How can I get my 17 month off the bottle?

Cristal - posted on 02/21/2012 ( 207 moms have responded )

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My girl eats very healthy but she just won't let go of the bottle. I think she drinks way too much milk especially during the night. She refuses the sippy cup. I need advise

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Pam - posted on 02/22/2012

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Babies should never be put to bed with a bottle, especially with milk, it is so bad for their teeth, I would switch to water, as some others suggested, and she will most likely give it up on her own. Something to keep in mind for any future babies. I know it can be hard, especially when so many people do it, and will say its fine, but lots of research shows that it is not fine, and not necessary.

Medic - posted on 02/21/2012

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Just throw them away, after a few days she will get thirsty and drink from whatever you give her.

Dena - posted on 02/22/2012

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Cold turkey. After 1-2 days, she will forget all about it and be used to her new routine and you will be much happier. One or two nights of not eating in the middle of the night and she will eat a better breakfast, lunch and dinner and won't feel the hunger waking her up at night and she will be much happier. Good luck! Stay strong!

Kimberly - posted on 02/22/2012

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I had sucess with putting only water in the bottle and "good" stuff in the sippy cups- if they really want the bottle they will drink water, or they will take the cup! Either way it's win-win for you! I have 4 kids and have used this on all of them, there was a bit of fussing at first, but don't give in! good luck to you!

Lynn - posted on 02/22/2012

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Give her water. She'll lose interest, then just get rid of them. It may be rough for a few days, but she'll adapt. You shouldn't ever be giving her anything at night other than water, you'll rot her teeth!

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Kim - posted on 03/27/2012

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Unfortunately the best way is persevere with the sippy cup and teach her that if she does not have the sippy cup then it is tough thats all she is getting, Children need to know who is boss and not get their own way. If this does not work try her with a small amount of juice in a normal cup, maybe she will go straight from bottle to normal cup or beaker as my second eldest daughter did. Hope this helps, please keep informed, Kim xx

[deleted account]

Just remember do not let her get addicted to the sippy cup in place of the bottle and bottles at night are bad for the ears too as milk and juice can flow into the ear canals and cause infections too. One of my friends used glass bottles and when the last one was dropped and broke that was the end of the bottles. they went to cups. Sippy cups weren't very popular back 30 years ago.. My daughter stop her daughter and son at a year old her son was easier to stop than her daughter who got addicted to sippies right after the bottle. bu now she is getting use to not having one at night when she goes to bed. it was hard at first but they will adjust in time.

Tabitha - posted on 03/26/2012

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Infants self soothe by sucking. She's almost a toddler, she's not an infant anymore. Bottles are for feeding, using a bottle as comfort associates food with comfort. So a depressing day=eating whatever you can find to "comfort" you. Children don't need the crutch of an object to comfort them. They're built to learn how to comfort themselves. Parents feeling sorry for their children are the ones usually creating that crutch. It's not really "self soothing" if they need an object to do it.



None of my 5 children were traumatized when I took their bottles away. Actually, there wasn't much of a difference in their behavior. They weren't in the habit of carrying a bottle around or getting a bottle when they cried. They only got their bottle when it was time to eat anyway. When it was time to get rid of the bottle, they just drank their milk from a cup. Most of the bottles were boxed up shortly after their 1st bday. The one exception is my 2nd child who was still on formula and breast milk until he was nearly 2. The poor little guy was still only able to eat 4 oz bottles every 3 hrs when he was just over a year old. His belly was so tiny. Once he was able to start eating real food on a regular basis, his bottle was gone too. The reason I said it is harder on us is because it's another milestone telling us they're not babies anymore. Because at 17 months she can certainly say the word baba if that's what's bothering her.

Sandra - posted on 03/26/2012

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As for being harder for you than it is for them, I think that's only because they're too young to explain why they're upset.

Sandra - posted on 03/26/2012

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Why shouldn't bottles be comfort? Babies self soothe by sucking, so if you're not nursing, wouldn't a bottle fill that role?

Tabitha - posted on 03/26/2012

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Just pitch it...it will be harder on you than it will on her. She'll be over it in a few days. Bottles shouldn't be used for comfort anyway, they are for food. When she gets thirsty, give her a drink in a cup.

