If there is one thing I have learned over my 10 month span of caring for Henry, it’s that change is constantly happening. Between schedules, clothes, routines, diapers, foods, etc there has always been some sort of change going on. Looking back I’ve changed at least a million diapers, due to his happy spitting phase I changed who knows how many outfits, we tried seven different formulas, and had many changes in sleep habits, to name a few.
Up until recently we’ve been on the same routine for what seems like forever. He’s been going to be around 6pm for the last seven or eight months, eaten formula out of a bottle for seven months and consistently eating solids for five months.
Now that Henry’s inching ever so close to the one year mark, it’s time to make some BIG changes. Nixing formula and the bottle are the highest priority on the list. He no longer eats purees, nor does he want anything to do with them, so I’m not worried about his food consupmtion. We’d also like to switch up the bedtime routine because at some point he needs to not associate bottle with bed.
There’s a lot of different opinions that are out there about when to start the ween from formula/breastmilk to whole cows milk/or another form of milk. I have the same attitude about these opinions, like I do with most things that are advised in motherhood. I take them all with a grain of salt. This has been my attitude all along because really I know my child, body and in the end have to live with the situation(s). For instance, I rarely followed the foods to avoid while pregnant after the first trimester. I stuck to the important ones, but I wasn’t willing to give up certain things because I’m selfish. Henry didn’t have any side effects from it, unless you count his thirteen day early arrival. Just like solids, it’s suggested that you wait longer to introduce. Well, I have a kid who likes to eat and his 48oz a day formula intake at four months was a bit intense. Guess what slowed down after we introduced solids? Doctors, studies and professionals have lots to say about all of these things. In the end I’m never going to do something to harm my child and seeing that I’ve kept him alive this long, I feel okay making changes without consulting my ever so busy pedi. This confidence is something I’ve had from early on and found doing what I thought was best made parenting far less scarier. I learned early on reading too much will make you go crazy. Remember when I thought Henry was bleeding out because his button was red? Thanks Dr. Google.
The biggest change at one year is the switch from formula. We decided a few weeks back that because Henry still seems sensitive to raw dairy, we’d switch him to soy milk. His belly responds well to soy formula so really he should have no problems with the transition. Yesterday, after spending several minutes in the milk section at Target I came home with a two pack of Soy Silk. Usually, I research EVERYTHING, but I didn’t want to lose sleep over milk (again), so this is what I went with (for now).
Over the last 24 hours, Henry has had a 2:6 ratio of soy milk to formula in every bottle. So far so good. At first he denied the first bottle, I thought great my easy going baby is going to be a difficult toddler. Nope, back to normal bottle chugging. The only difference we’ve noticed is that his poop is ridiculously potent. I haven’t gagged at the smell of poop in a long time, that was until today. In the next few weeks I am confident we will be formula free and living a soy milk life.
Now, the next priority is proving to be a real pain in my butt. A month or so back we thought Henry was doing an awesome job with the sippy cup. He has no problem chugging his water with meals and once we realized he associated handles with banging, we no longer have the issue of sippy being used as a drum. I thought to myself if he does fine with water, surely he’ll do fine with formula in a sippy. At first, he did really well. We started with his morning bottle in the sippy cup and he would finish it. Then we either got lazy or something changed, but he is back to refusing milk in the sippy. If he takes a drink and realizes milk is in his cup, he will throw it. Little stinker knows the difference. He’s recently started screaming anytime he even sees a bottle. My worst fear is coming true, he’s attached to the bottle.
Some would argue that I’m being too pushy with getting rid of the bottle “so soon,” but really is there ever a right time? Every baby is different. They all learn and advance at different rates. Henry eats more than a toddler. He can down an entire grilled cheese without even blinking, then want more food. We knew when he was doing well with putting food in his mouth that we could get rid of purees. Some would say that’s too soon, but again what constitutes as “too soon?” He’s getting old enough to move on without his bottle and formula. He’ll take anything else out of a cup, so it’s about time he learns to do milk as well.
I’m to the point where I’m going to take the bottle away one weekend and he’s just going to have to learn. Cold turkey. I thought phasing it out would be the way to go, but nope that isn’t going to work for him anymore. This transition may give me grey hair. Visions of my 18 year old still having a bottle have popped into my head more than once.
Besides those two major changes, we also need to switch up the bedtime routine. I know I could be ruining a good thing (sleep), but at some point it needs to happen. Preferably before it becomes an issue. From day one we’ve done bath, bottle (boob), bed. It has worked perfectly and flawlessly. Ben started putting Henry to bed early on. He often wouldn’t sit and rock him so if the little guy wasn’t asleep Ben laid him down and he had to figure out that it was sleep time. This is why I deemed Ben the baby whisperer early on. Henry falling asleep on his own has never been an issue, but screaming when he saw a bottle wasn’t either.
Tonight was the first night of the new routine and it worked awesome. We’re still doing the three b’s, just in a different order. Now it’s bottle about thirty minutes or so before bath (he played after his bottle tonight), then bath, and we’ve added a fourth b (book) to coincide with bed. The hope now is that he’ll stop associating a bottle (soon to be sippy) with bed and in turn associate rocking in the chair reading a book as a sign it’s time to go to sleep. Ben read him an entire book and then he fussed for maybe a second before going to sleep.
He’s recently become very interested in books to the point where he’ll sit and “read” them, so now seemed the perfect time as ever to introduce this b into our routine. At some point it would be awesome for this new routine to give us an even later bedtime, some days he can make it until 7:30, I’d love 8:00, and sleeping in later the next day.
As you can see, from my novel, we’re on the brink of many changes coming our way. Most of them are signs that my baby is transitioning to a toddler. It’s weird to think that there are less “baby” things in our house now than there was this time last year. I love to embrace change and am actually really excited for these changes. Milk is easier to prepare than formula and cups can just go in the dishwasher. My only hope is Henry feels the same way.