Wednesday, June 16, 2021

How do I wean my 2-year-old off the bottle?

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 ‘This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’ 

How do I wean my 2-year-old off the bottle?


First, you need to understand why bottle weaning off is important?

It is said that you should wean the bottle off after 1 year. Even I regret I wasn't aware of it and couldn't pay much attention to it when my little one was 1 plus. But it’s ok! No one is a perfect parent. We all learn with time and experiences. I am glad that I could wean it off before she is 3 years old. I hope this blog will help other moms.

What're the side effects of bottle feeding?

1. Tooth decay: Tooth decay in baby teeth sets the stage for problems with permanent teeth like additional cavities and improper placement.


2. Delayed speech: when babies are sucking the bottle nipple, they’re not putting their energy into chewing their food. That delays the process of speech development.


3. Loss of appetite: Babies find comfort in sucking the nipple and want to use it for every purpose. Then they don’t want to eat anything, because they like to have it from the bottle whether it’s milk, juices, and water, etc. It decreases their loss of appetite.


4. Addiction to sucking the bottle nipple: Babies get addicted to what they find comfort in.


Here are a few steps on how I weaned off my toddler’s bottle (based on my personal experience):


*First, you need to understand that it’s not a one-night Job neither for the baby nor you.

 *Second, follow the wake-up and sleeping routine.

*Third, keep their favorite soft toy with them always.


Step 1: Make up your mind


Yes! Being a parent, now we know that the bottle is affecting the child’s dental health. First, a mother should show the willingness to wean it off. Please remember, you’re a responsible mother. No one else can do it for you. No one understands your child and their habit better than you. Neither you should expect nor you should blame your husband, in-laws, family, and friends for the same. Yes! You should ask for a little help like if they can help you with household work etc. as you’ll get busy to make the routine for your little one.


2) Transition from bottle to cup (invest in attractive cup/mugs/Tumblr/sipper/straw) First day time :


Day1: Give the bottle (It’s the first day) Introduce at least a cup/mugs/Tumblr/sipper/straw depending on their age and comfort. You can pretend like this is mummy’s glass of water and this is the baby’s glass of water. While you make them sleep in, 


Day 2:  Give proper solid foods three times a day

Don’t give the bottle during the daytime. Hide it completely and don’t even use the word “Bottle” in front of your kid. Keep an attractive cup/mugs/Tumblr/sipper filled with water or milkshake in front of them. Let them drink it by themselves.


Day 3: How to make your little one sleep at noon without the bottle?

 I tried keeping cups/mugs/Tumblr/sippers everywhere she used to go, like in the kitchen, in the hall, and in every room. The primary motive was to make her forget about the bottle. I made her sleep without the bottle at noon. The best you can do is always make her stomach full and physically active. 


Day 4: What to do if the baby wakes up at night?

I made sure that I would make her sleep without the bottle and it doesn't matter if she asks for the bottle in the night feed. You’ll not believe but it took me 45 minutes to make her sleep and pretend like yes your extra bottle is coming. “Your papa, Dadu, is bringing the bottle and they’ll be here soon. You sleep now. It’s time to sleep. Everyone has slept, but not you. What is it that is waking up my baby?” This used to be my conversation with her every night for the first 4 days. It’s still the same.


If they wake up in the middle of the night, and then refuse to drink water, and cry for a bottle, give them water in the bottle but don’t make them cry much. Remember, it’ll take a little time to wean it off. Relax!



Day 5: Remember 2 things:

Kids don't wake up at night for milk. It’s a myth and our wrong perception. They wake up only because of two reasons:

1.      Comfort

2.     Thirst

Note: Keep the sipper/water glass always nearby. If they wake up at night, first check on AC and the environment. They MIGHT BE FEELING COLD/HOT DEPENDING on the weather. Second, take him/her in your arms and do a little walk and then they’ll fall asleep slowly. You can sing their favorite songs or chant “Hare Rama Hare Krishna” etc. depending on what you used to make your baby sleep.


Day 6: Stay Consistent

I hope you’re getting things more clearly now. Repeat all the above steps. Hide the bottle completely and offer cup/mugs/Tumblr/sipper every time.


Day 7: It’s not a 7-day process. It took me 10 days to wean it off. Once I started, so many doubts and strategies appeared automatically. Like, in my case, she used to sleep in her father’s arms more easily than compared to me, but I asked my husband to sleep in a separate room for a few days until I wean the bottle off.


 Second, One day when she slept in his arms quickly, we made a habit that I’ll follow all bedtime rituals during and before sleeping like “Brushing Teeth, washing feet, hands, and face, etc., Om Chanting, saying Gayatri Mantra, Reading a book, and acting like its time to sleep. Mumma and the soft toy want to sleep now. This bedtime ritual takes around 30-45mins and then I chant Hanuman Chalisa and she is almost 70% sleepy by now. Don’t forget, the light should be dim and the environment should be soothing.


