Monday, April 14, 2014

Bottle and pacifier weaning advice needed!

Magpie will be 18 months old at the end of April. Wow - how and when did that happen?

And she's doing great on pretty much every level - she's starting to talk in English and Spanish. She runs around like a maniac. She's even started announcing "poopy" when she's about to poop in her diaper, which I would imagine is inching us closer to the day she'll be ready to try out the potty (you know, should I ever get around to getting one).

She has a lovey she is very fond of and she sleeps through the night almost always (are we lucky or what?!). She is also very fond of her pacifiers and of her bottles (we allow no bottles in the crib, but she has a few bottles of milk a day). Pacifiers are used only during naps and at bedtime in the crib, not during the day (except on the Middle East flights!). But in any case, Will and I have thought that maybe it's time to start the weaning process on both the bottle and/or pacifier fronts.

This morning, I tried just giving the milk in her sippy cup when she asked for her "bottle." Magpie wasn't having any of it. She looked at the sippy cup and said, "agua?" even though it was obviously filled with milk. Obvious major mommy error here. It made me realize that historically, we have always given water in the sippy cup and always given milk in the bottle. In Magpie's mind, each of those beverages belong only in each of those drinking delivery devices. We spent a long time this morning with her lovey "Lambie" "drinking" milk noisily out of the sippy cup. Which Magpie thought was hilarious. But did not inspire her to try it herself. By the time I left for work, Magpie was still with the milk cup sippy but not even willing to try it that way. I told her caregiver to wait another hour or so to see if Magpie would give it a go, but at that point quietly put some milk in a bottle and put it down where she could reach it. Perhaps we should also start offering agua in a bottle occasionally? Except that we're hoping to cut out the bottles. Geesh, I don't know!

It's very unlike me, but I haven't done any research on this bottle and pacifier weaning thing. I wanted to ask you guys instead. In my book, those of you who have been through this already are the real experts.

For those that used a bottle - when did you phase these out? And how? Any tips?

And for pacifiers, same thing... in particular - what age did you do this and what was napping/sleeping like without them and how did everyone survive the transition?

On both fronts, anything you'd do differently now that you've been there done that?

I think we'd like to move in the direction of no pacifiers, and at least fewer bottles, but I'm in no super hurry about it. I also definitely want to be respectful and mindful that these are two things that bring Magpie comfort and soothing. So I'd like to find a way to do it that is as least traumatic as possible.

So, please, bring on the advice!

Most gratefully yours,

Mo (and Will, even if he doesn't know about this post yet!)

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  1. My kids never took pacifiers so no advice there. As for bottles I would pick the one bottle feeding she is less attached too and put the milk in a sippy cup. Slowly take away each bottle of milk and replace it with a sippy. I did it that way with all three of my kids and it was an easy transition. My oldest I started this right at a year old, my middle around 18 months old (he had reflux and need to be on formula and bottles longer to help him gain weight) and my daughter around a year old as well. Took about 2 weeks to a month before bottles were 100% gone. Once I took the last bottle. I bagged up the bottles and got them OUT of the house so we wouldn't go backwards :)

  2. My daughter is 16-months old and we went cold turkey on the bottles around 12months. I had already starting giving her milk/formula in a sippy cup half the time so it wasn't a huge transition.
    She moving up to the toddler class at school and they said no bottles, and she had to be totally on their menu food and be able to sit at the little tables and feed herself. So, we didn't have a choice.
    She now gets 2 cups of whole milk a day in a Nuby at home.and they give her other milk at school is regular sippy cups.
    The only big transition for us, is that she didn't like whole milk at first.

  3. I'm probably NOT the person you want to listen to, as my kid used a pacifier into elementary school and gave up the bottle (1, just before bed) at 3.5. After forcibly weaning her at 9 mo--it was horrible--I suppose it wasn't too surprising that she developed a major oral fixation.

    That said, I believe in doing things on the kid's time, with a minimum of drama. We left the bottle behind when we went to my mom's for a night was hard, and then it was just done. The pacifier was likewise her choice. She used it one day, threw it in the trash the next, and went to a sleepover...

    Tiny Boy is still on a bottle at home but not at school. He drinks all other liquids except milk from a cup at home.

