It’s DAY 2 of
#MEALTIMEWEEK and today I want to talk about transitioning from 🍼 ➡️ 🥛! I work with a lot of toddlers that are still drinking out of a bottle. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends weaning from a bottle starting at 12 months, but I work with 2 and 3-year olds that are still attached to their bottle - because it can be so, so hard to give up! Add in special learning needs, sensory differences, and behavioral struggles and you’ve got yourself a doozy 🤯 Here are some tips to get you started ⤵️:
1️⃣ Decide which times of day to transition away from bottle first. Before nap and at night are the hardest, so start with other times of day. Offer milk in an open cup 🥛 or straw cup as an alternative during these times. Tell your toddler that you’re going to make that change the day before and then STICK TO IT.
2️⃣ Pacifiers or other sucking toys are okay as a transition period, in my opinion. If you choose to use them, decide guidelines surrounding time of use (morning only, before nap, while cuddling on couch) and stick to them.
3️⃣ Explore / trial other ways to help your toddler self-soothe when upset or crying for a bottle. Favorite toys 🧸, books 📚, hugs + cuddles with mom 🥰, and music 🎶 are all great ways to help soothe. (I do not recommend screen time 🙅♀️📱 for SO many reasons - the addiction is real and will cause more long-term harm than short-term good.)
4️⃣ Do not give in! 👊 The more often you give in to a crying toddler and give them a bottle, the harder it is to break the habit. Learned behavior is a thing. Trust me on this.
5️⃣ Try to let go of your expectation that it will be easy. It won’t. Your toddler will cry and sometimes will have trouble soothing. Your job as a mama is to help him through it, provide hugs and cuddles, and remain calm. Trust that this is a transition period and it will pass 🙏
Thank you to @evenflofeeding for sponsoring this post - not only do they carry high-quality, developmentally appropriate products, but I love that they include EDUCATION as a big part of their mission. Check out my link in bio for their article on transitioning from bottle to cup! Mamas, who struggles with this? I want to help!