Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Sippy Story

[Warning: A very lengthy blog post]

It was not my intention to wean her off the bottle completely. In fact, the purpose of having to go through this journey was just to get Spud more familiar with drinking from a sippy or a cup, and at a minimum, replace just one feeding a day with a sippy.

While I expected a lot of resistance, I must say that it was not as horrendous as the experience of having to wean her off my breast. That being said, it was not a bed of roses either, but I guess being mentally and emotionally prepared for it made the ordeal much easier.

And this was how the story of how we managed to get Spud off the bottle goes:

Day 1: Thursday (a public holiday!)

I decided to get the transition going on the very same afternoon I bought the bunch of sippies. I expected a lot of resistance, and Spud being Spud, did not disappoint me.

When it was time for her milk feed after lunch, I just gave her the sippy. And as soon as she saw that it was not a bottle, she turned away and clamped her mouth shut. Each time she did that, I used a different sippy and try again. And each time I shove a sippy, she got mad.

When she was thirsty enough about 3 hours later, she finally opened up her mouth and she took to one of the sippies with a softer spout. She managed a few sips or two, but turned away just as quickly, clearly showing signs of unhappiness.

That, however, was a positive sign to me as, at least, she managed a few more sips from the sippy cup, albeit unwillingly.

I was hopeful and I know that if I persevere, she would eventually just give in.

I gave her a bottle before her bedtime, and thought that it was worth another try the next day. Only this time, all she was going to get as her first feed of the day was from nothing else but the sippy.

Day 2: Friday

Before I left for work, I fed Spud with the Sippy and again, while Spud showed signs of being royally irritated, she managed a few more sips before she turned away and got mad. Again, I was hopeful that she at least took a few sips --- which in my books, was better than nothing.

I was convinced that if we persevere, we would have Spud take the sippy by the end of the day. And so, told the Nanny that in no uncertain terms should Spud be given the bottle. Spud will cry, Spud will certainly throw some tantrums, but I specifically told the Nanny to distract her (which will work) and not give her the bottle at all cost; at least not until I get home from work. I was certain that Spud will not be hungry as she has been on proper solids for a while, eating three square meals a day, with snacks in between.

I seem to have gotten the Nanny in my camp (or so I thought!), and I was convinced that she would at least try till about noon if Spud became violently angry. However, looking at the progress I had the day before, I was very hopeful that things would turned out fine.

As soon as I got home from work and, when I asked how Spud was, she told me that “everything went ok”. Pleasantly surprised at the reaction, I asked her again if Spud took the sippy. She then told me no because Spud “don’t want to take it, Ma’am” and that she had no choice but to give her the bottle. When I asked what time did she give in with the bottle, she said about 9 am. And that was only an hour AFTER I left the front door to go to work! One.bloody.hour.

I was fuming! I mean, of course she did not want the sippy because she was immediately given the bottle after a small resistance. One bloody hour! While I half expected that it would happen eventually, I did not expect that she would immediately offer the bottle upon the very first rejection. Knowing how intense Spud can be, I would have cut her some slack if she said she only gave in after trying for several hours. But, one.bloody. hour? That, to me, was just a heinous crime.

To make it worse, while I had every intention to try the sippy again before Spud went to bed, the nanny beat me to it by shoving her with a full bottle whilst I was making my own drink in the kitchen.

I had smokes coming out of my ears when I saw that and I was just MAD! When she saw how mad I was (I was banging stuff in the kitchen), she immediately changed to the sippy cup. But by then, it was too late as Spud was already drinking her milk halfway from the bottle. I told her off saying that she should have at least asked me first and by then since Spud has already started sucking the bottle, it was of no use to change to the sippy halfway.

I then tried to calm myself down, and just told her to continue with the bottle, as I will try again the next few days. Myself. I could not have been more annoyed.

What peeved me off most was also the fact that I had to somewhat start all over again after the small progress I had made so far.

Day 3: Saturday

With Spud’s swimming lesson being the first order of the day, I had no choice but to start her 1st milk feed with a bottle, lest she gets cranky during the lesson.

With Silver Bullet on board this sippy cup transition, we strive not to give her any bottle until the end of the day. We did not even bring a bottle out with us.

Whenever we thought that Spud wanted her milk, we gave her the sippy.

She got mad, she got angry, but somehow, despite her violent rejections to the sippy cup, we were able to distract her with other things and calmed her down.

We did not waver, and she finally relented and took in more than half of the milk in the sippy cup (~150 ml) at 4pm that day. That was about 8 hours since her last milk feed.

She was fed with a bottle before bedtime

Day 4: Sunday

Started the day with the sippy and Spud pretty much polished everything off without much complains.

She was however, still a bit reluctant to take the sippy throughout the day. She was quite cranky, and we attributed it to her teething.

Given her discomfort with teething that day, we decided not to push it and gave her a bottle twice more before her bedtime.

Day 5: Monday

I fed her  like I usually do in the morning after her breakfast...but with the sippy before the Nanny came. NO objections.

Before we left for work, we told the Nanny to just continue with the sippy till one of us got home since Spud had already taken to using the sippy cup.

This time, the Nanny listened. And when I got home, she surprised me by informing me that Spud has had no bottle at all for the entire day! And no objection!


I was so happy to hear the news that I just gave Spud her bottle before putting her to bed

Day 6: Tuesday

Same as the previous day. No resistance. She started taking her sippy like a champ.
I then also decided to order those doidy cups online as recommended by a fellow blogger, mainly out of curiosity.

Day 7: Wed

Same as the day before. But this time, we decided to push a little by nonchalantly continue with the sippy before putting her to bed. Just to see how it goes.

NO RESISTANCE whatsoever!

Now – more than 2 weeks later

We are officially a bottle-free zone!
When I was just about to embark full-on with this journey (circa day 2), a friend whom I shared my sentiments to on how to go about it mentioned that I was being too harsh. She felt that I was being too tough on a small baby and that I should let a baby be as Spud has still yet to start walking. I had to knock myself on the head and did think about what she said seriously. She has a valid point and did question myself if weaning her off the bottle before she is a year old was the right thing to do and that, if I should just take it easy instead and wait for Spud’s cue.
But, we know Spud enough by now that while things can be difficult with her, it is also not impossible to achieve what was needed to be done. I figured, it was something that has to be done eventually, and we might as well get it over and done with quickly and move on.

Given a choice though, I really do not want to have to go through this in a radical way ever, but knowing what Spud is like, I think it was just a matter of now or never.

If anything, it convinced us even more that perseverance and consistency are the way to go with this little imp.

These days, the bottles have been locked away, and Spud's just as happy drinking her milk or water or very diluted apple/pear juice from her Tommee Tippee sippy spout . (watch this space for a sippy review!)

And boy! Am I glad we do not have to wean her off a pacifier!

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