October 4, 2010 § 2 Comments
One of my biggest worries when it came to Ninad was his addiction to his bottle. He was so attached to it and dependent on it that I was afraid he was going to enter college with a bottle in his bag. He was never a sound sleeper and I suspected his disturbed sleep on his bottle. He would search for his bottle all around him even in his sleep and would wake up crying if he didn’t find it. When I had many sleepless nights in a row, I decided to take things in my hand and wean him off the bottle.
First step was to let Ninad know that the bottle was going away. I told him a story about a crow and its teeny, tiny babies which are hungry because they don’t have a bottle to drink milk with. Ninad was so concerned he voluntarily gave the bottle and asked me to give it to ‘ka-ka’. I left the bottles in the balcony and after a few minutes, the crow took the bottles away and left some chocolates for Ninad. So good so far.
Come afternoon, his nap time and the kid refused to go to sleep without a bottle. The moment I said ‘nap’, he would say ‘bottle’. Eventually, the day turned to night and he hadn’t taken a nap. No crying, atleast. So good so far.
He had a good dinner and said ‘sleep’ and added ‘bottle’ to it. I reminded him about the crow and he had this sad expression on his face which clearly meant ‘Why did I ever give the bottle away?’ I told him a story, sang him a song and he fell asleep in a few minutes. Not bad!
After two hours, Ninad woke up screaming and asked for bottle. I reminded him about the crow, but no use. He demanded that the crow get the bottle back because ‘it’s mine and I want it now’. I gave him gems and he went back to sleep. This went on for a couple of times all through the night and none of us had a good sleep. Thank God, I had decided to leave the bottles in the office, otherwise I would have weakened and given him the bottle.
After this horrible night, I wasn’t looking forward to the next day, but it was relatively uneventful. Ninad took a nap and slept well in the night. He did wake up a couple of times, but there was no screaming or flailing arms or stomping feet. From then on, it was a smooth sail. He had this sad look in his eyes for a few days and it tore my heart. I felt so sorry for him that the object of his affection went away. Thankfully, it didn’t affect him emotionally. Overnight, there was a complete change in my little kid. He started behaving all grown up, he was a big boy now, you see, because he no longer used a bottle. He drinks milk in his new, bright orange cup and he loves it.
Looking back, I am extremely lucky that things went so smooth for me and Ninad. Thank God and thank the mothers on my parenting forum. Now that he is weaned, there are certain changes in his routine.
1. Ninad sleeps really well in the night. From waking up every 2 hours to sleeping like a log all through the night, it has been a welcome change. Only mothers can understand when I say ‘He sleeps through the night’.
2. His appetite is much better. He eats a good three meals a day and snacks in between, 2-3 cups of milk a day and he is set.
3. He is all grown up now. It might be my illusion but Ninad has this grown up look now. He talks differently and behaves differently. Even my mom agrees with me on this, so it may not be an illusion after all.
4. He is slowly learning to fall asleep on his own. You see, I never tried the no-cry solution or the CIO technique to make him learn to fall asleep. I know he is going to learn that when the time comes. Till then, I don’t mind singing for him until he dozes off.
1. Since he doesn’t use a bottle anymore, it takes longer to put him to bed. A story and a song isn’t enough any more. It usually goes on for 2 stories and a couple of songs. It sometimes takes an hour and on those days, my husband finds me asleep when Ninad is happily playing next to me.
2. Making him drink from a cup during the day is a bit hard.
All said and done, weaning worked like a charm for me. I am kicking myself why I didn’t try this earlier!