Jesica - posted on 03/26/2012

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did you try the soft nipple sippy cups.....transition cup i think thats what they are called..they are excellent

Laurie - posted on 03/21/2012

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A different opinion than most of the ones already. Personally I don't see anything wrong with an older child having a bottle. My son was three and half before he pretty much voluntarily gave up the bottle completely. My daughter is two and a half and shows no signs of wanting to give it up. It is a comfort object and I don't feel that taking it away "just because everyone says so" is a good idea if the child is not ready to give it up completely.



That said, there are a few things you have to keep in mind. Number one is the reason most doctors insist on giving up the bottle at a very young age and that is that letting milk sit on the teeth causes cavities and can result in toddlers having such rotten teeth that they all have to be pulled before the adult teeth come in. To solve this problem, do not let your toddler take the bottle to bed or walk around with it during the day taking little sips here and there. They drink their bottle down in a couple of minutes and then they are done with the bottle for a while. In this sense, having a bottle, sippy cup or regular cup is no different - just a different form of delivery. Brush their teeth before bed at a minimum and preferably more than once per day.



The second reason that doctors and dentists give to encourage babies off the bottle as soon as possible is that it warps their teeth. This is probably true if they use it like a pacifier and suck on it off and on all day. Some parents would use water in the bottle and see that as solving the first problem above but if the child has it in their mouth all day it could warp their teeth. So does thumb sucking and extended pacifier use. Both of my kids have been to the dentist and there is no hints of warped teeth as a result of extended bottle use. They also only have/had a bottle two or three times a day - first thing in the morning upon waking, just before afternoon nap and just before bed. Each time was a total of probably a minute or less - so it gives them the comfort they want without it being in their mouths long enough to cause teeth alignment problems.



If you feel she is drinking to much milk, then limit her bottles to special times of the day. My kids had/have a 5 ounce bottle three times a day. 15 ounces a day doesn't strike me as a lot of milk. The rest of the time they drink water from a couple of non spill sippy cups that are around the house for them to drink whenever they are thirsty. These are the straw in a bottle type of cups rather than something that they take completely into their mouths that could warp their teeth. My son gave up his before nap bottle at about 2 and a half quite easily at the time because we were trying to get him potty trained and drinking a full bottle of milk right before nap was making him pee his pull ups while sleeping. We told him that if he didn't have milk right before nap he would be able to sleep through without wetting and he accepted that with no problems. The potty training didn't take and we gave up on that after a couple of weeks of trying as he just wasn't ready yet but he didn't want his before nap bottle of milk back either. The potty training finally took at just before his fourth birthday but that is a whole other question.



In my opinion, as long as you take steps to safe guard their teeth, letting them have a bottle for comfort is not a bad thing. Encourage cups and/or sippy cups and/or straws the rest of the time and out in public and allow them to give up the bottle completely in their own time. There are going to be plenty of things worth imposing rules about that they don't want to follow but have to for their own good however giving up the bottle at a given age is not one of them.

Taylor - posted on 03/17/2012

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What worked for me was buying sippy cups of different varieties(all cups don't sip the same(some are to fast and some are to slow and then its the one that is just right for her)). It is a slow but quick process, stop handing her the bottle so freely and encourage the cup more. Drink with her, at 17 mos. she is coming on her not wanting mom and dad to have much, so prepare a cup of whatever she likes and start drinking it yourself and let her have some. When she see's you or dad drinking from the cup she may want it herself. Above all, be patient and loving. Breathe when frustration takes you over.

The cold turkey method is very very frustrating and un-nerving a lone. Besides the crying and lack of fluids leads to un-warranted visits to the doctors office.

Christine - posted on 03/15/2012

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My oldest daughter when she was 2 she was still on the bottle one day i asked her to pick it off the floor and put it in the sink and she ended up throwing it away! And she has been off the bottle ever since!!! i know its hard and frustating but give her time and when shes ready she wont need it anymore

Victoria - posted on 03/15/2012

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tough love, i got my children to choose a new bed time cup, and asked them to put their bottles in a box for the little babies who really needed it cos they were bigger now!! :) they felt really grown up and felt they were being helpful!! they did ask for it after, but i told them it was gone and was too late!! my 3 year old gave his up at 18 months this way!!

