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Battle of the Bottle

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Yes, my daughter still drinks from a bottle. Deal with it.

child drinking from bottle
Vivian Manning-Schaffel: My daughter is almost two and still drinks milk from a bottle to go to sleep. And you know what? I've got better things to do than care. Of course, for a few weeks there, I really cared. With my oldest, I strictly adhered to most milestone transitions because I had the time to know what they were. But now, as a working parent with two kids in the picture, the path of least resistance is often the path that seduces.

I started this transition on time. I really did. She's moved on to cow's milk and all. But in the name of convenience, the pre-nap and pre-bed bottle switch totally blew way past me. So when it came time for her 18-month checkup and my pediatrician asked if she'd fully transitioned to sippy cups, my sheepish "no" caused her to shake her head, and the bubble above clearly read, "Poor Sucker."

Turns out when pediatricians say to nip the bottle in the bud around a baby's first birthday, they have a reason. When kids get older, they fight harder. We nixed the wake-up bottle, and she doth protested her little diaper off for a whole damn month. And I'm not just talking a little whining and mewling for her "Bwah." This chick launched a four-alarm breakdown every morning, starting at 5:30, mind you, and it went on until breakfast was over two hours later. Good times!

She finally got the hang of it, but the process sucked out loud. So I'm putting this whole endeavor on hold until I'm damn good and ready. Call me a slacker. I really don't care. The main thing I've learned as a parent is that you've got to pick your battles. And as far as I'm concerned, this round goes to my daughter. But the war, eventually, will be mine. After all, you can hardly craft a bong or beer funnel out of a Born Free bottle.

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19 comments so far | Post a comment now
KellyK July 30, 2009, 11:08 AM

Should you not be concerned for her teeth or the way he mouth developes? Also, I am assuming she does not actually laydown to take her bottle and that you brush her teeth after? I think there more to be concerned about than the fact that she won’t let go and it’s a screaming match. I am all about picking your battles but I also things it’s wize to actually play the roll of parent every once in awhile as it might actually be benefcial to the child.

Maria July 30, 2009, 11:31 AM

Well put Kelly!

dean July 30, 2009, 1:01 PM

I agree with Kelly. I babysit a 3 yr old who does that and her mouth is terrible!

The Mad Mom July 30, 2009, 1:06 PM

She does not sleep with the bottle folks - and she always brushes her teeth after. Just to be clear :)

mother of 2 July 30, 2009, 2:00 PM

I wonder if she breastfeed her if she would still allow that too? My 2 girls were off the bottle about 1 and used a sippy cup. I work full time and still had the time to manage them so I don’t see what her deal is.

drmom of 3 July 30, 2009, 2:08 PM

Hmm… I’m all for choosing your battles (I have a 5-year-old son and 1-year-old twin son and daughter. And my daughter is disabled.)
And I’m pretty sure this is one you need to actually choose-to fight.
It’s really in your daughter’s best interest that she not have a bottle anymore. Time to (wo)man up, mama.

merry July 30, 2009, 4:35 PM

Two hour tantrums daily remind me of a friend’s dd who recently got diagnosed with sensory processing dysfunction. Since she has removed milk entirely from her dd’s diet, the several-hour-long tantrums have subsided. It seems that the milk was triggering a reaction, kind of like an allergic sensitivity.

nicole July 30, 2009, 4:37 PM

like kelly said…baby bottle syndrome

Tara July 30, 2009, 6:54 PM

I agree, pick your battles! Maybe your daughter just isn’t ready to give up that particular comfort just yet…oh well, it won’t last forever :)

And in response to mother of 2:

Please correct me if I am wrong, but your post below sounds like a 2 year old shouldn’t be ‘allowed’ to breastfeed… If so, that is very shocking since most children are not ready to wean until after age 2.

“I wonder if she breastfeed her if she would still allow that too? My 2 girls were off the bottle about 1 and used a sippy cup. I work full time and still had the time to manage them so I don’t see what her deal is.
- mother of 2”

Marisa July 30, 2009, 8:48 PM

My pediatrician did me a big favor twice: the first time, I thought she was hardcore when she asked me to transition my son at 12 months from bottle to sippy, but I listened through three weeks of hell. Then, it worked. With the second, I breastfed to age 2 and listened when dr. insisted I do not use bottle at all. So, it was boob and sippy. Bottle free really rocked. I totally recommend for bf’ing mamas. You don’t have to fight the bottle battle is there is no bottle!

Anonymous July 30, 2009, 10:48 PM

sounds like a lazy mom to me

Anonymous July 30, 2009, 10:49 PM


Anonymous July 31, 2009, 12:18 AM

Same situation here only mine’s not a bottle since he’s breastfed at 2 1/2. It’s only a comfort thing when he goes to bed. No he doesn’t fall asleep to it anymore, it just soothes him. Sometimes it’s a real pain in the patootie cause I’m basically his bottle but I know it’s not like he’s gonna drag my butt to college. It will end when it ends. As long as the teeth are being taken care of, then it’s no big deal. We all have our “security blankets” whatever they are.

J July 31, 2009, 8:30 AM

I had a pre bed, pre-tooth brushing bottle until I was 5 - yes FIVE!! For whatever reason I loved it (and before anyone says anything about parenting, none of my other 4 siblings did - it was only me - I just loveed my bottle) I had zero teeth issues. I just loved my “ba” and found it so comforting - no different that kids who have a blankey or what not. Also, I wonder if she would get any grief if she was still bf’ing her kid before bed - probably not.

Like a nother poster stated, whether its a bottle, boob, blankey or sleeping in bed w/parents, it’s not like your kid is going to be 15 and doing this so don’t sweat it.

Mother of 2 July 31, 2009, 10:31 AM

Tara, in my opinion a 2 year old is to old to be breastfeed. Did you breastfeed yours when they were older and asked you to “whip” it out for them?

Chrissy July 31, 2009, 3:40 PM

Another case when a mommy thinks she knows better than a doctor. Not like a doctor has any specailizing training or additional eduction or more objective viewpoint or anything …
But this mom is defintely lazt, as sge wrote”the path of least resistance is often the path that seduces”. Meaning I’m too tired to care.
Maybe you sghuld have given up work if it makes you too lazy to do the right thing and take the path of least resistence.

Anonymous July 31, 2009, 5:58 PM

I have come to realize that women on this site are absolutly crazy. And they are all PERFECT mothers. Apparently. Get off your high horses people !!! Giving the bottle to a 2 year old is not that bad !!!! If she was 4 or 5 then give her some crap. But then again I am talking to a bunch of crazy women who think they know everything.

MOM4EVER September 7, 2010, 11:32 AM

Crazy women? Giving a child a bottle at 2 is being lazy. Shoving a bottle in their mouth to pacify them is absurd. Prolonged bottle use can still lead to dental problems even if they’re not falling asleep with it in their mouth. Not to mention anemia, obesity or malnutrition. They set these guidlines for parents for a reason. Us as paretns should put our childrend health and development at the top of the list and weeing them off the bottle when the doctors suggest should be a priority. Any why on earth is it okay to be “not that bad” not THAT bad huh? Just skate through parenting with your childs well being at the “not that bad” level. But it’s the total disregard of caring that this woman displays that pisses me off the most.

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