    Just not worried about this one, though I'd be interested in seeing what strategies others with actual strategies use :)

  4. I've got two kids who are/were paci users. Just naps and bedtime, never out of the crib. We let my daughter keep hers until she was three. We took her to Build a Bear, had her stuff her paci inside her bunny, and that was the end. I will say that the end of the paci was pretty much the end of naps. Which was probably coming soon, anyway, since she was older, but it was abrupt and hard on all of us. But she was very aware of why (she was a big girl, the paci was hurting her teeth, etc) and other than some whining the first night, she was not upset by it.

    Now, my son will be three this week, but he has historically been a much worse sleeper, and I'm not as eager to follow the same path. We spoke to our dentist (as he does have a noticeable paci overbite), and he told us not to take it if he is still using it heavily. That if we take it and he still needs it to soothe, then he will substitute his fingers/thumb, which is a much more difficult obstacle to overcome. So...we might wait another six months until naps are disappearing anyway and approach it then. We have been mentioning casually that sometime soon it will have to go away, so that it he gets used to the idea.

    I definitely don't regret letting my kids keep them as long as they did. They found comfort in it, and we had the only at bedtime limits that made me feel like we still had some control over it. Plus, anything that helped us get decent sleep was worth it in my mind! Good luck with whatever you do!

  5. I really need this advice, too. Baby Girl is almost 15 months and I've read that the older they are when you start trying to remove these items the harder it is. We also only give the pacifier at bedtime and naps (and sometimes for "chill out" time on daddy's lap before nap or bed) and she gets 2-3 bottles of milk a day. I check your blog daily anyway, but will *really* be checking in to see what other moms have to say about this issue. :-)

  6. My son's were both weaned pretty late. The bottles hung around until around age 2-2.5 but only having one last one at bedtime or for the odd middle of the night awakening. We went on a trip to Florida and I guess the different location made him stop asking for it before bed (we packed it just in case) and that was the end of it. For the pacifiers..again both my kids were at least 2-2.5 yrs and one of them just "forgot" to ask for it before bed one night, so we grabbed it out of his room and never talked about it again. My younger son started chewing them and the plastic part was ripping off. My MIL saw that and asked if she could break it all the way and have him throw it out while she was babysitting..she did, and again, that was the end of it. For both kids they were no longer napping during the day when the paci. disappeared. My only advise is don't worry what others think. If it soothes them and keeps you sane having them around then it's doing no harm. My mother liked to judge me for the fact they had them so long, but she wasn't the one trying to get them to bed or soothe them in the middle of the night, so easier said than done!

  7. Mo,

    I have three kids and with each one of them we weaned around 12-15months off bottles. We started off with sippy cups of water around six months. So they were use to the Sippy cup.

    We went cold turkey EXCEPT for the last nighttime bottle. I noticed that milk consumption slowed for a week or two but it always picked back up. We stopped nighttime milk bottles before 15 months.

    Best advice is to just do it. Again Milk might go down just offer it in sippy cup. It will pick back up.

  8. We got our son off bottles at night when he was about 18 months old by watering them down, slowly but surely, over a period of at least a month.

    We did something like this:

    1st week, 4/5 milk, 1/5 water.
    2nd week, 3/5 milk, 2/5 water.

    there was absolutely no trauma to him by doing it this way, and eventually when it was all water, he - on his own - gave it up.

    hope this helps!

  9. I think that once you have the child used to use a pacifier only at naptime, that this great and there is no need to rush anything. We left it at that until about 3. It made for a low maintenance nap ritual (hand over pacifier, son went upstairs into his room and either played until he fell asleep over his legos or went into his bed). We took it away when he was old enough to understand about it. Or maybe he had outgrown it already and mostly he was playing, not napping anymore... ? He was not upset about not being handed a pacifier anymore. My older son never had a pacifier.
    Bottlewise - again, we stopped doing bottles when they were so old to identify it with babies and not wanting to be one anymore (maybe four years old for my older one).
    Why the rush ? We had put tea in bottles by then and it was just a ritual and not harmful I think. They should not get too much calories out of bottle drinking, so substituting with water is probably good. Or maybe water down the milk a little bit more every week (10%, 20%, and so on) until the bottle becomes kind of uninteresting.

