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View Full Version : Another dumb question - when should I wean him?



Pepper
06-22-2010, 09:35 PM
Me again! So, Big Brother had to go cold turkey and give up his bottle at the tender age of 15 months, when we had his cleft palate repaired. It wasn't all that bad b/c I think he was about ready to give it up anyway - he had started to take a really long time to finish a bottle, would get up and wonder around in the middle of it etc.

Baby brother has been home 2 months, he's now 15 months old. He started off with 5 8-9 ounce bottles a day (!) but in the last couple of weeks has dropped back to 3 bottles: first thing the in the am (~6am), before nap (at 1pm), and before bed (at 7 pm). he eat 3 meals a day, with a bit of snacking. He seems to prefer sitting down at the table for a meal vs. "grazing" and will put away a LOT of food - usually more than 4-year-old Big Bro. He mostly eats table food, wants to finger-feed everything so I just dice up whatever we're having.

We've introduced sippy cups to Lil Bro and just last weekend he learned to drink from a straw, so he can get liquid by routes other than a bottle. He used to come running over when he saw the bottle full of milk but lately he's been dilly-dallying, which makes me wonder if he's getting ready to give up another daily bottle, or the bottle entirely? I'd been kind of hanging on to the whole bottle thing b/c it's supposed to help with attachment, but Lil Bro seems pretty well attached to us at this point and he seems to look all over the place EXCEPT at me when he's drinking a bottle, so that maynot be an issue anymore.

When are kids supposed to give up the bottle????

Dr C
06-22-2010, 09:48 PM
I can't speak specifically for adopted kids (I am presuming that based on the context of your post), but in general, I think 12-15 months is the ideal age to wean a bottle. The earlier the better if the child seems ready for it. In my experience, it becomes really hard to wean the bottle if you let the child hang onto it past 15 months. So I'd take those signs you're seeing as evidence that he's readay, and get rid of it.

hillview
06-22-2010, 09:53 PM
I think our pedi told us 15 months and then we waited til 18 months for DS1. DS2 just gave it up for a sippy cup like DS1 at about 15 months (may have even been earlier).
/hillary

JustMe
07-04-2010, 12:10 AM
It really is supposed to help with attachment in adoption, although he seems attached to you, 2 months is really a very short time as far as attachment. I stopped dd's bottle at 18 mos and she was home at 11 mos. At the time, I thought it made sense because she was somewhat older than is recommended for a non-adopted child, knew how to drink from a sippy cup, etc. However, I really wish I had done it longer in retrospect. You simply cannot do too much in terms of doing things to help attachment for an adopted baby/toddler, IMHO. It may seem like its not helping, but you don;t know that either. On the other hand, I do hear you that in some ways he seems to be ready. I guess, if I were in your shoes, I would not yet take the bottle away, but would let him have the other alternatives as well.

There is also a concept in adoption called "Family Age", which means that in a way your child's attachment age is the length of time he/she has been with your family. Your child's family age would be 2 months.

It may sound like I am pushing hard for you to keep the bottle...and I actually don't mean to. Just wanted to make sure you got this point of view as well.

heatherandlouis
07-06-2010, 02:21 AM
I would keep the bottle for a while just to help with the bonding. Maybe try keeping the night bottle if anything. Have you contacted an attachment therapist? It can be very helpful in getting a true attachment and strong bond. Most newborns attach to their parents very quickly but older babies are very different. We have adopted privately at birth and through foster care two toddlers. I am very aware how important the bonding is for your family.

Pepper
07-07-2010, 09:35 PM
Thanks for the input, everyone. I should have put in my original post that DS1 was adopted at 5-1/2 months old (both boys were in foster care in Korea) so we have been down this road before...things are just very different with DS2 who (as far as we know!) is non-special needs :)

DS2 is down to 2 bottles a day, pre-nap and bedtime (DH forgot to give him a bottle prior to breakfast one day, and DS2 didn't complain. But he does fuss if he thinks he's being put down to nap or bed w/o his bottle). He also wants to finger-feed most of the time, but I keep trying to spoon-feed him for additional bonding through feeding.

We aren't working with an attachment therapist per se, but I have read a bit on the topic for both kids. It is much more challenging to do some activities with the second child, especially since my first one is soooo demanding and jealous :cry: The people who wrote "Adoption Parenting" put out a 50-page guide for your child's first year at home. I rememebr that one of the suggestions was to hold your child on your lap at mealtimes. great idea, but there's NO WAY that DS1 would go for that one!

DrSally
07-07-2010, 11:15 PM
It really is supposed to help with attachment in adoption, although he seems attached to you, 2 months is really a very short time as far as attachment. I stopped dd's bottle at 18 mos and she was home at 11 mos. At the time, I thought it made sense because she was somewhat older than is recommended for a non-adopted child, knew how to drink from a sippy cup, etc. However, I really wish I had done it longer in retrospect. You simply cannot do too much in terms of doing things to help attachment for an adopted baby/toddler, IMHO. It may seem like its not helping, but you don;t know that either. On the other hand, I do hear you that in some ways he seems to be ready. I guess, if I were in your shoes, I would not yet take the bottle away, but would let him have the other alternatives as well.

There is also a concept in adoption called "Family Age", which means that in a way your child's attachment age is the length of time he/she has been with your family. Your child's family age would be 2 months.

It may sound like I am pushing hard for you to keep the bottle...and I actually don't mean to. Just wanted to make sure you got this point of view as well.

Good point about different time-tables for things with an adopted baby/child.

Pepper
12-08-2010, 04:58 PM
Thought that I would post an update...DS2 is now 21 months and has given up the bottle altogether. A month or two after my original post I started giving him his midday milk in a sippy cup with lunch, and there were no objections. We stuck with the bedtime bottles until a month ago, when he started taking a really long time to finish, would get up and wonder around and want to play. So we started giving him a cup of milk at dinnertime, too. Dinner is pretty close to bedtime and he seems to make it through the night just fine without needing an additional snack.

So in the end, it wasn't a big, traumatic event as I'd feared it might be. DS2 has the sunniest disposition ever...he is a real sweetheart.

Thanks again for your opinions & advice!