Thursday, September 30, 2010

To Drink or Not to Drink

My daughter will be turning one next week. Yay! Anyway, she has been primarily bottle-fed for the last 8 months. She never liked baby food of any kind, but she does enjoy most table foods.

My question of the day is weaning her off the bottle. She still drinks regularly sometimes, but other times she just plays with the bottle and would rather eat table food. She's inconsistent, so I can't tell if she's ready to quit formula altogether or if it needs to be a more gradual process.


How do you know when your child is ready to wean?

When do you start serving only table foods?

How do you make sure your toddler is getting all the necessary nutrition from table food only?

Thanks ladies!



Alyssa Harper said...

For the bottle, I just did 3/4 formula to 1/4 milk, then 1/2 and 1/2, then down to 1/4 then nothing...just milk. A gradual process worked well with my boy, because he liked stability in what taste he expected to come out of the bottle.

For food, it's tough to get all the necessary nutrition in, but it's doable. (1) Make sure you serve table food FIRST most of the time. Hunger makes almost everything taste delicious, so you'll want serve those yummy fruits and veggies before offering a bottle or more "filler" calories like crackers or cereal. (2) Eat the same fruits and veggies your baby eats. It'll take time, but babies will watch, learn, and want to eat just like mommy and daddy. And (3) offer choices between 2-3 veggies. For example, my boy won't eat just plain, steamed carrots if it's the only thing on his tray. BUT if I put it side by side with something I know he raw, unseasoned tomatoes...he suddenly decides that carrots are the better tasting option and gobbles them up. Bwa hahaha. Doesn't work every time, but when it does, it makes my mommy-day.

Megan said...

We weaned Lucas off the bottle at 1 years old and when the doctor told us he was old enough to start milk. He didn't seem to mind going off the bottle, but I had to gradually wean him off formula; he didn't like regular milk(which now he is lactose intolerant). However, before weaning him from the bottle he only got a bottle three times a day, once with his breakfast, before his nap, and before bedtime. Other than that he was solely on table food and was drinking water or juice from a sippy with meals. We also offer a vegetable and a fruit with both lunch and dinner and a fruit is offered with breakfast. I think one of the big battles it making sure that healthy options are offered from the get go and also offered as snacks. If your worried about them getting all the nutrition, check with your pediatrician.

Delia said...

1. The decision to wean from the bottle should mostly be the parent's decision if they are a year. That is my opinion. If you wait until 15 months to START they are likely to already have a stronger opinion about it. You don't want a two year old that still needs a bottle so do it now while she likely won't put up as much of a fuss...relatively. :)

2. So at a year I start mixing in the milk at intervals like Alyssa mentioned. Once they are on full milk I wait a couple of weeks {why it's important to get started right away so you can go gradually}. Then I start dropping a bottle every few days to a week. I start with a middle of the day feeding that they seem not to care about as much. I give them a sippy of milk instead with a small snack like crackers. If they drink it great...if not that is okay.

Once all the middle of the day feedings have changed over like that I switch the morning one. I just get them right up, set them down immediately {after a diaper change} to breakfast with a sippy of milk.

The last to go is night time. I make sure to read books, give extra snuggles and a sippy of milk.

Eventually I change some midday sippys for juice or water. Then nighttime there is just water or...nothing. When that is exactly depends on how well your child is able to transition.

My goal has been about 15 months for us to be completely weaned from a bottle but still on a lot of milk. I say that at least by 18 months you could be serving only table foods with at least 2 sippys of milk a day. That is how I have done it anyway.

3. This question is really hard. Sometimes you think your child needs more than they are willing to eat. :) If you are really worried you can put some of the Next Step Toddler formula in their cup with chocolate {so it tastes like a treat and not like going back to formula} once a day.

So...this is all just my opinion. I know there are many different ways of doing it. I do feel strongly about starting early with bottle weaning though.

Good luck!

Delia said...

Oh and Alyssa...your bad or worse option technique is GENIUS! I am SO trying that. :)

Tannie Datwyler said...

1 - Weaning is difficult. I like all that has been said on the subject - I don't think I could add too much more to it. I will say one thing from the perspective of weaning nursing AND bottles. My son would take a bottle just fine as long as it had breast milk in it, but other than that he nursed. He REFUSED formula. So when he was ready for cow's milk we just gave it to him in a bottle straight up without mixing it in with breast milk (that was too hard for me to pump out a bottle and mix cow's milk with it). He did just fine with this. We let him have the bottle only at bedtime (to make sure he got enough nutrition) until he was probably 14 or 15 months, and then we switched it to a sippy like Delia said.

2 - I started serving ONLY table foods around 13-15 months (can't exactly remember). What I do remember is still giving my kids a little bit of canned vegetables at mealtimes when the family choice for veggies wasn't good (ie, salad doesn't always mix with a 1 year old). But by AT LEAST 15 months my kids were eating only table foods.

3 - I just want to be the devil's advocate for a minute in relation to this. I have a good eater (my 4 year old) and a VERY horrible eater (my 2 year old). They've always been that way. My daughter will eat almost anything and if she doesn't want to try it then all I have to say is "girls that eat all their dinner get treats..." TADA - she eats her green beans and I'm happy, she gets a SMALL treat after dinner and she is happy. But my son is another story. He doesn't eat hardly anything but bread products, milk, fruits (some of them) eggs, and yogurt. And he isn't old enough to reason with. He is also SUPER stubborn. I fed him the exact way I fed my daughter - I've offered everything the family eats every night, and he won't go for most of it. I'm not giving up on feeding him nutritionally, but what I want to point out is that my son is perfectly healthy even on his HORRID diet. He is growing fine and his iron is great so there are no concerns about nutrition. My point is - feed her table foods the best you can, but don't freak out if she doesn't always choose healthy - she'll be FINE!

Heather said...

This little comment has absolutely nothing to do with weaning or table foods. But, as the post was written by Laura, I wanted to mention how happy I was with your last post and the comments given about heated situations with your children and what to do to prevent blowing up. The camera comment--go grab a camera and document it before blowing up--stuck with me this past week. It worked wonders!! I was ready to get very upset with my little Mr. Mischief and I thought of that comment. By the time I finished taking pictures (with him smiling delightedly, of course) of the disaster, I was laughing at it myself and there was no anger. Just a teaching moment. Thank you so much for that post!!