  10. I'm not sure if my advice will be helpful since I bottle weaned much earlier, right around 12 months. The entire process was extremely stressful though, mostly because I needed Dylan to keep up close to the same volume. We tried tons of different cups. This may be easier for you because Magpie can already drink out of a sippy. I have two thoughts:
    1) Use a different color sippy for water and milk. Potentially have both out at the same time so she can choose water or milk.
    2) Buy a totally different type of sippy for milk so it's still a different "vehicle."

    I think cold turkey is probably best or else she may be even more confused. I was scared so I let Dylan have his night-time bottle like usual (tried sippy first) but I only needed to do that for 2 nights and then we were good.

    I don't have any paci advice...luckily Dylan never liked it. But I definitely think tackling it earlier is better than later. I think I used one until I was three and my mom had to cut the tips off. She said it was pure torture for her and for me.

  11. We switched from bottles to the Nuk sippies (with the soft nipple), which is basically a bottle. But from there we were able to transition to the Nuk sippies with the hard nipple. He now only gets the soft nippled sippies at bed time (he's 20 months). It's about 2oz of coconut milk mixed with 2oz of water. I'm gradually making it more and more water until there's no more milk.

  12. When my daughter was around 2, maybe 2.5, we took her to a neighborhood toy store, where she met the "bottle fairy." She was told that if she gave her bottles and paci's to the fairy (for other boys and girls who needed them), she could pick out a new toy at the store (which we paid for in advance so that our daughter would believe the toy came from teh fairy). We prearranged all of this with the store's owner, who was more than happy to be in on the plan and really hammed up the fairy part. It worked like a charm.

    Good luck!

  13. Cold turkey on both. Stinks for a few days, but then the battle is over and done with. No dragging it out. I'm so glad we did it this way!! If you go cold turkey, throw everything away so you aren't tempted to pull it back out and give in.

  14. The easiest way is " cold " turkey.
    I tossed out the bottles around 12 months and it took a few weeks to drink milk from a cup. I just supplemented with extra food like cheese and yogurt and provided extra snacks. The pacifier I didn't take away until 2.5 - like you I used it for naps and night time. I warned her a few weeks before that soon the pacifier fairy was coming to take it for a little baby and she would bring presents for a big girl. She was delighted for the presents and cried the fist night for " momo" and that was it!! She would ask if she saw one but would tell you " no momo - I big girl now!" It was very cute and easy.

  15. We transitioned from bottle to sippy cup when my daughter was one, because I had read you were supposed to stop bottles for orthodontic reasons. We switched to sippy cups but kept all the same rituals, warm milk upon waking and before nap and bedtime (and then teeth brushing, of course). That transition was pretty easy, since we were still doing the rituals, the vessel was just different. (And I feel I should add, that at almost four years old, she still drinks warm milk out of those same sippy cups when she wakes up and before bed).

    The binki release was a lot harder. At around two years old I started thinking we should try to get rid of them. We did stop using them during the day, but they were remained staples during naps and at bedtime/throughout the night. At three years old I knew it was time to get rid of them--I was worried they would mess with her teeth (I have REALLY bad teeth and I don't know yet is she inherited them). I asked her if she wanted the binki fairy to come take them, and leave her a present, but she wasn't into it. Then someone told me that if I poked a small hole in her binkis, she'd just stop wanting to use them. So I slowly hid all but one, and then said that was her last binki. Then I poked a hole into it and every day I made the hole a little bigger. By the third day, she just didn't want it anymore and when I brought up the binki fairy then, she was really into it. And that is how we got rid of her binkis. (The binki fairy brought her a gift card to Toys R Us and she picked out a big My Little Pony box set).

    I hope that helps! Good luck!

  16. If you want to wean, the key is cutting down in some way. My daughters both were in daycare and had to transition to sippy cups at 1 year. So easy peasy, sippy cups it was during the day. They would get one bottle before bed until about 15 months of age. At that point, we switched to just a sip of milk before bed out of a sippy cup. And that was the end of bottles. As for pacis, only 1 of my daughters ever used them. At about 2 1/2 we decided it was time to get rid of it (she only used it while sleeping). We put all of them in a box and "mailed them to a baby." Granted, this method probably works better for an older child. But honestly, at that point, it really didn't even cause an issue. She only asked for it once after we "sent them away" and she got a special reward for being a big girl (a new stuffed friend).

  17. We phased bottles out around 14 months. (I was going to do it around a year, except that I knew the next month we were (a) going to South Africa for a week, (b) going to the US for a week, and then (c) moving from the Netherlands to Germany). I don't really remember how we transitioned, except that there wasn't ever any fuss. We never really managed to get her to use a sippy cup, we went straight to ordinary cups. Maybe, since Magpie associates sippy cups with water, you could give her milk in a real cup?

    As for the pacifier, likewise I had hoped to wean her from that around age one, but due to the same travel, we didn't. At 15 months we cut the pacifier out of naps during the week (when she started her new daycare, I simply never brought them along and didn't tell th teachers she used one at home, so they never knew any different, and she went to bed without it just fine). After that, it was only used at home at naps during the weekend, or at night. When we traveled, she'd have it more if it helped keep her calm and quiet. Then we took a trip at 25 months where the pacifier was the opposite of a travel-smoother; we came home, and the next weekend I informed her after a nap that we were going to pick out one of the pacifiers and say good-bye and throw it away in the trash. We did after her nap; and the next day after her nap, she voluntarily threw all the rest of them away.

    Occasionally, she'll ask for them, especially if she sees a picture of herself with one, but when we remind her that we said good-bye, she usually stops fussing.

  18. The twins were never allowed to have their dummies (pacifiers) just any old time. Only for naps so they were kept in the cots.

    They both stopped somewhere between 2.5 and 3. I remember because I have a photo where the dummy is still in the frame and I know that was one of the last photos I have of it :)

    As for the bottles, mine hated milk in sippy cups. Sippy cups were for water and bottles were for milk. Eventually we did get them drinking milk from a particular sippy cup (one with a sucking motion not a straw). Can't remember when they stopped. Around 2? It was before the dummies :)

  19. My daughter was hugely into both the binky and the bottle. She (at age 8) is also still hugely into her lovey (which we call her blusa). So I think she just has the sort of personality to become fond of certain comfort items.

    My attitude was this: I have never seen anyone graduate from high school or college sucking on a binky or drinking from a bottle. And so I decided not to stress about it, even if lots of strangers did lots of stressing for us. Which mostly just made me laugh. :)

    At around 4 1/2-5 years old, we legitimately lost all her binkies, and I just told her I'm not going to spend money for any new binkies at this age. And she was fine with it. She could reason her way through it.

    As for the bottles, I can't remember how we eventually got off those. I think it was the same sort of thing, maybe more around 3 or 3 1/2 years. We just kind of went through our stash and, at some point, it became ridiculous to replace.

    My point is this: my child was hard core into these items. We waited a bit, and it didn't pose any problems, for either of us. It just sorted itself out.

    Good luck!


  20. Cold turkey. We have 4 kids, ages 9, 6, 4 and 11 months. I would try to find a sippy cup that the kid liked (oddly, each kid has preferred a different style)by their first birthday. Sometime between 12 and 13 months, I throw all the bottles away. All of them. Don't keep them or you'll give in to using it. Only one kid has liked a pacifier. We had to take it away at 16 months because they were indirectly causing recurring ear infections. I probably wouldn't have done it that early otherwise, but am glad the issue was forced. We did that cold turkey too. Throw all the pacifiers away. You go through a day or two of some awesome tantrums, but they get over it extremely fast. Don't drag this out. An 18 month isn't going to remember that you threw away all her paci's. For a 3 year old it would be traumatic though. If you don't want to do both at the same time, I'd get rid of the bottle first. But I personally wouldn't wait much longer for either. Especially if she already has a blankie/lovey. All of my kids have blankies. All still sleep with them.

  21. I used to worry about all of this but I learned they eventually do it and in their own time, don't stress over the little stuff. If they are really stuck on something at 18 months just wait a few weeks and try again. Give it time it will happen. We found out our son has a sensory issue so all my worries had reasons behind them and I feel bad now but I had no idea why he was so strong willed and had to have his milk in one certain cup and a very picky eater. Don't always fight them on what they want there may be reasons you just cant understand right now because they cant communicate fully. It doesn't matter what cup or what drink is in them, if they enjoy it that way what can it hurt!

  22. My daughter never liked pacifiers or bottles, but anytime we were making a change like this I would talk about it with her for a couple of weeks. Letting her know that she is getting to big for "" and that pretty soon she would use "" instead. My daughter loved using a tiny glass all by herself at that age ( We would use the tiny glasses when we all sat down for dinner and then use a camelback eddy kids bottle if we wanted something spill proof. They have different designs so maybe she could pick it out, which might make the switch more appealing.

