My bottle removal philosophy. I keep chanting it to myself as my little Lily flower fusses and whines. I pulled the plug on the bottles with my 3 year old (Ella) the day after her first birthday and it worked like a charm. Lily is resisting a bit more and it is all my fault.
I broke the cardinal rule. I let Lily have her bottle in bed with her at nap time and early in the morning. Lily breastfed exclusively until she was 8 months old. She then self weened and switched full force into a sort of "baba" infatuation. She loved holding it and sipping it for extended periods of time. Her big brown eyes would roll back into her head in a state of euphoria when I would hand her the bottle. It became so easy to soothe her back to sleep early in the morning or get her to take a 3 hour nap. All I had to do was hand over the bottle drug.
As Lily's first birthday approached I was dreading taking away my crutch. My nap extender, my "Ace in the hole" in a time of stress. The bottle had become my "peace and quiet" facilitator. All the more reason to rip the band-aid off quickly and be done with it. One and done. The last bottle was on Lily's birthday. It was before bed. I told my husband I wanted to give her the last bottle. He looked at me with envy, this was a nightly ritual we both enjoyed. This time however he understood I needed this. I held her bottle for her and sang songs and let her slowly drink it for over an hour. Typically our nighttime bottle would be maybe 5 minutes, not tonight - it was her last supper so to speak. I teared up a bit as I quietly closed the door. A wave of sadness came over me. I then glanced at the pile of bottles I had to wash in the sink and the relief set in. Moving on.
It has been 6 days with no bottle. Six days of being greeted at 5am with a whiney little brown eyed beauty. I feel awful, but I know I need to hold strong. Nap times were tough in the beginning, but I am already seeing a difference. She is starting to soothe herself straight into a 2 hour nap, with little more than a whimper.
Lily is what most people would call a "content and happy baby." Withholding something she loves is so hard to do, because she rarely fusses. All the more reason to stay strong. The first day I felt like a mean old witch dangling bread above a starving child cackling. Terrible, so terrible. I just keep repeating, one and done, one and done, one and done. I like to think I am shaping a child who needs nothing except love as comfort and in turn having a little girl who can be content in any setting at any time without props or trickery. Fingers crossed.
Mommy Mantra - Make your kids an incredible Part of your life, not your WHOLE life."
Tonight we had baked chicken with fresh herbs from the garden, spaghetti in garlic, lemon and oil and asparagus, lots and lots of asparagus. My girls could OD on asparagus and still eat it the next day. It is my no fail veggie. We buy the massive Costco bag of asparagus and it only lasts a few days. Omelettes, pasta, on the grill. Delish.