Thursday, November 7, 2013

Off the Bottle ...

Sounds like this could be a post about how I gave up wine-ing, but that will never happen (unless I am pregnant which is not even a remote possibility, so don't even go there), so instead we will talk about how my little one is off of the bottle already. Say what?! How did that happen?

From the time we introduced a bottle, I had used Dr. Brown's. They worked out great, Harlow didn't have much gas after those first few weeks and she took the nipples well. The downfall of these bottles is that there is a minimum of five pieces per bottle. FIVE. PIECES. That is a lot of dishwasher laundry, if you will. I had three Munchkin baskets going at any given time. (I'm not even going to tell you that I just now noticed that the nips would fit nicely in the top piece, I always shoved everything into the basket.)

While I didn't want my baby to grow up too fast, I couldn't wait to be done with those bottles. I even tried to use other brands during her bottle days but did not get much success with those. She is a creature of habit.

Around 6 months, I started introducing the sippy cup and cup with straw with no success. It was messy, but cute. We tried several different brands, Tommy Tippee Explora and the Munchkin brand. We actually just introduced that Munchkin kind, we have one very similar in Nuby, I believe, but the Munchkin is my preferred one.

She didn't quite grasp the concept of sipping the cup at first. Then one day, she shocked the crap out of all of us and boom! she was using a sippy cup. We started with water only, never putting formula in there. And she eventually grasped that and loves, loves, loves drinking water.

At her 12-month appointment, which was at 12 months, 1 week, the doctor gave us the OK to start cow's milk and suggested trying to get her off of the bottle and to use only sippy cups. That was somewhat of my plan. I figured that I would start the milk in the sippy and try not to equate the bottle with the milk or even with water.

The day of this appointment was the last time she had formula, yay! Although, I had half of a Costco-sized can left. D'oh.

One of the last bottles "Look, ma, one hand."
So here is how this played out, day 1:
-Got home, offered milk in a sippy
-She took a few sips and was not loving it
-I ended up mixing a formula bottle instead of giving milk in the bottle because I had a screaming baby on my hands who wasn't about to drink anything
-Before bed, offered more milk in a sippy

Day 2:
-Offered milk in the morning in the bottle, she chugged down maybe six ounces in a hot second
-Offered milk in a sippy throughout the day
-Found that she would take it very well in the bottle, but would try to swap out one bottle for a sippy

That seemed to be my plan for a few days, getting down to one bottle a day. I made sure she was getting the milk and it didn't matter how she got it. Ironically, we were touring new daycare facilities during this time and all of the directors mentioned that 12 months doesn't have to be the time when we drop the bottle, but we stuck with it to see what happened.

The husband and I were on the same page: She needed to get milk, it didn't matter how. If she wasn't taking the sippy, then we went to the bottle. On the 6th day, I offered milk in the morning in her bottle and kept noticing that she chugs a LOT in the morning out of her bottle. The rest of the day, I offered it in the sippy and by the next morning, it had been 24 hours since her last bottle.

On the 7th day, I offered milk in the sippy first thing in the morning. My thought on this was that if she was hungry/thirsty in the morning, she probably wouldn't care HOW she got the milk as long as she got the milk. I think that I was right. She never had another bottle.
Just give me my cartoons and we are good. 
I waited about three or four days before packing up all but two bottles, just in case. That was both sad and happy. No more insanely full dishwashers and less pieces. But it is also the end of my baby days. My 2 1/2-year-old nephew still takes a bottle before bed. And my niece didn't give hers up until she was 3. In some ways, I am grateful I won't have to wean an older toddle. Besides, we have a bigger problem on our hands: the pacifier. She is ADDICTED. Slap-my-veins, give-me-a-fix addicted.

If you are looking to wean, my first bit of advice is this: it will happen when they are ready and you have to also stick with it and be patient. I am sure that will come in handy when I am potty training. I am sure that if I was working during this time, it would have been a slower process, but I was home and willing to deal with how she reacted to it.

So, any advice on how to start removing the wubby (pacifier)?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Scare-tastic Good Halloween

"Monsters, Inc." is probably my 2nd favorite movie, behind "Clue." That movie came out in what 1987 and I still get confused at the ending. Anyway, several months ago, after knowing I would be back on the East Coast for Halloween, my sister and I decided to dress up our kids as Mike, Sulley and Boo. I mean, Smushie barely needs a costume to look like her:

Of course, a few weeks before Halloween, my 4-year-old niece exercised her right to an opinion and decided she wanted to be a fairy. Luckily, my nephew is only 2, so he doesn't understand his right to an opinion and therefore, he was Sulley.
He wouldn't wear the adorable hat that was supposed to go with it, but I can't blame him. It was a balmy 60-ish degrees. Considering the last two years Halloween was snowed out, we were heavily overdressed. I was sweating under my Wonder Woman crown.
We ventured up to North Jersey to my sister's house. A nearby neighborhood shuts down a portion of a street and 98% of the houses participate. They go all out, even cooking up hot dogs and serving them. It was pretty cool to be a part of such a community-involved event. Back in Vegas, my community would give out candy, but nothing like this. We did get somewhat of a late start, heading out around 6, so by 7 p.m., the kids were pooped, but I wasn't satisfied with my loot just yet. Everyone gives out chocolate! I am not really a chocolate fan, unless it is a peanut butter cup. I was dying for a box of Nerds. So sad ...

More cute pics ...

Overall, we had a blast. It was Smushie's 2nd Halloween, her first being awake for it. She did great, the cousins did great ... eating all of their candy as they received it.

Speaking of eating candy, who remembers having to WAIT until you were DONE and then having your candy searched by your parents to check for needles and razor blades? That was torture! What happened since the 80s that no one seems to do that anymore? I remember a school assembly talking about the dangers of Halloween candy and not to eat anything unwrapped!

Anyway, it was a great holiday for the memory books and one spent with family, something I've waited a V-E-R-Y long time to do.
Hope you all enjoyed your trick or treating!