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Children's Health

Transitioning My 2 Year Old

08/02/2010

Question:

My son will be two in a couple of weeks. He is intensely attached to his bottle. I have tried for a year now to get him to let go and nothing has worked. I let him pick out his own sippy cups at the store, at one I gave him a pacifier at bedtime instead of a bottle (did not have any interst), I have even tried letting him cry it out (which never works). My issues are that my husband is in the army and deploys reguarly, my daughter is away from home during the summers, and we just had our 3rd child. I do not want to cause him too much stress over the bottle when he has a lot going on he doesn`t quite understand. He also is not speaking, which I am not sure is a bottle issue or just stubborn.He is in speech therapy. His doctor wants him off the bottle by two. I am at my wits end because I want him to be healthy but I do not want an emotionally unstable child who can`t easily communicate his wants, fears, or needs. Please help.

Answer:

Weaning from bottle or pacifier is recommended by 12-18 months and should begin around 6-9 months when the sippy cup is introduced. Indications that your child is ready to wean include:

• Can sit up by themselves
• Can eat from a spoon
• Show more interest in solid foods
• Have an established routine for mealtimes

The situation you are now in involves a habit and as we all know, breaking a habit is stressful. But then, learning to deal with stress in appropriate ways is a life long part of human development. Children are tougher than we sometimes think. It may be time to "bite the bullet", choose a nipple stop date, prepare your child that it is coming, decrease nipple availability up to that date, offer external coping options (stuffed animal, cut down blanket piece, etc.) and allow the nipple to disappear. There is no known "easy solution" to this issue at this child's age.

Please see the link below for more suggestions.

Related Resources:

Health Tip: Weaning Baby from a Bottle

For more information:

Go to the Children's Health health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Sarah Sauntry, RN, MS, CPNP-PC
Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati