Two months ago I wrote a blog where I made some goals and stated that I could not slink back into the pediatrician’s office at Emma’s fifteen month well check up and confess to having failed at meeting those goals. Well, on Monday, I had to do just that. My goals were to have Emma drinking from and holding her own sippy cup and drinking milk instead of formula. At her fifteen month appointment I had to report that no, Emma is not drinking from a cup. And yes, Emma is still on formula. While I was at it I went ahead and informed them that not only is she still drinking a bottle but she won’t even hold it herself. All my cards were on the table, and it was clear that I’d been bluffing.
The pediatrician okayed my plan to take the bottles away cold turkey. He assured me that she would not be harmed or become dehydrated by this action. So today I ended the standoff by taking offensive action. Emma awoke to a home that had been cleared of bottles and all their paraphernalia. I offered a sippy cup full of chocolate milk (the doctor’s suggestion to help get her not only drinking from a sippy, but drinking real milk) and Emma stubbornly pressed her lips together and shook her head. She wouldn’t even have a taste.
This continued throughout the day. I kept offering her a sippy cup and she kept refusing to allow it past her lips. By early afternoon I could tell that she was beginning to get frustrated. I felt awful because I knew she was thirsty, but I would not give in. And then, at just before 3 in the afternoon, a miracle happened. I offered Emma a drink, just like I’d been doing all day, but this time she sat down and opened her mouth. We are using a straw cup because I didn’t think Emma would understand that she had to tip a regular sippy cup back to get a drink since she has no experience doing this with bottles. I put the straw in her mouth and she drank. I was so relieved! But then, something even more momentous happened. I sat the cup down in front of her and she picked it up all by herself and continued drinking. I was so thrilled I could have cried. My baby was drinking from a cup on her own!
Emma spent the rest of the afternoon carrying her cup around and drinking from it like she’d been doing it all her life. At first she was drinking juice, but at dinner time I offered her chocolate milk again. She took a drink and proclaimed, “Mmm!” with a smile on her face. So now I’m off the hook with buying toddler formula, too. The pediatrician’s plan is to slowly start substituting chocolate milk with regular milk over the next couple of weeks until she’s drinking all regular milk. I am so happy to have a plan in place that seems to be working.
Once I took action the standoff ended after only seven hours. I’d been prepared for a much more difficult road. I’m impressed with how quickly Emma realized that the bottles were gone and I am so proud of her for finally being a big girl and drinking from a cup. I’m also proud of me for finally putting my foot down on this issue and not allowing Emma to make all the rules. Maybe there’s hope for me after all. I’d been thinking of this as my summer project, but here I am on the second official day of summer break with the project completed. There’s nothing like being efficient. Now I’ve got seven and a half more weeks to fill…