Sian - posted on 03/14/2012

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Just stop giving her a bottle and hand her a cup she will soon drink out of it when thristy thats what i did with my daughter

Cindy - posted on 03/14/2012

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I have twin girls and on their 1st birthday bottles were gone. We started the sippy cup around 10 months old.



Associate meal time with the cup. You can offer the straw type cup or even one that has a tip that resembles a nipple. Then soon after that give the sippy cup when you lay her down for a daytime nap (if she takes one) and then at night time.



Its trial and error and you may have a fight on your hands. Good luck

Kimberley - posted on 03/14/2012

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I got my twins of bottles at christmas. On xmas eve we wrapped sum pretty ribbon around them and hung them on the christmas tree. I told them that father christmas would come and take them to give to some other babies and that he would leave some presents. When they woke up the next morning he had also left some special sweeties and a letter which they loved! Worked wonders and they still remember now. Hope this helps :)

Manuella - posted on 03/12/2012

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Im glad your baby is healthy my three year old just got off the bottle unfortunately he has some dental decay because of the bottle and pacifiers, so what I did was just throw them away and I told him that the doctor said no more bottle or pacifiers. I think its harder on us then them cause we want them to stay little forever good luck

Savannah - posted on 03/11/2012

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try givving her a sippy cup they have somany kinds. start by taking a bottle away at a time and replacing it with a sippy cup eventualy she will get the idea! Good luck!

Monika - posted on 03/11/2012

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My great niece drinks water. She drank it from a bottle and then straight to sippy cup. It's amazing! She even likes lemon water (not to much though, strips the teeth of enamel) .

Don't let water be a punishment, it is a glorious refreshing natural beverage that we should all have access to.

Chris - posted on 03/09/2012

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They say hindsight is better than foresight...the real solution is to not let them carry the bottle around to begin with. It is a means of nourishment...nothing more. Hold them while feeding them the bottle. They don't get used to going to sleep with it and it doesn't become a comfort item because they don't carry it around (same with sippy cups-drinks at the table or standing at the counter but not carried around). But since the need to break them of the bottle now exists, cold turkey is really the best way. Get it over and done with. Diluting their milk turns them off towards milk. Letting them carry juices and other drinks in sippy cups is letting them keep their teeth constantly coated with sugar (I am not saying to limit when they drink...just not letting them get in the habit of sleeping with the sippy or carrying it around. Otherwise, you will have to go through breaking them of carrying the sippy around with them everywhere, plus they set them down and find them later and it might have milk in it that has been setting out too long.).

Monika - posted on 03/09/2012

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My step daughter was allowed to stay on the bottle and she has suffered with bad teeth because of it. My daughter was my first child and I let her stay on it to long. She has some insecurity issues. I threw my sons away at 12 months, it did not bother him in the least bit. He is the most adaptable and well behaved of the 3. He is 16 in high school and well disciplined.

Of course all 3 of them turned out well, praise God, but life is to hard and has to many obstacles to not teach them how to be strong in the face of change.

Raylene - posted on 03/09/2012

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Hey Cristal, there's only one suggestion I can give you here and that is THROW it away cold turkey!! Don't fret or worry over it just do it. I too was wondering how to do it when my (now 8 year old) was 18 months old and yep one day just threw it out, she didn't drink milk for about 2 months but that wasn't any concern as she still got her dairy and calcium through other products like cheese, custards, yoghurts & that sort of thing so she wasn't missing out on anything dietry that she needed. She did cry for a bit but hey they can only cry for so long and all they need is some comfort from a loving and gentle (but strong) mum who won't go back after she has decided to make the stand. You're not alone on this one but after you give this a whirl you'll think wow I had nothing to worry about in the 1st place. (kids are very smart and know how to play their parents from a very young age) I know you can do this, and when you do decide to to it, do it in the morning so she has all day to get the gist that there's no more bottle period!! but be persistent with a cool and calm head and if she does only have a bottle at night same process offer her the sippy cup with milk or water and if she doesn't want it well there is NO substitute bottle to take its place so carry on with her usual routine. Goodluck and I hope this is of some help to you.

