How old is "too old" for a bottle?

Filed under: Toddlers Preschoolers, Preschoolers, Nutrition: Health

I was just reading Kristin's post on getting Nolan out of diapers. (Yeah, 26 months into this mothering of a son, I gotta tell ya, it ain't happening around here anytime soon -- no matter how many Too Big For Diapers books I read him.)

I think for the most part, I've done OK as a first-time mom. We got him out of our bed and sleeping through the night at 3 months. (Though an occasional nightmare or bad cold might negate that.) I breastfed exclusively for six months and weaned him at about 14 months. Our one great shame, the first thing I ever wrote about here at BB, is Nate's need for nipple replacement therapy. If I hadn't weaned him before I went back to work, he would have nursed until college.

The nipple replacement therapy is a three-pronged approach:
  1. Must suck thumb.
  2. Must touch boob with free hand. If Mommy's boob is denied or unreachable, must touch own boob.
  3. Must have a bottle before bedtime. Quickly replace bottle with thumb when finished.
I'd really like to wean him off these bad habits, especially before the new baby comes, but it's not looking good. The boy is stubborn and he's holding on for dear life. Thankfully, I have managed to reason with him and he no longer "tunes in Tokyo" as Mommy's breasts are sore from being preggers.

I think the bottle will be the easiest thing to get rid of. But how hard should I be trying? And am I thinking this should stop because society will think I'm a bad mom for giving him a tooth-rotting bottle until he's 3? I know, I know, I am weak. If I just get rid of the bottle, eventually he's going to get thirsty and drink from a cup right?

Thank heaven the Berkeley Parents Network always makes me feel less crappy. I mean, if Berkeley moms are giving their 3 and 5-year-olds bottles, I can't be that bad.

The making fun of me can start... now.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.