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stopping bottles - how to encourage adequate milk intake?

(10 Posts)
elliott Tue 22-Oct-02 20:31:14

I am in the process of phasing out bottles with ds (he's nearly 11 months) and I am a little concerned about how I am going to get him to drink enough milk when I finally stop them(according to the 'birth to 5' book they need a minimum of 12oz per day from 1 year).
For the last several months he has had his bottles before each of his sleeps (morning, afternoon and bedtime)- basically winding down and dozing off on the bottle - and I soon realised that trying to 'replace' the bottle with a cup at these times wasn't going to work at all - he just got very cross with me!!

So my current strategy has been to gradually reduce the amount in his day time bottles and then just stop them altogether, while at the same time encouraging him to drink milk from a cup at breakfast, teatime and 'snack' times in between.

Problem is - although he CAN drink out of beakers, he rarely drinks any large quantity. Occasionally he'll have 2-3 oz of cow's milk at one sitting, but over the course of a day I've rarely managed to get him to take more than about 6-8 oz (including milk on cereal).

I am wondering whether he will start to drink more once I stop the bottles completely- what have others found? Or should I carry on with a substantial bedtime bottle to keep his milk intake up? Or should I just not worry about it and make sure he has lots of yoghurt and cheese sauce???

Thanks. Sorry this is so long and boring - how do the rest of you manage to post so concisely and wittily?

Lindy Tue 22-Oct-02 21:12:22

Have you tried a variety of different beakers, you can tell from other threads that some beakers are worse than others & your DS may have difficulty actually getting the milk out - you could also try an ordinary plastic cup (no lid), to see if he can drink from that.

My advice would be not to confuse him by offering a bottle as well, just stick to the beakers, that's what I did & it worked for me as, personally, I just don't like seeing older babies with bottles, but, if it doesn't bother you, carry on with the bottle - I know plenty of 3 year olds who still have bottles.

bayleaf Tue 22-Oct-02 21:21:05

I give dd a bottle before bed as she always refused milk from beakers and she's 21 months now- no one else sees but me so I don't get too stressed about it!

Clarinet60 Tue 22-Oct-02 22:04:58

Similar to bayleaf. ds1 (3) would hardly ever drink milk from cups (a couple of sips) but would drain a bottle. He prefers it warm, but you can smell warm milk when it's in a cup. There is no odour when you drink it from a bottle, and I think that's what makes the difference. We have phased out bottles, but he drinks a pitiful amount of milk now and it does worry me.

elliott Tue 22-Oct-02 22:45:14

Lindy - I'm sure it isn't to do with his ability to drink from the cup - we mainly use quite simple no valve ones, and he is perfectly competent. Just not very thirsty! When he wants it, he can drink 3-4oz in a go, he just doesn't want it very often. Fortunately, he does seem to like cow's milk - drinks it better than formula from a cup.
My feeling is that bottles have completely different associations - the sucking is comforting, and the feeding a bit of a by-product. I don't think he's ever goign to gulp down stuff from a cup in the same way. Guess I'll just have to keep on with the little and often approach.

Eulalia Wed 23-Oct-02 23:20:39

Bit confused here elliot - I thought you were breasfeeding?

elliott Thu 24-Oct-02 09:17:13

No, not since he was six months. I know I've posted on other threads about my experience of b/feeding, which might have confused - sorry.

Tillysmummy Thu 24-Oct-02 11:16:32

Elliott my dd was having only two milk feeds a day from about 7 months. These were both out of bottles. Her daytime drinks are only water or diluted juice and she has those from a beaker. Up until a month or two ago my mum who looks after her a few days a week would always give her bottles during the day with her water or juice until I asked her to only give her the beaker. Now she's fine with it. My dd is 13 months and I am considering giving her the first thing in the morning milk from a cup and then keeping her bedtime bottle for a few more months. I don't see the harm in it. She likes the comfort of sitting on my lap and having her bottle so I don't intend to change that part of her bedtime routine.

I do agree that perhaps you should stop bottles completely during the day and see if it works but I wouldn't worry too much about it. Re his milk intake, as long as he is having plenty of other good sources of calcium like yoghurt and cheese I think that a couple of bottles of milk a day should be enough.

BTW, when my dd first started drinking from a cup she wasn't very good and only in the last month or two has really managed it well.

bluestar Thu 24-Oct-02 16:05:10

DS still has a bedtime bottle at 21 months and no plans to stop yet. Has a beaker for juice/water in the day but refuses to drink milk from a beaker. Have noticed recently that he is not drinking all of his bottle and therefore will assume that over time, he will cease to want a bottle and we can offer a night time beaker drink instead.

elliott Thu 31-Oct-02 10:25:03

Just to update you - have dropped one bottle, and ds does seem to be getting better and better at drinking cow's milk from a cup. I think he will be getting enough once we stop the bottles completely. I am finding it a bit odd putting him down for his afternoon nap without the wind-down routine of the bottle - it all seems to be rather abrupt, he won't sit and cuddle while I sing to him (like I used to with the bottle), so I just have to put him into the cot and leave him! So I'm not looking forward to dropping the rest of the bottles, especially night-time!!

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