Jina - posted on 03/08/2012

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My son is 18 months and same thing still on the bottle. I just went to his pediatrician and she said start replacing the milk for water, that way it prevents the milk from rotting their teeth. She said most children that still want the bottle are just looking to fill their bellies faster to fall asleep.

Claire - posted on 03/07/2012

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Do you have a relative or friend with a baby. Tell her the baby needs the bottles and she is such a big girl to give them to the baby. She should only have water at night now anyway, having milk sit on her teeth all night will do serious damage to her teeth. During the day give her milk in a cup at meals. water in a water bottle between meals.

CHERYL - posted on 03/07/2012

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use a sippy cup. take her with you and have her pick out which one she wants. Let her know that this is her special sippy cup. and that she will no longer get the bottle. Tell her it's time to be a bigger girl and use the sippy cup. and time for the bottle to go up.

I never had problems with my kids, when they was about 10 months old I gave them a sippy cup and let them use that the most. But they was never bottle fed so it was easier to break them from the bottle when they had their juice or water in it.

Teresa - posted on 03/06/2012

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for all of the transitions (losing soothers, bottles, etc.) we've gone through with my son, i've found the cold turkey thing works best for us. I didn't like the idea of dragging it out, and my son was really good with it. Only took him two days to get used to no soother, and about a week for the bottle. He still asks for his baba as soon as he wakes up, but i remind him he doesn't need baba's anymore because he's a big boy, and i offer him breakfast instead. He doesn't usually eat much for dinner, so breakfast is definitely his favorite meal (he's super hungry in the mornings). he gets a sippy cup with milk at meals throughout the day. sometimes he drinks a lot, some days he only takes a few sips.

Cari - posted on 03/06/2012

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Gradually water down the milk in the bottle more and more each night until it's just water.

Michelle - posted on 03/06/2012

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Water down the milk in the bottle then just offer water in the bottle and milk in the sippy. If she cries let her remember your the mom and she will eventually give in. Be strong you can do it.

Hazel - posted on 03/06/2012

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Hi, just take the bottles away and stick to your guns, i bought my sons favorite character cups and some straws and after a few days he adjusted and accepted it. good luck

Rosaleen - posted on 03/06/2012

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I must say I agree with Sandi .. what works for one may not work for someone else.. it's all just advice and hints on here ... and I don't think anyone is finger pointing at anyone .......at least I hope not ! because part of the reason I come onto Circle of Moms is that there is no judgement .....there is a feeling that we've all been there and will be there again

Sandi - posted on 03/06/2012

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my point wasn't to put forth a theory that works for everyone. there is no one thing that would work for all. if you notice at the end of my post i specifically said she needs to do what is right for her daughter. i was just voicing my "experience" as everyone else here does. both my kids were very different and that was part of the point. so many others on here were like "you HAVE to do it THIS way!" no one can say what she should do they are not in her home with her child. that was my point. and i certainly am not saying my kids are happy and content people, and no one else's are. that's great that your kids were weaned off bottle and pacifier so early. that's what they needed and what was right for them. someone else may be different though and i personally would not attempt to tell them what they absolutely have to do.

Rosaleen - posted on 03/06/2012

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Sherri my daughter had 14 binkies yes I said 14 until she was 3 !! she was never without one .. and on her 3rd birthday we tied them to a balloon and sent them to the baby angels in heaven and never looked back ! she gave up the bottle a lot easier .. at 9 months of age.. as i said in my earlier post I would strongly suggest not giving her the bottle at night because of the sugar in the milk... you do NOT want bottle rot...... if going cold turkey puts you in a cold sweat then perhaps wean her off it.........give her one in the morning and then introduce the cup for the rest of the day .......then every other day for the bottle and so on and so forth .........there is no manual for parenthood.....and each child is different that's why we have this "circle of moms' to help each other out........Good luck

Sherri - posted on 03/06/2012

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@Sandi both my boys are very content and happy human beings and i believe it all starts with when they are babies...



