying to tell him big boys don't use bottles or the bottle fairy took his bottle isn't going to work. I dunno what to do i cant show weakness. His screams get so loud i can't hear my own voice over his. I live in a apartment complex so im sure the neighbors are getting annoyed themselves. I know i should have had him of the bottle much sooner than now but he outright refuses to touch a cup of any sort soft top hard top, straw type ect... Have toys he can chew on in bed with him trying that But i don't know what i am going to do if this trend continues i can't have him screaming and hollering all day long only to pass out from exhaustion mid day to have him up and screaming at 10 and 11 or later at night. My family thinks cutting him of like this will work but me im not so sure. I don't know if i have the will power to deal with this for as long as it is going to take 2 weeks a month i dunno if i can hold out that long. Im not a strong willed person.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/28/2013




Play teh Big Boy card. Big boys drink from cups, not bottles.

DO NOT GIVE IN and buy another bottle, or your battle will only increase.

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