  23. Our first DD took the bottle until around 18 months. she was cared for at home so no rush. she gradually accepted straw cups.

    DD2 went to daycare at 8 months. She moved up to the toddler room at 14 months where no bottles are allowed. She refused the typical sippy cups (with holes in a spout) and straw cups we had tried over a few weeks. She drinks a lot of (soy) milk at this age, much more than DD1, so we really needed a solution. We came across these which work great: nuby stage 3 cup with handles. Started with the bottle-type nipple and a couple weeks later switched to the sippy cup nipple. Enough like a bottle to satisfy her yet she can hold them herself and they qualify as sippy cups.

    As for pacis, this won't help you now, but for both kids we went cold turkey at 6 months when we did sleep training (Ferber). Ferber worked like a dream and neither kid ever missed the paci. We wanted to remove all sleep crutches at the same time as training. We didn't want to be up in the middle of the night b/c someone's paci came out. I DON'T agree with people who just throw 20 pacis in the crib. I (for whatever unknown reason) used a paci until almost 5 and I had a very bad bite and needed braces for over 2 years including headgear. Not pretty. Didn't want me kids to go through that. good luck, I hope you come up with something soon. Going cold turkey at 6 mo while sleep training is a lot easier than trying to do it at 18 months.

  24. With DC1, weaning from the bottle seemed impossible and then we gave up and tried a month later and it was a non-issue. He just gave it up no problem.

  25. pacifier went when our son was 8 months old- pediatric dermatologist told us it would NEVER be easy and would only get harder- mostly for us- so, we just went cold turkey. I set aside time if he needed extra soothing, snuggling, or support, but he really didn't. don't know how it will be at your daughter's age?

    bottles?- for me, it was the last of the nursing. he held on to the nursing before naptime and bedtime. it was for nothing at that point except for A)soothing and B)sheer habit/ritual. so, I started giving him a concrete event/date in the near future that the nursing would stop. I told him he could have a sippy cup of warm soymilk instead, and the end date was surrounded around a trip to Colorado. he was 3 and a half, and all of this made sense to him. I asked him about it frequently... 'when are you going to be done with the nursing, my love?' and he would say 'when we go to Colorado!'. ok, we go to Colorado, and he expects to nurse that night before bed, and I say 'but we are in Colorado now, what does that mean?'. wheels turning... 'ok, well can I have warm soymilk in my sippycup?'. WOW! it worked. I thought it would be much harder. but he could get his mind around it, it made sense to him, its was all about giving him time to prepare and assimilate the info. it tied in nicely for being a "big kid" and doing big-kid behaviors, etc. in that regard, his older age helped in the weaning process.

    we have weaned away from soymilk at night and just do water now, which he really isn't interested in. soon it will be nothing but hugs :)

    some things are hard to do because you know they are not going to like it, but you also know it is the right thing to do... and it is totally your own individual circumstances as to when and how to do these things. I was kind of embarrassed that I was still nursing my son at 3.5 years old, but, well, that is what worked for us and what ended up happening, so, who cares?! I did feel a bit like 'judgement-fodder'.

    my dad said something once that really helps when I have to implement unpleasant experiences or change for my son... some things are non-negotiable, like riding in a car seat. it doesn't really matter if they love it or feel so relaxed or comfortable or uncomfortable- the point of it is safety and the law, so they ride in a car seat. you have to apply this same line of thinking to other areas, because in the long run, the bigger picture, you are setting a standard and example of good choices and behavior to your child. if you just allow them to have all of their known, chosen comforts, they will never learn how to adapt, how to live without, how to accept not getting what they (think) they need, how to find new things to please and comfort them...

    it does seem a tiny bit early to be weaning off a bottle? I would say you are still well into the acceptable developmental age for bottle use, and not nearly into the time for being fodder for the judgey mc.judgsters, lol :)

  26. At 18 months, you could just try a switching to "regular" cups if you think there is too much association of a sippy cup with water. My son was drinking out of a cup by 18 months because he wanted to do whatever mommy did and mommy drank out of a cup. He wasn't very clean with it at 18 months, but the only way to get better is to keep at it!

