For anybody new here, it’s probably best that I explain the situation right from the beginning as quickly as I can. Eva and Elsa have had a milk addiction. I actually think it was more of a bottle addiction, to be honest I’m not entirely sure. Both bottles and milk went hand in hand.
Basically, wherever we went we had to take a bottle of milk with us. Eva actually conquered this problem when she turned three. So about two nearly three years ago. We stopped her taking bottles of milk everywhere when she started preschool but she’d still have it for nap times or sleep time.
It became a routine that Eva would call for me in the night, two and sometimes more times each and every night. She wanted a bottle of milk. I gave it to her. In my mind giving myself an easy life because she’d go straight back to sleep with no fuss. That routine had gone on for five years!!
Elsa sort of followed suit with this routine of taking bottles out. She never had a dummy and used the bottle as a comforter. She’d fall asleep with it hanging out of her mouth, she would request it when she felt nervous, if she was tired or just because.
It’s going to sound pathetic but it controlled our life a bit. If we didn’t have that bottle, a tantrum would occur. Karl and I would blame each other for not remembering to take it with us or to not take two or three with us. We even payed a ridiculous amount of money when in Florida for a room service of milk! Yes it was that bad.
Also may I add that when I say bottles, I’m not talking about a sippy cup or a beaker. I’m talking about a soft teat newborn baby bottle.
Elsa turned four in September and she was still so dependent on this stupid baby bottle of milk. I tried to switch her to a more grown up bottle so she could have her milk but the distressed behaviour just wasn’t worth it. So we carried on.
Although we’d reduced the amount of milk Elsa consumed during the day, and Eva was only having milk in bottles (actually her bottles are the harder teat style for a toddler) during the night time, I still felt totally ruled by this milk thing.
I’m not sure why or exactly when, but one evening I had just about had enough. I wanted to throw those bottles away. I felt like going cold turkey and throwing the girls a little in the deep end felt like the right way to do it.
So I took Elsa’s baby bottle away. Replacing it with the same bottle that Eva was having. I filled both Eva and Elsa’s bottles with water and braced myself for a tricky bedtime and night sleep.
Eva definitely took the news easier. She was a little grumpy but I promised she could have some milk in the morning if she didn’t call for me in the night and if she went to bed with water just like her big sister Freya.
There’s different types of cry a child can do; tantrums, pain, tiredness and many more. Elsa was distraught. She was generally devastated and hearing that type of cry for something so insignificant was awful. It broke my heart. I listened to her scream for about fifteen minutes before I couldn’t take it any longer.
I knew I wanted to kick this habit. This addiction. But for Elsa who had only known that as a comfort, it was going to need a little bit more thought. I came up with the plan to give her the baby bottle back but put water in it instead. Obviously she wasn’t happy and cried for a tiny bit longer but eventually she reasoned with me.
It took about a week for both girls to get used to the new rules. The new way of life for us. We are about three months in to it actually and we are all getting better sleep because they don’t expect their bottles to be refilled with milk.
Elsa is still using her baby bottle but only at night time. She doesn’t ask for it at all during the day now. She doesn’t ask for milk except in the morning when she first wakes up, when I of course fill her bottle half way as milk is still very important. She’s eating food better as she is no longer filled up with about nine bottles of nine ounces each day.
I’ve actually thrown out milk that’s gone off because we aren’t going through six pints in two days anymore. I don’t have to worry about taking a cool bag with me on days out. It’s been a huge weight lifted.
I’m still not sure how to get rid of that stupid baby bottle, but considering it’s just at night time, I’m not too bothered right now. I welcome tips though, so please let me know any tried and tested methods!!