So are my children and none of the 3 oldest had a pacifier past 4mo's and a bottle past 10mo's. So your theory isn't exactly solid with that one.

Rosaleen - posted on 03/06/2012

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Be very careful giving a child a bottle at night You dont' want your daughter to get "bottle rot" her teeth will have terrible decay and will need multiple fillings if not extractions.. believe me I work at a dental office and have seen it.... and I do agree with medic mommy ......just take the bottle away and give the sippy cup.. eventually she will get thirsty enough......yes she's gonna cry for a while, however she will get over it .........good luck

Danielle - - posted on 03/06/2012

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I let my son get off the bottle himself. I didn't see the point in going through the drama of taking it away. It didn't bother me that he was on it, and if you don't tell anyone - they won't even know.



It's not harmful - it's comforting to them - and they enjoy it. No harm done. If it isn't broke, don't fix it.



Your daughter will let it go when she's ready.

Diana - posted on 03/06/2012

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start putting juice in a sippy cup she will like the juice more and reach for it instead of a bottle

Karen - posted on 03/06/2012

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Well I will probably be odd mom out again. I have grown children and 5 gr kids now. I let the boys give up their bottles on there own. The oldest kept his until he was a yr old then he threw it away. The youngest kept his until he was almost 2. I thought it was good for them to decide when they felt good about it or didn't want it. Figured as long as they didn't want it in Kindergarten is was ok with me.. :) We did the same with the grand kids or at least their parents did.

Sandi - posted on 03/06/2012

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i know this goes against everything the doctor's say and most of the mom's here say. i have two sons 22 and 7 years old...when they each were babies/toddlers i let them decide when they were ready to get rid of their bottle and pacifier. my older son gave me his bottle and pacifier at two separate times and simply told me, "no more momma." the bottle he gave up at 15 months and the pacifier 17 months. i don't know why but that is how he did everything. he was a very easy baby and toddler, and that still is how he is at 22. my little one on the other hand didn't give up his bottle or his pacifier on his own. we did not take them from him though...we let him keep them until it was socially unacceptable for him to have them and then told him he could trade them in for something else that was a comfort to him. the reason we did this is because the simple motion that goes with suckling a bottle or a pacifier is comforting and soothing for babies and toddlers (how would adults like it if their main source of comfort was taken all of a sudden?). we gave him milk right at bedtime but didn't put him to bed with the bottle (gave him a little water to follow after the milk so it didn't mess his teeth up). it was such a soothing thing for him and a big part of his bedtime routine that we didn't want to rob him of it. he still has warm milk right before bed, every single night at 7, but of course it is out of a regular cup. both my boys are very content and happy human beings and i believe it all starts with when they are babies...after all babies are human beings from the get go and no different than anyone else as far as what they need...comfort...love...attention...understanding...and soothing ways to go to sleep. good luck and don't let other people tell you what is best for your child, only you and she will know that...listen to her and your heart.

Sandra - posted on 03/06/2012

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I've never used bottles, but none of my four kids were weaned by 17 months. I can't imagine that they would have been ready any sooner if I'd been feeding them from bottles. Maybe just wait until she's letting you know she's ready to give it up?

Anna - posted on 03/06/2012

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WELL ALL I REMEMBER TO JUST START GIVE YOUR CHILD WATER IN A CUP DURING THE DAY AND SEE HOW THE CHILD DOES. IS IT SEEMS DOING VERY WELL THAN THATS HOW YOU TAKING THE BOTTLE OFF LITTLE BY LITTLE HE OR SHE WILL BE JUST FINE.

Catherine - posted on 03/06/2012

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You can buy a kind of teat which still has the feel of the bottle but theworking of sippy cup great to enable them to move on! Tomiee tippee and others do similar! Hope it helps

User - posted on 03/06/2012

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I put water in my daughter's bottle and after three nights of that, she said no thanks. She didn't want the bottle anymore if it was only water. Good luck!

