We are middway through getting rid of bottles, and Jameson is doing really well!
We decided a couple weekends ago (April 21-22) to do the deed without having found that perfect sippy he would drink a lot from, mainly because he was feeling well that weekend, and daycare wasn’t doing it efficiently. In just a couple months, they will start transitioning him to the toddler room, and we wanted to be ready for that
His room at the daycare is pretty busy right now, with Jameson and others transitioning to a cot (he’s also doing well with that!) and being overall pretty crowded. He still loves it there, I know he gets lots of activity, and I don’t really mind that they haven’t been able to force a sippy cup full of milk for him. Especially since it was partly our fault; we kept sending in bottles anyway.
We decided to go “cold turkey” but leave Jameson one bottle before bedtime (never with him in bed).
We did this to 1) guarantee at least bottle of milk a day, and 2) because we already changed bedtime routine recently with discontinuing the pacifier. We have vacation planned in just a couple weeks, without him, and we didn’t want to make things too difficult for the grandparents!
Schedule B.S. (schedule before sippy)
Breakfast bottle: 6-8 oz. milk (as soon as he wakes)
Midmorning bottle: 7-8 oz. milk (at daycare)
Lunch sippy: water (and water throughout the day as needed)
After nap bottle: 7-8 oz. milk
Dinner sippy: 3-4 oz. juice water (at home)
Bedtime bottle: 4-7 oz. milk (just before bed)
Total milk intake: 24-31 oz.
Schedule A.S. (schedule after sippy)
Breakfast sippy: 8 oz. milk (on the way to daycare in the car)
Daytime sippy: 8 oz. milk (throughout the day at daycare as need, mostly in the afternoon after nap)
Lunch sippy: water
Dinner sippy: 3-4 oz. juice water (at home)
Bedtime bottle: 7-8 oz. milk (just before bed)
Total milk intake: 23-24 oz. milk
On the first day, Jameson was fine with it. He is really hungry in the morning, and gulped down (very, very slowly) his first breakfast sippy with a regular sippy cup with spout. But it wasn’t fast enough for Brian to give it to him before daycare everyday, so we switched to a straw sippy the next day.
After that first day though, he seemed to realize what was going on and was less happy about it. The next morning, he cried. We went downstairs with the sippy, and about 15 minutes later he decided he wanted it, though at first he didn’t drink as much. The trend has continued, and now he drinks his milk on the way to daycare, but drinks it all.
As long as we let him decide if he wants it or not, he doesn’t fuss long. When we tried to force it, he got more upset.
It’s easy on the weekends to offer a sippy cup all the time and let him linger over it, but we knew he needed to be able to do the sippys in shorter bursts at daycare, so instead of letting him linger, we decided to wait until after his nap and have him drink when we knew he’d be hungriest. He would down that sippy in full.
(Another reason not to let them linger over the sippy is because that is, in fact, one reason that doctors and dentists recommend switching to the sippy or cup in the first place. Lingering over milk allows the bacteria in the mouth to feed on the milk sugars and produce acid that causes tooth decay – more info here)
That took out one of his daily bottles, but since he typically never drank as much on weekends anyway, we weren’t too concerned with the switch. I read that children his age (16 months) need 16-24 oz. of milk per day. So when we eliminate the bedtime bottle, he will still be getting enough milk.
At the daycare on Monday, he was offered two sippys a day, but after just a couple days, we opted to only send him in with one, just like we did over the weekend switch. Just one week, and he is fine with the new routine and drinking almost all his milk when it is offered.
Our sippys of choice now are the Munchkin brand straw cups (like these), and the Playtex insulated straw cups (like these) because he drinks them faster than the spout cups. However, we continue to give Jameson cups with spouts and other sippys we’ve purchased in the search for the perfect one, for lunch and dinner, to keep him flexible enough that he’ll drink from anything if we’re out and about.
In the end, he didn’t want to drink a lot of milk or water out of ANY sippy cup, until we decided to make him transition over. There was no perfect sippy for us.