Making the transition from bottles to cups for milk is in the face of it just another stage of the weaning process but for many infants it can be a real hurdle.

We had belated but successfully moved Tilly from formula to cow’s milk back in September. Following stories in the media about tooth decay, moving her off the bottle and moving teeth brushing to just before bed were our next goals.

Tilly’s reaction to cups for her milk was unexpected. We’d tried to introduce a variety of cups, all without success. Online forums offered plenty of ideas such as letting the child choose the new cup and let them decorate the cup. Still, all were rejected.

Infant's milk bottle

Much money expended on unwanted cups, I made one final attempt, to change the spout on Tilly’s milk bottle with one of a compatible sippy cup. Being out of options by this point I also decided that we weren’t going to backtrack to bottles; several forum posts suggested that toddlers do get used to the change in time.

This wasn’t our experience, however. The new hybrid bottle was still rejected, following some investigation and we suddenly found ourselves in a situation where Tilly was having no morning or bedtime milk. Woah.

Going cold turkey on milk is not a blue print for a quiet life. The milk had been one constant in her life. It was a soother in the morning and to lull her to bed and now it was gone.

I tried not to panic the first night. Would she sleep or would she awake early either due to hunger or thirst. Despite some protestations Tilly did go to sleep for the usual duration. Phew. However there were no signs of gradually accommodating milk with a new sippy top.

Instead we’re moving to phasing out her milk. It’s clearly a non-starter and its very presence causes further upset at the start and end of the days. In the absence of milk we’re ensuring milky breakfast with cheese and yoghurt during the day.

It’s been an unsettling time and over a week on from the change bedtime still sees a few minutes of unhappiness and a longer period of dozing off than it did. I can’t help feeling though that this is one of those times where the courage of your convictions is needed. She was overdue moving off bottles and reverting to bottles would just delay the inevitable. It may have been easier in a few months time if we’d left it but equally it may not have been. We’ve bitten the bullet and aside from the unhappiness it’s feeling like something of a success. We shall see.

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2 thoughts on “Weaning: going cold turkey

  • 24 January 2015 at 9:13 am
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    Good luck with it. Our daughter is the opposite at the moment. She’s probably drinking too much milkman. Whenever she asks for it we give it her. We do try and make sure she brushes twice a day and doesn’t get milk after the bedtime brush.

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    • 24 January 2015 at 9:10 pm
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      Some months on and she still won’t drink milk although she has milky cereals, yoghurts and the like to help with the calcium!

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