Lisa - posted on 03/06/2012

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Try to offer the bottle of milk less often and praise for use of a cup. Water down the milk that is in the bottle so that it doesn't seem as satisfying. Eventually she will prefer the cup because it tastes better. At 17 months she doesn't really need anything at night but if she insists on something, fill it only with water. Better to deal with a tantrum now than cavities later. She won't go to kindergarten with a bottle in her hands but you can get her off of it soon. Be careful with sippy cups too. They allow us to give our children too much to drink because of the convenience and lack of mess. We took them away from our boys when we learned that it may have been the cause of one of our twins speech delay. They are now 14 and our youngest is 10 and all are well adjusted... Good luck to you!

Kimberly - posted on 03/05/2012

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My boy would refuse to drink milk from his sippy cup when he was little but would drink water. I actually let him have a bottle of milk till over 3 yrs old, against the advice of my doctor and mother. He usually would only have 1 bottle of milk at the age of 3 yrs old. I gave it to him after supper and he would go sit on the couch and drink his 8 oz of milk within 5 minutes. He LOVED his milk but only out of a bottle. He wasn't hurting anymore and I got his milk in him. He refused to drink milk out of a cup. I finally took the bottle of milk away and guess what to this day he WILL NOT drink milk only water and a little ice tea. He doesn't like any juice or pop. So who cares what the doctor suggested because guess what she keeps getting after me now. He should drink more milk or milk products. Well I try to get any kind of milk products I can get in him and dr suggests stuff like yogurt, which he doesn't like. He isn't a fruit eater anymore either. He was actually a very good eater and would eat every kind of baby food even that disgusting meat. He just went for his 2nd time to the dentist and they say his teeth are fine, no cavaties and pretty white. So my suggestion if you can get milk in her as long as you can do it anyway she will drink it...because it is good for her bones. Hopefully she will not turn out to be like my little boy and refuse milk after bottle.

All children are different, my daughter drank milk perfect and was pretty easy to transition. My husband grew up on straight cow's milk and my daughter drank it also when she was younger. My husband and daughter still drink milk for their supper but my little boy only has water and believe me all his preschool class knows he is the little boy who only drinks water.

GOOD LUCK!!!

Monika - posted on 03/05/2012

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throw them away and replace with sippy cup. I agree with Medic Mom. My first was on the bottle until she was almost 2. On my second I threw them all out at 12 months and he was fine with it.

Carol - posted on 03/05/2012

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I've always used the "TOOTH FAIRY" idea and the BOTTLE/PACIFIER FAIRY comes and takes the item and leaves a surprise in it's place...It was painless, and yes they did ask a few times but understood when reminded

Patty - posted on 03/05/2012

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It is VERY IMPORTANT that you take that bottle away ASAP. The reason, the sugar in the milk can damage her teeth.

With my daughter, I used to praised her for been such a good BIG GIRL, and and telling her that big girls don't drink bottle anymore they use cups. It take a lot of patience, but you can play with her to be "big girls" and you and her can drink in similar cups. She will follow through you will see ;o)

Sue - posted on 03/05/2012

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Sound advice ladies thanks very much for your input . I am in the same boat with my 2.5 year old. I will def be taking some of this advice onboard

Anna - posted on 03/05/2012

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Just get rid of them hun she's not hungry it's just a habit. If she is eating plenty during the day then she shouldn't need milk during the night. It will be hard and she will kick off big style but just stick in there and in a week 10 days at the most she'll give up. Give her a sippy cup with water in if she is thirsty she'll drink that. Keep at it Hun and you'll get there the longer you leave it the harder it will be.

Paula - posted on 03/05/2012

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This is what we did with my little cousin. My grandma put milk in his bottle but put the stopper on the bottler then screwed the nipple on so even though he saw milk in there he didn't get any, as soon as he saw nothing was coming out, he lost interest. That was 20+ years ago. May be that isn't the route to go I'm sure some will say that gives them gas but it worked for my Grandma. With my daughter, she helped me gather up all the bottles and put them in the trash bin, then she would go to the drawer they were in, see it empty and I would just tell her how proud I was of my big girl and give her a little plastic cup or sippy to drink out of.

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