My nearly 18 month old daughter, Sarah, transitioned well before her 12 month birthday from a bottle to a sippy cup, and then a straw cup from breakfast through dinner. One feed in particular, the morning milk, was the last to transition from breastfeeding, and also now the last to transition from bottle to cup.
This transition was, and has been, the toughest to date. Part of the reason is that even after 8-9 hours of sleep in her bed, Sarah wakes up anywhere between 4:30 - 5:00am (ugh, am so tired) requesting a bottle.
Being so tired in the morning and not quite ready to get up, my husband, Daniel, and I admit to the fact that we would take Sarah out of her crib, get her the pre-made bottle since she and I were no longer breastfeeding, and into our bed she went for a drink. Sarah would then fall back to sleep for another hour or so, which meant we got to sleep a little while longer. Now you can see why this has been a tough transition.
So, this past week, a mom I befriended at daycare, whose child is a few months younger than Sarah and who on occasion asks questions about her development, mentioned that her child was just starting on a cup and got somewhat scolded by the the pediatrician for waiting this long. She expressed her concerns. It turns out we go to the same pediatrician's office but see different doctors. We never got this kind of feedback. I thought in that instant, oh my goodness. It's hard enough being a parent let alone a full working mom. She did not need to hear this. I am sure she, like us, is doing everything that can be done to advance her child to the next stage in development. However, I have to admit I have been holding off making the transition and feel this conversation helped provide the motivation needed to start making the change. We realized that Sarah didn't REALLY need to drink from a bottle. It was a combination of what was comfortable for her and the additional sleep we craved. Then, I decided, this was going to be the week to start transitioning her morning feed to the cup.
While Sarah has now started to rise a little bit later in the morning we just had to bite the bullet and draw straws, figuratively speaking, on who was going to get up for this feeding and except being up after that.
So far this transition is going okay but not all too quiet and feel bad for our neighbors. Yet, after reading a few of her favorite books and cuddling with her blanket, Sarah eventually succumbed to the cup she knows well.
While we know that this transition will take some time, Daniel and I just need to be patient and work through it with Sarah and eventually this, too, will become routine for her. That, and lots of caffeine to keep us awake during the day.
So, I say thanks to the mom at daycare for sharing with me her personal story, While I especially don't want her to feel bad about her situation, as she shouldn't in any way, since her child is indeed thriving in many areas, she helped us by instilling new motivation to change what we felt needed to be done. This expereince has also shown me, and reminded me many times, that every parent and child is different and each child's growth is different.
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