  27. With our daughter we got off bottles around 12 months at our ped's recommendation. We used the type with a straw for water and the ones that were more bottle like for milk. We did have to try quite a few before we found a winner though. As far as binkies, she gave hers up around 2.5. We also only used them for naps and night. We had a good friend who was pregnant at the time and we talked about how that baby would need her binkies since she as a big girl now. After talking about it for a couple of weeks she decided at nap one day that she was giving them away and we were done. She's 3+ now and still naps and sleeps like a champ at night.

    Good luck! :)

  28. We transitioned our son to sippy cups at bedtime at around 12 months or so. We did use the kind with the soft straws with the valve so it would be an easier transition from a bottle. We transitioned from formula to milk around the same time, and he transitioned fairly quickly. Our boy was a thumb sucker, not a pacifier devotee, so we did not have that battle to contend with. It took until he was around 5 or 6, and old enough to bargain with, to give up his thumb. (i.e. - if you go to bed without sucking your thumb for a week you can pick out a cool lego set!) We've never looked back! As for the lovey - he still is devoted to his "pup", but he only stays at home now. :)

  29. I'm pretty much with @Sarah, above. We used pacis extensively when DS was awake (and asleep), and what I loved about them for the awake part is that a kid with a paci in his mouth is not a kid who is putting dirt, or a caterpillar, or dog poop, in his mouth. He did go without them at daycare sooner, because our provider wasn't a fan -- and he was fine with that (as were we, it wasn't something we felt strongly about). Then when he was about 3 (?), he went through 2 or 3 nights running when he was losing his paci, like, hourly, and couldn't find it without waking us up. At that point we told him he was old enough he needed to give them up because it was time to pass them along to a younger child (an idea he was familiar with). And of course in reality they all went in the trash. Interestingly, he accepted all this fine -- he mentioned them precisely ONCE after that, and just in a conversational sort of way. Never asked for one again, never fussed.

    We took pretty much the same approach to milk-in-bottle, as he (and we) called it, except that we just phased that out gradually. I think he drank it that way (in bottle), warm, until he was 4 (?). He enjoyed it and needed the calories, so we didn't worry about it. Eventually he gave it up. He was definitely pretty old by then, because I was trying to insist that he say "please," and when he said, "I want milk-in-bottle," I replied with what my mother used to say to me when I forgot to say please, -- "Well, I want to be the Queen of England." Without missing a beat he replied, "I want to be the Queen of England with milk-in-bottle."

    I know there's some concern about overbites, but I couldn't find a lick of evidence-based research pointing to overbites or any other reason to phase those things out (beyond family preference) and we didn't have strong feelings about them (until, in the case of the pacis, they were keeping us parents awake at night), so we just didn't worry about it.

  30. I never used the pacifier, so I can't give you anything on that.

    I haven't been able to wean my lass off her bottle. She still needs it to go to nap or night time sleeping.

    She will take any liquid from anything - glass, sippy etc...but she wants her milk only from the bottle, and I feel it is very comforting.

    The one thing we are working on is taking out the night-time bottle, and for that we have gradually reduced her night-milk quantity from 240 ml to 140 ml, and I plan to make it zero gradually. Once that is out, I will take away the day ones too.

  31. I never used the pacifier, so I can't give you anything on that.

    I haven't been able to wean my lass off her bottle. She still needs it to go to nap or night time sleeping.

    She will take any liquid from anything - glass, sippy etc...but she wants her milk only from the bottle, and I feel it is very comforting.

    The one thing we are working on is taking out the night-time bottle, and for that we have gradually reduced her night-milk quantity from 240 ml to 140 ml, and I plan to make it zero gradually. Once that is out, I will take away the day ones too.

  32. @Alexicographer: here's one study with cites to others.

    I'm the anon who used a paci til age 5 with a resultant horrible underbite.

    As to bottles before bed, we really didn't/don't worry about that. DD1 just kind of gradually lost interest. DD 2 at 16 mo def still likes a "bottle" (really a Nuby stage 3 cup) before bed and drinks about 8 oz every nite. We don't put her to bed with it so we aren't worried about tooth decay. We figure she'll gradually lose interest like DD1 so we aren't in a rush to drop the bedtime milk.

  33. @Anon -- thanks! Interesting. My own son (who stopped around age 3, so at about the age cited in the metanalysis you link to) doesn't seem to have an overbite (though it's clear he'll need braces -- his bottom two front permanent teeth are woefully crooked, for whatever reason...).