 After that, I call her father and he makes her sleep, which takes him around 15 minutes. This way I could follow a 10-day challenges to wean off the bottle. It all depends on the team efforts put in by you and your husband.


Now I can sleep peacefully 


3) Direct Communication: Infants mostly understand more by their mother’s expression. But once they enter the stage of being a toddler, they can understand your words properly. They can understand what you're trying to communicate with them. This made it a little easy for me too.


4) Don’t give up: No matter how much effort I put in to keep her mind diverted, she always asked for the bottle before sleeping. We fixed it in her mind that sleeping means a bottle, whether it’s an afternoon nap or sleeping time at night. Slowly, she started forgetting about the bottle.


It’s my personal advice to all the mothers who’re in this process. Kindly don’t stress yourself much. Just keep on putting in your best efforts. And take care of your health.


I tried strategies


1.      I ordered an extra pair of the nipple and cut down the nipple into two pieces and gave it to her to play with. I gave her so many times in a day like during her bath time, too. First, her reaction was like Mumma. Ye tut I replied, yes! It's broken. Oh, no! then I made her understand like you’re a grown-up girl now. You need to drink like Mumma and other big kids drink from the glass.


2.     Thank God! My family is always supportive. They also tried to convey the same message that used to get recorded in her mind. 



3.     I made her bottle dirty by using Turmeric powder, clay, etc. Then I asked her to throw it in the dustbin as the bottle is dirty. You’re not supposed to use this bottle anymore now.


4.     The last strategy is that I told her that monkeys need the bottle more than you. Monkey has a small baby. Monkey has taken your bottle. He’ll come back tomorrow. That tomorrow never came. Hahaha!


Blog 1: Vision Board for Expecting Mothers

Let’s discuss what problem are you facing with your little one now? What strategies and tricks worked out for you during the bottle weaning process. Kindly share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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  1. I so need to do this, thanks for all the information

  2. Very useful post... I had a tough time with my first one. These are some doable and wonderful suggestions. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Very helpful pointers for all mothers looking for the options to wean off their kids from bottle. I had been through this phase and successfully came out as my 2 yrs daughter is now able to drink water and milk from her fav mug.

  4. These are easy tips boy left bottle after 3 years ...this post is helpful for many parents

  5. This post will definitely help a lot of new moms. You have written it so well and in so much detail
    Deeepika Sharma

  6. I hope I had read yours earlier cos I weaned my daughter late and I'm glad I was able to accomplish

  7. Weaning is also a phase which every mother goes through. But as you said, be consistent and the two reasons - comfort and thirst. Its an assumption that babies wake up because they are hungry.

  8. Great tips dear. yes bottle feeding is not for growing kids's overall health. your tips will be so helpful for new moms who want to wean their kids with this habit.

  9. Wow...loved your strategy and the efforts you put in. I just gave my daughter the sipper instead of the feeder. A doctor in Delhi shouted and me when I told him she was still on the feeder at 18 months..he said...Are you planning to give the feeder as dowry when she gets married ? :)

  10. Weaning off kids from bottle can be tough. Your tips are definitely going to help parents out there who are struggling with it.

  11. this is such a helpful post and I liked the strategy , my SIl recently was looking for easy and doable method to wean off bottle feeding, I am sharing with her right away

  12. It is so neccessary to wean kids from the bottle early on as later it becomes more difficult. This is a really exhaustive and informative post which will be of tremendous help to mothers.

  13. Innovative tips! I wish I had read them a few years ago!

  14. Oh. I didn't know that there could be so many consequences if babies are not weaned off the bottle. You have shared some great tips that will be useful to new mothers. I'll definitely keep these in mind for my future kid :)

  15. Bottle weaning can be a difficult task at this stage of life for babies as they get so used to it. But I loved how you ahve shared step wise methods to do so. Will share this with a friend who is trying to get rid of bottles for her son

  16. these are some wonderful practical suggestions u have mentioned to wean a toddler off the bottle. Helpful post for the parents.

  17. Oh I had such a challenging time to wean my daughter off the feeding bottle. She literally stopped eating. Wish I had known these tips.

  18. This will be super helpful for all the new moms. I too weaned my little one off from the bottle once she was three years plus. These tips will definitely be helpful for many.

  19. These are some great ideas. Even I was looking for ways to wean my son from bottle . Thank you for sharing this.

  20. Weaning an infant from bottle is actually quite tricky. Thankfully I got my son a brand new his choice of cup and he was in no time shifted to cup.