how we survived: transitioning to milk and sippy cups
You guys. This was TOUGH.
Like many pediatricians, ours recommended weaning Avvie off of formula and onto whole milk at 12 months. [For more on the transition from breast milk to formula, check this out.] She also recommended that she drink approximately 18-20 ounces of whole milk per day, around three times a day. For reference, she was drinking around 24 ounces of formula a day, four times a day, up until then. I found that easiest way to cut down to three bottles/sippy cups was to eliminate her 4PM feeding. So now, she has one when she wakes up around 7:45AM or 8AM, another right before her second nap around 2PM and her bedtime bottle right before bed around 7:45PM.
There's obviously no rush to transition exactly at a year and since she had a cold and her first birthday party in the first few weeks, I opted to wait until she was healthy and we had no events where projectile vomiting was verboten.
I was planning on gradually mixing formula with whole milk over a series of days, but then I ran out of formula. And since I'm that obnoxious New York mom that orders Holle online, I decided just to go cold turkey with the milk. Our pediatrician also recommended cutting out the bottle soon after 12 months, but I didn't want to hit her with the double whammy of sippy cup and milk at the same time.
Surprisingly, once the milk was warmed (cold milk was and still is a definite no for her), she gulped down the whole bottle like a champ. I'd say that was around 12.5 months and we've had no issue since (she turns 14 months on 4/2).
Cutting out the bottles, however, has been much, much tougher.
First of all, there are far too many options. You have your cups that transition from nipple to sippy, your regular sippy, your straw cup, your 360 cup, and even your straw-like cup without an interior straw. Don't forget, the wrong cup can result in your child having speech impediments for life! Do you need all of these contraptions? No. But did I buy all of them and then some? Absolutely.
Now, to be fair, it wasn't like I just cruised the aisles at Buy Buy Baby and loaded up on dozens of cups. I just kept trying new ones after she refused to drink the milk out of whatever latest "miracle" cup I'd just ordered. And, in case you're wondering, she had no problems drinking water out of any of these, and no problem drinking milk out of a bottle. The problem was drinking milk out of anything that wasn't her beloved Dr. Brown's.
Some moms advised me to go cold turkey with any cup and just wait it out until she got the hang of it, but she's such a tiny person (I don't think she's ever been above 10th percentile for weight), that that made me a wee bit nervous. Instead, there were just a lot of frustrating mornings where she would fountain-spit milk onto herself, me, the cats, the chair... We went through outfits and bibs like she was a newborn again.
This story does have a happy ending though! After testing out I don't know how many, I finally found that she'll drink almost as much milk from the Oxo Tot Transition Soft Spout Sippy Cup as a bottle. She prefers to drink from it like a bottle (i.e. cradled in my arms), but I'll take that over nothing. I shouldn't have been surprised that it was an Oxo product, as pretty much everything I've bought from them -- whether for adults or babies -- is pretty rad. Their peelers! Their bibs!
Is this cup orthodontist-safe? I have no clue and, frankly, I don't care. It's durable, easy to clean, and she uses it.
Speaking of cleaning, the best tip I received from a few moms was to reserve straw cups for water and more traditional sippys for milk. The reason? Milk is a BITCH to clean out of those tiny straws. And whole milk seems to stink a lot more than formula or skim.
Are you guys going through this too? Share your horror stories or happy endings!