  34. My first son was in love with dummies, he only gave them up this past Christmas, at almost 3.5 yo, when he dropped his "last" dummy on the floor, and for some reason, he does not put anything in his mouth if it has touched the floor. And he begged me for a week or two to go buy him another, and I would say that I couldn't find one suitable for three year old - which is true, so that I do not have to lie to him.I hate lying to my children.
    The bottles - it was cold turkey, around 16-18 months old, I can't remember why, but I know for sure he stopped taking milk soon after, altogether, in cup, bottle, sippy or whatever. He started drinking milk again around six months after.
    My second hated dummies with a fiery passion, never took one. The bottles, he flings them around angrily, because he prefers to breastfeed, and being my last baby, I indulge him. I have been told the crap with "if he's old enough to ask for it, he is too old to breastfeed". He can breastfeed as long as he wants and i am able. And then I will pack his bags and send him to Uni. :-)

  35. Miss A goes to day care, so we've had to follow the lead of the day care center on these things. That's actually been a big help.

    Regarding bottles, there is a state health regulation that day care centers in our state can't use them outside of infant rooms, so about 2 weeks before she transitioned to the 1-year-old room, the infant teachers started putting her milk in the sippy cup the 1-year-olds use, and she got used to that. Around that time, we also started giving her a sippy cup with water at home, and then once I stopped nursing and she transitioned to cow's milk at 1 year, we would give her 2 (identical) sippy cups at meals - 1 with water, 1 with milk. She started with sippy cups that had handles, then we progressed to ones that have a more regular type of straw but no handles, and just a couple weeks ago (about 2 weeks after she turned 2), we gave her a plastic toddler cup that has no handles and no lid. We just fill it about half way with water or milk, and so far, she has not had any spills beyond an occasional minor dribble down her chin and onto her chest.

    One thing we've done at night since she started drinking from the sippy cups is put a sippy with water in the corner of her crib. That way, she can get a drink when she wants to. We put it in the same corner of her crib every time, so that she knows exactly where to look for it. It's almost always in that corner in the morning - she doesn't seem to put it in her mouth and use it as a paci.

    The paci moved with her from the infant room to the 1-year-olds room, but they try to discourage use of them in that room, so they stopped using it during her daily nap pretty quickly. At home, we just kind of started following the pattern of not giving it to her unless she asked for it. After we put her PJs on, we'll usually read to her and then turn out the lights and sing a song or 2 (while she's still sitting on our lap) and then just snuggle for a few minutes before transferring her to her crib. By then, she’s pretty sleepy and doesn’t ask for it. Most nights, she sleeps all the way through. If she wakes up and doesn't go back to sleep on her own, we do try to encourage her to go back to sleep without it. But if it's 2 a.m. and she's starting to cry hysterically because we won't give it to her and we're exhausted, we do usually give it to her. Also, if she's teething or ill and asks for it, we give it to her without hesitation.

    Potty training is a challenge I've felt much more intimidated by. I have no idea how to teach another human being how to use the toilet! :-) My mom bought her a Minnie Mouse training potty for Christmas (21 months old), and we keep it in our bathroom, and she sat on it a few times during those first few months. But honestly, being intimidated by the idea of potty training, I took the procrastinator's approach. The day care has a bathroom in the 2-year-olds room but not the 1-year-olds, so they don't start working with them on potty training until 2. So we decided to wait until then, as well. A couple weeks after she moved into that room, when we ran out of her current stash of diapers, we bought pull-ups (for daytime - we still use regular overnight diapers for nighttime).
    At day care, they told me that she was curious about the bathroom and would constantly peek in when the other kiddos were in there to see what they were doing, but she didn't want to go in to the bathroom herself. So again, we decided not to push it at home. And then a couple of Saturdays ago (it would figure, 2 days before R goes out of town for a week for work), she asked to sit on her potty chair. She's been asking ever since, including when she's spending the day with my in-laws at their house. So we put her on. Sometimes she goes, sometimes she doesn't, and we're not pushing it at this point. We're just letting her take the lead and figuring that she'll get there on a consistent basis in her own time. I think seeing other kids at day care do these things helps.

  36. We phased out Smudgie's bottle between 15-18 months. I think we started giving him straw cups, which he liked, and restricting bottles to just before bedtime. Then we swapped that for a straw cup also. I was so worried about the transition, but it went fine.

