5/15/08

Give That Baby A Bubba!

One thing I've never understood is why pediatricians want babies off the bottle at 12 months.

I'm usually a rule follower. Just try to convince me it's OK to give a child just a bit more in that medicine dropper than the 4 ml dose I was instructed to dispense and you will see immediate concern in my face. 4 ml means 4 ml. Not 4.5 ml.

But the bottle rule I completely ignore. I can't remember exactly when Sugarplum gave up the bottle, but I know it was when she was ready and that it was not at 12 months of age. I tried at 12 months (because I follow rules and they told me stuff about her teeth and her bite and probably other bad consequences of prolonged nipple sucking) but I quickly decided she still needed her bottle.

Shark Boy was harder to wean. He was in no way even close to ready at 12 months. At his 12 month check up I nodded when the ped reminded me it was time to wean him, but I had no intention of doing so. At 16 months we were back in his office and Dr. Wean saw the bottle in the side pouch of my diaper bag. "What's that? He's not supposed to still have those. Let's get to work on giving those up." He was good natured and offered a bunch of suggestions for how to wean a baby Shark. I nodded.

The next time we were in the office I put the bottle inside the diaper bag and zipped it shut.

I mentioned my annoyance about this stupid rule to my mother-in-law. She ignored this rule as well, it turns out. She said she once asked P's uncle, a pediatrician, what was the deal with the 12-month wean? She wasn't making her kids do that and was she really making a mistake? Uncle Harper said, "In all my years as a pediatrician I've not seen one kid yet go off to college with a bottle."

So she quit worrying about it.

I'm relieved to say my new, younger model pediatrician has yet to mention Honey Bear's bottle. Tonight, as I was rocking my baby Bear and he was drinking his evening "bubba" while gazing into my eyes, he pulled it out and offered it to me. Memories flickered in dormant corners of my mind, like fireflies ever so briefly illuminating memories of my other two babies doing that same sweet thing. I pretended to take a taste and he smiled at me, stuck it back in his mouth, and closed his eyes.

My baby needs his bubba. Mama is not going to rush this.

17 comments:

Sugarplum's Mom said...

yeah we had a hard time going from formula to milk.. she just didn't like the milk all that much at first so I used the 2nd stage formula that was good up to 2 years of age. Her ped was fine with it but did want her off it after 2. It was hard because she's just not a big eater. She's healthy and growing at a steady rate so they're not too concerned but she is way down there on the weight charts.

Steph said...

I nurse. Yes, STILL. You'd think I'm really screwing T-Money up based on the comments, looks, etc.

So I'm feeling your pain here.

Although, I swear, she's NOT going to kindergarten and asking for ninnies at naptime. Well, probably not.

Dana said...

When my son was 15 months old, he still took a bottle and one of the on-call pediatricians gave me a hard time about it. I asked him, "If I were nursing this long, would you be talking to me about this?" It's such a double standard. Every mama knows her baby's needs. I think some of these peds are over-zealous with their advice and recommendations. Like a power trip of sorts. They want to be "in control" and smarter than the patients. I hate that.

Rachel said...

This was so cute.
We never did bottles because of nursing, the kids wouldn't have anything to do with them. But, I see no reason that there be a 'cut off' date for something that gives them comfort and a sense of security. All kids are different, with different needs and sensitivities.. why the heck are we trying to force them all into one mold?
Amy, that last paragraph made my eyes well up. You keep that darling Bear with his Bubba! I hear ya darlin'.

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

How sweet that he wanted to share it with you! And, rules were meant to be broken. Who cares what the doctors say. It's still your kiddo.

lindabelle said...

We took Lil Man's bottle when he was a year old and I sometimes regret it. We didn't take it by choice though. He was sick and we had to avoid milk products for a couple of days and that is all it took for him to give it up. His B-Binky however is a different story. I believe he will still be popping it in his mouth when he starts to kindergarten ... BUT ... I'm not in any hurry to take it away.

carrie said...

I know that feeling well - not wanting the little one to grow up - seeing younger versions of their siblings in their every. single. movement. *sigh*

You know you aren't doing any harm!

Heather said...

The biggest "rule" I've learned is to trust my instincts. Do what YOU feel is right for YOUR baby. Afterall, you've known him longer than anyone else on this planet.

Carrie said...

I just had my son's 9 month appointment this week and they suggested starting trying to get him off the bottle. He still tries to drink from his sippy cup upside down. I do not think that will work to provide his major food source. Good advice on hiding the bottles at the doctor's office- I'm probably going to have to employ that method in a few months.

youarekiddingme said...

I'm a rule follower, too, and when my Dr. told us to have Monkey Man off the bottle at 18 mos, I made darn sure it got done. Or else...I don't know what would have happened, but first baby I just do what the Dr. says. And then look back on some of it and laugh and learn for a possible next time!

Melinda Zook said...

I didn't rush it with either of mine either. My son stopped at about 15 mos where my daughter actually stopped at maybe 10 months. All kids are different and some are more ready than others to give it up. I would have not minded a bit if my daughter held onto it longer, it just was an easy transition for her to take the sippy. You have to do what is best for your child.

Nap Warden said...

I am so on the same page...I am not rushing it with The Little Man.

wheelsonthebus said...

It's a cultural thing. French kids have those things till well after they turn 3.

THen there are my kids -- who refused to EVER take a bottle.

andi said...

Every kid is so different. I think it's ridiculous to say that all have to be off the bottle at a year. He'll stop when he's ready.

Neither of mine were a big fan of the bottle, so I didn't really have to deal with this. I just finished weaning off the breast and I put him directly onto a sippy cup. That way I don't have to wean him twice.

Anonymous said...

My little bit is two and he's still GOT to have his at night. There are worse things.

Ashley S.

Angela said...

You know, I have yet to meet an average high school graduate who is still in diapers, using a bottle, and sleeping in their parents' bed with a blankie. So I never did get too worked up about ANY of the supposed "rules" or benchmarks....around potty training, bottle drinking, blankie love or climbing into bed with mom and pop. There are greater things to worry about in a kid's life, you know?

Sleeping Beauty said...

All three of my babies needed there "baba" what we call it. My last daughter is 15 months old and she still needs it.

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