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Weaning From Bottle to Cup

Posted Feb 24 2012 2:18am

Recently, a friend asked me, “How did you manage to get your boys to stop drinking from the milk bottle and start drinking milk from the cup?”

Before I share my way of weaning my boys from bottle to cup, I think it is only appropriate to address the topic, “Is it necessary to wean from bottle to cup, in the first place?”

Apart from the frequent mention by pediatricians that the bottle teat or pacifier will affect the appearance and growth of milk teeth, I am more concerned with the reliance on the bottle may turn out to be an addiction.

Can you imagine your child, at 12 years old, studying his or her Primary School Leaving Examination and still sucking from the milk bottle teat every night before sleep and every morning when he or she awakes?

Is that what you want?

Many believe that such things get weaned off naturally.
My question is, “Do They Really wean off naturally WITHOUT the parents or the caretaker’s intervention?”

Unlikely, I think.
Will a child come to the parent one day and say, “I want to stop drinking from the milk bottle. I want to drink milk from the cup.” when the parents have never suggested it?
Quite rare, I believe.

But how many kids get weaned off from the bottle AND STOPPED DRINKING MILK completely as well? Quite common.

Milk is so crucial for bones and memory power.
If you want your child to have better memory, better keep your child on that white liquid for as long as possible, because milk does help!
Its medically proven.

I have a few friends whose kids are in Primary 3 and are still on milk bottle. Did I criticize them?
Of ‘cos not!

I just kept quiet and smile.
That’s my style.
When I disagree, I usually shut my mouth.
Especially when it comes to parenting.

Every parent has his or her own parenting style, what works for one child, might not work for another.
Therefore, to me, it is pointless to try to inject your parenting beliefs into others when they did not ask you for your opinion.

So, this post is for people who want to wean their children off from the milk bottle and get them onto the cup.

Ok, here goes.
It started with a terrible accident. Read Post “ 2 months in and counting “. That gave me a kickstart.
However, I am NOT suggesting that your child should have such an awful experience in order to introduce the weaning process! *laugh*

The weaning started in mid 2009, when Keatkeat was 5 years old and Binbin was 4 years old.

They showed signs that they were ready to try new things. Keatkeat had a more difficult time switching over than his younger brother; but thanks to peer pressure, he pressed on.

So the weaning from bottle to cup journey truly began when one of the bottle teat broke and none of them wanted a taste of the other’s saliva…
PLUS
my deliberate forgetfulness in buying a new milk bottle teat made them stay on straws for a really long time.

Here’s how it started:
Drinking from the bottle without the teat, but from straws.

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***Photo was taken on 4th November 2009

The key point in weaning a child off anything should NOT be too drastic, unlike how we did for the pacifier. It was snipped and end of story. Oh well, that’s another story altogether.

Ok, back to weaning from bottle to cup.
From the photo above, you can see that they still get to SUCK the milk and they still get to SEE their milk bottle.

Sucking motion helps to clam a baby and it still has the same effect for toddlers and young children. So most parents failed to wean their kids off from the bottle is because the child is forced to stop sucking too sudden, too soon.

And being able to still SEE their milk bottle also satisfy their need for familiarity and security.

No sippy cups were used during this process of weaning from bottle to cup.

So what is the difference?
We started off by removing two factors only:-

  1. No more lying down during milk time
  2. No more drinking from milk bottle teat.

After several months, the milk bottles started to change colour and I took the opportunity to try to remove another factor.

I brought the boys to the basin and showed them a Washed bottle and asked, “Do you think the bottle is dirty?” Well, the colour of the bottle has definitely changed after so many months.

“Yes.” they said.

“Look at how Mummy wash it.” After a few seconds of washing the bottle, I asked again, “Is it cleaner?”

They could Not see any difference in the colour and agreed that it was still dirty.

Me: “What makes the bottle dirty?”

The boys: “Germs.”

Me: “So after washing and the bottle still looks dirty, what does it mean?

The boys: “Still got Germs.”

Me: “When I pour milk inside the bottle for you to drink, what will you be drinking?”

The boys: “Germs.”

(Well, that was what I remembered. All that they said back then was “Germs, germs, germs.” *laugh*)

Me: “Do you want to drink germs?”

The boys: “No!”

Me: “So can Mummy give you a nice nice cup for your milk?”

Keatkeat had a new cup for his birthday back then. A birthday present from his cousin and so he used that.
However, Binbin preferred to personalise his own cup, so we gave him a totally white-coloured cup and coloured markers for him to start his artwork on the porcelain piece.


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Now that Keatkeat is 8 years old and Binbin is going to be 7 years old at the end of March this year, they are still using the same cups.

We change the straws when their interior start to appear slightly cloudy, usually about 3 weeks or so.

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***Photo was taken yesterday

I am PERFECTLY FINE with them drinking from straws. I have no intention of going further than where this weaning-from-bottle-to-cup journey is at now.

To me, so long as they stick to the routine of having a cup of milk at the beginning and at the end of each day, I am as happy as a lark. *Grin*

Remember, when your child is NOT ready for a change, DO NOT force it. Go with the flow…

Refusal today, does not mean refusal tomorrow. When your child is ready, he or she will show. Just keep trying… *smile*

Weaning From Bottle to Cup

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