    And he still has his chupi (pacifier) for bedtime and naps. He LOVES his chupi. And with new sibling and new toddler bed all happening within 4 months, we didn't want to rock the boat that much. Plus, the chupi is basically the only leverage we have to get him to stay in the bed at night--we take it away if he pops out too much. I think we'll try to kick that habit when he's 3, once we have his sister transitioned into his room with him. Too many moving parts right now!

  37. I am not sure what time we did the pacifier weaning (later than we should have, I'm sure) but around 2, I think. A friend suggested a novel method which worked pretty well. You cut the tip off the paci so that it doesn't inflate, and every few days, you cut a bit more off until the child rejects the paci themselves. Grace said "Paci broken", but we just gave another that was also "broken" so that she knew that all pacis were not going to fit that need. She did great with it. Unfortunately, our middle child sucks her thumb and at 3 is still dedicated to it, sadly.

    I also agree with those who have suggested the soft sippy for milk potentially because it feels more like a bottle.

    Good luck!

  38. Our doctor was all over us to get rid of the bottles at 12 months (dental issues), but it was more like 18 for us, I think. We just switched over to the sippy cups, and it wasn't too traumatic. We did it cold turkey, though.

    With pacifiers, we went from daytime use to bedtime only, and then to just nighttime, and then to nothing. But, we waited until after the molars came in around 2. I found my kids both really needed the pacifier to get through that phase. In fact, we are just about to cut back on the pacifier with the younger one, as her molars JUST came in. It was a painless way to get rid of the pacifier, and we didn't meet much resistance with #1, because it was so gradual, and I hope it will be the same with #2.

  39. Hi Mo
    My situation was/ is quite different, so I'm not sure how helpful my advice will be. I nursed my son until he was 25 months and he never took a pacifier, plus I was quite lazy to pump so he wasn't very used to the bottle. However when he was 7 months old I started him on a straw cup, not a sippy. I'm wondering if removing both sippy and bottle and offering a new delivery method altogether would tempt her to try it. Perhaps you could have her pick it out with you? Make a big deal about her big girl straw cup, or perhaps have her pick out a new sippy for milk.

  40. Gave up bottles early (9 months--switched to sippy)and then switched to open full cup at 15 months. Never looked back.

    Why not just start with the open, regular ol cup? It's messy for a few months, but the mess happens, the child learns, and the mess is gone. Start by offering one ounce of milk each try with the open cup..

    Remember, the sippy cup is not a stage. Its a convenience.

  41. oh, and used this one for daycare (since they refused to allow an open cup for a one year old):

  42. For the bottle...
    Introduce a transitional cup... a soft spout not bottle but not sippy... Do the milk in there, start during the day and then move it to night
    For the paci...
    My daughter is 2 and 2 months and I am not going to touch her paci. I already know with her large crowded teeth that she is going to need braces so I'm not worried about that and she loves it, she only uses it to soothe at nap and bedtime... once she falls asleep if falls out of her mouth. I don't plan on taking it away until it becomes some sort of negative issue. Then I just plan on punching a little hole in the tip so it looses its' suction and she can drop it on her own for being "broken"

  43. I switched LO to sippies when I had stopped pumping and my frozen stash ran out - 13 months. So breast milk was in bottles and dairy milk in sippies, and we had no issues (but she is an awesome eater).

    She is 2.5 and uses a paci for naps and nighttime. I tried to take it when we switched her to a big girl bed a few months ago, but the first night in the bed she came down with RSV, went to the ER, and I didn't have the heart to take it while she was recovering. And now I'm about to have another miracle baby, so I need her to sleep! I'm thinking around her 3rd birthday I'll try the poking a hole in it trick. Depends on how long I am a sleep-deprived zombie this time :) but, I am not a Nazi about this stuff. It happens in due time. She won't go to college with it and if she needs braces, then *shrug* she needs braces. Lots of kids do anyway. I just refuse to believe that everything is high stakes - our IF battle made me a lot less controlling, which I'm sure many here can understand. When very little is in your control, you have no choice but to become more laid-back, right? :)

  44. No advice on weaning the paci, but my son would get PISSED if we gave him milk in the same type of sippy he was used to using for water. He wouldn't drink it. What worked for us was using a different type of sippy (flexible straw one by Nuby) for his milk.


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