October 22, 2018
Anyone who knows me knows I live quite a minimalist lifestyle. I have the basics of most things and that’s just the way I like it. So when I find an amazing product and in an amazing method to avoid toddler tantrums, I have to share it with other moms!
My daughter, Ava, was completely bottle-dependent. She always needed the bottle to soothe and comfort her. At my daughter’s first year appointment, my doctor told me it needed to go, because long-term effects on the development of the palette are negative. So I set about finding a cup to replace it and started the method of bottle weaning my soon-to-be toddler.
Problem is my kid LOVED the bottle. If I changed to a sippy cup with the nipple, that wasn’t going to be adequate, because then it would be just switching the container and not the biggest issue: style of nipple. I had to find a sippy cup that would be great for a one year old, toddler, and so on.
Then I realized the biggest thing I needed to change: My daughter’s mindset. I talk a lot about changing our own mindset for our physical aspirations or to cut certain vices, but for some reason, we don’t look at our children the same way. Why not? They form habits and dependencies the same way we do!
First, I had to determine where the dependency was coming from. I understood when she wanted her bottle most: when she was tired. Then I set about alleviating that dependence by disassociating bottle and nap. This was done by giving her the bottle about 15-20 minutes before her nap. Then at nap time, I would change her, turn on her sound machine, give her a pacifier (that was the next thing to go), rock her for a few minutes and lay her down. This process was repeated at naps and bedtimes. I was surprised how after about three days it started working. The dissociation was working!
Please Note: At this point my daughter knew how to self-soothe. If your little one currently does not self-soothe that will be an extra step and adjustment. We will discuss self-soothing techniques coming up!
Here’s the fun part: Getting rid of the bottle. First I started in the morning. When she got up, she’d usually have a bottle right after breakfast. This changed to a sippy cup of water or milk. For Ava, it worked best as a gradual, weaning method versus no more bottle, because she was so against change. So once the bottle at breakfast was gone, I worked on the before nap bottle and the bedtime bottle.
So what sippy cup did I choose? Well, this was hard for me, because I knew I needed something that was like a normal cup that could grow with her as she grew into a toddler, but tried several that leaked all over my carpet and drove me insane. I opted for the Munchkin 360 Cups, and wow, these things are amazing! Minimal-to-no leaking, especially when being shook (Ava did drop it from the highchair onto the tile and it did leak a little, but I do have to give it credit that it withstood the fall). At first I had a hard time because my daughter has such small hands, so I recommend the sippy cups with the handles which can be found here. But she has since learned and adapted to the sippy cups without handles and still uses them today at 2 years old!
So remember, dissociate and then transition, that’s the biggest parenting tip for your toddler to break the dependency. This will be beneficial for transferring from bottle to cup and will further head you in the direction of potty training your toddler!
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