Has it always been the norm for random people (and now internet strangers) to tell you what you should be doing with your kid? I don’t know. Did 1700’s mothers tell other mothers at colonial playgroup how to parent? I sure hope not. I like to think our society has just become more lax and open and people haven’t been overbearing since the beginning of time.
Being on the Mommy DL today from my ridiculous neck injury allowed me to spend a little time on BabyCenter during naptime and read the gossip, unsolicited advice and berating of people “doing it wrong.” I believe there are many things that are 100% wrong to do because they are unsafe, irresponsible, or downright dangerous. On the other hand I also think there are many ways to do things right. Sometimes you just have to stray from the baby book, nod and smile when Mom says how she did it with you, let Grandma tell her tales and lie to your friends so you don’t have to hear all about how parenting experts say differently.
I responded to a thread on my birth board on Babycenter (other people who had babies the same month and year as you) about getting rid of the bottle. My doctor was adamant that the bottle goes away as close to 1 year as possible because the longer you use it the more attached they get to it. Made sense to me but really stressed me out. He told us this at Baby Ram-a-razzi’s 9 month check up. I worried for days about how hard it would be because he did not like sippy cups for anything but juice. He had been drinking juice from a sippy since about 6 months. He drank soy formula due to a milk sensitivity so a glass of apple juice was given (per doctor) to keep him “regular.”
I’m happy to report that my son was completely bottle-free by his first birthday. I started transitioning at 11 months. I never pushed it and that is what I believe made it relatively painless. After a week and a half he was down to only bottle before nap and bedtime. Those last 2 bottles were the hardest for him to part with, as I expected. I gave him a week long break once he was down to only before sleep bottles. We both needed the time to relax and enjoy our victory. After the break we started working on those last 2 bottles.
This poor girl on my board was obviously stressed out that it was not going so smoothly for her. I suggested to her the method that I used. I bought sippy cups with silicone spouts that were the same texture as a bottle. Once he got used to those we moved to more traditional, firmer spout cups. I liked the insulation to keep drinks cold so that is why I ended up with them. He now drinks milk and juice out of either type of cup. It was just too rough on him to go from a soft, chewy bottle to a hard plastic spout, especially while teething. He loved to chew on the bottle while he drank.
The other women on the board seemed to take great offense with this method and told her (and I) how wrong it was. I would handle it better coming from experienced moms who had done this before but the women who took offense were other first time moms like us.
It was no longer about sippy cup training. This was a war against rudeness. Did my method harm my child mentally, make him cry excessively, present a danger to his health or that of others…no.
There are many ways to do things right. You can walk, run, skip, army crawl or do cartwheels and still get to the exact same place. It is hard enough having confidence in your parenting skills, decision making and life choices without people putting down your hard work.
Baby carriers, cloth diapers vs disposables, bottle vs. breast, how to handle teething, when to introduce peanuts, high fructose corn syrup – sweetener or Satan’s creation?
People always have something to say to those who don’t see it their way. If God intended us all to parent the exact same way he would have given children to only certain people, with certain ways of thinking. Just my opinion.